Things to Do

BEACHES / PARKS & HIKING

 

Solana Beach –

The City of Solana Beach encompasses 1.7 miles of beach front bordered on the north by Cardiff State Beach, and on the south by the City of Del Mar. The beach front is divided into four main Beach Parks: Fletcher Cove, Tide Beach Park, Seascape Surf, and Del Mar Shores. These beaches provide a wide variety of recreational activities for City residents and visitors. Below is a description of each beach park located in the City of Solana Beach.

Fletcher Cove, also commonly known as Pillbox because of its history as a WWII Gunnery installation, is the main beach park in the City of Solana Beach. Located at 111 S. Sierra, at the end of Plaza street where Lomas Santa Fe Boulevard meets the beach, Fletcher Cove offers easy public access. A public parking lot located at the Cove as well as free street parking ensure that parking is seldom a problem for visitors traveling to the beach by vehicle. Fletcher Cove is also conveniently located only a few hundred yards from the Solana Beach train station, providing easy access to those visitors traveling to Solana Beach via Amtrak and the Coaster rail lines. A public access leads from the parking lot to a beautiful beach with excellent recreational opportunities for surfing, surf-fishing, swimming, body-boarding, jogging, and walking. There are public showers and restroom facilities as well as picnic tables and a basketball court located on top of the bluffs next to the Marine Safety Department Headquarters. Lifeguards are on duty year round at Fletcher Cove, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the winter months, and from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the summer months.

Tide Beach Park is located approximately 1/2 mile north of Fletcher Cove, Tide Beach Park can be reached via the public access located at 302 Solana Vista Drive, at the intersection of Solana Vista and Pacific. Parking at Tide Park is limited to free street parking. The park is equipped with showers, but there are no public restrooms. The beach itself is mostly known for its large reef, or “Table Tops,” and its beautiful tide pools located at the park’s northern border. Tide Park provides excellent recreational opportunities for surfing, surf-fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, body-boarding, jogging, and walking. Lifeguards are on duty at Tide Park only during the summer months from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Seascape Surf; Known to many surfers as Cherry Hill, Seascape Surf is situated approximately 1/2 mile south of Fletcher Cove. Public access to the Beach Park is provided via a stairway located at 501 S. Sierra Avenue. In addition to free street parking, free parking is also available in a public parking lot located across the street from the beach access. Public showers are located above the beach access, but there are no public restrooms. Wide sandy beaches provide excellent recreational opportunities for beach activities such as walking, jogging, and Frisbee throwing. Seascape Surf is also an excellent location for surfing, surf-fishing, swimming, body-boarding, snorkeling, and other water related activities. Lifeguards are on duty at Seascape Surf only during the summer months from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Del Mar Shores is located approximately 3/4 miles from Fletcher Cove at the City’s Southern boarder. Access to Del Mar Shores is provided via a public stairway located at 180 Del Mar Shores Terrace. There is free street parking as well as three small free public parking lots located near the intersection of Del Mar Shores Terrace and Sierra Avenue. There are no public showers or restrooms located at the beach park. However, the beach park does provide a scenic viewpoint and excellent recreational opportunities for surfing, surf-fishing, swimming, body-boarding, snorkeling, jogging, walking, and picnicking. Lifeguards are on duty at Del Mar Shores only during the summer months from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Del Mar –

Del Mar has one of the most beautiful and enjoyable beaches in all of San Diego.  With over two miles of sandy beach, it’s a great place to relax, walk, run and play. Two coastal parks, Powerhouse and Seagrove, are located just above the 15th Street surf break; providing a great spot to picnic with friends and family.

Del Mar Lifeguards are located at: 1700 Coast Blvd, Del Mar,  92014  |  Phone: 858-755-1556  |  Lifeguard Emergency: 858-755-1555

North Beach, affectionately called “Dog Beach” by dog owners, is located north of 29th Street (3006 Sandy Lane, Del Mar, CA 92014) and stretches nearly one half mile to our border with Solana Beach.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is located at 12600 North Torrey Pines Road, San Diego, CA 92037.   You’ll enjoy amazing hiking trails, views and stunning overlooks in this truly beautiful and clean environment.

