Chelsea

9 Fun Stops For Kids Along Highway 101 in San Diego County

Moonlight Beach along the Highway 101
Moonlight Beach along the Highway 101

Moonlight Beach is just one of the places your kids will love along Highway 101

Growing up, my dad always wanted to “take the coast” home. In San Diego local speak, this meant driving along the Highway 101 versus taking the freeway. In fact, when my husband and I moved to Los Angeles for a brief four years, it was this exact stretch of road that had us asking, “Why did we ever move out of San Diego?!” Hence, we moved back. In other words, the coast highway is a gorgeously scenic route that is worth taking a drive. And if you feel like stopping along the way, here are some fun for the whole family stops to check out along Highway 101:

1. Harbor Fish Cafe

Let’s start at the north end of the Highway 101 in the town where I grew up, Carlsbad. Enjoy the very walk-friendly sidewalks along the ocean to work up an appetite and fuel your family at Harbor Fish while you catch the sunset. Go for the fish and chips while enjoying surfers and sunset views.

Where: 3179 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad, CA

2. Moonlight Beach

Just as the hot weather hits, the snow cones start calling! Head to the recently renovated snack shack at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas to pick your favorite ice flavors, then enjoy pushing your kids in the swings or watch a volley ball game or two all the while seeing the waves crash along the shore. Locals Hint: Starting in October/November, the sand hills are usually back and San Diego’s very own version of “sledding” is to grab an actual snow sled or boogie board and watch your child’s delight as they glide down the sandy “mountain.”

Where: Encinitas Blvd, straight to the water.

3. Lumber Yard

No visit to San Diego would be complete without souvenirs! Check out this seaside set of shops, including every local’s favorite kid’s store: Magical Child. Pick up a unique gift that will entertain your child on the trip home, then grab some hot chocolate from Chuao and enjoy it next to the fountain as you toss coins to make their little wishes come true.

Where: 967 S Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA

4. The Self Realization Center

First stop at Java Depot for what my kids call “monkey hot chocolate” since they attach a plastic monkey to the cup or grab smoothies from Swami’s Café. Once finished, walk over to check out the amazing plants, Koi fish and views from The Self Realization Center. With so much to see and easy to navigate, it is often an afternoon favorite for our family to visit. Also, it’s great practice in learning to be quiet as they do ask that you “keep it down.”

Where: 939 2nd St, Encinitas, CA

5. Swami’s Tide Pools

Just a short distance down the highway from The Self Realization Center is one of the top surf spots. Even better for small kids than watching the waves is searching for sea urchins in one of the many tide pools at low tide.

Where: Coast Highway, Encinitas

6. Bull Taco

True, this is an eating spot on a camping ground, but it’s a family favorite for a spectacular sunset dinner. Perched high on a cliff, enjoy 360-degree ocean views, including of La Jolla. Grab an ice cream at the camp store to finish off your delicious tacos and burritos. Local hint: pull onto the campgrounds and let them know you just need temporary parking for dinner. Or park on the coast highway and enjoy a nice walk back to the car with ocean breezes after filling those tummies.

Where: 2050 S Coast Highway 101, Cardiff, CA

7. Fletcher Cove

A gorgeous beach just two blocks in from the 101,  start your day with breakfast at the ocean view restaurant Naked Café, followed by some play time at the Fletcher Cove park play structure, then head down to the beach to collect shells. Just when you start to feel you have sufficiently worn out your wee ones, finish off the day with some lunch at the popular Pizza Port. Oh! And if you have train lovers, be sure to check out the station across the street.

Where: Solana Beach, CA – where Lomas Santa Fe meets the water

8. Torrey Pines

For a great hike in San Diego with kids, check out the easy trails along one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline. Enjoy the wild flowers and the beauty of the Torrey Pine trees. Head to the ocean after to cool off while splashing in the waves.

Where: 12600 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, Ca

9. Birch Aquarium

It’s difficult to match the view from this fun for all ages aquarium atop a bluff overlooking the ocean. Stop by to see the Octopus and “hall of fishes,” then head to the hands on exploration area for kids. And when you are ready to have your breath taken away, step outside and enjoy the tide pool display all the while taking in the magnificent views.

