We hop down to San Diego as much as we can. We always stay at my boyfriends family’s beach house in Encinitas, which is a very special place to him, and has become very special to me over the years, too! It’s no surprise that San Diego also becomes a special place to most people that visit – the relaxed vibe, fantastic food, and healthy lifestyle makes it quite easy to fall in love with.
We’ve had so many fun memories running to the beach in the early morning, watching countless sunsets with a crisp glass of wine, spending time with family, and, of course, eating at all the incredible restaurants sprinkled along the coast.
San Diego Mornings
We usually start our day with a workout on the beach, or, if we’re feeling sleepy, a run to grab a cold brew and then a leisurely walk in town. I then like to relax with a book for a few hours and take in the beautiful ocean breeze. Did I mention how much I love San Diego? 🙂
As the sun starts to shine stronger, I like to head out and explore Del Mar or downtown Encinitas for drinks and lunch. Del Mar is adorable to walk through and pick up little knick knacks and home decor. Stopping at the L’Auberge hotel for an afternoon pinot grigio is another great option post brunch or lunch. Sometimes we head to La Jolla in the afternoon to have a drink at Duke’s (where we went for the 4th of July one year, highly recommend!), then shop away the afternoon. Hi Sweetheart boutique is a must stop, it has the cutest gifts and stationary. Downtown Carlsbad is fun to grab a margarita and people watch. Stop at Chandler’s for sea view happy hour on your way back to Encinitas.
My favorite eats in and around Encinitas:
- Better Buzz Coffee – I would literally fly to SD just to eat and sip a coffee at BBC. My go-to order is their famous mint iced coffee with heavy cream (no sugar added for me, please!), avocado toast, and a fresh acai bowl. The branding, decor, and food is impressive.
- Swamy’s Cafe – A busy order-up restaurant with fresh baked goods and strong coffee.
- The Encinitas Cafe – An old school, mom and pop diner. Come here for the grand slam! Side note, they have $3 mimosas. Score.
- Union Kitchen – Yummy burgers and bottomless mimosas. Need I say more?
- Pacific Coast Grill – We haven’t not come here during a visit. Fantastic seafood, sushi, burgers, and sandwiches. Enjoy your meal in a fabulous atmosphere looking over the beach. This is where you get your insta-worthy shots.
- Jake’s – This beachfront restaurant is the sister to Duke’s in La Jolla (mentioned above), with many other locations in Hawaii and LA. I usually shy away from restaurants that seem like a chain, but Jake’s is nothing of the sort. They have fresh sea to table food, local specials, and the best ice cream cake in the world. See below if you don’t believe me! We were all fighting for the first bite… 🙂
Where to drink:
- Culture Brewery – Almost a year old, this new brewery is the hot spot in town. The space is bright and airy, and their brew selection is bountiful.
- Soleterra Winery & Kitchen – We just discovered this wine bar and restaurant on our last trip. It was the perfect place to sip red wine post dinner at their outdoor tables.
- Shelter – Actually a shelter look-a-like, this bar literally doesn’t have a roof. I thought I had too many cocktails one night and imagined it but, nope! I love ending a perfect Encinitas night here. They always have strong drinks and a lively crowd.
- Solace and the Moonlight Lounge – Yummy tequila cocktails!
- Bier Garden Encinitas – We *accidently* ate a huge plate of pretzel bites before dinner here during our last visit. The food and drinks are always outstanding, and this place is a must stop every time we’re in town. They also have an 8.2% beer selection, yikes!
Before heading to the Airport we always schedule our flight back around 7pm. That way, we can lug our weekend bags around downtown San Diego and stop at our favorite place in Little Italy, Ballast Point, an outdoor beer garden for dinner and local beers.