Summer is finally here! Can’t you feel it? See it? Smell it? Kids are out of school. Camps are filling up, people are renting vacation homes. The “Zonies” are coming! People are flocking to our town to enjoy the vibes, sea air and all the events we have to offer all summer long. Below are 35 Reasons Why Summer Rocks in Encinitas and some of our suggestions for summer fun:
- Take a Staycation: Stay in town, rent a beach hotel and live like a tourist. It can be the best vacation ever to enjoy all the fun local events, music, food, beaches and activities. Vacation homes, hotels and motels and campsites are waiting for you to stay for a couple of days. There is nothing like doing nothing near a perfect pool for a couple of days in SD
- Del Mar Fair: June 5-July 4th. Try the latest cooking concoctions like chocolate bacon, view all the best contraptions and numerous animals, ride a roller coaster, enjoy the endless shows and concerts. Have a cocktail, hot dog, barbequed corn, ice cream and deep fried snicker’s bar. Look at all the exhibits and competitions. Bungee Jump! Walk until your feel throb for a Footsie-Wootsie break. Buy a pass and go as often as you like. Please ride public transportation please and help keep our highways flowing. Buses run from the Solana Beach train station and Polo Club near Del Mar. Discount tickets at Albertson’s and Vons.
- Summer Concerts: Every beach city has them, Solana Beach hosts the Belly Up Tavern where even the Rolling Stones recently held a private concert! Beach concerts happen in Encinitas at Moonlight Beach, in Solana Beach at Fletcher Cove, Carlsbad at various parks and street fairs. Classic, Rock, Contemporary, Jazz and Pop Music are everywhere!
- Farmer’s Markets: Are blossoming right now and offer a wide variety of fresh summer fruits, flowers and great outdoor dining. Encinitas has two of them. Try the Sunday morning one off of Vulcan and Union at the Paul Ecke Elementary School from 10-2. It’s huge and all the locals are there. There’s a smaller one at 600 Vulcan on Wednesdays afternoons to evening (4-8 pm).
- The Beaches: Are king right now. Many are offering summer camps like Jr. Lifeguard (Moonlight and Ponto beaches) and surf camps and private surf lessons are everywhere. The water is warming up and it’s time to jump in! Local tide pools and Dog Beach are wonderful ways to explore and play with the pooch.
- Go Camping: We have exceptional campgrounds in Carlsbad and Cardiff by the Sea. Across the street from the Cardiff location is the amazing Cardiff Sea Side Market complex with a great array of shops including Starbucks, Postal Center, Yoga Studio, Speciality food shops, great restaurants and the the gourmet market itself. This is the place you can get outstanding meats to grill in the campside, but also fruits, veggies, chips, drinks, gourmet salads, cheeses, desserts and the World Famous Cardiff Crack and Equally Renowned Tuna Salad Sandwiches. Not to mention, in the small complex next door is VG Donut & Bakery. They, too, are a local favorite. Ask anyone and they tell you how amazing VG’s is. Oh my, camping never tasted so good.
- Festivals, Car Rallies: They are abundant up and down the coast and offer a close up view of the restoration, preservation and beauty of these dazzling classic cars.
- Horse Track Season: Opening day at the Del Mar Racetrack is in early July, get your hat together and enjoy the races! “And they are off….”
- Beer Brewing: San Diego is fast becoming a mecca for the beer lovers of the world. We have so many new brewing companies that it is hard to keep up with them. Beloved Pizza Port, found both in Solana Beach and Carlsbad, is an award winner in both beer and pizza. Stone Brewing Company, of Escondido, has wonderful award-winning brews, amazing food, grounds and gardens.
- Wine Tasting: We are blessed with many wine tasting venues all over San Diego, especially in North County where many tastings are accompanied by delightful food pairings including cheeseboards, artesian pizzas and the like.
- Theater: We have many small theater groups in North County as does all of San Diego. There is incredible entertainment to be had in visual arts, musical and live theater. We have many city venues including our own La Paloma Theater which hosts new and classic movies, theater and poetry slams. Don’t forget the Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park. They always perform a trio of Shakespearian plays and alternate with other contemporary and classic productions throughout the summer.
- Museums: San Diego has great Museums from Oceanside to Balboa Park (free weekly admission days). We have surf museums, Contemporary Art and Photographic ones, Children Exploration Museums, amazing Scripps Institute on the ocean near La Jolla with aquarium tanks and numerous sea exhibits. Balboa Park has museums of History, Art, Science and Space and all are near the world famous SD Zoo. In Encinitas we has a Heritage Museum located on Quail Road between Encinitas and Leucadia Boulevards.
- Zoo and SD Safari Park: These amazing animal viewing parks open early and late in the summer to provide cooler viewing hours. Daily passes and yearly memberships available.
- Sea World: A wonderful place to stay cool and visit all the water loving animals. Wonderful exhibits and hands on interactive opportunities for all. Day passes or yearly memberships.
- LEGOLAND: Found in Carlsbad, this place is the ultimate amusement park for your little contractor. Every conceivable structure that can been built with Legos is here. Rides, concession stands with food, drinks and gifts, picnic areas and endless amazement! Annual Passes are also available.
- Parks: Try SD Park and Recreation Department for a list of Encinitas Parks. We have all kinds here. Great little ones and large ones that offering a range of playgrounds, ball parks, skate parks, bocce ball and horseshoe pits. Our latest is a mega park near Santa Fe Road just west of I-5. There are many dog parks too.
