A walk past historical buildings in Solana Beach.

Walk along Highway 101 in Solana Beach and you might notice a series of plaques describing historical buildings.

During my most recent adventure in Solana Beach, I took photos of several buildings and plaques immediately south and north of Plaza Street/Lomas Santa Fe Drive. This stretch of highway was the coastal town’s main street a century ago.

To learn more about these and other historical buildings, and to view a variety of interesting old photographs, visit this page of the Solana Beach Civic And Historical Society. They’re the ones who created the plaques.

This first batch of photos is from the 100 south block of Highway 101. All of these small, modest buildings are now home to local businesses, including an eatery and salon.

Stanley Estes’ Radio Service Shop, 1931.
Howard and Irene Witmer’s Sandwiches, Fountain and Sundries, 1927.
Ira E. Conner’s Meats, Groceries, Hardware and Dry Goods, 1925.
Claude E. Miles’ Solana Beach Meat Market, 1926.
William and Angie Kurtz’s Solana Beach Drug Store, 1928.

The next three photographs were taken on the 200 north block of Highway 101…

Ray Hobberlin’s Barber Shop and Residence, 1948.

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More photos from a Solana Beach walk.

Enjoy these additional photographs from my walk last weekend in Solana Beach. These were taken along the west side of Highway 101, heading north from a spot just south of Plaza Street/Lomas Santa Fe Drive.

It appears some of this public art was the created for a City of Solana Beach Highway 101 beautification project in 2013.

If you recognize a couple of the incredible mosaics (the cool woodie and the fishes on a column), you might have seen my photos from a previous Solana Beach walk here. That old blog post also includes some interesting history of the city.

I love the next mosaic bench, and its beautifully creative symbolism.

LOVE ENDURES FOREVER

MIND OVER MATTER

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Stars, constellations and one night in a sidewalk.

Walk along the west side of Highway 101 in Solana Beach, a short distance south of Plaza Street, and your curious eyes might see the night sky in the sidewalk. If you aren’t careful, you might plunge downward into bright stars and constellations!

This public artwork celebrates the City of Solana Beach’s incorporation on July 1, 1986. The star map underfoot shows what one would have seen gazing up into the night sky at a minute past midnight on that date.

I had some fun with these photographs, gradually increasing the contrast. Be careful! You might find yourself tumbling through space!

(Curious about that colorful mural in the distance? It’s titled Myths at Play, and you can see closer photos and learn more about it by clicking here.)

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Bursts of beauty in Solana Beach!

Yesterday I took some interesting photographs of the tall sculpture that stands just west of the intersection of Highway 101 and Plaza Street in Solana Beach.

This public artwork looks almost like bursts of confetti up in the sky, or exploding fireworks, or atoms with their packed nuclei and fuzzy electron clouds suspended in space, or sudden irrepressible explosions of joy!

The sculpture blends in quite nicely with nearby palm trees, as you can see…

A bronze plaque at the sculpture’s base reads:

Plaza Beautification
1965-1967
A Gift to the Community from
SOLANA BEACH
WOMEN’S CIVIC CLUB
with appreciation to
Wadell Austin
Wenetta Childs
and other contributors

I believe the sculpture is titled Child’s Fountain. See a map of Solana Beach public artwork here.

To learn more about the sculpture and the artist who created it, Wenetta Childs, read this article.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

California Harmony racehorse art in Solana Beach!

Here’s another great Art of the Horse piece created back in 2017 for the Breeders’ Cup, which was held that year at the Del Mar Racetrack. This sculpture, a life-size replica of the Breeders’ Cup trophy, is titled California Harmony. It’s by artist Tish Wynne.

Painted on the racehorse are colorful coastal scenes full of crashing waves, running horses, birds, flowers and ocean wildlife. You can find California Harmony in Solana Beach, on Highway 101 in front of The Boardwalk retail and office complex, a bit south of Estrella Street.

Several years ago I photographed five other Art of the Horse fiberglass sculptures. (There were 20 unique pieces painted for the Breeders’ Cup.) You can see those horses here and here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

La Jolla artwork in Solana Beach!

Check out some great tile artwork depicting many of La Jolla’s landmarks.

I spied this today while walking past a shopping center in Solana Beach!

