Walking information for Bankers Hill.

Would you like to know how many minutes it might take to walk to nearby destinations from Bankers Hill? Then check out this helpful sign!

I saw this new information sign on Sixth Avenue north of Laurel Street. (That’s the grassy west edge of Balboa Park in the photo background.)

I suspect other signs like it must be out there now, too.

If you want to park your car in San Diego and walk, or take public transit, this sign can help you plan a healthy and invigorating shoe leather adventure!

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!

Working to clean and beautify National City!

During my visit to the fun “A Kimball Holiday” event on Saturday, I met a couple of guys who are working to clean and beautify National City!

In an effort to promote a pedestrian corridor along Interstate 805, they are asking the public which improvements would be most important. Native and drought-resistant landscaping, trash and recycling receptacles, lighting, signage and more are being considered.

I don’t live in National City, but I am a very big walker who passes through its neighborhoods from time to time, so obviously I was excited to hear of this effort!

The guys I spoke to are hoping to receive a Caltrans Clean California Program grant to implement this positive vision for the community.

All I can say is, National City certainly deserves these improvements. This community might be a bit under-resourced, but its residents are equal members of the California family.

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!

Glimpses of San Diego from a bus.

I ride the bus a lot.

I usually use a combination of buses and trolleys for my work commute. I also ride different routes all around the city on weekends for my photographic adventures. (Old walking legs must be rested occasionally!)

I’ve been less active than usual lately, so my blogging material at the moment is sparse. But I do have one folder on my computer containing past images that were captured while riding the bus!

If we’re stopped and the window is clean, I can get crisp shots. Other shots are rather blurry. They all provide a momentary glimpse of our city’s life.

These photos are unedited, just scaled down a little. If you can identify all of the San Diego locations, you win a smile!

(Yes, one photo wasn’t taken while riding a bus, but as I waited at the Fashion Valley Transit Center. The skateboarder and ducks were simply perfect.)

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!

San Diego’s Mid-Coast Trolley extension debuts!

Today was the big day! San Diego’s new Mid-Coast Trolley extension opened for regular service! And there were free rides and a big public celebration at the main UCSD campus station!

The greatly lengthened Blue Line now serves nine brand new trolley stations between Old Town and the UTC shopping mall. Much of the new line runs along Interstate 5 and is elevated. So imagine the great views!

I had to take photos, of course! And check out each new station!

A huge crowd turned out, and in some of the cars passengers were packed like sardines. But everyone was having a fun, memorable experience. Families with kids were everywhere, and the kids were especially excited!

I took loads of photos–so many, in fact, that I’ve left them somewhat unedited. But they provide a sense of what the day was about.