Where: Birch Aquarium at Scripps – 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA

With so much to do and see along one of the world’s most scenic highways, your kids are sure to be requesting “let’s take the coast” and Highway 101 in no time, too.

> Discover more of Historic Highway 101 in San Diego

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – April 25-28, 2013

From North County to Old Town to Coronado, San Diego is closing out April with some amazing events. Make sure to check out at least one of these top things to do:

Best of North County Party

San Diego Magazine's Best of North County Party

Enjoy food, wine and good friends at San Diego Magazine’s Best of North County.

Sample, sip and party along with the best that North County has to offer. Special appearances by the region’s top chefs, wine and food tastings from leading dining destinations and unexpected entertainment elements make for an unforgettable evening.

Where: Park Hyatt Aviara – 7100 Aviara Resort Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92011
When: April 26, 2013
Time: 6:30 to 9:30 PM
Cost: $50-$70
> Find out more about the Best of North County Party

Art Alive

Art Alive at the San Diego Museum of Art

Art comes to life at the San Diego Museum of Art’s Art Alive.

One hundred three floral designers will bring the San Diego Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection to life in a unique and beautiful way, including vibrant displays of color, texture and shape.

Where: San Diego Museum of Art
When: April 26-28, 2013
Cost: Included with admission. Art Alive events have separate pricing.
> Find out more about Art Alive 2013

Spring Garden Festival at Cuyamaca College

Spring Garden Festival at Cuyamaca College - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Pick up new plants, enjoy live music and learn about water conservation gardening at the Spring Garden Festival.

Urban farming is the theme of this year’s festival, which marks the event’s 20th anniversary! Visitors will enjoy demonstrations, the college nursery’s biggest plant sale of the year, Petting zoos, face painting and a farmers market.

Where: Cuyamaca Water Conservation Garden – 12122 Cuyamaca College Dr W. El Cajon, CA 92019
When: April 27, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Spring Garden Festival at Cuyamaca College

Southern California Folklórico Competition

Folklorico Dance in Old Town State Historic Park

Enjoy the traditional Folklorico Dance in Old Town State Historic Park.

Folklórico is a traditional Latin American dance that emphasizes local folk culture with ballet characteristics. Folklórico dancers from throughout Southern California will come to Old Town State Historic Park to perform their best dances as they compete for the championship.

Where: Fiesta de Reyes – 2754 Calhoun Street, San Diego, CA 92110
When: April 27-28, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Southern California Folklórico Competition

Adams Avenue Unplugged

John C. Reilly at Adams Avenue Unplugged - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Actor John C. Reilly is scheduled to perform at the 2013 Adams Avenue Unplugged

Over the course of 2 days and along the two-mile stretch of Adams Avenue, more than 180 artists will play live at 25 venues including restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, galleries and four outdoor community stages. A free shuttle will make it from one set to the next before the music starts.

When: April 27-28, 2013
Time: Saturday: 12:00 to 10:00 PM. Sunday: 12:00 to 7:00 PM.
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Adams Avenue Unplugged

Mission Federal ArtWalk

Mission Federal Art Walk Hands on Fun

Art, music and hands-on fun for the whole family at the Mission Federal ArtWalk in Little Italy.

Always the last full weekend of April, ArtWalk features more than 300 visual artists, San Diego’s top music and dance performers and KidsWalk, an interactive art playground for kids of all ages.

> Read our previous blog post about the 2013 Mission Federal ArtWalk

Encinitas Street Fair

Encinitas Street Fair

Food, music, rides, a beer garden and over 450 vendors at the Encinitas Street Fair.

Enjoy two days of unique food, five live music stages, children’s rides, beer garden, and over 450 vendors selling clothes, accessories, plants, household products, environmental products, art, antiques and home decor.

Where: South Coast Hwy 101 between D and J Streets
When: April 27-28, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Encinitas Street Fair

MotorCars on MainStreet

[youtube http://youtu.be/L3ecOT_F9KM]

Now in its 23rd year, MotorCars on Main Street is a free classic car show featuring more than 350 pre-1973 hotrods, convertibles, roadsters, trucks and other custom cars.

Where: Along Isabella and Orange Avenues in downtown Coronado
When: April 28, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
> Find out more about MotorCars on Main Street

La Jolla Half Marathon

La Jolla Half Marathon Starting Line

Cheer on these endurance runners at the La Jolla Half Marathon.

