The magic of a cool looking bridge!
by Darlynne and Marc Menkin | Downtown News
When we first moved to San Diego 23 years ago, Route 163 quickly became our favorite way to get Downtown. We’re from the East Coast and had never seen a highway quite like 163. Traveling on this historic parkway, drivers can see two bridges, rows of beautiful swaying palm trees and Balboa Park.
Our tour company started 10 years ago when we were inspired by four scenic bridges in the neighborhoods of Balboa Park. It occurred to us recently that some of the most interesting bridges in San Diego are in close perimeter of Downtown.
Here are the ones near the 92101 zip code and the hidden gems that surround each one.
The scenic blue bridge known as the Coronado Bridge has become a well known landmark around the world. We especially enjoy riding over the bridge in our tour bus because the views are always better than driving in a car.
The warmer, spring-like weather is a great time to ride on the bridge. When you do cross over to Coronado, make sure you stop in at the Village Theatre. This is a true Coronado treasure with its stunning wall murals and beautiful craftsmanship.
If you go now, you’ll be able to see the hit movie “Oz, the Great and Powerful” which couldn’t be more appropriate since L. Frank Baum who wrote the “Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” lived in Coronado and got his inspiration from the Hotel del Coronado.
Our tip – be sure to peek into all three theaters to check out the detailed artwork.
In Bankers Hill, there are two footbridges that overlook beautiful canyons. Our favorite one is a suspension bridge that goes 377 feet from one side of Spruce Canyon to the other.
We were recently in this neighborhood and noticed the canyons were very green and colorful with its exploding wildflowers and cactus plants.
If you have a sweet tooth, Extraordinary Desserts on Fifth Avenue is within walking distance and you can easily get there by walking over the Quince Street Bridge – another footbridge that overlooks Maple Canyon and has an awesome view of the Bay in the distance.
Now that it’s spring, we’ll be offering our “Neighborhoods of Balboa Park Walking Tour” on select Monday afternoons so if you want to learn more about this area, give us a call.
The Cabrillo Bridge, which leads into Balboa Park and also spans the 163, is another favorite. Try parking around Sixth Avenue near Laurel Street to get to this bridge. Nearby is another small bridge, this one hidden. It is located off of Upas Street near Sixth Avenue and just beyond the Marston House.
If you follow the cement trail down the hill toward the freeway, you’ll find a unique looking footbridge that goes over 163. We think this would be a cool spot to hang out during the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon on June 2, when they include this scenic stretch of the 163.
The next time you’re near the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, walk over the nearby footbridge that crosses over Park Boulevard and into the Desert and Rose Gardens. The gardens are lovely and rarely crowded, even on a busy weekend.
Finally, driving along Harbor Drive near the Hilton Bayfront is another footbridge that looks a lot like a tall ship. Pedestrians love it because it allows direct access from the hotel and the Embarcadero area to Petco Park and Downtown. When you’re half way across, take a photo with Petco Park in the background.
We want to hear from you!
Go to the Village Theater on Eighth and Orange avenues in Coronado. Check out all three theaters inside, which feature beautiful San Diego wall murals. Select one of the murals and take a photo of you and a friend in a creative dance pose, in front of the mural. Email this photo to firstname.lastname@example.org The most creative picture will win four tickets to our Neighborhoods of Balboa Park Walking Tour.
Marc & Darlynne Menkin are the co-owners of “Where You Want To Be Tours.” Many of their tours and team-building scavenger hunts feature secret Downtown areas. They can be reached at email@example.com. For more info about their walking, bicycle and bus tours of San Diego, visit wheretours.com.