The most scenic bus route in San Diego!

Without a doubt, the most scenic public bus route in the San Diego region is North County Transit District’s Route 101. It runs up the California coast north of San Diego.

Riders on bus Route 101 are treated to views of La Jolla (beautiful Torrey Pines), Del Mar, Solana Beach, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Encinitas, Leucadia, Carlsbad and Oceanside.

It’s a long run with many stops–almost 30 miles and, depending on traffic, somewhere between one and a half to two hours–but you pass beach after beach, and you travel along historic Coast Highway 101 through some of Southern California’s most amazing and colorful beach cities.

Near the end of my last adventure in North County, I rode the bus south from the Oceanside Transit Center late in the afternoon. I was fortunate to have an “ocean side” seat with a window that cracked open a few inches. And my camera’s battery had some life left in it!

It’s hard to get good photographs through a barely cracked open window on a rapidly moving bus, but I got a few decent shots. They provide a brief glimpse of all I saw.

What follows are images taken as I rode from Oceanside to Encinitas. After the last photograph near the Golden Lotus Towers of the Self-Realization Fellowship ashram in Encinitas, my camera’s battery was exhausted.

If you ever plan to travel along San Diego’s beautiful northern coast, are in no big hurry, and would like to experience what the happy, laid-back, sometimes nostalgic Southern California beach scene is all about, consider riding bus Route 101.

You can meet some rather interesting people, too!

(There’s usually a surfboard or two in the aisle!)

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

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Cool murals in the heart of Oceanside!

Cool mural in Oceanside at Bubbles by the Beach by Nicholas Danger.
Cool surfer mural in Oceanside at Bubbles by the Beach, by Nicholas Danger.

During my walk around downtown Oceanside last weekend, I came upon a variety of great murals!

In addition to the artwork of Artist Alley, which I shared here, I found these cool murals painted on buildings within a block or two of the Oceanside Civic Center.

Because my walk was somewhat random, I probably missed other murals in the heart of Oceanside. If I did, perhaps I’ll spot them on a future adventure!

Large mural behind building at Pier View Way and North Coast Highway depicts Oceanside attractions as postcards.
Large mural behind building at Pier View Way and North Coast Highway depicts Oceanside attractions as postcards.
Oceanside Harbor and a surfboard.
Oceanside Harbor and a surfboard.
Mission San Luis Rey and a windsurfer.
Mission San Luis Rey and a windsurfer.
Oceanside Pier and a beach ball, blanket and umbrella. Wish you were here!
Oceanside Pier and a beach ball, blanket and umbrella. Wish you were here!
Mural painted at Johnny Mananas on Mission Avenue features tropical flowers and birds.
Mural painted at Johnny Mananas on Mission Avenue features tropical flowers and birds.
More of the very colorful tropical mural.
More of the very colorful tropical mural.
The beauty of Oceanside enhanced by a cool mural.
The beauty of Oceanside enhanced by a cool mural.
Large colorful mural on Civic Center Drive at the Star Theatre.
Large colorful mural on Civic Center Drive at the Star Theatre.
The beauty of the sea will always be with me. By artist Skye Walker.
The beauty of the sea will always be with me. By artist Skye Walker.

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!

A visit to the California Surf Museum!

On Saturday I enjoyed my first ever visit to the California Surf Museum in Oceanside.

This one-of-a-kind museum might be small, but WOW! Every inch of it is packed with cool exhibits that celebrate the history, art and technology of surfing!

I found myself deeply fascinated by everything I saw. Even though I’m not a surfer!

Most notable was the museum’s incredible array of historic surfboards, many of which are true works of art.

I could easily see why so many people love surf culture. I could see the poetry and the physical joy of surfing and its spiritual quality. I asked the friendly docent what he liked most about surfing, and he said it was being in the moment. Forgetting unimportant things, riding a wave, feeling alive.

If you are the least bit fascinated by this sport or the Southern California beach scene, definitely visit the California Surf Museum. To give you an idea of what you might see, check out my photographs, and read the captions!