Enjoy the coastal views while cheering on these endurance runners as they run 13.1 miles through this La Jolla course. (As someone who has run this half marathon before, any encouragement at the top of Torrey Pines is welcome…that is one heck of a hill!). If you are up for it, there is still time to register for the much shorter 5k.

When: April 28, 2013
> La Jolla Half Marathon Course Map (PDF)

> Browse more top things to do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Know of some other top things to do this weekend? Let everyone know in the comments below.

Denise

San Diego Beaches – The Perfect Setting for a Stroll

Coronado - Silver Strand Beach
San Diego Beaches - Silver Strand on Coronado

Silver Strand State Beach – a great place for a stroll.

Are you looking for an awe-inspiring stretch of beach for taking a leisurely stroll? San Diego beaches provide the perfect setting with 70 miles of pristine coastline, gentle rolling waves and sparkling blue water as far as the eye can see. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, relaxation or even a little romance, you’ll find it at one of our world-famous beaches. In fact, San Diego has so many amazing beaches for walking, it’s nearly impossible to list them all. But, here are a few good spots to get you started.

Coronado and the Silver Strand

Silver Strand in Coronado is just a short distance from downtown San Diego, but is a world away in terms of relaxation. The waves are soothing and the beach literally sparkles in the sunlight due to the mineral Mica in the sand. If you walk north, you’ll see great views of Point Loma, or if you head south, the Imperial Beach Pier is off in the distance. Coronado beaches are consistently voted America’s finest by the Travel Channel, so whether you go on a romantic stroll for two or a family walk, this is the perfect place to get inspired.

La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores is the quintessential San Diego beach. With soft, white sand and gentle rolling waves, strolling on this beach instantly makes you feel carefree and happy. A relaxed vibe also makes this beach popular amongst families, joggers and surfers. Walk north for a nice view of the Scripp’s Institute of Oceanography pier and La Jolla’s picturesque bluffs.

Mission Beach

Fun and energetic is the best way to describe Mission Beach. Probably because Belmont Park, a midway-style amusement park opened in 1925 and home of the historic Giant Dipper roller coaster, is nestled just to the south. A long stretch of ample shoreline makes Mission Beach a good bet for long walks. For a more lively experience, try strolling along its boardwalk filled with a colorful hodgepodge of rollerbladers, bikers, joggers and other locals.

Moonlight Beach

Located in Encinitas, Moonlight Beach has a nice stretch of shoreline perfect for a romantic stroll at sunset. The beach got its name in the early 1900’s when locals had late night picnics here by “moonlight,” and the name stuck. Today, its supple, wide beach is ideal for walking, and surfers love it for the great waves.

Carlsbad State Beach

Carlsbad State Beach is one of North County’s best kept secrets and offers a gorgeous, sandy coastline. So when you’re done playing in the water, sunbathing or building sandcastles, soak in a little extra sunshine walking along the shore. There’s also a paved path to combine your walk with a little people watching.

> Explore more of San Diego’s Beaches

Where’s your favorite stretch of San Diego beach for strolling?

Sandra

Clothing for Men – Find Him the Perfect Outfit in San Diego

Mister B - Clothing for Men

Men and shopping? You bet! And San Diego is just the place to find that perfect ensemble to fit any occasion. As a personal wardrobe stylist I feel that clothing for men is less complicated than for women. San Diego’s local boutiques have embraced this concept making it easy to find anything from Casual-Chic to unique Work-Wear to Date-Night styles for men.

Find Great Clothing for Men at these Stores

Chillers Showroom

Chillers Showroom - Shopping Guide for Men

Chillers Showroom

Some of my recommended boutiques for Casual-Chic for men are Chillers Showroom. This spacious Pacific Beach boutique has some great options for casual button-down shirts, jeans and thermal hoodies. I also love that you can create your own custom t-shirt screen-printed right on site utilizing some of their fantastic Chillers artwork!

Location: 4667 Cass Street, San Diego, CA 92109 (map)
Website: www.chillersshowroom.com

Fowlers

Fowlers

Fowlers

Fowlers, located in Solana Beach, is the perfect place to locate laid-back looks. Shop for the perfect Beach-Chic shorts or jeans, a stylish watch or maybe an awesome pair of sunglasses!

