Petco Park Tour in San Diego

San Diego is a baseball city with a stadium right in the heart of downtown. If you happen to be there when a game is going on, then be sure to grab a ticket as it is electric being in the city during a game. If your not there when the Padre’s are playing, it is still a lot of fun to take the tour of the historic stadium and see many of the areas you wouldn’t normally get to see on game day. Here is all the information so you can check it out yourself.

Details

  • Cost: $17 for adults, $12 for kids
  • Tours offered on most days, you can buy tickets here
  • Location: 100 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Getting There

Petco Park is located right in the heart of Downtown San Diego. You can drive there or access it via public transit. The best parking structure for the tour is on 7th and K St, and it is only a dollar an hour, making it a great spot to park if you want to explore downtown San Diego after as well.

The Tour

After checking in for the tour, you can head to the company store and look around until it starts.

The tour is about an hour and a half long with lots of stops all around the stadium.

Our guide was great as he knew a ton about the park’s history and the Padres. I learned a lot on the tour and enjoyed it even though I am not a baseball fan.

The tour started with the half of fame on the outskirts of the stadium. Less then half the teams in baseball have a hall of fame, so it was fun to check out.

From there we headed inside to the stadium itself and took a tour of the private suites first.

There were pretty epic, and I would love to watch a game in one.

From there we walked around the old Western Metal Supply Co. building that makes up the left field line and was built in 1909. Our guide said it is the oldest thing in baseball (not stadium) as this building precedes Fenway Park by three years.

The tour continued into the impressive bar space with pool tables and other games. Outside of that was a section called “The Rail” where you can watch a game from while sitting in barstool like chairs.

After that, we headed to the press box which had a great view of the field. Unfortunately, the field was dirt from a motocross event the previous day, but it was still cool to see.

Next, we went down to the locker rooms and then into the dugout. The dugout was a fun part of the tour, and if you are a fan, I imagine this being pretty awesome.

After about an hour and a half, the tour was over, and we were back to where we started. Even though I am not a baseball fan, it was still a great place to explore and a fun tour to go on in the city. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Petco Park Tour in San Diego

San Diego is a baseball city with a stadium right in the heart of downtown. If you happen to be there when a game is going on, then be sure to grab a ticket as it is electric being in the city during a game. If your not there when the Padre’s are playing, it is still a lot of fun to take the tour of the historic stadium and see many of the areas you wouldn’t normally get to see on game day. Here is all the information so you can check it out yourself.

Details

  • Cost: $17 for adults, $12 for kids
  • Tours offered on most days, you can buy tickets here
  • Location: 100 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Getting There

Petco Park is located right in the heart of Downtown San Diego. You can drive there or access it via public transit. The best parking structure for the tour is on 7th and K St, and it is only a dollar an hour, making it a great spot to park if you want to explore downtown San Diego after as well.

The Tour

After checking in for the tour, you can head to the company store and look around until it starts.

The tour is about an hour and a half long with lots of stops all around the stadium.

Our guide was great as he knew a ton about the park’s history and the Padres. I learned a lot on the tour and enjoyed it even though I am not a baseball fan.

The tour started with the half of fame on the outskirts of the stadium. Less then half the teams in baseball have a hall of fame, so it was fun to check out.

From there we headed inside to the stadium itself and took a tour of the private suites first.

There were pretty epic, and I would love to watch a game in one.

From there we walked around the old Western Metal Supply Co. building that makes up the left field line and was built in 1909. Our guide said it is the oldest thing in baseball (not stadium) as this building precedes Fenway Park by three years.

The tour continued into the impressive bar space with pool tables and other games. Outside of that was a section called “The Rail” where you can watch a game from while sitting in barstool like chairs.

After that, we headed to the press box which had a great view of the field. Unfortunately, the field was dirt from a motocross event the previous day, but it was still cool to see.

