• Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

Find the oldest sidewalk in San Diego

Do you ever think about what ancient feet have trodden the same pavement you’re pounding? Okay, we’re not talking Pompeii. But, hey, this is the birthplace of California. There’s been a town on this spot since 1820. And the guys who laid the concrete sidewalks over the dirt tracks always signed their names, plus the year they laid it. Mr. O. E. Winders laid sidewalk at Union and Beech in 1895. It’s still marked there, being walked on every day. Can you find one from earlier? Make a contest out of who spots the most ancient piece of sidewalk in your neighborhood. Hold a party, right there.

Race like the America’s Cup

Next Level Sailing, 1492 North Harbor Drive, 858-922-5322

With the America’s Cup starting in San Francisco July 4th, why not organize your own contest right here? Race Dennis Conner’s 80-foot America’s Cup yacht Stars and Stripes against the Hawaiian-New Zealand racer Abracadabra. Get two teams together (7 to 18 people each), sign up on a Friday, and be racing on Saturday. Three professional crew make sure things don’t get out of control. It’s not cheap: $99 each. But you don’t have to be experienced or fit. They can even take wheelchairs. Contact Warren Allan at Next Level Sailing. Vessels are moored near the maritime museum on the Embarcadero.

The panoramic vistas from atop the 70-foot Desert View Tower make it worth the $4.50 admission.

Desert View Tower

Desert View Tower

In-Ko-Pah Road, Jacumba

Desert View Tower in Jacumba resembles something you would see on a dusty 1920s postcard. The quirky museum and gift shop are located off Interstate 8 on In-Ko-Pah Road, near the Mexican border. Admission to the top of its 70-foot tower is a well-worth-it $4.50. A panoramic view of Imperial Valley and the Anza-Borrego Desert can be magnified when using a quarter-fed telescope. Ben Schultz, proprietor and longtime San Diego activist, is almost always on hand to answer questions. Before leaving, make sure to check out the site’s Boulder Park. Enjoy the whimsical sculptures of W.T. Ratcliffe, an out-of-work Depression-era engineer who carved into the caves and boulders surrounding the tower. The Desert View tower is open daily from 9am–5pm. Call ahead to verify.

Be an extra in movies

Samuel Warren and Associates International Casting Services, 8340 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard #207, 619-264-4135, samuelwarrenandassociatescasting.com

Psst. Wanna be in movies? Sam Warren can get you in. If you can send him your 3˝x5˝ photo and list your skills (dancing? lion taming?). Be prepared to drop everything if he calls you for a crowd shot tomorrow morning. Be on time. Prepare for a lot of waiting. Bring your own costume, make-up, lunch. And never hog the camera. Prima donnas are ejected and don’t come back.

Learn to play cricket with the San Diego Weekend Cricket Club

Canyonside Park & Recreation Center

12350 Black Mountain Road, Rancho Penasquitos

Cricket here has been mainly played by the UCSD-Qualcomm axis, among “technology workers” from places such as India, Pakistan, the West Indies, Australia, and the U.K. So, how does someone who has never played before get into the game? The San Diego Cricket Club promises that “from beginners to professionals, there is a place for you!” But the San Diego Weekend Cricket Club is the most casual and social. Just turn up at the Canyonside Recreation Center at 8 o’clock any Sunday morning. Pretty soon you’ll be holding your bat vertically and yelling, “How’s that!”

Play Ice Hockey

UTC Ice Sports Center

4545 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla

UTC Ice Sports Center makes ice hockey accessible to all of us. The Golden West Adult Hockey League has five divisions of skill, ranging from Platinum level, for true hockey players, to Copper level, for novice and intermediate players. No checking — body hits. Lots of space for oldies and first-timers. Coach-mentors who teach the game and positional team play. Two seasons each year. Cost: $475 per season. Games Sunday through Thursday evenings.

Potato Chip Rock

Lake Poway Recreation Area

14644 Lake Poway Road, Poway

Far out in the Blue Sky Reserve, Potato Chip Rock doesn’t just look like a potato chip, it juts out into empty space with a view of the entire county. To reach the rock, park at Lake Poway and begin to traverse the trail on the southern side of the lake. The journey to the chip is just over three miles — six miles round trip. However, about half of the trek outbound is similar to climbing a mile and a half of stairs. The final test of mettle before you take that epic profile picture is a leap from one boulder out to the potato chip.

The Stein Family Farm

The Stein Family Farm

1808 F Avenue, National City

You long for a simpler time? A time when people were more connected to the world around them — especially the food they ate? You think it would be grand to go full artisanal, get back to the land? Now’s your chance to try it. Stein Family Farm is a living history farm museum that emphasizes agricultural practices similar to those used in the 1900s. Gardens! Orchards! Animals! Pump water from a cistern and learn about composting, city kid. Open Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Donations welcome.

Sky Zone

Sky Zone

851 Showroom Place #100, Eastlake

Sky Zone’s indoor trampoline park offers well-padded wall-to-wall trampoline setups. Flip into a pit of foam blocks! Use a trampoline to dunk like a person who can actually jump that high. Destroy your friends at ultimate dodgeball. Or just work on your extreme parkour, bouncing off walls and floors with impunity. Cost is $10–$25, depending on how long you jump.

Museum of Making Music

Museum of Making Music

5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad

Before you can make music, you have to make the things that make music. I mean, sure, you can sing, but unless you’re a chanting monk, it’s kind of nice to have some instrumental backup. The Museum of Making Music’s five permanent galleries trace the development of those instruments from the ’20s through the ’80s, when synthesizers made everything else irrelevant. Each gallery explores the popular musicians and innovations of the day, and the whole museum traces the history of the industry behind the recording industry. Plus, there’s a live concert series (next up: harps!) Cost is $8; $5 for students.

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

More from SDReader


zara June 16, 2013 @ 10:10 p.m.

Regarding the Disney cartoons at the 805/52...don't bother. Spent 2 hrs looking and didn't find anything. Was told by another cyclist on the trail that they were there "years ago" and he hasn't seen them in a long time. Curious to know what background check the Reader did to verify anything in this article. The wild goose chase was definitely not one of the 75 reasons San Diego is so much fun!


jiminsd June 23, 2013 @ 5:03 p.m.

I too went searching for hours for the Disney art to find nothing but graffiti. I've boycotted SD Reader for years due to you homophobia and should have know better than to trust anything I've read on your site.


Sign in to comment

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!