Numerous exhibits fill the small but very cool California Surf Museum in Oceanside.
Numerous exhibits fill the small but very cool California Surf Museum in Oceanside.
One exhibit details the Anatomy of a Wave.
One exhibit details the Anatomy of a Wave.
A gun surfboard made of layered agave wood, created by local surfing and shaping legend Gary Linden.
A gun surfboard made of layered agave wood, created by local surfing and shaping legend Gary Linden.
Asymmetrical redwood surfboard made from the wood of a large wine barrel, created by Carl Ekstrom.
Asymmetrical redwood surfboard made from the wood of a large wine barrel, created by Carl Ekstrom.
Display case holds 1946 California Surfriders book by Doc Ball, his wood waterbox camera for surf photography, and the 1928 Tom Blake Perpetual Trophy.
Display case holds 1946 California Surfriders book by Doc Ball, his wood waterbox camera for surf photography, and the 1928 Tom Blake Perpetual Trophy.
Another exhibit celebrates the boogie board, invented by Tom Morey in 1971, and explores its history.
Another exhibit celebrates the boogie board, invented by Tom Morey in 1971, and explores its history.
Plastic Fantastic rounded pin surfboard, with cool artwork by Randall Kraemer.
Plastic Fantastic rounded pin surfboard, with cool artwork by Randall Kraemer.
A special, inspirational exhibit celebrates Bethany Hamilton, champion surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack.
A special, inspirational exhibit celebrates Bethany Hamilton, champion surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack. You can see her surfboard with a chunk missing.
Bethany Hamilton's inspiring story was told in the movie Soul Surfer. She has won multiple competitions after losing her left arm in a 2003 shark attack.
Bethany Hamilton’s inspiring story was told in the movie Soul Surfer. She has won multiple competitions after losing her left arm in a 2003 shark attack.
A very unique hydrofoil for kneeboard surfing, designed by oceanographer Dr. Tareah "Terry" Hendricks. A plaque in his honor can be found at Swami's in Encinitas.
A very unique hydrofoil for kneeboard surfing, designed by oceanographer Dr. Tareah “Terry” Hendricks. A plaque in his honor can be found at Swami’s in Encinitas.
Circa 1910 early California alaia made of Sugar Pine, built by Ralph Noisat. One of the oldest documented boards in the mainland United States.
Circa 1910 early California alaia made of Sugar Pine, built by Ralph Noisat. One of the oldest documented boards in the mainland United States.
Surfing toys, games and pop culture imagery in a display case at the California Surf Museum.
Toys, games, comic books and pop culture artifacts celebrate surfing in a display case at the California Surf Museum.
A museum display memorializes local surfers who've passed on.
A museum display memorializes local surfers who’ve passed on.
Various bodysurfing handplanes.
Various bodysurfing handplanes.
A cool art exhibit titled Abstractions in Symmetry by Russell Spencer features photographs created using light and rotating surfboard fins.
A cool surf art exhibit titled Abstractions in Symmetry by Russell Spencer features photographs created using light and rotating surfboard fins.
A redwood surfboard by Francis Todd II and Mary Krahn pays tribute to popular Southern California surfing destination Encinitas.
A redwood surfboard by Francis Todd II and Mary Krahn pays tribute to popular Southern California surfing destination Encinitas.
A small slice of heaven for surfing enthusiasts!

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!

Murals in downtown Cardiff-by-the-Sea!

Somebody walks past a very colorful public mural in downtown Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
Somebody walks past a very colorful public mural in downtown Cardiff-by-the-Sea.

Yesterday I enjoyed a walk around downtown Cardiff-by-the-Sea. The small downtown area is jam-packed with amazing, colorful murals!

I took photographs of the murals I happened to stumble upon. I’ve captioned my photos with any information I could discover. If there are additional murals that I missed, I apologize! I walked a bit randomly.

One can see most of downtown Cardiff in fifteen minutes by turning up and down sidewalks at an easy pace. If you’re ever in the area, you might enjoy your own wonderful journey of discovery!

A tropical beach scene by Kevin Anderson Art Murals painted at the end of a strip mall building beside Aberdeen Drive.
A tropical beach scene by Kevin Anderson Art Murals painted at the end of a strip mall building beside Aberdeen Drive.