- Beautiful Gardens: If you haven’t yet been to the Self Realization Center or SD Botanical gardens in town, go immediately and thank us later. World famous Balboa Park hosts magnificent gardens throughout the entire park. Our local lagoons in Carlsbad and Cardiff have observatory decks and are home to many migratory birds. Great trails for walking and biking throughout the north coastal area are everywhere.
- Go Fishing: Great deep sea fishing is here. Marinas in Oceanside, Mission Bay, Harbor Island and other harbors have fishing boats and crews ready for hire.
- Sail or Rent a Boat: Vendors in Mission Bay, Harbor Island and Coronado rent boats, jet skis, and other water vehicles by the hour. Fun way to spend an afternoon.
- Learn to Surf: Private and group lessons and throughout San Diego. Even dogs are in on the action here. Paddle Boards can be rented too. Learn this great new sport that has become so popular in San Diego. Paddling Kayaks in La Jolla Bay to explore the nearby sea caves are also a fun sport.
- Great Restaurants: We have so many wonderful places that offer great indoor and outdoor dining all along the Coast Highway and inland along El Camino Real. Have you been to the Naked Café or Swamis Cafe? Don’t forget the new Biergarden near Whole Foods or Solace and the Moonlight Lounge nearby. A visit to Juanita’s Mexican is a must as is a coffee and muffin from the Pannekin both found on Hwy 101. Try Haggo’s Organic Tacos for outstanding handmade Mexican food or Lofty Coffee on the famous coast highway for their exotic coffee drinks. You can’t go wrong ordering Mexican food here but don’t overlook our outstanding Japanese, fish, pizza and killer burger joints. We are famous in Encinitas for having every kind of cuisine from gourmet artisan pizzas, tacos and hotdogs (Jerry’s Dogs in Carlsbad is outstanding) to fresh fish delights, flaming steaks and kebobs. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. Encinitas is a foodie’s haven for sure! Bon Appetit!
- Stores: Highway 101 offers of plethora of unusual, fun and delightful shops to browse in. Everything: including beach gear, jewelry, surf wear and gear, sunglasses, bakeries, garden shops, beads stores, furniture and many hip clothing boutiques are sprinkled among great eateries and bars on Highway 101. Along El Camino Real you will find wonderful clothing stores (try the Forum Shopping Complex), Home Depot, big box type stores, delicious restaurants ranging from BBQ and fine dining to the best Mexican and comfy fare imaginable.
- Classes: You can paint in a local restaurant, take a course from the Lux Art Institute on El Camino Real, attend a extension or Adult Education class at our local high schools or at Mira Costa College with campuses found both north and south of Encinitas. Local Artists often open their studios for private lessons. The library is always a great source for local artistic events. Our Encinitas Community Center has numerous classes and courses, Senior Center, huge basketball court, and a full facility with kitchens and ballrooms that can be rented by city residents. Private dance and martial art studios are found throughout town.
- Water Parks: The Wave in Vista and Chula Vista have big ones.
- Go to the Ballpark: Go Padres! Petco Park is an amazing venue and has many dining and seating choices.
- Ride a Horse: There are numerous places to ride in San Diego from beach access riding near the Mexican border to inland pastureland of east county and even in and near Encinitas. Olivenhain hosts many groomed trails as does Rancho Santa Fe and the Lake Hodges area in Escondido.
- Wine Taste : Always a fun day to rent a limo and hit the Temecula Wineries. The very adventurous might look into exploring the San Guadalupe Valley south of the border for an some new wineries that are becoming established there. Stay the night in one the local inns for a great day and evening of genuine Mexican hospitality. Encinitas has small tasting rooms up and down 101 and in boutique shopping centers on El Camino Real. Wine Steals in Cardiff is hot spot. Also try Solterra Winery & Bistro (101) and 3rd Corner Shop and Bistro also on 101.
- Picnic: Most beaches allow you to cook and picnic. Tables are provided at many local beaches as are fire pits at some locations. A great way to end a hot day with friends and family is picnictime at the beach. We have beautiful parks throughout the area that welcome picnics and small gatherings without reservations. Bigger groups can reserve through Parks and Recs.
- Balloon Rides: Out of Del Mar and Temecula. Wow.
- Ride Your Bike: A favorite sport with local cyclists. Many great treks along ocean, mountains or desert of San Diego are found in local books or Google search. Mountain bike enthusiasts will find numerous trails “to rip it up” on in local and nearby areas.
- Jump off a Cliff: Hang Gliders can be found doing exactly that at the Gliderport in La Jolla. Lessons, certification and tandem flights available. Located at 2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Drive, La Jolla CA 92037 – USA. Call: (858) 452-9858. flytorrey.com
- Chili Cook-offs and Street Fairs : Ocean Beach has a Chili cook-off every at the end of June (27th). Street Fairs are found in all coastal cities all through summer.
- Volunteer: Build a home for the needy, work a soup kitchen, help kids learn to swim, surf, guide a tour, work in a community garden. There are as many opportunities as you can imagine.
- Read, Read, Read: Catch up on those books you’ve been storing for a time just like this! Library programs for children, teens and adults at our incredible local Encinitas Library.
- Plant a garden and send us pictures of your best blooms. Perfect weather make for great summer gardens.
Hope your summer is the best! Stay safe and wear your sunscreen!
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