Next, we went down to the locker rooms and then into the dugout. The dugout was a fun part of the tour, and if you are a fan, I imagine this being pretty awesome.

After about an hour and a half, the tour was over, and we were back to where we started. Even though I am not a baseball fan, it was still a great place to explore and a fun tour to go on in the city. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Spruce Street Suspension Bridge: Historic Footbridge in San Diego

 

One of the elements I like about San Diego is how a lot of the historic charm of the city’s past is still on display today. The Spruce Street Suspension Bridge is one of these spots. The bridge was built in simpler times (1912) when a small canyon like this was best crossed via an elevated bridge instead of leveled and zoned for housing. The bridge is always popular with many people walking on it, but that adds to the charm, here is all the information so you can check it out as well.

Details

  • Free
  • Location: Spruce St 1st Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

Getting There

It is all street parking here, but luckily there are two entrances to the bridge, so you should be able to find a place to park.

The bridge is not easy to see from the road, but you will see the stairs that take you down to it.

There is also a plaque with some information on both sides.

The bridge is relatively wide, so you can walk past people on it comfortably. It does sway ever so slightly with the wind and with people walking on it though.

It takes about 5 minutes to walk to the other side, and it is surprisingly long when you see it from an angle.

I spent about 20 minutes here just walking around and taking it all in before heading to my next spot in San Diego. Be sure to check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Maritime Museum of San Diego: Exploring Old Ships in San Diego Bay

Located in the bay, right near downtown San Diego, the San Diego Maritime Museum is one of my favorite places to explore in the city. This museum comprises 8 – 10 different boats that you can board and traverse, much like the Maritime Historical Park in San Francisco. The boats range from a submarine and ferry to an old pirate looking ship and here is all the information if you want to check it out.

Details

  • Cost: $18 for adults, $8 for children
  • Hours: 9 AM – 8 PM most days
  • Location:  1492 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

Getting There

From the 5 South, you will get off on Front Street and then turn right on Ash St. Take this till it ends at the water and there are a bunch of parking spots that you can utilize near the museum ($2 an hour).

The Museum

After paying for your ticket, you can enter the central area with most of the boats or head over to the Star of India, which is the old sailing ship that most people have seen. I recommend heading over there first.

Star of India

The Star of India is the world’s oldest active sailing ship, and it began sailing in 1863.

The ship has a pretty amazing history, which you can learn more about when you are there, but it has sailed around the world 21 times, and it was once even trapped in ice in Alaska.

This ship is fun to explore with a full museum on the bottom deck.

I was in a rush, so I only got to spend about 20 minutes on this boat, but I plan to come back and explore it more as it was awesome and there is a lot to see and interact with.

After exiting the boat, you will have to re-enter by the main museum to see the rest of the ships.

The ships here range from old ships like the Star of India to submarines like the B-39 Soviet Sub.

The B-39 Soviet Sub was my favorite to explore.

You can enter this submarine, but you must be OK with small spaces as there are four small entryways you have to get through when inside the boat.

It’s fantastic to walk through and see how detailed everything is though.

I can’t imagine actually being on a boat like this, I would go stir crazy, but I enjoyed seeing and exploring it in a setting like this.

The other boats are more of the same, but it’s still a ton of fun to board and explore each one.

After seeing all of the boats, head into the ferry boat which is the main museum and has a few exhibits.

The best of these is the engine room, where you can walk down into in the bowels of the boat.

It really shows how massive these engines are and it is cool to see up close.

Also, don’t forget to head to the second story and see the dining hall area with tables and booths.

Then head up to the top where you can see the wheel and get a high up view of all the ships you explored today.

If you are like me, then the $18 spent on a ticket here will be well worth it. All of the unique boats are a ton of fun to explore, and it is an excellent attraction for the whole family in San Diego. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Belmont Park: Wooden Roller Coaster & Rides in Mission Beach

Belmont Park, in San Diego’s Mission Beach area, is a beachfront amusement park that opened in the 1920’s. Much like the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, Belmont Park has been entertaining children and adults for almost a century. While it is much more commercial now then it used to be, it is still a great place to explore with family on a summer weekend. Here is all the information on this fun, historic spot.