Here we go! Starting at the Old Town Transit Center, heading north…

Another trolley heads north from Old Town. Beyond that distant Interstate 8 overpass, the Mid-Coast Trolley extension passes over the San Diego River and Friars Road, then heads along Morena Boulevard into Bay Park.
Peering through the driver’s compartment. What lies ahead?
Passing over the San Diego River. Those other trolley tracks veer eastward into Mission Valley–the Green Line which I often take to work.
Passing over Friars Road. Some environmental work still underway, left over from creating new railway bridges.
I step off at the Tecolote Road station and take a photo of the trolley continuing on north. While I waited for the next trolley, I asked MTS ambassador Pat about possible new public art along the Mid-Coast Trolley extension, and she thought it would be cool to have owl art at this station. Tecolote is Spanish for owl!
I got on the next UC San Diego Blue Line train and have already arrived at the Clairemont Drive station.
There it goes!
Here comes the next trolley!
Heading north past Mission Bay we could see water and palm trees in the distance.
It’s getting noticeably busier at the Balboa Avenue station! A sizeable parking lot here was used by many passengers on this free ride day.
The trolley continues north toward Rose Canyon. You can see Mount Soledad in the distance on the left.
A path for pedestrians and bicyclists heads toward Balboa Avenue.
Bicyclists descend to Balboa Avenue.
Lots of passengers on this special day!
Heading north past industrial buildings by Rose Creek. Climb those hills to the east and you’d find yourself in Clairemont.
Autumn scenery is a bit blurred as we move rapidly along.
The Amtrak and Coaster train tracks, which we’ve been traveling beside, now veer northeast toward Miramar. We soon veer a bit west to pass over Interstate 5 and commence an elevated journey beside the freeway.
Our first glimpse of Golden Triangle office high-rises and the exotic temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Pulling into the Nobel Drive station, which is across the freeway from the distinctive Mormon temple.
Folks walk along the station platform.
Looking back south. Some construction is still going on.
Look both ways!
Looking north. You can see the big VA Medical Center building in the distance, to left of center.
Continuing on the trolley north.
Approaching the VA Medical Center station. The best photo I managed to get at this moment. (The trolley car was jam-packed!)
We’ve arrived!
Flags and plaques honor the five branches of the Armed Services at the VA Medical Center station. I’ll be posting more photos that I took here shortly.
One last look down at the freeway before we curve our way into the large campus of UC San Diego. I took photos of Mid-Coast Trolley extension construction some time ago from this same bridge.
There’s a good deal of construction activity around the new UC San Diego Central Campus trolley station.
Here we are!
The trolley cars emptied here as people flooded down toward a big Mid-Coast Trolley extension opening day celebration and festival!
Somebody already got a cool new shirt!
Down some stairs we go.
Lots of stuff going on beneath the elevated station!
A sign indicates the Grand Opening Celebration event is this way!
That’s the big celebration in the distance. Meanwhile I spotted these dancers.
It’s the San Diego Dance Theater! They perform the annual Trolley Dances! You’ve seen them many times before on Cool San Diego Sights!
Oh, man! Look at that line! I’m afraid I didn’t have the patience to wait. More places to go today…
I did take a photo from outside the big Grand Opening Celebration event. They had a huge stage for speeches and entertainment. And kettle corn, of course!
Heading back under the UC San Diego Central Campus trolley station I noticed this cool public art. Words and phrases fill the plaza! I’ll blog more about this later.
Heading up stairs on the station’s other side.
A view of UCSD campus construction near the new trolley station. UC San Diego has been expanding like crazy the past few years.
More construction photographed from the same stairs.
The top of the elevators to the station platform.
Well, here we are a short time later at the UC San Diego Health La Jolla station. That’s quite a mouthful!
The longest station name ever.
Not much action at this station. A MTS worker is keeping things clean.
Looking around.
We’re now on our way to the Executive Drive station.
I’ve arrived at the Executive Drive trolley station near the heart of University City. Gleaming office buildings are all around. That pedestrian bridge provides easy passage to one nearby building.
From here the Blue Line heads south above Genesee Avenue for a short distance.
I see the UTC shopping mall a short distance to the south.
I watch a trolley head toward its final destination–the UTC Transit Center.
I’m riding there now!
Look at all the passengers disembarking!
At the UTC Transit Center trolley platform, on the west side.
Stairs head down to a nearby parking lot.
MTS buses at the UTC Transit Center below, on the east side of the trolley platform.
People head into the popular UTC shopping mall.
One last look north up Genesee Avenue.

That is a little of what many experienced on this day, November 21, 2021.

History was made in San Diego!

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!

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Stagecoach ride at the Warner-Carrillo Ranch House!

Today I had the opportunity to experience something amazing in Warner Springs.

Once a year, at the Warner-Carrillo Ranch House, people can ride an authentic stagecoach a short distance down an actual, historic stage line route!

Such a ride can be experienced nowhere else in the entire country!

I purchased a ticket for a stagecoach ride a couple weeks ago before it sold out, then drove up to the Warner-Carrillo Ranch House in Warner Springs this morning to enjoy the short but memorable adventure!

Warner’s Ranch back in the 19th century was a swing stop for the Butterfield Overland Mail stage line. According to the event website, “The Butterfield Overland stage transported thousands of passengers across the United States years prior to the Civil War as California’s first regular overland stage connection with St. Louis.

Travelers, packed elbow to elbow in solidly-built, relatively “elegant” Concord Coaches, would stop at the ranch house to rest and stretch their legs and sore bodies for a few minutes while new horses were brought up from the nearby barn. Passengers could buy useful items in the ranch’s one-room trading post before resuming their dusty, bumpy journey.

This afternoon I and other excited passengers got to actually experience a few minutes of that dusty, very bumpy overland journey!

If you live in Southern California, or plan to visit, I highly recommend going on this once-every-year stagecoach ride. You’ll also enjoy an in-depth tour of the Warner-Carrillo Ranch House, which is operated by the Save Our Heritage Organisation. SOHO’s mission in San Diego County is the “preservation of architecturally and historically significant structures, sites, and cultural landscapes.”

Okay! You want to see what the ride is like? Here we go!

