Fans of Coastal San Diego

This site is for the many fans of coastal San Diego, those who have lived here for years, as well as those new to the area. Here you can learn more about the different communities, the many things to do and places to visit in and around San Diego, share your experiences, and ask for advice and recommendations for restaurants, shopping, visitor activities, places to live, and more! Buyers thinking about moving here will find lots of information to help, too!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Things to do in San Diego - Part 1

I thought I'd share just a few ideas of things to do in San Diego. The list is truly amazing, so this is just a first installment, and with weather that encourages you to be outside year-round, there is something for everyone. For more ideas and some resources, visit my website! And there are some area photos there as well.

Beaches - lots of terrific ones for taking walks, admiring sunsets (with a picnic and wine), surfing and surfing lessons (for you OR the kids), fishing, family time. Even in the chillier winters, time at the beach can be special - fewer people. There are places to have fires, you can take your own grill, etc. Beaches, like most of California, tend to get very crowded in the summer, especially at holiday time (e.g., Mission Beach and the whole Mission Bay area; Ocean Beach). Be aware that a number of communities now prohibit smoking on the beaches. Just a few well-known beaches include Swami's (surfing) and Moonlight Beach (SEE PHOTO, located in South Encinitas - they have a drum circle under the palm tree every week, or most), the South Carlsbad State Beach, and Black's Beach in La Jolla (famous for a clothing optional area and dramatic cliffs).

Restaurants - While San Diego is not known as a foodie capitol, that reputation is gradually changing. Lots of new creative chefs in the area, and new restaurants springing up all the time. We still have a ways to go to compete with Los Angeles and San Francisco as great food cities here in California, and perhaps we will never have that dynamic a food atmosphere. Zagat and SignOnSanDiego both are good resources for recommendations on restaurants. I have found it safest to get recommendations from people I know (not a guarantee but better than going cold), especially in North County. Many restaurants here are in strip malls, at least in North County. Some higher-end restaurants in the area I have tried include Vivace (at the Four Seasons Aviara in Carlsbad), and Blue Fire Grill (La Costa Spa and Resort in Carlsbad - pricey given what you get, atmosphere is OK). Some other more casual and decent choices I have tried include Savory, Meritage, FireFly Grill and Wine Bar, Sage Grill in Encinitas; Yellow Coyote at the Forum in Carlsbad and Le Passage in Carlsbad Village (charming French-style with a great outdoor patio under the trees); Cuvee in Del Mar (views along the lagoon but on a busy street, but worth the visit); My Place (French bistro on Girard in La Jolla); Indigo Grill in Little Italy with indoor and outdoor dining. I could go on and on. What is particularly nice much of the year is being able to dine outside if you so choose.

Quail Botanical Gardens in Encinitas is a great place to enjoy tropical vegetation and learn a bit as well. Lots of variety, rainforest-like atmosphere, and handicapped-accessible. They have a great Holiday display of lights where you can wander after dark, and there are activities for young and old.

That's it for now. Check back often or bookmark this page to learn more!


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Jeff Dowler (RE/MAX Associates): Real Estate Agent in Carlsbad, San Diego County, California on