A sunset, dolphin, surfer and guitar-strumming mermaid!
A sunset, dolphin, surfer and guitar-strumming mermaid!

More of the beautiful beach mural, on the building's east wall.
More of the beautiful beach mural, on the building’s east wall.

Colorful surfers and surfboards on a mural across Newcastle Avenue from the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Branch Library.
Colorful surfers and surfboards on a mural across Newcastle Avenue from the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Branch Library.

Evening Gold, 2018, by Todd Glaser and Skye Walker. Painted on north side of building at Newcastle Avenue and Liverpool Drive.
Evening Gold, 2018, by Skye Walker. Painted on north side of building at Newcastle Avenue and Liverpool Drive.

The mural was painted from a photo taken by surf photographer Todd Glaser of pro-surfer Rob Machado, both Cardiff residents.
The mural was painted from a photo taken by surf photographer Todd Glaser of pro-surfer Rob Machado in action. Both are Cardiff residents.

Right end of a long, amazing mural in Cardiff by artists Skye Walker and Marissa Quinn. Painted in alley off Chesterfield Drive, between San Elijo Avenue and Newcastle Avenue.
Right end of a long, amazing mural in Cardiff by artists Skye Walker and Marissa Quinn. Painted in alley off Chesterfield Drive, between San Elijo Avenue and Newcastle Avenue.

Bicyclists on mural at strip mall on Aberdeen Drive in downtown Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
Bicyclists on mural at strip mall on Aberdeen Drive in downtown Cardiff-by-the-Sea.

More painted scenes on an adjacent mural, in front of The Cardiff Office dive bar.
More painted scenes on an adjacent mural, in front of The Cardiff Office dive bar.

Sign on mural describes Southern California artist Steve Barton.
Sign on mural describes Southern California artist Steve Barton.

A visual homage to San Diego sports teams, Padres and Chargers.
A visual homage to San Diego sports teams, Padres and Chargers.

I spotted this mural on the rear of a 7-Eleven store near San Elijo Avenue and Orinda Drive.
I spotted this mural on the rear of a 7-Eleven store near San Elijo Avenue and Orinda Drive.

Take an easy walk around downtown Cardiff-by-the-Sea and discover many beautiful murals!
Take an easy walk around downtown Cardiff-by-the-Sea and discover many beautiful murals!

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!

An alley in Ocean Beach alive with cool art!

I wandered about Ocean Beach this weekend. I walked down an alley that runs parallel to Newport Avenue–on its north side–from Cable Street to the beach.

Lots of cool artwork can be found all up and down this alley! You might notice many of the murals appear like mosaics–those are community murals from past years. They’re painted by anybody and everybody who can use a brush during the annual Ocean Beach Street Fair And Chili Cook-offs.

I noticed the final mural with the painted SEASPELL and amazing turtle was created by local artists Christopher Konecki and Carly Ealey in 2019.

In the past I’ve photographed two other works of art in this alley. A mermaid holding a shell full of ocean gifts can be seen here. A very cool mural featuring Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Cash can be seen 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!

A good Saturday to surf near the OB Pier!

I couldn’t believe how many surfers were out in the water on Saturday afternoon. I watched the action from the OB Pier and strove to get a few decent shots with my little camera.

So many people were paddling out, bobbing on their surfboards and catching waves that the action was frequent and entertaining! Sometimes multiple surfers would wipe out simultaneously, and boards and bodies would be flying every which way!

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!

A slightly weird walk in Pacific Beach!

Easter Island head in a front yard.
Easter Island head in a front yard.

This afternoon I headed to PB to check out a very cool mural at Pacific Beach Elementary School. (I’ll blog about that shortly!)

After having a good look at the mural, I kept my camera out for what might be considered a slightly weird walk. I headed west toward the Pacific Ocean and eventually found myself approaching the grassy park overlooking Law Street Beach. I then turned south and followed the oceanfront boardwalk down to Crystal Pier.

Exactly how weird was this walk?