Scripps Bluff Preserve is located above Dog Beach and is a relatively steep climb, BUT the view is worth every step. Savor the sunset at this lesser-known preserve. This bluff gives you a 360-degree view of the coastline and the inland lagoons. To access the bluff, use paid parking at North Beach along Camino del Mar.  As you walk onto North Beach, look for a wooden staircase to your right. Follow the staircase up to a trail that leads you to the top of the bluff.

Encinitas –

Moonlight State Beach at the end of Encinitas Boulevard is where the shore drops down nearer to sea level, and is the easiest of Encinitas’ beaches to find and use. With a large sandy area, a recreational playground, snack bar, bathrooms, showers, fire pits, volleyball courts and ample parking, this is a popular beach for families and vacationers looking to spend the whole day at the beach.

D Street is the access point to the mile-long beach also known as Boneyards that runs below the bluffs from Moonlight Beach south to Swami’s point. D Street is a rocky cobblestone-encumbered spot better suited to surfing than sunbathing, although some of those dedicated enough to make the pilgrimage are also devoted enough to bare it all, despite state law.

Swami’s is the popular surf break at the southernmost end of Encinitas, set below bluffs where the golden-spired Self-Realization Center is located—an enduring symbol of Encinitas’ positive and spiritual vibe. A great surf break, this spot is highly coveted by local surfers.

La Jolla –

Windansea Beach:  Underwater reefs and jutting rocks create fierce waves at Windansea; you’re more likely to find experienced surfers than families with small children. The secluded, breathtaking scenery attracts admirers as well, particularly the romantic type. The historic and often photographed surf shack on the beach makes a popular backdrop for wedding photos and richly colored sunset shots. Located at the end of Nautilus Street, with a small parking lot as well as street parking.

La Jolla Children’s Pool:  Originally conceived as a protected swimming area for children, the sea-walled cove began to fill with sand and eventually, harbor seals. There is still ongoing debate over who is more entitled to this spot—children or the seals—but it does not diminish its appeal to tourists and locals. It’s a great place to take a photo. Free parking along Coast Blvd, accessible from nearby paid lots as well.

La Jolla Cove is San Diego’s most desirable spot for swimming, snorkeling and diving. The water is calm and ecologically protected, providing a safe home for colorful garibaldi, yellowtail, rays and even leopard sharks. Because the water is protected, surfboards, boogie boards and other floatation devices are not permitted. The beach itself is small, but nearby Scripps Park offers a nice grassy expanse for spreading out. Parking is available in nearby paid lots, with a few street spots available for the lucky.

La Jolla Shores: A long, wide beach with soft sand, clean water and gentle waves, La Jolla Shores is an ideal spot for families, sunbathers and beginner surfers.

The beach is cozy and comfortable, with a nice picnic area at the adjacent Kellogg Park. The beach offers a large parking lot and free parking on nearby residential streets.

Black’s Beach:  Beautiful and isolated, Black’s is located north of Scripps Pier, beneath the Torrey Pines Gliderport and close to UCSD. Access it by walking from Shores or descending the rough cliff path from above. The north portion of Black’s is clothing-optional, where nudists bask in the sun and play volleyball without bathing suits.

In general, dogs are not allowed on beaches during the day. Alcohol, smoking and beach fires are not permitted. No overnight camping. Please check each beach’s posted rules.

 

ACTIVITIES & SPORTS

Surfing –

Del Mar, specifically, is known for it’s great beach and reef breaks. From the north end of Del Mar, heading south, there are beach breaks from 29th to 15th Streets, with 25th, 23rd & 19th seeming to break a bit better than the others. From 15th Street, there are very good reef breaks at the ends of many of the streets, with a short climb down the sandstone bluffs to get to the water. Due to limited parking in the city, the breaks rarely get too crowded. Also, within 20 minutes north or south, you’ll find some of the best surfing in California.

Cycle the Coast –

Take a ride down San Diego’s coastline on the historic Pacific Coast Highway. If your preference is dirt, San Diego’s Coast to Crest trail begins just a half mile from Del Mar.  Revolution Bikes is the place to rent road bikes and stop by Elecycle for electric bike rentals.  

