Tag Archives: solana beach california

Fletcher Cove Park & Overlook Park in Solana Beach

Out & About

San Diego County has over 70 miles of coastline.

The first time I made it to San Diego, in 1973, two friends and I were on a timeline, created by yours truly, for visiting the national parks, national forests, national monuments, and cities with a population of more than 100,000 west of the Mississippi River, all in a little over three months.Male lion at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

So we skipped the beaches, preferring the San Diego Zoo as our San Diego attraction.

My second visit to San Diego County was in May 1992. I drove the Pacific Coast Highway from San Diego to Monterey. At the first vista point, I thought to myself, “I could live here some day.”Blacks Beach

Eleven months later I was back in San Diego, to stay.

During my first year living in San Diego, I made it a point to visit all the named beaches in the County.

When Staycations became fashionable with the Great Recession, I decided to revisit San Diego County beaches. One that I visited recently is Fletcher Cove.

Fletcher Cove Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

As you’ll notice, Fletcher Cove Park was not there until 2007. I suspect there was a little beach, as there still is, but this illustrates why it is always worthwhile to go again to somewhere you’ve already been.

Fletcher Cove Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Fletcher Cove Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The park also is known as Pillbox because of its history as a gunnery installation during World War II.

According to sources, “the beach gets wider at low tide but pretty much disappears at high tide.”

Fletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It’s easy to get to the beach from the park because you simply walk down a sloping ramp, much better than some beaches where you have to play like you’re a goat and traverse the sandstone cliffs that are 200 feet high.

There are public showers and restroom facilities as well as picnic tables and a basketball court located on top of the bluffs next to the Marine Safety Department Headquarters. There also is a nice community center in Overlook Park which is right next door to Fletcher Cove Park. Only an ugly chain link fence separates the two but that is of little consequence since the picnic tables and walkways are full of mosaic beauty; you’ll never notice the fence.

Overlook ParkFletcher Cove Community CenterFletcher Cove Community Center

Fletcher Cove Park Fletcher Cove Park Fletcher Cove Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A train station for the Coaster is three blocks away, Pacific Coast Highway and downtown Solana Beach are a block away.

Lifeguards are on duty year round, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the winter months, and from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the summer months.

Fletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove Park Fletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray PhotosThe parking lot serving both Fletcher Cove Park and Overlook Park is at 111 S. Sierra Avenue in Solana Beach.

Map location of Fletcher Cove Park and Overlook Park in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Crosswalks don’t have to be ugly

Picture of the Moment

Crosswalks don’t have to be ugly….

Crosswalk in Cedros Design District, Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That one is in the Cedros Design District in Solana Beach, a great place to go if you’re looking for the unique and unusual for your home or garden.

Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach, California

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Having a dandy good time

Picture of the Moment

When I moved to Houston after my time at Texas A&M University, I discovered wine tasting, wine & cheese parties, and Wine-of-the-Month clubs. It only took about a year to discover that I really was not a wine connoisseur.

With me, it’s white zinfandel, white zinfandel, and white zinfandel.

San Diego County has a few billion vineyards with wine tasting facilities. I have continued to resist trying wines again because I’m quite happy with my white zinfandel.

Recently, though, I was in Solana Beach in the Cedros Avenue Design District when I came across the Winery Queen. Looks like this:

Winery Queen

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Winery Queen belongs to Carruth Cellars, An Urban Solana Beach Winery.  I did not go in since, as I said, I’m quite happy with my white zinfandel. I did like their Winery Queen, though. She looks like she’s have a dandy good time.

Cedros Avenue Design District in Solana Beach, California

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Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach, California

There are times when it’s okay to be selfish!

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m a big fan of the smaller mom & pop nurseries. They tend to be more personal and have quite an interesting assortment of plants, garden ornaments, sculptures, and water fountains that the bigger nurseries don’t carry.

One of my favorite nurseries is Cedros Gardens, 330 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, in the Cedros Avenue Design District.

Cedros Avenue Design District in Encinitas, California

Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach, California

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cedros Gardens always has unique plants that I rarely find anywhere else, such as Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia sp.):

Aristolochia sp. (Dutchman's pipe)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Other than the Cuyamaca Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College, which really isn’t a plant nursery, Cedros Gardens is the only place in San Diego County that I’ve found various Proteas, Banksias, Grevilleas, and related plants for sale!

Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Their unique water fountains, and how many they have, are unparalleled:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you like to decorate your gardens with art and sculpture, they have plenty of that!

Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Here is a 1:18 video of Cedros Gardens:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There is some of everything, and something for everyone, at Cedros Gardens! And who can possibly pass by knowing that they have their own basket cat?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Stop by Cedros Gardens, 330 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, California, and pick up something for your children, or your parents (great gifts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day!), or your spouse…. Heck, be selfish and get something for yourself…. There are times when it’s okay to be selfish! I still have to recommend getting something for your family first, though, just to help keep peace in the world.

Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos