Fun day. And what a difference a good walking tour can make! I visited The famous Victorian resort Hotel del Coronado last time I was in San Diego some 30 years ago but didn’t remember much except that it was charming. This time I decided to take a 90 minute walking tour of the area around the Hotel, led by a woman in her 60s who has lived on the Island (or isthmus) for decades. She was terrific. (Coronadowalkingtour.com) Granted she has a lot of good material to work with but her presentation was great too. She was enthusiastic but also funny and offered lots of interesting insights.
We started at the pretty Glorietta Bay Inn, across the street from the hotel, which turned out to be the former home of John Spreckels, a sugar magnate who bought up just about everything on the island including the hotel by the turn of the century. Gorgeous place with a lot of original elements still in place (light fixtures, marble kitchen, brass and marble staircase.) The tour went around (not in) the hotel and then over a few of the huge mansions on Ocean Blvd. and to a pretty side street, Loma Avenue.
I had breakfast at the counter of Clayton’s, a popular unpretentious coffee shop on the main drag, Orange Avenue, and picked up some takeout fare from the Bayside Market, an excellent store on the bay side of the island that our guide Jerry steered us too.
It was a surprisingly quick drive to North Park and South Park, both neighborhoods with lots of interesting independent shops and galleries and restaurants, plus small well tended or revived craftsman bungalows. It’s the neighborhood I could see myself living in…Did a quick tour of Balboa Park and was particularly impressed with the lovely Spanish style buildings housing the various art museums. must remember to visit the international art museum next time. it looked really interesting. (Also next time, I will pay the $5 and hike the trail at Cabrillo national monument!)
For dinner we had excellent fish tacos, grilled Ahi tuna and lobster bisque at the Blue Water Grill on India street (a two block restaurant row with ethnic places but none Indian.) It’s a casual order-at-the-counter place. Nothing fancy but fresh fish and cheerful service. Gelato Vero happened to be a block away. Oh happy day!