Originally known as Laguna Grande by early Spanish explorers, Lake Elsinore has a rich history in the region, used as a rest stop to camp and water animals for trappers, prospectors of the Gold Rush, and for the great explorer of the Wild West, John Charles Frémont.
Balboa Park is situated on a bluff overlooking downtown San Diego and its magnificent, natural bay is one of the most spectacular parks in the world. Built for the first World Fair, today, you can stroll along the El Prado pedestrian walkway and visit the Spanish-Renaissance style architecture, and shaded alcoves, with fountains and fabulous street performers in every nook and cranny. Balboa Park is quintessential California at its best.
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park presents the opportunity to experience the history of early San Diego by providing a connection to the past. California Department of Parks and Recreation established Old Town State Historic Park, with more than two- dozen buildings depicting life from the early Mexican-American period of 1821-1872. Five original adobe structures mix with reconstructed sites and newer buildings done in the same style.
When most folks think of San Diego, they picture gorgeous beaches, beautiful weather and cultural and artistic attractions. But for those who have an affinity for the paranormal, San Diego beckons investigation, with its rich and dark past, haunted spots, spiritual encounters and inexplicable events.
The Whaley House may not look like anything special, but it’s been called the “most haunted house in America,” once by Time Magazine, the other by the Travel Channel series Ghost Adventures. So what makes this unassuming, two-story brick house in historic Old Town San Diego such a locus of supernatural activity? This small house has as many ghost stories as it does historical accounts and that does add up to a lot. The moment I heard about the Travel Channel dubbed “most haunted place in America, I knew I had to check it out.
The Griffith Park Zoo was originally opened in 1912, amusingly built on the former location of Griffith J. Griffith’s old ostrich farm. It was opened with 15 animals, and due to lack of funding; it opened without any cages, simply stockades to keep the animals in, which were inadequate for several of the species, kept on site.
Stories claim that the history of the zoo was rocky, and it was always struggling. For example, in 1916, the zoo was apparently leaking sewage into the L.A. River, and later during World War I, a meat shortage made it hard to properly care for the animals, forcing the zoo to substitute horse meat for beef, leading to the deaths of many of the meat eating animals, particularly the big cats. Luckily the zoo was free which kept visitors coming.
This Italian-inspired Long Beach community was developed in the early 1900’s as the “Dreamland of Southern California” and consists of three islands filled with narrow streets and walkways, canals, beautiful houses and boats, a plaza with a water fountain, excellent shopping and restaurants on nearby 2nd Street. This seaside neighborhood boasts picturesque bridges reminiscent of Italy’s Mediterranean shore: Naples.
Today it’s known as 2nd Street in Naples & Belmont Shore, and it has become a thriving shopping and dining district that connects downtown Long Beach with its very own coastal – beach regions to the south.