What things do I look for when choosing a travel destination? One check box on my list would be: Can I walk around and tour or do I need a car?Salt water would be one box on my check list. Mountains would be another box on my check list. Seafood restaurants or a good steak place would probably have a box on the check list. And the list goes on.
I like San Diego because it sits on the water. And since I used to live in Rhode Island, salt water is something I like to be near. So I can check that box on my list of things needed for a travel destination. Since moving to Colorado I also like the mountains and the mountains are not far from San Diego. As a matter of fact, to the east of San Diego, sits El Cajon and east of there is a nice little mountain range. So I can check that box on my list too.
San Diego, all the way down to Chula Vista, is a city of cultural diversity and varying terrain. But the entire city is realy about the water. So let's begin our tour of the city down on the waterfront. Looking west you see the water, smell the salt air and enjoy the gentle breeze that gently brushes across your face, Looking east, you see the skyline and tall buildings of downtown San Diego.
We will start at the Broadway Pier. There is a parking lot about a block away that is one you have to pay for. But there are also meters on Harbor Drive. I never like meters, since time has a way of slipping away from me and I hate the little surprises (parking tickets) on my windshield when I get back to the car.
You can also leave the car at the hotel and take the bus or trolley. The San Diego Trolly stops a few blocks away at the Santa Fe Railroad station. If you happen to be staying at one of the downtown hotels, the Broadway Pier is not far. The people at your hotel can give you directions and tell you the best way to get there.
The Broadway Pier is an actual working pier. Ships coming into the harbor will dock there and it is used for various events throughout the year. Also, there are harbor tours that depart and arrive there all day long. The ferry that goes to Coronado also has a ticket booth here. You may want to take a tour boat ride to see the city from the water. I recommend it.
Now we are going to walk North from Broadway Pier and walk towards the San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal, where cruise ships make their port calls to San Diego. Located on the B Street Pier, it has a large nautical clock at the entrance. The terminal's interior is decorated with flags. There is a snack bar inside and a small gift shop. If you are lucky there might be a cruise ship docked when you are there.
Continue North and you'll come to Anthony's Fish Grotto restaurant. A trip to San Diego is not complete without stopping here. Be sure to check out the take out counter and be sure to poke your head into the Sea Room. This is a little more upscale but it will be worth the look.
Just a short distance beyond Anthony's is the Star of India, a tall-masted iron ship which dates back to 1863. This is a national historic landmark and is the world's oldest ship that is still able to sail and put to sea. It makes a trip at least once a year. Also in this area are the three other ships which make up the San Diego Maritime Museum: the Berkeley, a ferryboat; the Medea, a steam yacht from 1904; and the Pilot, a guide boat from 1914. There is a small admission fee required to board the boats and take a tour.
From here, take a look across the bay, and see the North Island Naval Air Station. The U.S. Navy uses this facility to dock and moor its large aircraft carriers and fighter jets.
Look behind you across Harbor Drive. You are looking at the historic County Administration Building. Spring, summer and fall will bring out sail boats tacking across the harbor and all sorts of other power boats too.
Depending on the stops you make the trip will take about 2 hours. If you like to look at the water, see ships up close and enjoy the salt breeze, plan on 3 or more.
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Until next time, let me know what is on your mind, and how you are doing, O.K.? You can send me your questions or comments on my bio page. My next article will be out shortly.
Jim Fortune - the BellaOnline Budget Travel Guy