Check out this cool old truck. A guy with the welding company talked to me near a sculpture of a bison in his lot near the sidewalk, but I didn't think to snap a photo of it before I had resumed walking. Bummer.r.
A friendly guy with the welding company that owns this cool truck talked to me near a steel sculpture of a bison. It was in a work lot by the sidewalk. I forgot to snap a photo of the sculpture. Bummer.

Who wants to take surf lessons? Make this the best summer ever!
Who wants to take surf lessons? Make this the best summer ever!

Old peeling street art seems to portray Neptune on a seahorse.
As I neared the Pacific Ocean, I found this peeling street art that seems to portray Neptune on a seahorse.

Looking north toward La Jolla across the grassy park at Law Street.
Looking north toward the ocean off La Jolla from the grassy park at Law Street.

After I took this photo, I rested on the bench for several minutes.
After I took this photo, I rested on this bench for a little bit.

Thanks for the sunsets and the dawns.
In honor of our parents Bill and Jean Manion. Thanks for the sunsets and the dawns.

I see Crystal Pier in the distance.
Look at all the beach goers! I see Crystal Pier in the distance.

Tons of surfing action and swimmers today at Pacific Beach.
Tons of surfing action and swimmers today at Pacific Beach.

Another perfect bench overlooking the beach.
As I began south, I found another perfect bench overlooking the beach. A gull must think this guy has some food.

The Pacific Beach boardwalk is part of the California Coastal Trail.
The Pacific Beach boardwalk is part of the California Coastal Trail.

Lots of bicyclists out on a warm Friday afternoon.
Lots of bicyclists out on a warm summer Friday afternoon.

I passed on a Chips Galore this time.
I passed on a Chips Galore! ice cream sandwich this time.

Wooden stairs down to the beach.
Wooden stairs down to the beach.

Sign explains how Marine Protected Areas safeguard our ocean's beauty. (Click this photo and it will enlarge for easier reading.)
Sign explains how marine protected areas stretching north from here–directly off La Jolla–safeguard our ocean’s beauty. (Click this photo and it will enlarge for easier reading.)

I was very tempted to descend.
I was very tempted to descend.

Here come some inline skaters.
Here come some inline skaters.

A cool mural at Kono's Coffee by @HannasMurals.
A cool mural at Kono’s Coffee by @HannasMurals.

La Playa Nudista? Where's that?
La Playa Nudista? Never heard of it. Where’s that?

Gone Surfing.
Gone surfing.

Stay Weird.
Stay weird.

Well, honestly, this particular walk didn’t seem that weird to me. But if sunshine, a beach full of sunbathers, distant surf, passing bicyclists, skaters and walkers, and an ice cream vendor with a tinkling bell on his cart are considered weird, I’ll take 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!

Sculptures near the Oceanside train underpass.

The Last Wave of the Day, 2004, by artist Steven L. Rieman. A sculpture in Oceanside, California, two blocks from the beach and pier.
The Last Wave of the Day, 2004, by artist Steven L. Rieman. A sculpture in Oceanside, California, two blocks from the beach and pier.

During my recent walk through Oceanside, I passed two large public sculptures. One stood at either end of the pedestrian railroad underpass at Pier View Way.

The sculpture on the west side of the train tracks, at Myers Street, was created by Steven L. Rieman in 2004 and is titled The Last Wave of the Day. Fashioned from stainless steel, corten steel, and cast concrete panels, the sculpture is an abstract depiction of a surfer.

Head west down Pier View Way and you’ll end up at the foot of the Oceanside Pier.

The artist’s website is here.

Looking west through the abstract surfer toward palm trees above the beach.
Looking west through the abstract surfer toward palm trees above the beach.

The kinetic sculpture east of the railroad underpass, and a bit to the north, at Cleveland Street, was created by Andrew Carson. The artist on his website describes a personal fascination with wind, whirligigs and weather vanes, and you can see it in many of his wind sculpture pieces.

I believe this Oceanside sculpture was created in 2019. Unfortunately, the glass “leaves” and other colorful bits were in the shadow of the SALT building when I took my photographs, so they weren’t shining in sunlight.

