San Diego Coast

Park Brochure

brochure San Diego Coast - Park Brochure
T his southernmost part of the Golden State, with its warm beaches, sculpted bluffs and historic adobe buildings, has been a mecca for individuals seeking a better life. Today, more than ever, it is the destination of millions who pursue the modern equivalent of the “California Dream.” Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. California State Parks does not discriminate against individuals with disabilities. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (619) 688-3260. To receive this publication in an alternate format, contact: CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P. O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service Discover the many states of California.TM San Diego Coast State Parks 4477 Pacific Highway San Diego, CA 92110 (619) 688-3260 Cover photo courtesy of Susan Myrland. © 2002 California State Parks (Rev. 2009) Printed on Recycled Paper San Diego Coast State Parks T he San Diego Coast is world famous provides beach-level camping between the communities of Coronado and Imperial Beach. Day-use beach access is available from Carlsbad State Beach to Border Field State Park. Early California history, recreational opportunities and natural wonders await you in San Diego Coast state parks. of Spanish soldiers, priests and explorers led by Captain Gaspar de Portolá and Franciscan Father Junípero Serra, arrived in what is today San Diego. They built a chapel dedicated to Saint Diego and a fort on what is now Presidio Hill just to the east of present-day Old Town. As time passed, the town built up around a typical Spanish plaza, and the first San Diego community was born. Since 1769 it has known the rule of Spain, Mexico and the United States. Today the historic park reflects the cultural elements of its exciting and romantic past. Guided tours are available. For more information, call (619) 220-5422. for its mild year-round climate. This fiftymile stretch of coastline, from the U.S. Marine Corps base at Camp Pendleton to the Mexican border, contains some of California’s most interesting and rare examples of natural and cultural heritage. San Diego’s early history comes alive at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, Old Town San Diego State located in the heart of the city, and at San Historic Park Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park, near San Diego’s famed Wild Animal Park in the Explore the rich heritage of California by north county. touring the unique museum exhibits and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, the shops in the historic adobe buildings of Old home of rare and endangered Torrey pines, Town San Diego. Today’s Old Town bustles lies thirty miles north with activity while of the Tijuana River preserving the National Estuarine essence of one of Research Reserve California’s earliest and the international settlements. border. The On May 15, 1769, Research Reserve an overland party provides protection for a designated Father Junípero Serra “wetland of national importance” and offers an educational Bandini House in Old Town San Diego facility for students and visitors. San Diego Coast state parks provide visitors with three areas for camping and many day-use beaches. South Carlsbad and San Elijo State Beaches in the north county have full-service campgrounds with all the amenities except hookups, and Silver Strand State Beach in the south county Painting of early San Diego by Lt. William H. Emory, 1846 San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park An award-winning visitor center interprets the Mexican War, as well as the history of the San Pasqual Indians and the development of San Pasqual Valley. On a cold, wet December 6, 1846, in the valley known as San Pasqual, United States General Stephen Watts Kearny and his soldiers met Whimbrel 80 armed Mexican Californios under the leadership of Andrés Pico in a battle for the sovereignty of California. The Battle of San Pasqual was the bloodiest battle fought in California during the Mexican War. For more park information, call (760) 737-2201. Carlsbad State Beach Carlsbad State Beach is one of San Diego’s most popular beaches. The Tamarack Avenue area is a favorite surf spot. The reef provides gentle waves, perfect for long and short board surfing. Certain areas are set aside for swimming only. A seawall promenade stretches from Pine Street to Tamarack Avenue and offers views of Agua Hedionda Lagoon. From the walkway, visitors may watch marbled godwits and whimbrels troll the beach and gulls, cormorants and pelicans fly over the waves. Marine mammals such as dolphins, sea lions and harbor seals splash offshore. Carlsbad State Beach is accessed via Tamarack Avenue, off Interstate 5. For more information, call (760) 438-3143. South Carlsbad State Beach This narrow beach has historically been described as “cobble beach.” Sand periodically buries the natural seawall of cobblestones for long periods of time. But changing weather and water currents, along with the nearby dredging of Agua Hedionda Lagoon, affect the beach composition. The park has 220 campsites and two day-use areas. Ponto Day-Use Area, south of the campground, has restroom facilities and requires a parking fee. Visitors enjoy swimming, board and body surfing, and scuba diving. South Carlsbad State Beach is reached by exiting Interstate 5 at Palomar Airport Cardiff State Beach Road in the City of Carlsbad and heading south along the Pacific Coast Highway (Carlsbad Blvd). For more information, call (760) 438-3143. San Elijo and Cardiff State Beaches Although San Elijo and Cardiff are separate state park units, they adjoin and