Location: 731 South Highway 101, Suite 1A3, Solana Beach, CA 92075 (map)
Website: www.fowlers.bigcartel.com

HIS

HIS - Clothing for Men

HIS – Clothing for Men

HIS is in the Design District called Cedros. I love their relaxed yet cool inventory of everyday styles for men. They carry unique brands and have a talent for offering just a step up from an everyday surfer-style look.

Location: 143 South Cedros Avenue, Suite K, Solana Beach, CA 92075 (map)
Website: www.hismensstore.com

Mister B

Mister B - Clothing for Men

Mister B – Clothing for Men

When it comes to work-wear options or dinner-date looks, I recommend shopping at Mister B. This store offers fine men’s clothing with great European brands. Their suits, sport coats and shoes are to die for. If you’re looking for sophistication, this is the perfect place to shop.

Location: 162 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road, Encinitas, CA 92024 (map)
Website: www.misterbclothing.com

Matti D

Matti D

Matti D

A great place to shop for date-night looks is the fab store called, Matti D. Whether you are searching for the latest pair of jeans or some unique outerwear this boutique carries it all. I love their selection of scarves and cashmere sweaters too.

Location: 2689 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014 (map)
Website: www.matti-d.com

Mint

Mint Shoes

Mint Shoes

When it comes to completing men’s style, cool shoes are a must! I love the shoe boutique called Mint. This boutique carries hard to find retro brands and the latest urban-chic styles for casual shoes and boots.

Location: 525 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103 (map)
Website: www.mintshoes.com

Stile Italiano

Stile Italiano

Stile Italiano

If Italian quality and “dolce vita” style is for you then Stile Italiano is the place! This boutique is reasonably priced with imported unique fashions for men. The owner comes from Italy and has a long family history in fashion and design. I love their wallets, jackets and one-of-a-kind shoes. They even carry some great artwork to purchase!

Location: 142 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103 (map)
Website: www.stileitaliano.us

> Browse more Shopping Ideas in San Diego

Know of any other great clothing for men stores in San Diego? Let us and others know in the comments below.

Alison

Discover, Explore and Play at the San Diego Botanic Garden

San Diego Botanic Garden Hamilton Children's Garden Sign

During the entire month of October, kids can eat play and stay for free in San Diego with over 100 kids free offers from San Diego museums, restaurants, hotels and attractions. Participating attractions include all the kids’ favorites: SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND and the New Children’s Museum. But don’t overlook the opportunity to introduce youngsters to attraction they may not yet know – such as the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas, home of the largest interactive children’s garden on the West Coast.

San Diego Botanic Garden’s Hamilton Children’s Garden

San Diego Botanic Garden Hamilton Children's Garden Sign

The botanic garden’s 1-acre Hamilton Children’s Garden is fertile ground for growing young minds – a great place for nurturing a child’s love of nature. It includes 14 themed sites – ranging from a butterfly garden to a rhythm garden, where kids can make music playing nature’s instruments.

Flora at the San Diego Botanic Garden

Youngsters can make mud pottery in Art’s Garden,  practice their ABCs at the alphabetical Spell and Smell Garden and be awed by fruits, vegetables and flowers growing from bales of hay.

Kids Climbing a Tree at the San Diego Botanic Garden

A favorite destination is the massive kid-friendly tree house that combines a man-made trunk, with living trees that kids can explore from roots to canopy through tunnels, walkways and rope ladders.

Explore Even More With Over 36 Acres of Flora

Beyond the Children’s Garden there are 36 more acres for exploring – with plants and trees from 15 geographic regions, including Central and South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, the Canary Islands and Mediterranean regions. Visitors can wander everything from an “undersea” succulent garden that simulates a coral reef to a tropical rain forest. There are herb and topiary gardens – and of course, plenty of native plants and trees.

There’s also a small gift shop, a plant shop, a snack bar and the Children’s Garden has picnic tables.

Location: 230 Quail Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024 (map)
Hours: Daily – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: $12 for Adults. During October, each paid adult gets to bring along two kids, 12 or younger, for free – Click Here to Download the Kids Free CouponAdd $2 for parking (except cars with four or more passengers get in free).
Website: www.SDBGarden.org

Brent Bernasconi

Trains, Grains and No Automobiles – A Green Beer Tour of San Diego

La Jolla Wine Tour Beer Train Tour Collage - Coaster Ride

I love beer (IPAs to be exact) and it helps that I live in San Diego with over 40 amazing breweries to its name. The hard part is getting a chance to sample all of the different local brews.

