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24 Hours in Solana Beach, CA

24 hours in solana beach, ca

If you live near Solana Beach, you know all about its beachy, chill vibe. And if you haven’t spent much time there yet, hang tight because you’re about to discover its magical charms.

Here’s a recommended itinerary for a day out in Solana Beach that’ll fit the bill whether you’re looking to eat, shop, or hang – or all three. If you’re a walker, most of the activities below are within a mile or two of each other and easily accessible. Otherwise, consider taking a load off and Uber or Lyft the short distances between destinations. Driving is also an option and there’s usually street or lot parking close to each spot mentioned below.

Let’s explore!


Breakfast at Naked Cafe

Grab a healthy breakfast at Naked Cafe located right across from Solana’s Fletcher’s Cove Beach. Order up one of Naked’s signature dishes like the Plate of Prosperity (egg whites, spinach, soy sausage, quinoa, zucchini and feta) or the Pesto & Artichoke Heart Breakfast Quesadilla and fill the belly for a relaxing (or fast-paced – up to you!) walk after you eat.

Alternate suggestion: Indulge in a more traditional breakfast at Beach Grass Cafe, but you’ll need to walk further to the next step on our agenda.

Walk to Fletcher’s Cove

After breakfast, head across the street to Fletcher’s Cove and watch the surfers, scan the horizon for dolphins, and walk the sand. This is also a fantastic spot for photos, so take a few while you’re there. Fletcher’s is on the small side but is often much less crowded than the area’s other beaches. If you’re in the mood for a long walk and the tide is low, you can traipse all the way to Del Mar’s dog beach.

Coffee Break at Lofty

This beloved spot for coffee draws the crowds, and you should be among them. Known for delicious, hand-sourced beans milked into perfect cups of coffee goodness, Lofty is a must visit. Hang on the patio and people watch a bit and then give ‘em your second order, grab it to go, and head up the street for some window shopping. Lofty roasts its own coffee beans, too. Try the Turkish Latte or Salted Caramel Latte (Lofty also makes its own caramel sauce). Coffees can be made with soy, almond, or cashew milk if you like alternatives.

Early Afternoon

Shopping on Cedros

If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind pieces for your home or your body, Cedros is your place. Hailed as Solana’s “design district,” the street is chock full of charming boutiques, home goods stores, antique shops and more. If you can’t find something amazing to pick up here, you’re dead inside. Looking to outfit your home with unique decor? Try Form & Function. Want a shirt you won’t find on anyone else? Pink Lagoon is your place. You can also browse for gifts, plants, and artisan pieces like jewelry and paper goods at hot spots including Leaping Lotus, SoLo, and Mabels.

Lunch at Lockwood Table Cafe

The perfect between-shopping spot, Lockwood serves soups, salads, and sandwiches, along with a healthy variety of small plates, flatbreads, and more. Fuel up for round two of shopping or relax at a table and admire your purchases.

Urban Wine Tasting at Carruth Cellars

It should now be late enough to grab some wine without feeling all Jimmy Buffet about it. Walk a few doors down to Carruth Cellars and indulge in some urban wine tasting. Carruth is known for its California style wines made with grapes sourced from premium vineyards in Northern and Central California. The tasting room stays open seven days a week, so whatever day you go, you’re in luck. Hit the place up during happy hour Monday – Friday from 2:00 – 6:00 PM and get $3 off glasses and $5 off bottles.

24 hours in Solana Beach California


(Another) Happy Hour at Belly Up

What? You’ve already been drinking. Belly Up Tavern usually features some kind of live music starting around five. If your visit is timed with an Atomic Groove appearance even better. This high-energy, fun group sings your favorite covers from the ‘80s through now and gets the crowd going. The dance floor packs early, so if you’re looking to party, get your tickets before five and claim your dance spot.

Dinner at Wild Note

The beauty of Wild Note is that it is in the same building as Belly Up and you can easily head there after a live music set or happy hour. The food ranks high on the delicious scale, too and goes by the cuisine label “Pacific coastal/Mexican fusion.” The place is on the smaller side but there’s no shortage of great atmosphere, drinks, and entrees.

Your turn…

Where do you love hanging out in Solana?

Debbie Anderson: Debbie is a freelance writer and editor who’s been blogging at San Diego Momma since 2007. Debbie's been featured in Writer's Digest, the San Diego Reader, and San Diego Magazine, and was named Top 25 blog by Red Tricycle, nominated for an InfluenceSD "Best in Lifestyle" blog award, and appeared on NBC, Fox, and The CW Network as a blogger spokesperson. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or at Google+.