Robert Arends

San Diego’s Maritime History Comes Alive this Weekend at the Cabrillo Festival

Cabrillo National Monument - the Plymouth Rock of the West

Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma – the Plymouth Rock of the West

In 1542, Cabrillo sailed the ocean blue and not only discovered San Diego Bay for Spain, but California and the U.S. West Coast as well. Yep, that’s right…San Diego is the Plymouth Rock of the West!

Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed into the harbor on September 28 – almost exactly 472 years ago! – aboard the San Salvador, a magnificent Spanish galleon ship. He landed on Point Loma, home of Cabrillo National Monument (San Diego’s only national park, BTW).

Cabrillo Festival

Historic reenactment of Cabrillo landing on the shores of San Diego Bay

Historic reenactment of Cabrillo’s landing on Point Loma, San Diego Bay

This Sunday, September 28, 2014, the big 51st annual Cabrillo Festival at Ballast Point on Naval Base Point Loma (located on the south end of Rosecrans Street) celebrates Europe’s first steps onto our shores. Admission is Free! There will be music, dancing, children’s activities and authentic foods of Native Americans, Mexico, Portugal and Spain (yum!). There will also be Native American Kumeyaay basket making, knot tying and a 16th century Spanish soldiers living history encampment.

Folkloric dancers at the Cabrillo Festival

Folkloric dancers bring history alive

The photo-worthy festival highlight is the re-enactment of Cabrillo’s landing on the shores of San Diego Bay. The captain, his soldiers and a priest will sail into the bay on The Californian (a stand-in for the San Salvador) and once again claim the land for Spain (don’t worry, Spain will quickly give San Diego back to us 😉

The re-enactment begins at 1:00 PM, but arrive a little early to get the best views.

Cabrillo National Monument

Impressive statue of Cabrillo at Cabrillo National Monument

Impressive statue of Cabrillo at Cabrillo National Monument

Just up the street, stop by Cabrillo National Monument to check out a commanding statue of Cabrillo on the cliffs of Point Loma overlooking San Diego, a cool video dramatization about his discovery and birds eye views of the bustling harbor, downtown skyline and the U.S. Navy in action on Coronado Island.

San Salvador Village

Replica of Cabrillo's flagship, the San Salvador

Replica of the San Salvador. Photo courtesy of Jerry Soto

I also recommend visiting the build site of a full-size, historically accurate replica of Cabrillo’s flagship San Salvador at San Salvador Village at Spanish Landing (near Harbor Island). The ship is incredibly cool, like how I imagined the Mayflower looked! It’ll be completed in the next few months – with her maiden voyage scheduled for January 2015 – and will become part of the permanent fleet of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

San Salvador Village is open daily, featuring costumed docents, shipbuilding demonstrations, sail making and Native American Kumeyaay demos such as tulle boats, baskets and pottery making. This is as historically real as it gets! 😉

See you on the “Big Bay”!

Robert Arends

Coronado Kayaking: Make Waves on a Tour to the Coronado Bridge!

Our good friends at the Coronado Visitor Center and Coronado Museum of History and Art recently blogged about a kayaking adventure from Glorietta Bay to the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, and I just had to share it!

The following was written by Coronado Visitor Center intern Chelsey Schmid:

Chelsey Schmid and her mom on a Coronado kayaking adventure!

Chelsey Schmid and her mom on a Coronado kayaking adventure.

Mom and I were looking for something fun – we wanted to make a new memory together, so we decided to try kayaking in Coronado.

Seaforth Boat Rentals boasts one of the largest arrays of rental crafts on the island, with everything from fishing boats to Jet Skis to kayaks. They incidentally also have the perfect location for their line of work. The rental center is not merely on the shore but literally on the water, with a metal gangway leading to the building. Boats, boards, and kayaks are launched directly from their platform into the glorious Glorietta Bay; which is located across Orange Avenue, one block south of the Hotel del Coronado.

The staff generously provided the instructions we needed. Paddlers can make their way around the sheltered waters of the bay or, for the more adventurous, the sweeping expanses of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge which beckoned us in the distance.  They did warn us about the midday; when the winds pick up, that’s not the best time for beginners.

coronado bay bridge kayaking san diego

Kayaking under the immense Coronado Bay Bridge gives you a whole new perspective. (Photo: Brett Shoaf, Artistic Visuals)

My mom and I enjoyed our journey out to the San Diego-Coronado Bridge; it was relaxing and fun, and we made excellent time. After arriving, we floated near the shore for a while, enjoying the warm California sun and the gentle lap of the waves against our kayak. The view was amazing!

We glided triumphantly back into the marina and docked, excited about our accomplishment of trying something new. We felt wonderfully happy and eager to come back again for more. Our round trip took about 2 hours.

The excellent crew at Seaforth really made the pieces fall into place. It’s a ‘must do’ for those who enjoy the water! Seaforth has single, double and triple kayaks. For a 2 hour rental, expect to pay from $18-$45.

Thank you to Chelsey for sharing her story!

Make your own memories by visiting Coronado during the winter holiday season. The city offers plenty of fun festivities coming up, like ice skating by the sea, caroling gondoliers, a holiday parade and much more.