A tall, kinetic wind sculpture in Oceanside, California by artist Andrew Carson, in front of the SALT building.
A tall, kinetic wind sculpture in Oceanside, California by artist Andrew Carson. It stands in front of the SALT apartment building.

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!

Returning to a reopened Ocean Beach Pier.

The piers and boardwalks of San Diego reopened yesterday. The coronavirus pandemic seems to be subsiding locally.

I got off work early this hot June day and decided to go to Ocean Beach. A fresh sea breeze would be so nice. I hadn’t been out on the OB Pier in a long while.

When I arrived, a good crowd was gathered on the beach. It seemed fewer people were on the pier.

Fishermen were leaning against the rail or sitting on benches hoping to catch the big one. Those strolling down the pier often paused to watch a group of surfers below.

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!

A rambling Sunday walk along Morena Boulevard.

Graphic on wall of Coronado Brewing Company San Diego Tasting Room. WISH YOU WERE beer.
Graphic on wall of Coronado Brewing Company San Diego Tasting Room. WISH YOU WERE beer.

Today I took a rambling walk along Morena Boulevard. These photos start around Knoxville Street in Bay Park and proceed south to the area where Morena and West Morena split.

You might notice few people in the photos. It’s Sunday and many businesses are closed. And of course there’s the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, keeping many at home.

If you ever drive through the Morena District, you’ll probably recognize some of these sights. Many of the old shops and small businesses along the street aren’t much to look at, but there are a few that stand out!

(I took this walk in order to photograph two really great murals in particular. I’ll post those pics shortly. I also wanted to check on the status of a mysterious, possibly historical wooden tombstone by a parking lot that I’d seen years ago. The mystery has deepened, as you’ll see in another upcoming blog post!)

Now let’s walk…

Sculpture of lady tending her garden in front of the Armstrong Garden Center.
Sculpture of lady tending her garden in front of the Armstrong Garden Center.

Another look at the gardening sculpture.
Another look at the gardening sculpture.

Beautiful bloom between the Knoxville Street sidewalk and Armstrong Garden Center.
Beautiful bloom between the Knoxville Street sidewalk and Armstrong Garden Center.

The Cordova Bar. This must be the place!
The Cordova Bar. This must be the place!

Mermaid door handles at the entrance to The Cordova Bar.
Mermaid door handles at the entrance to The Cordova Bar.

Sign on fence near U.S. Karate Academy encourages people to Be Your Best!
Sign on fence near U.S. Karate Academy encourages people to Be Your Best!

Banner on lamp post invites people to Shop for Home Decor in the Morena District.
Banner on lamp post invites people to Shop for Home Decor in the Morena District.

Cool motorcycle graphic on wall of Sidecar Bar.
Cool motorcycle graphic on wall of Sidecar Bar.

There's a T. Rex on the roof of Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital! It must've escaped!
There’s a T. Rex on the roof of Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital! It must’ve escaped!

This cool graphic of a van with a surfboard is on the side of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.
This cool graphic of a van with a surfboard is on the side of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.

Clouds and palm trees reflected on angles of window glass.
Clouds and palm trees reflected on angles of window glass.

Now I'm walking along near the Valero gas station.
Now I’m walking along near the Valero gas station.

A colorful mural near the front door of Nico's Mexican Food.
A colorful mural near the front door of Nico’s Mexican Food.

Super cool surfboards hang out beside the front door of Bird's Surf Shed.
Super cool surfboards hang out beside the front door of Bird’s Surf Shed.

Mural at Bird's Surf Shed was painted by Skye Walker in 2014.
Mural at Bird’s Surf Shed was painted by Skye Walker in 2014. Tubular, dude!

Vintage automobile parked alone in corner of a parking lot.
Vintage automobile parked alone in corner of a parking lot.

Looks like a farm around the entrance to Bull's Smokin' BBQ. Fun sculptures greet passersby on West Morena Boulevard.
Looks like a ranch around the entrance to Bull’s Smokin’ BBQ. Fun animal sculptures greet passersby on West Morena Boulevard.

Two bulls and one pig.
Walking beside two bulls and one pig.

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!