Paddle the Cove – 

Join a guided kayak tour of La Jolla’s marine ecological reserve containing five distinct marine environments in less than 2 square miles making it one of the most unique stretches of coastline in California! Sandy beach, rocky shallows, steep cliffs, kelp forests, and deep water canyons all host their own flora and fauna and all meet right here!

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) – 

Our area is filled with fantastic spots for stand up paddleboarding. Whether you’re an experienced paddler or a first-timer, there are plenty of great places to paddle and shops where you can rent gear. If you’re interested in paddling, we highly recommend checking out Inflatable Boarder’s California SUP guide for additional information.

Glide the Cliffs –

Get your adrenaline pumping and take in the beautiful Pacific views like no other. The San Diego GliderPort offers tandem gliding and hang gliding straight off the cliffs over the beautiful San Diego coast. 

Golf –

Torrey Pines Golf Course 11480 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037  |  858.581.7171.

The Fairmont Grand Golf Club  5300 Grand Del Mar, San Diego, CA 92130.  To schedule a tee time call 858.314.1930.

Lomas Santa Fe Executive 1580 Sun Valley Rd, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  858.755.0195

 

SHOPPING

Solana Beach –

Cedros Design District S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075.  Just north of Del Mar in neighboring Solana Beach, discover San Diego’s design district’s shops and galleries – displaying one-of-a-kind items you’d never find in department stores.

Del Mar –

Del Mar Plaza1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014 858.847.2284.  Breathtaking ocean views and more than 30 fine shops, boutiques and restaurants.

La Jolla –

Westfield UTC 4545 La Jolla Village Dr e, San Diego, CA 92122  |  858.546.8858.  Westfield UTC is a shopping destination in San Diego featuring open-air plazas with beautiful relaxation areas, a dog park, ArcLight Cinemas and an exciting range of shops and eateries.  

San Diego –

Fashion Valley 7007 Friars Rd, San Diego, CA 92108.  This outdoor, two-level, luxury shopping mall is a must see for shopaholics.  200+ stores and cafes with designer shops and popular anchors; Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom.

Carlsbad –

Carlsbad Premium Outlets 5620 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008.  Located a few minutes north are 90 outlet stores at Carlsbad Premium Outlets. Find impressive savings at Banana Republic, Barney’s New York, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Crate and Barrel, Juicy Couture, Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, Polo Ralph Lauren, Theory, Tommy Hilfiger and more.

 

ATTRACTIONS

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and Fairgrounds 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014.  Del Mar is nationally known for its racetrack, “Where The Turf Meets The Surf,” and ever-popular thoroughbred-racing season from mid-July through early September plus the new fall season in November. In June, the Fairgrounds become home to the San Diego County Fair where visitors can enjoy live music, carnival rides, and all of the sights and sounds of a regional fair.  

San Diego Botanical Gardens 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas CA 92024 | 760.436.3036.  The mission of the Garden is to inspire people of all ages to connect with plants and nature. With over 30 different gardens to choose from, this is the perfect place to explore many unique gardens and landscapes. 

Seaworld –  500 Sea World Drive, San Diego, CA 92109.  Spread across 190 acres on beautiful Mission Bay Park, SeaWorld is known for amazing animal shows, interactive attractions, aquariums, rides, beautiful landscaping and education programs for all ages.  Over the last 50 years, SeaWorld San Diego’s Rescue Team has taken in and cared for more than 16,000 marine animals. The goal of the rescue program is to rescue, rehabilitate and return animals to the wild, giving them a second chance at life.

Legoland –  1 LEGOLAND Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008.  An interactive, hands-on theme park experience for families with more than 60 rides, shows and attractions.  It is also home to SEA LIFE Aquarium and the world’s first LEGOLAND Water Park.

San Diego Zoo 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92112.  One of the area’s most popular attractions, the 100-acre the San Diego Zoo is home to over 3,700 rare and endangered animals representing more than 650 species and subspecies, and a prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 exotic plants.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park –  15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, CA 92027.  The Safari Park is an expansive wildlife sanctuary that is home to more than 2,600 animals representing more than 300 species. Its renowned botanical collection represents 3,500 species and 1.5 million specimens. Over half of the Park’s 1,800 acres have been set aside as protected native species habitat. It is located 30 miles north of downtown San Diego in the San Pasqual Valley near Escondido.