There is a new way in town to do just that through La Jolla Wine Tours (LJWT) who are now offering a Beer Train Tour. LJWT’s goal is to showcase great San Diego breweries, wineries and restaurants while making sure everyone has a fun and safe time. They offer beer and wine tours on foot, by car, and now, by train that take visitors all over the county. All I heard was beer, food, train, frivolity and sunshine and I was sold.

On a gorgeous Friday afternoon, my little brother (now 21, which is scary), myself, and a few other beer fans met up with beer and wine sommelier, Stephen, and tour guide/tour creator, Patricia, from LJWT to embark on The Beer Train Tour.

Once aboard The Beer Train Tour, our group made three stops along the coast of San Diego starting in the Downtown area and ending in the seaside village of Carlsbad. Here is a sample of what you might expect to experience on this fun and green tour:

La Jolla Wine Tour Beer Train Tour Collage - The Beer Co.

Station 1: Downtown’s The Beer Co.

We all met at our first stop, The Beer Company, in San Diego’s Downtown. After the meet and greet, Stephen got down to business and led us through the complexities and flavors of a few samples from the Beer Co.’s wide selection and styles of in-house beers. As a bonus, we were lucky enough to meet one of the brewers while he poured us a pitcher straight from the tanks! To keep things fun, Patricia threw out a couple trivia questions that resulted in a few prizes for me (I admit it- I am a beer nerd) and the ability to select a growler fill for the train ride.

La Jolla Wine Tour Beer Train Tour Collage - Coaster Ride

Once good and giddy, our group took a short walk to the Santa Fe Train Station to hop on the train. As it pulled out of the station, we all relaxed in our comfy chairs while enjoying a growler fill of The Beer Co.’s Trippel (a Belgian style Tripel) as the views of the waterfront chugged by. Next stop, the sleepy surfer town of Encinitas.

La Jolla Wine Tour Beer Train Tour Collage - Encinitas and Union Kitchen

Station 2: Encinitas’ Union Kitchen and Tap

Moving away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, we disembarked from the train into the sun-kissed, laid back surfer town of Encinitas. We strolled down the South Coast Highway 101 enjoying the warm ocean breeze and picking up a few fun facts from Stephen as we made the short walk to the Union Kitchen and Tap. Stephen perused the local beers on tap and made sure to order samples based on everyone’s preferences. Magically, both food and beer samples made their way to our table and before we knew it, it was time to ride on to our next destination.

Note to self: Head back to Encinitas and the Union for a quintessential San Diego afternoon of sunshine, surf and great beer.

La Jolla Wine Tour Beer Train Tour Collage - Carlsbad and Coaster

Station 3: Carlsbad’s The Compass

Now even happier and chattier than before, everyone unloaded from the train into the coastal village of Carlsbad. As we walked to our final stop, Stephen gave us a quick history of Carlsbad and its special liquid resource, mineral water. After waving hello to a LJWT wine tour group at the Witch Creek Winery, our lively group of new friends sat down at The Compass for a few more samples, mac and cheese (that my brother loved), and good conversation before heading back south on the train to San Diego and the weekend.

As I reflect back on the fun I had, I especially appreciated how Stephen and Patricia made sure everyone received the chance to both sample a beer style they loved and one they had never tried. As a local, the tour also introduced me to new local restaurants (my brother has decided to return to The Compass for his birthday in May) with a large selection of taps allowing San Diegans and visitors the chance to sample many local beers in one place.

Whether you are in the mood for beer or wine, LJWT has you covered with even more great tours:
– Wine Train Tour
– San Diego County Wine Tours
– Beer and Wine Walking Tours
– Special Holiday Tours

So what are you waiting for? Call LJWT, get on the train and enjoy all that San Diego has to offer.

Tell me in the comments below: Where is your favorite place to grab a drink while in San Diego?

PS. Stop by Bine and Vine in San Diego’s Normal Heights Neighborhood for a great selection of bottled beers and wines. Ask for Stephen and tell him Brent sent you!