The painted tiles, created by artist Alma Ortega in 2016, can be found on the YogaSix building in the northeast corner of the Beachwalk Shopping Center.

Look at all the La Jolla landmarks. They include UCSD’s Geisel Library, the Birch Aquarium, Scripps Pier, the sea caves, the Coast Walk, and La Jolla Cove. Above it all I see the Mount Soledad Cross. Numerous popular eateries along the ocean are also depicted!

I’m not sure why this La Jolla art is in Solana Beach, but I love it!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Art-filled walks in San Diego’s North County!

This year I’ve walked quite a bit in San Diego’s North County. Many of those journeys filled my eyes with wonderful art.

I’ve amassed so many photos over the years, I’ve decided to list the following links. They take you to blog posts concerning a variety of art-filled walks in North County. (No, there’s no listing for San Marcos or Rancho Bernardo. I’m sure there’s cool art in those places which I’ll discover in the future!)

Are you ready for some fun?

Click the following links to see cool murals, street art, sculptures . . . and one world-famous installation by a major international artist that is tucked away in a place few visit. What am I talking about? I’m afraid you’ll have to do a little exploring! (Hint: it’s magical.)

The following links include hundreds of photos!

Carlsbad

Cool street art throughout Carlsbad Village!

Faces painted with words of confusion, revelation.

Del Mar

Del Mar’s sculpted Journey and A River of Time.

Amazing mosaic wall at the Del Mar Library!

Breeders’ Cup horses race on a Del Mar street!

An amazing Sunset Seat on the cliffs of Del Mar.

Encinitas

Photos of cool Sea Walls mural in Encinitas.

Cool pics from a wonderful walk around Encinitas.

Fun tile mosaic art on Encinitas sidewalk!

The miracle of the Surfing Madonna.

Amazing walk from Swami’s to the Cardiff Kook.

Escondido

Happy art and the Escondido Students’ Tile Mural.

Colorful art in Escondido celebrates nature!

Unusual public art at Escondido Transit Center.

Beautiful public art near Escondido City Hall.

Public art in Escondido: two female bronzes.

Carving stone and the Blue Granite Shift.

Star Streams at the Center for the Arts.

Niki de Saint Phalle’s Grande Step Totem.

Photos of Queen Califia’s Magical Circle!

The gigantic bronze leaves of Kit Carson Park.

Leucadia

Murals in Leucadia along Coast Highway 101.

A colorful walk through nerdy, artsy Leucadia.

Oceanside

Sculptures near the Oceanside train underpass.

Flying pigs and other cool Oceanside murals!

The cool Cruisin’ carhop mural at 101 Cafe!

Poway

The Pioneers sculpture at Old Poway Park.

Photos of Tony Gwynn statue at Lake Poway.

Solana Beach

A walk down Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail.

Sea life mosaics at Solana Beach bus station!

Cool mural overlooks Solana Beach train tracks!

Cool art and history in Solana Beach.

Sea-themed mosaics at Fletcher Cove and Overlook Park.

Vista

Amazing sculptures around downtown Vista!

Wild Horses run through Vista Village!

Murals in and around Alley Art Man Way!

Letters Home: A fallen soldier and a memorial.

Love Locks many hearts together, forever.

Stained glass panels beautify Paseo Santa Fe!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

A walk down Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail.

Sculpted tiles form beautiful mosaics that were created by artist Betsy Schulz. This is a red-tailed hawk.
Sculpted clay tiles form beautiful mosaics that were created by artist Betsy Schulz. This is a red-tailed hawk.

On Sunday I walked the length of Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail, which runs along the east side of Highway 101.

I was delighted to observe all sorts of colorful public art, beautiful flowers and trees, and even some unexpected poetry!

My walk was from south to north: from Via de la Valle up to a spot just beyond Ocean Street, where the trail through Solana Beach ends.

The pathway is extremely easy and flat. I saw many families riding bikes along it, and walkers and joggers, too.

Come along with me and read the photo captions.

Two arches by artist Betsy Schulz welcome walkers and riders to Solana Beach's Coastal Rail Trail at Highway 101 and Via de la Valle.
Two arches by artist Betsy Schulz welcome walkers and riders to Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail at Highway 101 and Via de la Valle.

Wild nature on one amazing arch.
Wild nature on one amazing arch.

