A while back I got in the car in the dark and road-tripped a couple of hours to Hoffmaster State Park on the West Side of Michigan. I arrived on the parks Lake Michigan beach about an hour after sunrise.
Why the early start to the day? The pictures say it all. Warm it was not so I had the state parks three miles of beach along the Great Lake all to myself. I hung out with the sand dunes, blue sky and cold Lake Michigan waters as I walked. 🙂
Where else in Michigan would you recommend going for an early morning beach walk along Lake Michigan?
Standing up-top the sand dunes and staring out at the pier, the lighthouses and Lake Michigan in Grand Haven is my favorite spot in all of Pure Michigan. Each time I’m there I also walk the pier to its end passing by both lighthouses. While walking I always see people on the pier across the Grand River Channel fishing or walking.
With all the time I’ve been in Grand Haven I’ve never been over there. On recent road trip along the Lake Michigan coast I was hanging out at North Beach Park just north of town. I said to myself, now is my chance.
I took the short stroll down N. Shore Rd to North Shore Fisherman’s Pier. Immediately after parking in the small lot I was on the pier heading towards the small North Pierhead Inner Light. Low and behold there were fisherman and visitors walking the pier.
As I walked I looked over to the other side of the channel and it was cool to see everything from a different perspective from the dunes and the catwalk to the pier and two lighthouses.
It was a sunny day, but very windy. The waves were crashing onto the pier. People were stopping about half way down, myself included.
Despite that, it was a memorable walk because I finally got to see the Grand Haven Lighthouse and pier from the “other” side!
Tip: It’s a quick twenty minute drive to get here from the other side of the channel and downtown Grand Haven. While you’re there stop at nearby North Beach Park and the North Ottawa Dunes and make an afternoon out of it.
In the San Diego area and looking to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of Southern California? Make the trek over to Coronado Island and then down California State Route 75 to Silver Strand State Beach.
The beach sits on the narrow strip of land that connects Coronado proper with Imperial Beach. You’ll find beaches on each side of the highway, along both San Diego Bay to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. All of the photos below are from the ocean side.
As you head onto the beach from the main parking area, look to the right down the coast and you’ll see the heart of Coronado and Point Loma off in the distance. The beach is away from town, so you will find it not nearly as busy as nearby Coronado Beach. No hustle-and-bustle here!
Turn to the left, now heading southward on the white and black sanded beach, and you will see the mountains and hills of Tijuana and Mexico which sits only ten or so miles away.
Starring out into the blue waters of the Pacific, your bound to see a military ship or two off in the distance.
As you walk the beach who knows what you’ll encounter. Amongst the many bits of seashells, I had my first ever encounter with a sand dollar. They are a frequent sight here. If you look down you might spot some moon snail, cockle and silver oyster shells as well, the last of which is how the beach got its name.
Seaweed, common on a lot of beaches, is on the light side here. This was one of the cleanest and biggest, non-decaying pieces of seaweed I have ever seen.
Tip: To access the San Diego Bay side of the state park and beaches, just park on the Pacific side and take one of the walking tunnels underneath the road. There is no parking available on that side.
What other beaches around San Diego and in Southern California would you recommend to get away from it all?
What do I always seem to be looking for when viewing and capturing a city skyline? This past weekend at Edgewater Park in Cleveland, I realized my skyline viewing and capturing template was right in front of me.
Head to the western entrance of the Cleveland Metropark, where you will find the upper area and Perkins Beach. Once in the park you will head up-top by taking Upper Edgewater Drive that veers off to the right.
Upon parking walk into the park, head towards the shoreline and the Cleveland skyline will quickly come into view. I’m up-top check.
There is a romantic park bench and/or picnic table up-top to soak in the views. Check.
The body of water the city sits along is easily in view. Check. In this case how could you miss the vast Lake Erie.
Lots of sand and beachfront straight ahead, check.
Blue sky aplenty along with trees and other objects to capture unique views of the city. Check.
The ability to head down from up-top and get a closer look. The final check. In this case you are able to walk on the beach, along the shoreline and on the dirt trails that run alongside.
While at the park make sure to take the time to capture the Great Lake. It is beautiful no matter the season and time of year.
It was a fun afternoon at Edgewater Park in Cleveland. The realization of what my skyline viewing template is became more clear. Oh yeah! There is one more piece to that puzzle. It has to be a place where the blue shoes can easily lay down and soak everything in. 🙂
We will see which of the things I said check to will apply at my next skyline viewing endeavor. I’ve set a standard for myself.
What things do you look for when viewing and capturing a city skyline?
When I think back to my child years, one of my favorite places to go in the summer was the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, California. Sitting alongside Monterey Bay, it is the states oldest amusement park, providing fun for families and people of all ages since 1907.
The Boardwalk is free to walk around to soak in the atmosphere whether the park is open or closed. If you don’t have much time, you can purchase a ticket for just an individual ride. The ride to go on is the Giant Dipper. It is one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the world running since 1924 and recognized as a National Historic Landmark.
My feet as a child always gravitated to the Sky Glider and Logger’s Revenge. Beautiful panoramic views of the park, ocean and surrounding area await up-top the glider. Nothing like cooling down to a big splash on a warm summer day on a log ride.
The Casino Arcade alongside the amusement park contains hundreds of video games, new and old school. You’ll find plenty of spots outside to enjoy the carnival food of the boardwalk or have a picnic.
Lots of beach awaits to soak in some sun and/or go for a dip. Straight ahead is…
the Santa Cruz Wharf where you will find shops, souvenirs, seafood opportunities and you might even spot a sea lion or two.
While walking down the wharf, look back to get beautiful views of the beach, palm trees and the half-mile long boardwalk. I got goosebumps returning to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Hope to relive more fun memories and make new ones there again soon.