Details

  • No cost to enter
  • Parking is free
  • Hours: Open Friday – Sunday
  • Location: 3146 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

Getting There

Belmont Park is right near Mission Bay off Mission Bay Dr and Mission Boulevard. There is parking next to the amusement park and more parking across the street. It will still be hard to find parking on the weekends though, especially during the summer. After parking, head into the amusement park.

The Park

The park is located on the boardwalk, with lots of restaurants and bars that face the ocean. It’s a nice place to get a meal or even a coffee as it is hard to beat the views.

You can walk along this path all the way up to the Pacific Beach Pier about 2 miles away.

In Belmont Park, first head into the middle of the park and you will see all of the attractions.

There is a ziplining area, rock wall and many other activities you can pay to go on.

I especially like the roller coaster as it’s a blast to be able to ride a historic wooden coaster like this and look out over the beach.

They also have an arcade with lots of electronic games and things like air hockey.

The park has many restaurants that look out over the beach and fair type food sold from the many vendors.

The amount of time you spend here will be dependent on the age of your kids, but even as an adult, it is a great place to explore for a few hours. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Belmont Park: Wooden Roller Coaster & Rides in Mission Beach

Belmont Park, in San Diego’s Mission Beach area, is a beachfront amusement park that opened in the 1920’s. Much like the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, Belmont Park has been entertaining children and adults for almost a century. While it is much more commercial now then it used to be, it is still a great place to explore with family on a summer weekend. Here is all the information on this fun, historic spot.

Details

  • No cost to enter
  • Parking is free
  • Hours: Open Friday – Sunday
  • Location: 3146 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

Getting There

Belmont Park is right near Mission Bay off Mission Bay Dr and Mission Boulevard. There is parking next to the amusement park and more parking across the street. It will still be hard to find parking on the weekends though, especially during the summer. After parking, head into the amusement park.

The Park

The park is located on the boardwalk, with lots of restaurants and bars that face the ocean. It’s a nice place to get a meal or even a coffee as it is hard to beat the views.

You can walk along this path all the way up to the Pacific Beach Pier about 2 miles away.

In Belmont Park, first head into the middle of the park and you will see all of the attractions.

There is a ziplining area, rock wall and many other activities you can pay to go on.

I especially like the roller coaster as it’s a blast to be able to ride a historic wooden coaster like this and look out over the beach.

They also have an arcade with lots of electronic games and things like air hockey.

The park has many restaurants that look out over the beach and fair type food sold from the many vendors.

The amount of time you spend here will be dependent on the age of your kids, but even as an adult, it is a great place to explore for a few hours. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Eagle Cliff Mine in Joshua Tree National Park

Eagle Cliff Mine is one of my favorite places in Joshua Tree National Park, and one of the most well maintained old mining homesteads I have seen. Because of that, this post will not be a traditional post where I give step by step directions to find the mine. If you want to see it, it is easy to find the information to get there online, but it does require some route finding, which is a good way to keep the hike to those that want to respect this awesome spot for future adventures. The old house that awaits you, is something you will not soon forget in the park, read on for more information.

Details

  • 3.5 miles
  • 500 feet of elevation

The Trail

There are two ways to get there, one leaves from Split Rock and another from Desert Queen Mine, neither are maintained by the park or have any signs. Again, do not attempt if you do not know where you are going as it is very easy to get lost in the desert.

After hiking from the Desert Queen Mine trail, my friend Chris and I eventually made it to the area where the mine is located. I had a GPS point, so I knew where I was heading, but it is still out in the middle of nowhere near a large area of rocks.

When you get close, you will see the start of a cave that heads only about 15 feet into the hillside before it was abandoned.

