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Here's how you can experience some of San Diego's finest views of bay and city, get away from crowds, and enjoy a little exercise at the same time. Give yourself an hour or a bit more to follow this 2.5 mile looping walk along San Diego Bay's west shore and down along the narrow residential lanes of Point Loma's La Playa neighborhood. Your leashed dog can come along, too, but not along the bay shore between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

From the east end of Talbot Street at Anchorage Lane, head down the public path that follows the bay shore. Shelter Island, fringed with yachts, lies across the water. It's a peninsula, really -- an artificial barrier island built of sand and mud dredged from the bottom of the bay. After about one-half mile, the pathway joins San Antonio Avenue. Follow this residential street for about three blocks, then return to the shore -- a sandy intertidal beach flecked with shells -- when the pavement runs out. Continue to the end of the beach, then follow Kellogg Street west beyond Rosecrans Street into one of Point Loma's most attractive residential areas.

Two blocks past Rosecrans, turn right on San Fernando Street. Pepper trees lining both sides of the street help conceal several opulent residences. Tall pines and eucalyptus trees reach into the sky, often snagging the cottony morning fog creeping over Point Loma's ridgeline.

A right turn on Owen Street followed by a left turn on San Elijo Street takes you to a T-intersection at Rogers Street. Turn left (west) and walk about 30 feet to find a narrow, dirt pathway heading north between two homes. After a short passage, you'll reach Armada Terrace. Follow Armada north toward Talbot Street, catching glimpses of the city, the bay, and the yacht basin. Many classic, long-lens photographs of San Diego's downtown skyline have been captured hereabouts. (Be here at the time of sunset, around 4:45 p.m., on December 26, and you'll witness the rising of the full moon over the city.) Continue on Armada Terrace as it starts to descend, and then use Bessemer Street to descend to the bay shore near your starting point.

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