A charming coastal town with gorgeous beaches, stunning ocean view,ws and plenty to do.
If you’re looking for a relaxed, beachside neighborhood well-known for its family-centered lifestyle, Solana Beach won’t disappoint. It’s not for nothing that it was ranked the #1 Best Suburb to Live in the San Diego Area. Like Del Mar, Solana is perched just a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean, so an early-morning surf, swim, or sunbathe is never out of the question, even if you only have half an hour before work in the morning or are racing home to beat the sunset at night!
Life in Solana is casual and friendly, and the community is well-known for being open and welcoming. That said, Solana is no sleepy dead-end destination! Venues like the Belly Up Tavern are world-renowned, with top-tier musicians from all over the world coming every week to perform. Add that to the endless craft coffee shops, organic cafes, and microbreweries, not to mention the nationally-ranked education system, and you have a community with a bit of everything. If you’re not into music on a Friday night, you can head dancing at Saddle Bar, or sample the award-winning wine at Carruth Cellars Urban Winery!
As you probably guessed, there are several beaches in the Solana Beach area! Tide Beach Park, at the north end of town, is well known for sunbathing and surfing, and nearby Cardiff State Beach is perhaps the best surf spot in SoCal. Other hot spots include Fletcher Cove (popular foits' playground and clean public bathrooms), Seaside, and San Elijo Beach.
If you love hiking, you won’t want to miss Annie’s Canyon Trail, a dog-friendly route that runs for 1.6 miles. This local classic features the famed “Mushroom Caves.” These fascinating slot canyons feature weaving and, wave-like rock falls. The grooved canyon formations were worn out millions of years ago when the entire area was underwater! The walls used to be defaced by graffiti, but luckily they’ve recently been cleaned up and restored to their natural splendor.
Dining and shopping in Solana Beach are as good as everything else about this eclectic beachside community. One of my favorite Solana restaurants for dinner and drinks is Rare Society which I featured on my blog. Some favorite local restaurants include Crust Solana Beach, renowned throughout San Diego for its fine Italian cuisine, the Solana Beach Fish House, one of the (many) premier seafood destinations in Solana Beach, and Claire’s in Cedros. Claire’s is famous across the country for its delicious brunch and classic California dishes. Be sure to try the chilaquiles, chimichurri steak sandwiches, and breakfast burritos!
Shopping is everywhere, but we couldn’t go without mentioning the Cedros Design District (named for Cedros Avenue, the street it’s on). This area has over 85 different boutiques, cafes, art galleries, and other small shops. If you love aquatic photography, don’t forget to check out Aaron Chang’s gallery, as well as the collection of nature photography at Gallery Bonuccelli. The North Coast Repertory Theatre is the spot to hit for thespians of all ages, and the Solana Beach Heritage Museum (housed in the first house ever built in Solana) offers a video of Solana Beach’s past. Don’t forget to check out the weekly Solana Beach Certified Farmers Marke open every Sunday from 124 PMM.
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