Sandra

Spring Into San Diego Style!

Get Your Spring Wardrobe Ready with Pieces from Mog & Rue, Kyss and Robina Apparel & Accessories Boutiques.

So many people ask me, “What should I pack for my visit to San Diego during the Springtime?” My answer: It is all about the layering factor.

With the average high of 70.5° and low of 54º, layering is key when visiting this year-round sunshine city! I would recommend packing everything from t-shirts, shorts and sundresses to jeans, leggings and tunics. Be sure to add a light jacket or sweater and a lightweight scarf for the cool mornings and evenings. Your “sunnies” (sunglasses) are key for the entire day since this is a destination known for its sunshine!

The fashion, just like San Diego’s ambiance, is known for being everything from stimulating and energetic to laid-back and comfortable. I would plan on adding some San Diego chicness by purchasing a maxi dress with a fitted short jean jacket for women and some surf-chic board shorts with a relaxed soft hoodie for men. We are also a jean-inspired city so you might want to pick up the latest styles in addition to our fabulous lightweight scarves, sunglasses and go-to jewelry!

To help you out on where to find these fashion-relevant pieces here are just a few to mention while exploring our shop-till-you-drop city:

Get Your Spring Wardrobe Ready with Pieces from Mog & Rue, Kyss and Robina Apparel & Accessories Boutiques.

Get Your Spring Wardrobe Ready with Pieces from Mog & Rue, Kyss and Robina Apparel & Accessories Boutiques.

  • La Jolla’s Robina Apparel & Accessories offers an array of what I call generational-dressing. A mother and teenage daughter can easily pick up California-chic maxi dresses or laid-back-luxe t-shirt ensembles that captures the San Diego coolness factor. They are known for carrying unique and hard-to-find jeans, in addition to ultra-chic semi-precious long necklaces and leather cross-body bags!
  • When it comes to men the quaint pop-up boutique called Credible Thread, in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, offers go-to brands for men as well as luxe leather goods. Their own label called, Crfty, is sold exclusively through this boutique. The looks carried here are more simple with attention to detail and quality; think classic menswear with a twist at 20%-70% off of retail prices.
  • Mog & Rue Boutique, nestled in the quaint community of Encinitas, encompasses a multitude of choices for layering pieces and accessories for women. You will always find the latest on-point trends and go-to pieces that can be added to any wardrobe. Their soft flowy cotton tanks and tunics fit anyone’s style, in addition to the colorful flirty dresses, and chic accessories. I always leave with a shopping bag!
  • I love the selection of jeans, scarves and colorful comfy-cotton maxi’s at Carlsbad’s Kyss Boutique. The jewelry selection is heaven for any effortless-chic gal.  With the concept of “Our Store Is Your Closet,” shopping here is a breeze!

Tell us in the comments below, what is your go-to Spring wardrobe in San Diego?

Sandra

Winter Style…San Diego’s Version

Brandy Melville

Winter in most locations can be defined as cold and blustery sometimes stifling your dressing style. Cool, crisp mornings leading into warm and sunny afternoons define the typical winter day in San Diego; so our winter-style is usually the “art of layering.”

With average daily highs of 66 degrees and lows of 50, we start off with coverage and by afternoon, jackets are off! When visiting San Diego in the winter months, you might want to pack some t-shirts, tunics, sweaters, leggings, jeans and a jacket. Don’t forget to throw in a few fabulous scarves and sunglasses!

Brandy Melville

Brandy Melville

Most shopping in San Diego will offer you a variety of layering options. One of San Diego’s newest additions, Brandy Melville, offers a variety of loose-fitting tees, soft angora sweaters, jeans and maxi skirts. Women of every age will find something here to add to their wardrobe while not breaking the bank.

Max Studio

Max Studio

Another great place with great layering options is Max Studio in the Fashion Valley Shopping Center. This is a great location to find some versatile sleek-and-chic monochromatic layering pieces like tunics, leggings, sweaters, sunglasses and jackets. They also sell my go-to pant called the Ponti Boot-Cut Pant (great for travel)!

Mog & Rue

Mog & Rue

Make sure you stop by the seaside community of Encinitas to shop at Mog + Rue. This ultra-fab boutique carries both established and independent designers showcasing classic and casual yet fashion forward ensembles. The owner is a widely published fashion and beauty writer who has a keen eye on the definition of the San Diego laid-back-chic look.