Do you have a San Diego memory you’d like to share? Tell us about it in the comments below.

 

Robert Arends

Coronado November Events: A Cornucopia of Fun!

Skating by the Sea-Coronado Beach

With sunny skies, glistening crowd-free beaches and temperatures averaging 70 degrees, November is the perfect time to visit Coronado, located a bridge or ferryboat ride away from downtown San Diego. There’s so much to do, from craft beer tastings and lavish Thanksgiving feasts to ice skating by the beach, that you won’t know where to start!

The following are my Top 5 to Try in Coronado this November.

Good Times on Tap: San Diego Beer Week in Coronado

Craft beer by the bottle at Coronado Brewing Company

Craft beer by the bottle at Coronado Brewing Company

During San Diego Beer Week, Nov. 1-10, visit the award-winning Coronado Brewing Company to sample tasty ales like Orange Avenue Wit. Also, Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge on Orange Ave. features a “Local Tap Takeover,” pouring only San Diego beer on all 16 of their taps!

Talking Turkey: Thanksgiving Dinner

san diego hotel del coronado crown room thanksgiving 2013

The luxurious Crown Room at the Hotel del Coronado will host this year’s Thanksgiving feast.

Let the Hotel del Coronado and Loews Coronado Bay Resort do all the cooking this Thanksgiving Nov. 28 as they serve up turkey with all the fixings in festive elegant style. The Del presents a lavish buffet spread in the Crown Room and Ballroom, with live entertainment. Loews hosts a fab champagne brunch buffet in its main dining room, plus a prix fixe family-style dinner in Mistral.

Ice Skating by the Sea

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado

Lace up your skates and head to the Hotel del Coronado on Nov. 27 for the launch of Skating by the Sea, a magically surreal SoCal experience like no other where guests can practice their axel jumps just steps away from Coronado Beach. A portion of ice skate rental proceeds benefit San Diego’s Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Silver Strand Half Marathon and 5K

Rollerblading the Silver strand Half Marathon

Rollerblading the Silver Strand Half Marathon

Hightail it to the scenic Silver Strand for the popular annual Silver Strand Half Marathon and 5K on Nov. 17. Participants can run, walk, even rollerblade or rollerskate  from Coronado to Imperial Beach; handcyclists and wheel chair participants are welcome too!

Rock n’ Roll: “Suds” at the Coronado Playhouse

Suds Coronado Playhouse San Diego Theater

Suds hits the stage at the Coronado Playhouse this November.

Audiences are in for a rocking good time at the Coronado Playhouse– a 100-seat, cabaret-style theatre on lovely Glorietta Bay – presenting the 1960s musical soap opera “Suds” through the end of the month.

Want to win your own getaway to Coronado? Visit Authentic Luxury Travel to win a romantic Coronado stay!

Robert Arends

San Diego’s Coronado Blooms – and Zooms – this Weekend!

Blooomin' good times at Coronado Flower Show!

Spring has sprung! Big white tents are sprouting up like flowers in Spreckels Park, Coronado in preparation for the big 87th Annual Coronado Flower Show this weekend, April 21-22. The delightful kaleidoscope of colors, encompassing the 600 block of Orange Avenue, makes it the most popular springtime event on the island!

Did you know: Coronado’s grand floral fête is the largest tented flower show in the U.S.!

Flower Beautifulness! Photo credit: LevacyPhoto.com

This year’s theme, “A Floral Olympiad” celebrates the summer Olympic games in London with design categories incorporating iconic images like the Olympic rings, release of the doves and the Olympic flame. Trophies for best blooms are awarded on Sunday at 3:00 pm; definitely bring a camera!

Cost is only $5; children 12 and under are Free. Hours are 1:00 – 5:00 pm this Saturday and 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on Sunday.

Coronado Flower Show

Stop and smell the roses!

Oh, and if you think it’s just flowers, think again! There’s also a beer garden, flower/plant marketplace and huge Coronado Library Book Fair. And if you’re up for exploring Coronado, be sure to pick up a self-guided map to award-winning home gardens throughout the island. It’ll inspire any aspiring gardeners.

Motorcars on MainStreet in Coronado

Vroom! with a view - Motorcars on MainStreet

To top off the weekend, there’s more “wheel fun” to be had at the 22nd Annual MotorCars on MainStreet this Sunday, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Location: Isabella and Orange Avenues.

Check out 400 classic (pre-1973) cars, convertibles, roadsters, trucks, street rods and other cool custom rides that’ll get your motor running (my Chrysler PT Cruiser didn’t make the cut 😉 )

Rock to live entertainment all day by Tommy Price & The Stilettos and DJ Scooby spinning Solid Gold hits.

MotorCars on MainStreet in Coronado

Lookin' good under the hood! Motorcars on MainStreet

Admission is Free. There’s also a Free street trolley running all day to take visitors around the island: from Motorcars on MainStreet to the Hotel del Coronado, the Coronado Flower Show and down to Coronado Ferry Landing shops by the bay.

There are LOTS of good reasons to put you “petal” (hee hee!) to the metal and head over the bridge to Coronado this weekend. See you there!

(Coronado Flower Show photos courtesy of LevacyPhoto.com)