Birch Aquarium 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037.  Explore where the wonders of the ocean come alive! The mission of Birch Aquarium is to provide ocean science education, to interpret Scripps Institution of Oceanography research, and to promote ocean conservation.

Balboa Park –  1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101.  Encompassing 1,200 acres, Balboa Park is truly the cultural heart of San Diego, with 15 museums, 8 gardens and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Often referred to as the “Smithsonian of the West,” Balboa Park is the largest urban park in North America, exceeding even Central Park in New York in size.  Filled with cultural treasures, architectural grandeur, lush landscapes, stunning gardens and award-winning performing arts, it will take more than one day to see and enjoy it all. 

USS Midway 910 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA, 92101, alongside Navy Pier.  The USS Midway Museum is an unforgettable adventure for the entire family. Guests can spend the day exploring more than 60 exhibits with a collection of 29 restored aircraft. The self-guided audio tour, narrated by Midway sailors, brings the carrier’s history to life. Those who dare can “take to the sky” aboard one of two flight simulators.

The Flower Fields 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008.  Noted for being one of the most beloved spring traditions in San Diego, it opens annually in March for 6-8 weeks showcasing the Tecolote Ranunculus.  

San Diego Seaport Village 849 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.  Come explore 50-plus diverse shops, 17 unique eateries and outdoor entertainment.

Cabrillo National Monument 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego, CA 92106.  Climbing out of his boat and onto shore in 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo stepped into history as the first European to set foot on what is now the West Coast of the United States. In addition to telling the story of 16th century exploration, the park is home to a wealth of cultural and natural resources.

Belly Up – Live Music in San Diego – 143 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, CA 92075.  Belly Up brings the best in new, up-and-coming artists as well as established legends in genres ranging from alternative rock, indie rock, rock, reggae, and hip-hop to blues, folk, jazz, Latin & more!

Disneyland 1313 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, CA 92802.  Welcome to the place where imagination is both the journey and the destination.  For all ages – it is truly the happiest place on earth!  Come build a lifetime of memories with your family.  

Old Town San Diego Old Town, San Diego, CA 92013.  Step into the California of days past.  The park recreates local life, circa 1821 to 1862.  Five original adobes are part of the park grounds, which includes shops, restaurants and museums.

Gaslamp Quarter in Downtown – Market Street, San Diego, CA 92101.  Filled with sidewalk eateries, upscale restaurants to low key cafes, jazz and dance clubs, boutiques, cigar shops and galleries.  

City of Coronado 1825 Strand Way, Coronado, CA 92118.  Coronado is decidedly upscale.  The streets are filled with historical homes and the downtown main drag is a pedestrian’s dream of amazing shops cozied up to gourmet eateries.  Don’t forget to stop by the Hotel Del, on the Pacific side, opened in 1888 and recently refurbished.  

San Diego Breweries – Recently named America’s “Craft Brew Capitol”; It’s no surprise that San Diego takes pride in their craft beer!  Spend a day (or two) discovering over 60 craft breweries and their award winning beers made in “America’s Finest City”.  Check out San Diego Magazine’s Great Brewery Search Guide here.

 

BREAKFAST & BRUNCH

Solana Beach –

Beach Grass Cafe 159 S Coast Hwy 101, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  858.509.0632

Lockwood Table  346-B South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  858.794.4919

Claire’s on Cedros  246 N. Cedros Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  858.259.8597

Naked Cafe  106 S Sierra Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  858.259.7866

Del Mar –

Stratford Court Café  | 1307 Stratford Court, Del Mar, CA 92014 |  858.792.7433

Pacifica Breeze Café  | 1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014 |  858.509.9147

Americana  | 1454 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA  92014 |  858.794.6838

Zel’s Del Mar  | 1247 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014  |858.481.1021

Prepkitchen Del Mar  | 1201 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014 |  858.792.7737

Crepes and Corks  | 1328 Camino del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014  | 858.847.3382

