Quaint beach town with one-of-a-kind finds
Loosely translated to mean “sunny spot,” Solana Beach is a quiet refuge with family friendly beaches and a shopper’s mecca known locally as “The Avenue with Everything.
Restaurants, Shopping, Activities & More!
Located along San Diego’s north coast and nestled between glitzy Del Mar to the south and eclectic Encinitas to the north, Solana Beach has a mellow, small-town feel that compels visitors to take it slow. Along with gorgeous bluffs overlooking the ocean and a serene shoreline, Solana Beach boasts one of San Diego’s top shopping districts, plus great restaurants and nightlife.
- You can spend a whole day at the Cedros Design District, one of San Diego favorite shopping areas, and not run out of things to see and do. Filled solely with independent boutiques and businesses–many of which are housed in Quonset huts from the 1940s–it is a 2 ½ block mingling of art galleries, antique shops, home decor imports, European eateries, day spas, cafes, restaurants and more, including the legendary music venue, the Belly Up.
- Each Sunday afternoon, Cedros Design District add to their shopping options by hosting a farmers market filled with local seasonal fruits and vegetables, baked good and fresh flowers, along with a selection of craftsman and artisans displaying their wares.
- Located a block north of the Design District, Claire’s on Cedros is a cozy LEED-certified cottage that was designed to be as sustainable-focused as their menu. Prized for the freshly baked pastries and breads, Claire’s serves California-style comfort food that includes Quinoa Cake Benedict, Corn & Zucchini Enchiladas, Shrimp & Grits and the not-to-be-missed signature pancakes known as “Clairecakes.” A recent addition is their just-as-healthy grab & go bakery/coffee shop located across the street from the restaurant.
- At the northern part of town is Pizza Port’s original location where they started it all in 1987. A long-time local favorite for their pizzas–optionally made with their signature wholegrain beer crust–they were also one of San Diego’s earliest craft breweries (from 1992) and influential in making San Diego the craft beer capital it is today.
- Family-owned, and still family-run, Tony’s Jacal has been cooking up old school Mexican food since 1946. The setting is festive with live mariachi music and the food is traditional with some surprises—turkey is substituted for chicken in several dishes. Favorites from the extensive menu include the authentic sopes, chiles rellenos and mole, plus the crispy turkey tacos.
- Regularly voted “San Diego’s Best Live Music Venue” and heralded as one of the hottest live music venues on the West Coast by Rolling Stone magazine, the legendary Belly Up has been bringing great live music to San Diego since 1974. Over the years, this casual, intimate setting has hosted renowned musicians such as B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Maroon5 and Ludacris.
- A blend of art and nature, Solana Beach’s segment of the Coastal Rail Trail is a 1.7 mile meandering path perfect for walkers, joggers, bicyclists and skaters that delights with award-winning artwork and landscaping along the way. Beginning with two whimsical arches as the southern end, the trail includes sculptures, benches featuring sea creature mosaics and poetry-etched moon-shaped tiles embedded in the concrete. See how many of them you can find!
- Fletcher Cove Beach is a small, protected inlet that is great for swimming, bodyboarding, surfing, surf-fishing and kayaking. Families will especially appreciate the adjacent playground and grassy area with restrooms, picnic tables and a basketball court.
- Approximately ½ mile north of Fletcher Cove, Tide Beach Park is a beautiful sand beach with a large reef and delightful tide pools. At low tide, neon-bright sea anemones, purple urchins, barnacles, crabs and starfish become temporarily marooned for all to see.
- Founded in 1982, the North Coast Repertory Theatre stages high-quality, award-winning productions by established and emerging playwrights in an intimate 194-seat setting.
- Drive down the coastline on Historic Highway 101 from laid-back Oceanside to luxurious La Jolla enjoying the diverse and vibrant communities along the way that capture the true essence of a Southern California coastal vacation.
- Every May since 1979, Solana Beach kicks off summer with the Fiesta del Sol. This “celebration of the sun” spans two days that are filled with continuous music– everything from rock to reggae—local artisan crafts, kids activity area, and specialty food. The main location is Fletcher Cove, with a secondary celebration within the Cedros Design District.
- The Solana Beach Triathlon, Duathlon & Aquabike takes place each year in late July. The swim portion starts and finishes at Fletcher Cove, while the biking and running portions cruise along historic Highway 101. A gauntlet of high-fives awaits all finishers.
“Solana Beach Beckons”, San Diego, SanDiego.org.