Approaching the entrance of the historic Carrillo Ranch House at Warner’s Ranch, a National Historic Landmark.
I arrived early and will be on the first ride of the day. But no horses yet.
Here they come!
Two beautiful horses will pull the genuine Concord Coach, which is owned by the Save Our Heritage Organisation. I believe I heard the horses are Clydesdales. (UPDATE! I see on the SOHO website these were Belgian Draft horses.)
Another passenger waits as the horses are hooked up.
I’m pretty sure they didn’t have aluminum ladders like this a century and a half ago!
American eagle on side of the historic red Concord Coach, with E. Pluribus Unum.
Four passengers will sit inside the coach for this short journey.
Here’s my ticket!
We managed to squeeze into the small coach and here we go!
Looking at the countryside beyond an outside stagecoach lantern.
Looking out the other window at oak trees.
Were going down the actual historic stage route. It’s dusty and bumpy! A few sudden lurches took me by surprise–like some sort of amusement park ride!
Mountains and cattle in the distance.
I did say dusty!
What’s this? Armed robbers!
The stagecoach driver threw down the Army payroll. The passengers got off easy.
We are allowed to continue back to our stage stop.
Yes, the experience is fun!
It’s over far too soon.
Another group of passengers is ready to go!
There they go!

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!

Unique architecture at the Solana Beach train station!

From any angle, the Solana Beach train station appears unusual and interesting. The architecture of this Coaster and Amtrak station makes it one of the most intriguing landmarks in San Diego’s North County.

The Solana Beach station opened in 1994. The building was designed by Rob Wellington Quigley, who is also known for the San Diego Central Library and its iconic dome, The New Children’s Museum, the Ocean Discovery Institute in City Heights, Bayside Fire Station No. 2, and the Beaumont Building in Little Italy. It seems all of his architectural work is just as surprising and visually stimulating.

The last time I rode the Coaster to Solana Beach I walked around the train station, taking these photographs. To my eye, there’s something undefinably attractive about the building’s sharp lines and simple curved shape, and its singular symmetry.

I particularly like the passenger waiting room. Those artfully arranged windows on either side are bright with outdoor sunlight, as if beckoning travelers to venture out into a magical, multi-faceted, welcoming big world.

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!

Working on the trolley tracks at America Plaza.

For the past couple weeks, I’ve noticed that MTS is working on the trolley tracks in and near the America Plaza station. As you can see in the above photo, old wooden railroad ties are being replaced with new concrete ones.

I’ve always loved trains. I did as a kid. I still do today. That’s one reason I like riding the San Diego Trolley.

So it has been fascinating to watch this work whenever I walk through downtown past America Plaza.

It will also be interesting to watch another upcoming project by the Metropolitan Transit System: the America Plaza and Santa Fe Depot Pedestrian Enhancement Project. Navigating between these two adjacent stations will be made easier and more welcoming. I use both stations a lot, so I’m excited!

I took these photos over the last couple weeks. You can see progress is being made as the aging trolley tracks are improved…

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!

Electric vehicles showcased in downtown San Diego.

A variety of electric vehicles are on display today at the Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego. The public event is sponsored by SDG&E and Nissan.

I walked out on the pier this morning to check out some beautiful cars, assembled by members of the Electric Vehicle Association of San Diego for the occasion. I saw many models by leading auto makers.

I’ve never driven an electric car. When I spoke to a representative of the Electric Vehicle Association, I learned they’re actually more fun to drive because they’re extremely responsive. Some models now have an over a three hundred mile range, and consequently the owner can charge them easily overnight at home without worrying about locating a recharging station.

She believes in ten years most new vehicles on the road will be electric!

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!

PRONTO transit ticket machines go live!

The new PRONTO ticketing system for transit in San Diego and North County is now operating. I received confirmation today from an MTS Supervisor.

This morning, before boarding a Green Line trolley at the Gaslamp station, I noticed one of the PRONTO ticket machines has been uncovered. And it’s ready to go!

The new PRONTO ticket machines appear somewhat similar to the old Compass Card machines. Compass cards will be gradually phased out.

You can learn more about PRONTO, and how this new fare system is more functional and convenient here.

If you ride the bus or trolley, all September trips will be free with a PRONTO card!

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!

The downtown Silver Line resumes service!

The San Diego Trolley’s Silver Line recently returned to service. After a long period of inactivity during the COVID-19 pandemic, the historic cars that operate on the downtown loop route can now be seen on weekends!

Late this morning I enjoyed the Lemon Festival in Chula Vista. (I’ll blog about that event shortly!) I then returned downtown, hopped onto beautiful vintage PCC streetcar 530 and rode much of the Silver Line loop.

As we headed down the track, curious people on sidewalks watched us and listened to the car ding-dinging with astonished eyes.

Learn more about the Silver Line and its restored trolley cars 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!