Local history depicted on both arches includes the native Kumeyaay, who have lived in the region for thousands of years.
Local history depicted on both arches includes the native Kumeyaay, who have lived in the region for thousands of years.

The arrival of Spanish missionaries is depicted.
The arrival of Spanish missionaries is depicted.

The history of Solana Beach includes great upheavals and transformations, including the coming of the railroad.
The history of Solana Beach includes great upheavals and transformations, including the coming of the railroad.

Scenes of Solana Beach in the early 20th century.
Scenes of Solana Beach in the early 20th century.

More scenes of Solana Beach in the early 20th century.
More scenes of Solana Beach in the early 20th century.

The City of Solana Beach was incorporated in 1986.
The City of Solana Beach was incorporated in 1986.

Surfing on the timeless Pacific Ocean.
Surfing on the timeless Pacific Ocean.

You can see more public art by Betsy Schulz by clicking here and here.

As I continued north on the Coastal Rail Trail, I noticed what appeared to be a crescent moon on the pathway, and a poem by Walter de la Mare.
As I continued north on the Coastal Rail Trail, I noticed what appeared to be a crescent moon on the pathway, with a moon poem by Walter de la Mare.

A bit farther on I found another glistening moon. This one includes a poem by Emily Dickinson.
A bit farther on I found another glistening moon. This one includes a poem by Emily Dickinson.

I then came upon this colorful stained glass sunburst, standing between the pathway and nearby Highway 101!
I then came upon this colorful stained glass sunburst, standing between the pathway and nearby Highway 101!

Sunburst of Color, by artist Amber Irwin, 2005. Amber Irwin is a founding member of the Solana Beach Art Association.
Sunburst of Color, by artist Amber Irwin, 2005. Amber Irwin is a founding member of the Solana Beach Art Association.

A small garden beside the Coastal Rail Trail was bright with flowers.
A small garden beside the Coastal Rail Trail was bright on a late summer day with flowers.

An electrical box with colorfully painted artwork.
An electrical box with painted artwork.

Looking over a fence, I saw a Coaster rumbling up the train tracks that run parallel to the trail.
Looking over a fence, I saw a Coaster rumbling up the train tracks that run parallel to the trail.

Then I stumbled upon a third crescent moon, and a mysterious hat! This poem is also by Emily Dickinson.
Then I stumbled upon a third crescent moon, and a mysterious hat! This poem is also by Emily Dickinson.

A water fountain near steps to the Dahlia Drive pedestrian bridge that spans the train tracks. The fountain stands above colorful mosaics.
A water fountain near steps to the Dahlia Drive pedestrian bridge that spans the train tracks. The fountain stands above colorful mosaics.

This mosaic is a love gift from the Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.
This mosaic is a love gift from the Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.

A local youth group made these many cheerful flowers.
A local youth group made these many cheerful ceramic leaves and flowers.

Across the train track I spotted the huge, eye-catching mural by artist Lindu Prasekti. It's called Myths at Play.
Across the train track I spotted the huge, eye-catching mural by artist Lindu Prasekti. It’s titled Myths at Play.

You can learn more about this very cool mural by clicking here.

I'm passed by bicyclists who are also heading north.
I’m passed by bicyclists who are also heading north.

Sea life mosaics decorate concrete benches at the bus stop across from the Solana Beach train station. By artist Michelle Griffoul.
Sea life mosaics decorate concrete benches at the bus stop across from the Solana Beach train station. By artist Michelle Griffoul.

You can learn more about these eleven benches and see up close images of the sea life tiles by clicking here.

I've come to some steps leading down to the Solana Beach train station platform. Lots of passengers are waiting below.
I’ve come to some steps leading down to the Solana Beach train station platform. Lots of passengers are waiting below.

The visually interesting Solana Beach train station was designed by architect Rob Wellington Quigley, and was built in 1994.
The visually interesting Solana Beach train station was designed by architect Rob Wellington Quigley, and was built in 1994.

Another photo of people on the train platform below the Coastal Rail Trail in Solana Beach.
Another photo of people on a train platform below the Coastal Rail Trail in Solana Beach.

Some more colorful art on another electrical box beside the pathway.
Some more colorful art on another electrical box beside the pathway.

Red bougainvillea and the Cliff Street bridge over train tracks.
Red bougainvillea and the Cliff Street bridge over train tracks.

