When I first moved to San Diego nearly 5yrs ago, it was a place full of wonder and adventure. I had explored down town a few times, but I always found myself loving the north side of San Diego more. Where it is peaceful and quaint. I still have more exploring to do, in fact, it’s never ending, but I wanted to list out some of my favorite places to go or eat at, right now. This may be a top 10 list that gets updated bi-yearly or yearly. But, in celebration of my 5yr anniversary coming up on Halloween, I wanted to share my favorites so far.
10 Places to Check Out in San Diego
#1 Torrey Pines
This was the first place I visited when I first moved here. I had moved in a very depressed state after a heart wrenching break up, and this was my happy place. It truly is as beautiful as you think it would be. It’s about a 4 mile hike, or you can just lay on the beach and soak up the sun. But, it’s worth it to hike to the top for the view.
#2 Better Buzz Coffee in Encinitas
The vibe here is all about cycling and health nuts. I love the interior design of this place. They have great food, coffee, and drinks. My favorite on the menu is the Moonlight Date Smoothie
#3 San Elijo Lagoon
This trail is perfect for a morning walk or run. The dirt trails are really mellow, although can be sandy, and you feel like you are off the beaten path somewhere.
#4 Pacific Coast Grill
Want to eat right on the beach? This is the spot. Their drinks are delicious and they have amazing garlic and rosemary bread. I swear I one time ate a loaf to myself. I also love their Paella.
All the food has a campfire theme, smoked, charcoal, etc. Their drinks are the best I’ve ever had. Super creative and delicious and they definitely don’t skimp on the amount of alcohol. Two Beet Drinks and I was toast. This restaurant just opened in downtown Carlsbad. It’s best to make a reservation. Definitely on the pricey side.
#6 Potato Chip Rock Hike
This is a very famous hike, but worth it for the fun experience of climbing up on the rock and feeling like you are on the edge of a mountain. You can have fun taking photos that make it look like you are on an all natural diving board with nothing underneath you. A pretty challenging hike that definitely takes about 3hrs.
#7 Dog Beach
Love dogs? This is your spot. 100’s of people go here every day to bring their dog to play in the ocean and on the beach. Get all the love you need right here.
#8 Julian Pie Company/Dudley’s
Not in San Diego county but worth it for the experience. They serve some of the best pie I’ve ever had, and that’s coming from a Wisconsin girl, where apple’s were practically growing in my backyard.
#9 Naked Café in Solana Beach
The healthiest and most delicious breakfast place in San Diego, in my opinion. The restaurant has an ocean view, and the food is interesting and has some fresh flavors to it. Very vegetarian and vegan friendly if that’s your jam.
Love shopping? Or window shopping? Cedros Ave in Solana Beach is full of interesting boutiques that you can explore for hours. It is pretty much the “art district” of north county.
#10 The Taco Stand
Want to feel like you are really in Mexico? This place’s decor is on point. When you stop in, it truly feels like you might have just been transported down to Mexico. They are really new, and just opened on the 101 in Encinitas, but we are loving it! They just opened up their outdoor patio, which makes the experience even better, because now the crowd isn’t overwhelming. I love their carne asada, al pastor, and shrimp tacos. Toph loves their Al Pastor California Burrito. You can’t go wrong with either.
What are your favorite places in San Diego?