Offbeat San Diego !!

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The famous city of California, San Diego has picturesque landscape, vast coast line, water sports and marine life. San Diego’s Zoo, Sea world and Downtown are major destinations attracting tourists throughout the year. But as we always look for less crowded and not so popular tourist spots, so we tried to explore some offbeat features this city has to offer on our two day trip.

San Diego Skyline view from Centennial parkIMG_3919

A perfect place to get the best view of San Diego downtown. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and spend few hours of calmness in Centennial park overlooking San Diego skyline.

Drive on San Diego-Coronado BridgeIMG_3934

Don’t miss the chance to drive on San Diego- Coronado bridge, a 2.1 miles long 5 lane bridge is part of State route 75. As Coronado Island is a Naval base, it took a while to join Coronado to mainland via bridge. Finally in 1969, this bridge was opened for  public,being 200 feet tall it allows naval base ships to pass underneath with no hassle.

Stroll on Coronado BeachIMG_3889

Coronado Beach, most beautiful white sand beach is mainly known for surfing. Driving down the San Diego-Coronado bridgea few blocks to the left, we got the view of radiant beach. This beach is along the Ocean Boulevard with free parking on road, restrooms and shower facilities on beach. Best time to visit the Coronado beach is early morning.

Have a look at the majestic bungalows in CoronadoIMG_3901

On one side of Ocean blvd is spectacular white sand beach and on other is a fine range of mansions and bungalows. Some of them are incredible piece of artwork while some depicts the lavish lifestyles, a few of these are also haunted.

Hiking at Torrey PinesIMG_3663

Located 15 miles away from downtown San Diego, Torrey Pines State Reserve is famous trekking and hiking destination offering various trails in this state reserve with a wide geographical range.

Stop and watch the Majestic SunsetIMG_3834

San Diego offers many places to experience breathtaking sunset. Wide coastline and cliffs of San Diego makes it a photographer’s paradise for capturing stunning sunset. La Jolla Cove and Torrey Pines State Reserve are the best places to experience sunset across the ocean shore.

Sea Lions at La jolla CoveIMG_3679

Sea lions can be spotted in abundance around La Jolla Cove, either on the beach or rocks. These adorable creatures are pretty harmless and ready to pose while soaking in sun. Read it here 

Not to miss “Fish Tacos”IMG_8404

As a coastline area San Diego’s restaurants offers profusion of sea food. If you are foodie like us, must try the specialty of San Diego…Fish Tacos, a deep fried white fish on tortilla with some fresh lettuce, salsa and avocado along with slice of lime. Not to mention, San Diego has the best Mexican restaurants mainly in Old Town.

What’s on your list, if you visit San Diego?

La Jolla Cove- Tranquilizing Blue Water and Adorable Sea Lions

La Jolla Cove is the most picturesque place we have ever visited. As a cove this is a small circular bay, providing protected area to colourful marine life. Beautifully surrounded by the cliffs, it’s widely famous for snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing and many more activities. But this cove is much more besides these, here are some free things to do in La Jolla Cove:

Spend the day looking at spectacular blue water and waves – We enjoyed our whole day watching ocean tides on rocks and cliffs of the cove. Daytime can be enjoyed next to ocean water, but as the day progresses tides rise to upper rocks and gushing water push you back to the higher grounds.

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Spot coastal birds in abundance : La Jolla Cove is home for many birds like Brown Pelicans, Heermann’s Gulls & most commonly spotted ones are Western Gulls. Western Gulls are the big size white gulls from West Coast with yellow foot and can be seen in bunches hovering all around the cove.

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Looking Sea Lions laying on the rocks: Of all the beautiful landscapes and sights around La Jolla Cove, the one which we loved the most was spotting poser Sea Lions. They are very commonly sighted around cove relaxing in sun. Usually they are lazy, harmless and habitual of people wandering around, so one can get really close which most of the public actually does. It’s quite disheartening that instead of leaving them alone people continuously disturb them & choose to take selfies.IMG_3802IMG_3681

Windup your day relishing the vivid sunset- The day came to end with witnessing the most amazing sunset. We spend a good amount of time admiring the sun getting down across the ocean end with vibrant shades all across the sky.

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Travel Tips

  1. Park your car on Coast Blvd or in Ace Parking(public parking) at Prospect Street.
  2. The place smells a lot but you don’t feel it much after a while.
  3. There are also other activities like Snorkeling, Biking & Kayaking.
  4. Must visit Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution, a 10 min drive from the Cove.

Photos:A Walk Through Shaw Garden

Shaw Garden popularly known as Missouri Botanical Garden is an ideal place to get tranquilized by amazing flora collection and some great sculptures..

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The City of Madison Day-2

Continuing on our journey , It was time to explore more of Madison city.
After having breakfast in hotel itself we headed towards our first stop,which was just couple of miles from our hotel.

Olbrich Botanical Garden is famous for its vast landscape and is beautifully located next to Lake Monona. There is a stream which flows from Monona right through the gardens and the view of this Starkweather creek is a boon to eyes. We spend couple of hours in this peaceful environment, it has shrubs and trees from various countries. So,to get the best experience must visit this place in Fall season. I specially loved fall colors in Chinese Maple and liked vibrant colors in Thai pavillion, Wildflower garden and birch walk.IMG_2405

Thai Pavilion- Originally, this pavilion was built in Thailand, then dismantled, took almost seven weeks by sea, then rail to Chicago and finally by truck to reach here. Even nine craftsman traveled to Madison and assembled it.IMG_2404.JPG

As we had a visit in later fall, so sadly most gardens such as herb and rose didn’t had a lot to offer, but we could see the vast area they have and the diverse flora which might be the reason that its a worth to watch in every weather throughout the year.

Union Memorial TerraceAfter Olbrich we headed to Memorial Union, located on the shore of Lake Mendota in University of Wisconsin. There was some construction/ maintenance work going on near Memorial Library and The Pyle Center, so we had to park our car 2-3 blocks away and we took a walk towards the lake. It was a chilly day and to walk in sun felt like the best thing to do. It took us nearly 10 minutes walking by side of Chazen Museum of Art and Kohler art library, through Historical society. We finally reached the bay area by the Union theater and the view was spectacular. It was worth walking down to enjoy the view. We spend nearly half an hour sitting at Memorial Terrace in the serenity.IMG_2464.JPG

As we headed back we thought of having a lunch in campus itself. We had our favorite wings(as usual) and Buffalitos with beer at Buffalo wild wings. After having an energetic meal, we headed to Lake Monona.

Lake Monona -It was around 4 p.m when we reached this place opposite Olbrich Botanical Garden. We had a stroll around lakeside and then sat down on benches for nearly an hour before sun finally started going down behind the Capitol.

As the daylight started fading out,it gave us the feeling of contentment.Well it was worth waiting for it in that cold windy day.IMG_2544

Travel Tips :

Where to stay- East side, near East towne mall. Budget hotels, good restaurants nearby.

Duration of stay– 2-3 days.

Attractions- Wisconsin Capitol, Dane County Farmers’ Market, Olbrich Botanical Garden, University of Wisconsin, Lake Mendota,Lake Monona, Henry Vilas Zoo..

Every attraction has ample parking space and paid public parking is very cheap($1-$1.50 per hour).

Well this was our 2 day trip to Madison and we tried to get familiar with this city. If you liked this post,do let us know. Click here for pictures

Keep Exploring.