A City of Solana Beach plaque on the CLIFF STREET BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE.
A City of Solana Beach plaque on the CLIFF STREET BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE.

As I approached the northern end of Solana Beach, I saw a sign that reads RAIL TRAIL ENDS 500 FT. (At this time the trail doesn't continue into Cardiff-by-the-Sea.)
As I approached the northern end of Solana Beach, I saw a sign that reads RAIL TRAIL ENDS 500 FT. (At this time the trail doesn’t continue into Cardiff-by-the-Sea.)

In addition to the distant ocean, I see something interesting ahead.
In addition to the distant ocean, I see something interesting ahead.

A monument with a plaque stands in a small grove of Torrey Pine trees.
A monument with a plaque stands near an observation platform beside a small grove of Torrey Pine trees.

Some sculptural Torrey Pine artwork on the side of the monument.
Some sculptural Torrey Pine artwork on the side of the monument.

The plaque explains the history of these transplanted Torrey Pine trees. Figuring in that complicated history are billboards along the highway and train tracks.
The plaque explains the history of these few transplanted Torrey Pine trees. Figuring in that complicated history are billboards along the highway and the installation of train tracks.

More beautiful artwork, at the north end of Solana Beach's Coastal Rail Trail.
More beautiful artwork, at the north end of Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Oil paintings created on San Diego train ride!

Travelling by a train is like moving through a dream. The window beside your seat produces ever-changing visions. Glimpses of the world blink past, one after another. Your eyes are subject to a series of momentary impressions.

It can be hard to capture good photographs when riding the train up the coast from San Diego. You’re moving, there’s a dusty window and reflections to deal with, and of course there’s the critical matter of timing. When I snapped photos yesterday during my Coaster train ride from San Diego to Encinitas, most of the images turned out badly blurred and poorly framed.

So I decided to use the Oilify filter of GIMP’s graphics software to transform the photos of my journey into a series of dreamlike oil paintings!

All aboard! We’re about to leave downtown’s Santa Fe Depot . . .

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Sea life mosaics at Solana Beach bus station!

Small sea creatures made of ceramic swim about a tile mosaic bench at a bus station in Solana Beach.
Small sea creatures made of ceramic swim about a tile mosaic bench at a bus station in Solana Beach.

Check out these colorful benches at a Solana Beach bus station on Pacific Coast Highway!

Passengers waiting for a North County Transit BREEZE bus at this station are surrounded by all sorts of sea creatures in the form of ceramic tiles. You can find the public art just north of Lomas Santa Fe Drive, on the west side of the Solana Beach train station. Bicyclists heading down Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail can also pause to enjoy the artwork.

The fun mosaics, decorating 11 concrete benches, were created by artist Michelle Griffoul.

Here are photos from several benches that you might enjoy!

Two of eleven concrete benches decorated with images of marine life on Pacific Coast Highway, just north of Lomas Santa Fe Drive.
Two of eleven concrete benches decorated with images of marine life on Pacific Coast Highway, just north of Lomas Santa Fe Drive.

A colorful fish, shell and seahorse among small blue tiles.
A colorful fish, shell and seahorse among small blue tiles.

Sit here and you can ride a dolphin that is swimming among abundant sea life.
Sit here and you can ride a dolphin that is swimming among abundant sea life.

More fun public artwork at a Solana Beach bus station.
More fun public artwork at a Solana Beach bus station.

Butterflies! It appears that not all of the images concern aquatic life.
Butterflies! It appears that not all of the images concern aquatic life.

More fish in their watery element.
More fish in their watery element.

More beautiful artwork at the bus station.
More beautiful artwork at the bus station.

A bike rider rolls past public art. This station is part of the Coastal Rail Trail in San Diego's North County.
A bike rider rolls past public art. This station is part of the Coastal Rail Trail in San Diego’s North County.

So much sea life it seems we're somewhere out in the nearby Pacific Ocean.
So much sea life it seems we’re somewhere out in the nearby Pacific Ocean.

A small school of beautiful fish swimming in blue tiles.
A small school of beautiful fish swimming in blue tiles.

Enjoy The Path.
Enjoy The Path.

The sun is shining atop this bench.
The sun is shining atop this bench.

I've spotted a whale!
I’ve spotted a whale!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.