 

COFFEE

Solana Beach –

Lofty Coffee 132 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  760.230.6747

Solana Beach Coffee Company  Beach Walk Shopping Center, 437 Hwy 101 # 501, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  858.792.1553

Starbucks  | 2600 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014  | 858.793.4453

Del Mar –

Starbucks  | 1435 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014 |  858.793.4453

Brick15  915 Camino Del Mar #100, Del Mar, CA 92014  |858.225.1315

 

CASUAL DINING

Solana Beach –

California Pizza Kitchen  Beach Walk Shopping Center, 437 S. Hwy. 101, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  858.793.0999

Pillbox Tavern  117 Plaza St, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  858.436.7016

Wild Note Cafe 143 S Cedros Ave  t, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  858.720.9000

CUCINA Enoteca  |  2730 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014  |  858.704.4500

Samurai Japanese Restaurant  Lomas Sante Fe Plaza, 979 Lomas Santa Fe Dr, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  858.481.0032

Tony’s Jacal  621 Valley Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  858.755.2274

Fish Market Restaurant  640 Via De La Valle, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  858.755.2277

Pizza Port  135 N Hwy 101, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  858.481.7332

Burger Lounge  2710 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014  |  858.720.1200

Del Mar –

Board & Brew  | 1212 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014 |  858.481.1021

Brigantine 3263 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014 |  858.481.1166

Del Mar Pizza  211 15Th St, Del Mar, CA 92014 |  858.481.8088

En Fuego Cantina 1342 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014|  858.792.6551

Smashburger  |   1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014 858.461.4105

Café Secret  | 1140 Camino Del mar, Del Mar, CA 92014  |  858.792.0821

BeeSalt Balcony  1201 Camino Del Mar #200, Del Mar, CA 92014 858.481.9889

Prepkitchen Del Mar  1201 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014|  858.792.7737

Zel’s Del Mar  1247 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014 |  858.481.1021

Crepes and Corks  1328 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92104 |  858.847.3382

 

FINE DINING

Solana Beach –

Pamplemousse Grill  |   514 Via De La Valle, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  (858) 792-9090

MARKET  |   3702 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014  |  (858) 523-0007

Del Mar –

Jake’s Del Mar  |   1660 Coast Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014 | 858.755.2002

SHIMBASHI Izakaya  1555 Camino Del Mar #201, Del Mar 92014  858.523.0479

KITCHEN 1540 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014 |  858.793.6460

Pacifica Del Mar  |   1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014  |  858.792.0476

Poseidon Restaurant  |   1670 Coast Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014  |  858.755.9345

Sbicca  215 15th St, Del Mar, CA 92014  | 858.481.1001

 

GROCERY / PHARMACY / DRY CLEANING /

LUXURY CINEMA

Grocery Stores – 

Sprouts Farmers Market 659 Lomas Santa Fe Dr, Solana Beach,     CA 92075  |  858.350.7900     

Whole Foods Market 2600 Via De La Valle, Suite 100, Del Mar, CA 92014  |  858.755.5304

Cardiff Seaside Market –  2087 San Elijo Ave, Cardiff, CA 92007  |  (760) 753-5445

Pharmacy –

CVS Pharmacy Beachside Del Mar, 2662 Del Mar Heights Rd, Del Mar, CA 92014  |  858.481.8342 or 305 South Highway 101, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  858.259.0340

Dry Cleaning –  

Elegance Tailor and Cleaners 1130 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014 | 858.755.0995

Martinizing 661 Lomas Santa Fe Dr #A, Solana Beach, CA 92075   858.509.1148

Luxury Cinema –

Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas 12905 El Camino Real in Del Mar Highlands Town Center, San Diego, CA 92130  |  858.794.4045

 

EMERGENCY

EMERGENCY – Please call 911

Nearest Hospitals – 

Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas 354 Santa Fe Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024 |  760.230.2251 

Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla 9888 Genesee Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037 |  858.626.4123

Police Department –

San Diego Police Department 12592 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130 |  858.523.7000  

Fire Department –

Solana Beach Fire Department – 635 Hwy 101, Solana Beach, CA 92075  |  858.720.2410

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