Continuing on from the cave, you will head into the area of rocks and will see the actual mine shaft in the ground ahead of you. This was more a hole in the ground so don’t try to go down into it.

As you reach the cliffside, the old mine building will be on the right, but it is easy to miss.

This place was once a home to the miner who worked this area, and it is still well maintained.

The journal inside of the house can be signed by the people who make it to the mine, and it showed that 15-20 people come out a day to this location.

There are still jars, jugs and other pieces situated inside the small three wall house.

There is a cave in the back that is where the miner slept, which was surprisingly cooler than the rest of the house. Don’t forget to walk by the outside where the rocks are built up to make a wall, and see the small window in the middle that looks out from the kitchen.

As you can see this is an awesome place to explore in Joshua Tree. If you make it out here, please make sure to keep it exactly the way you found it so that it can be enjoyed for the next generation and check out more places to explore in Joshua Tree here.

Eagle Cliff Mine in Joshua Tree National Park

Eagle Cliff Mine is one of my favorite places in Joshua Tree National Park, and one of the most well maintained old mining homesteads I have seen. Because of that, this post will not be a traditional post where I give step by step directions to find the mine. If you want to see it, it is easy to find the information to get there online, but it does require some route finding, which is a good way to keep the hike to those that want to respect this awesome spot for future adventures. The old house that awaits you, is something you will not soon forget in the park, read on for more information.

Details

  • 3.5 miles
  • 500 feet of elevation

The Trail

There are two ways to get there, one leaves from Split Rock and another from Desert Queen Mine, neither are maintained by the park or have any signs. Again, do not attempt if you do not know where you are going as it is very easy to get lost in the desert.

After hiking from the Desert Queen Mine trail, my friend Chris and I eventually made it to the area where the mine is located. I had a GPS point, so I knew where I was heading, but it is still out in the middle of nowhere near a large area of rocks.

When you get close, you will see the start of a cave that heads only about 15 feet into the hillside before it was abandoned.

Continuing on from the cave, you will head into the area of rocks and will see the actual mine shaft in the ground ahead of you. This was more a hole in the ground so don’t try to go down into it.

As you reach the cliffside, the old mine building will be on the right, but it is easy to miss.

This place was once a home to the miner who worked this area, and it is still well maintained.

The journal inside of the house can be signed by the people who make it to the mine, and it showed that 15-20 people come out a day to this location.

There are still jars, jugs and other pieces situated inside the small three wall house.

There is a cave in the back that is where the miner slept, which was surprisingly cooler than the rest of the house. Don’t forget to walk by the outside where the rocks are built up to make a wall, and see the small window in the middle that looks out from the kitchen.

As you can see this is an awesome place to explore in Joshua Tree. If you make it out here, please make sure to keep it exactly the way you found it so that it can be enjoyed for the next generation and check out more places to explore in Joshua Tree here.

Desert Queen Mine in Joshua Tree National Park

Desert Queen Mine is located pretty much in the center of Joshua Tree National Park. The trail is popular, even though it is located down a dirt road, and the short path can lead you to an overlook, or you can explore the mine up close. You can also use this hike as a jumping off point to see places like the Eagle Cliff Mine as well. Here is all the information.

Details

  • .75 miles to the overlook, 1.5 to the mine itself
  • Flat to overlook, 150 feet of elevation to mine

Getting There

The trailhead for this hike is located down a dirt road that’s adjacent from the Geology Tour Road. The one-lane dirt road shouldn’t be an issue for most cars and about a mile after you pass the parking area for Lucky Boy Vista, you will make it to the Desert Queen Mine parking area.

The Trail

There is a bathroom at the trailhead and the trail leaves from right next to it. It continues along a relatively flat path for the first third of a mile.

Eventually, you will reach a split with one way heading to the overlook and the other leading down towards the mine.