can be enjoyed as one. San Elijo State Beach, with two miles of coastline, is mainly a campground, but San Elijo State Beach includes a small day-use lot. spectacular views of Reservations are necessary for America’s rarest pine the 171 campsites, which fill tree, which grows quickly for holidays and the along these dramatic summer season. ocean cliffs. Cardiff State Beach is Torrey Pines located south of San Elijo State Beach, along Creek. Developed day-use the Pacific Coast facilities with outdoor showers Highway, is framed and modern restrooms are by impressive bluffs available. Day-use fees are to the north and collected at each beach. south and the Los “Pipes,” “Turtles,” “Cardiff Peñasquitos Marsh Reef,” “Georges,” and “Seaside” Natural Preserve, are major surfing attractions in which runs through these state parks. Swimming this eye-catching and scuba diving are also wonder. Stretching for Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve popular activities. Inshore holes five miles, the beach and strong rip currents can be provides a great dangerous. Contact a lifeguard for suggestions venue for walking, running, photography, or about safe swimming areas. just enjoying the ocean and shore. Located in the city of Encinitas, the parks Parking and restrooms are provided at are reachable from Interstate 5 by exiting to the beach and trailhead. A visitor center the west on Birmingham or Manchester and following the signs to entrances from the Pacific Coast Highway. For more information, call (760) 753-5091. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and State Beach Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a jewel of the California State Park System. Named for the native pines growing on the bluffs, this park has natural splendor that is truly memorable. Seven miles of hiking trails offer presents the detailed story of the Torrey pines. Beautiful Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and State Beach are located between the cities of Del Mar and San Diego. From Interstate 5, exit west on Carmel Valley Road, go one mile, then go 3/4 mile south on the Pacific Coast Highway. For more information, call (858) 755-2063, Torrey pine or visit www.parks. Silver Strand State Beach Silver Strand State Beach lies along a seven-mile isthmus to Coronado Island in San Diego Bay. For day-use visitors, ample parking along the ocean front allows easy access to both the ocean and bay front beaches. There are dressing rooms, showers and restroom facilities close by, and picnic tables are available for small and large groups. A concession stand is open during the summer season, providing snacks, cold drinks and surf rental equipment. If you have a self-contained camping vehicle, you can stay the evening and enjoy the sunset, relax with friends around a campfire, and catch the morning sunrise over the mountains. Beachside hazardous conditions such as inshore holes, rip currents, and the lack of lifeguard service. The park provides restrooms, picnic areas, horse corrals and scenic views across the beach and estuary. For more information, call (619) 575-3613. Silver Strand State Beach Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve The Tijuana River National Estuarine Research RV campsites may be reserved by calling Reserve is one of only 24 wetlands in the (800) 444-7275 or visiting United States that has been designated by the Silver Strand Natural International Ramsar Committee as a “wetland California Preserve, located on of international importance.” Estuaries provide least tern the south side of the food and nesting areas for many creatures, entrance to Silver especially shorebirds. At least 370 bird species Strand State Beach, have been seen here. contains a unique All of the plants and animals in this park coastal strand plant are protected—some are threatened community or endangered. With your help, that was once the estuary will be preserved found throughout the forever. southern California coast and A visitor center at 301 is now rare. Nesting sites for the Caspian Way, Imperial Beach, California least tern and Western has exhibits and activities to snowy plover are also found here. explain the resources of the Call (619) 435-5184 for information. estuary. For more information, Endangered Western call (619) 575-3613 or visit snowy plover Border Field State Park Located within the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, Border Field State Park is in the very southwestern corner of the United States, 15 miles south of San Diego. Visitors enjoy fishing, beach-walking, hiking, horseback riding and birdwatching. Swimming and wading are not recommended due to • California State Parks along the San Diego Coast are located in and near urban areas. Lock your car and keep valuables with you. Report all crimes and emergencies to rangers, lifeguards or 911. • Please do not feed wildlife. Human food may be harmful and may encourage aggressive behavior. Store food securely in campground lockers or vehicles. Accessible Features Accessibility is continually improving. For updates, call the parks or visit Tijuana Estuary PLEASE Remember • Dogs are not allowed on most beaches because they often disturb wildlife, especially birds. Where dogs are allowed, they must be kept on a six-foot leash at all times. Border Field State Park he staff and volunteers of the San Diego Coast state parks are dedicated to providing you with a quality park experience—safe recreation, an understanding of the rich cultural heritage of California, and an appreciation of our natural wonders. Please contact a staff member or volunteer with your questions or comments. T

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