Our hotel, the Cape Ray Carlsbad Hilton, about five miles south of Carlsbad, is across the road from South Carlsbad State Beach and, even though it is still chilly, we get the true Southern California beach experience. We start with a walk along the beach into town. What great views of the ocean and surf!
Walking to Carlsbad
As we get closer to Carlsbad, we start to see more people on the beach, the surfers south of town and the volleyball players closer in.
Surfers in the water
Volleyball on the beach
And, even a stray sea lion resting on the sand with a few admirers keeping their distance.
Sea lion at rest, people watching
Walking back, we see that some of the lifeguard stations are deployed, but unoccupied, while others are waiting for the warmer weather to be stationed around the beach.
Life guard stations on the beaches
Ready to go when beach season truly begins
It's time to walk on the beach! We find a path down from the road and walk across the soft sand and occasional rocky patch for an eye-level perspective of the Pacific. It's truly quiet and calming. But, we have to walk back the way we came to find another path back up the bluff to the road.
Down on the beach
As we get closer to the hotel, we walk through the South Carlsbad State Beach Campground, where people have brought their RVs or are camping in tents, spending the weekend at the ocean. Everyone seems to be having a great time, preparing the barbecue, kids playing in the street, people visiting their friends and making new friends, heading down the stairs to the beach - they're all in for a relaxing time.
RV parking / camping in the state park above the beach
Our day is coming to an end and we watch the sun set over the Pacific, joining the people from the park and others who just pull off the road and get out to watch the sun descend into the ocean.
The sun sets
Tomorrow, another adventure in San Diego.