If you only have a short time, then just go to the overlook and check it out, if you have more time then head down to the mines themselves.

The trail to the mines goes past a small rock building that still has walls standing.

It continues downhill until you reach the gully and start going up again.

Eventually, you will reach the first of many mine shafts. I found at least five when I went, and all of them are gated over so that you don’t fall in. While you can’t see much, it is still crazy to find all of these massive mine shafts on the side of the mountain.

There was also a few old pieces of machinery and tools that you can see along the path as well.

If you continue up to the top of the small hill, you will see a mine shaft that you can enter a few feet into, before it being gated off. Also, on top of the hill, there are three more shafts in the ground that you can see.

When you finish exploring, you can head on to the Eagle Cliff Mine (be sure to have a GPS track if you do though!) or go back to the parking area. Remember that you are hiking in the desert and that this trail is not shaded so it can get sweltering. Let me know what you think of Desert Queen Mine in the comments.

Key’s Desert Queen Ranch Tour in Joshua Tree National Park

Located in the heart of Joshua Tree National Park, Key’s Ranch (AKA Desert Queen Ranch) is an incredibly well-maintained homestead only accessible via a 90 minute guided tour. It’s one of those spots that I didn’t even know existed in the park and something that I highly recommend you visit if you get the chance. Here is all the information.

Details

  • $10 + park entrance fees
  • One tour each day, Thurs – Sun. Check dates on their site as they do change and are not offered in certain seasons.

Getting Tickets

Tickets can only be purchased from the Oasis Visitors Center in 29 Palms. If you want to visit this spot, you will want to get to the center early as they sell out fast, especially on the weekends. I have heard stories of it selling out right when they open at 8:30 AM. When I went, I got there at 10 AM on a Thursday, and there were only three tickets left. Once you get a ticket, you will proceed to the entrance and pay your fee to enter the park and for the ticket cost. You can then explore the park until meeting time 15 minutes before the tour starts.

History

George Barth was born in the late 1800s and got into mining before joining the traveling road show and working as a stuntman. He was asked to join the Rough Riders but broke his leg and was sidelined from the show. He traveled around and did some mining before he settled in Joshua Tree in 1914 and was in charge of running the ranch. He changed his name to Bill Keys and married in 1918, raising multiple children at the homestead. After his death, the ranch was sold and passed through a few owners before it became part of Joshua Tree National Park in 1970. They started doing tours in 1972.

The Tour

After meeting at the locked gate 15 minutes before it was time for the tour to start, the ranger let us through the gate, and we all drove to the parking area for the ranch.

The tour began from the parking area, and over the next 90 minutes, we learned the history of the family and homestead as well as walked all over the property, looking in windows and experiencing this unique site.

I will say that it is a tour and you can not go off on your own, so you can’t set up any pictures and must take them as you walk along. Here are some of the highlights from the tour.

The Shed

This metal building had a lot of old tools and artifacts from the early years of the ranch.

The Well

The well, which sits under the windmill, was interesting to see out in the field where they used to grow their food.

The House

The house is the highlight of the ranch tour as it is well maintained and the interior is left primarily as it was when the family moved from the ranch. You can’t go inside, but you can look in the windows.

There’s an old retaining wall reinforced with metal from bed springs outside of the house as well.

The gate that goes around the house is made of Joshua Trees that were cut right here on the property.

In the back is a collection of many old cars and machines that were used on the ranch. They are all in disrepair, but they are cool to see out there.

One of the cars was even used as a makeshift chicken coop to keep the chickens safe from coyotes.

In the 1960s two movies from Walt Disney were filmed here, such as “Wild Burros of the West,” and the building they built to house tools for the movie is still here as well.

After exploring some more, our time at the ranch came to an end. It was a great tour, and it was easy to see why this area is off-limits to the public since there are so many historic artifacts. The sheer amount of stuff here and how well it has been maintained makes it a really unique place to explore in Joshua Tree National Park. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.