With so many layering options to purchase, my top three items to pick up before you leave would be a pair of fabulous sunglasses, jeans (we have an abundance of choices) and an ultra-chic maxi skirt. All three will prepare you perfectly for Spring!

Suzzanne

Exploring Tide Pools in San Diego

Creatures in a Tide Pool

One of my favorite activities to do with the kids is exploring San Diego’s many tide pools. They love seeing what might be hiding between the rocks. The best time to see these little creatures are from late fall through early spring as low daytime tides reveal wider beaches and pools teeming with native marine life such as hermit crabs, sea hares and sea anemones. Check the surf report to make sure the tide is low, a 1.0 foot tide or lower is Ok, but you will have a better chance of seeing more marine plants and animals when the tide is minus. Below is a list of my top spots for tide pools in San Diego.

1. Cabrillo National Monument: The rocky shore at the park has a lot to offer and the hermit crabs are abundant. In the mid-interidal zone you can also see very large Great Owl Limpets. There is a small entrance fee, however the rangers are helpful and will explain marine life and help visitors observe the animals.

2. Ocean Beach: There is a small tide pool area at the foot of Newport Avenue under the Ocean Beach pier. Visitors can find shore crabs, hermit crabs and sea anemones, and lots of small chitons in depressions in the sandstone rocks.

3. Shell Beach, La Jolla: This little beach has a good tide pool area at low tide. It is at the south end of Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla at the bottom of the small cement stairway. The big attraction here is Seal Rock Preserve, a big rock offshore where seals and sea lions come to rest and sun themselves.

4. Swami’s: North on Pacific Coast Highway from Cardiff State Beach is Swami’s. There you can find 45 million year old fossil shells in the hard sedimentary rock, oysters being the most common here. During a good low tide, the tide pools reveal an extensive flat area, and you have a good chance of seeing sea hares, brittle stars and octopi.

5. Dike Rock: This is a rocky area just to the north of Scripps Pier in La Jolla. To reach this area, you do have a bit of a walk, but it’s worth the time. Here you have a good chance of spotting a star fish or an octopus on a good minus tide.
Let us know if you have other favorites around town!

Another great way to see tide pools is to join the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Starting November 11 and running through February, you can explore along with aquarium naturalists the many tide pools around San Diego. On November 11, they will be exploring Dike Park. Birch will also be going to False Point and Hospital Point. You can also check out their permanent tide pool outside on the patio. Be sure to bring your camera!

Suzzanne

5 to Try for the Weekend

1. Pro Junior Surf Contest: Oceanside, CA will host the only 6-star pro junior surf contest in North America on Saturday, August 13. Sixteen of the best 20-year-old-and-under female surfers in the world will be competing for first place and one of the industry’s largest prize purses. The contest starts at 11:15 am at the Oceanside Pier and will feature a series of head-to-head heats with the finals scheduled for 2:15 pm. Admission is free.

BrewFest Encinitas

2. BrewFest Encinitas: Stone Brewing Co., Ballast Point, Pizza Port and others will gather at Mira Costa College’s San Elijo Campus August 13th from 4 – 7:00 pm for BrewFest Encinitas. The event will also feature gourmet food trucks and music entertainment will be on hand for this unique evening.

3. Hillcrest CityFest : The neighborhood celebration includes roughly 250 arts and crafts vendors, live music, games, a beer garden and more. The event attracts more than 150,000 revelers from noon to 9:00 pm Sunday, August 14.

Ferragosto

4. Ferragosto: Ferragosto, a night when everyone is Italian, returns to San Diego’s Little Italy. On August 13th, for one night only, experience the thrill and extravagance of the Venetian Masquerade! Held in Amici Park, the evening event includes dining from San Diego’s premier restaurants, dancing under the stars, a costume contest, and other fun and entertainment.


5. SummerFest 2011: La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest is a nationally-recognized chamber music festival featuring over 70 world-class artists and ensembles performing concerts from August 3 – 26, 2011. The festival also offers a number of free Community Engagement Activities, including Coaching Workshops, Open Rehearsals and Encounters. Take advantage of these free activities and expand your appreciation for classical music!