There is a rich culture in this 4 square mile seaside town. This video highlights a few of our favorite places in this southern California, family friendly beach community.
Solana Beach is known for its beautiful weather, pristine beaches, and a wide array of area attractions.
The city has a total area of 3.6 square miles. 3.5 square miles of it is land and 0.1 square miles of it is water.
Over 12,000 residents call this small beach community their home. The Pacific Ocean is to the west; the community of Cardiff-by-the-Sea to the north, and the City of Del Mar to the south. The unincorporated village of Rancho Santa Fe is located on the east side.
Day Time Activities:
Explore One Of Five Beaches
Let the waves hit your feet, and the sand be your seat.
Tide Beach Park is the north beach of Solana Beach, CA. This local favorite is accessed by a long set of stairs from the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Solana Vista Drive and you’ll be at a semicircular cove below tall steep bluffs.
At high tide the beach is confined to this cove. When the tide allows, you can walk from here north to Seaside Beach in Cardiff State Beach or south to Fletcher Cove. Also at low tide you can explore tide pools at the north end of the cove.
Other activities include; surfing, bodyboarding, swimming, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, beach walking and sunbathing.
Click on the links below to explore the beautiful beaches of Solana Beach
Best Surf Spots
☆ Del Mar Shores | If you don’t mind the five flights of stairs tucked away off of Del Mar Shores Terrace, you’ll likely have this beach break at the north end of the cove to yourself.
☆ Seascape Surf | During Summer the surfing area is marked by black and white checkered flags. A classic beach break here offers shifting peaks, and few crowds.
☆ Fletcher Cove | This beach was created with water hoses and determination back before the Coastal Commission oversaw coastal recreation and developers could do as they wished.What was once a sandstone bluff is now a nicely groomed, deep, sandy beach. During the Summer there are designated surfing and swimming areas. At either side of the cove, the surfing areas offer typical beach breaks.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors at Annie’s Canyon Trail
Hike into one of the wildest stretches of San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve.
Annie’s Canyon Trail, open to visitors capable of hiking steep switchbacks leading to awe-inspiring views. The trail is a moderate-to-strenuous ¼-mile loop trail accessible from Solana Hills trail and Rios Avenue trail.
Naturally eroding sandstone walls create a sense of mystery and wonder. Imagine what this canyon view revealed to the Kumeyaay and early settlers. It’s likely this was a spiritual place for many people with its sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and lagoon at an elevation of 200-feet above sea level.
Mushroom Cave Hike
This hike has narrow crevices embellished with spray paint, such a unique place and definitely a sight for sore eyes. The hike to get there, itself, is not difficult at all but spotting it would be impossible if you did not know where to look. There are no signs to direct you to it but that’s kind of what makes this place so special.
As you squeeze through the narrows, you will eventually reach the very top of the caves where you are greeted with an amazing view of the lagoon and San Elijo beach. The climb up and the descent down are a bit slippery but that’s the beauty in the struggle! Fun, short hike to a quirky hidden gem.
Fletcher Cove Park
Fletcher Cove Park is one of a kind as it sits at the top of Fletcher Cove Beach allowing park-goers to enjoy both beach views and play, all at the same time. The park includes a picturesque viewing deck, grassy area & playground, plus tables & a basketball court.
📍111 S Sierra Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075
Cedros Avenue Farmer’s Market
The fabulous Cedros Avenue Farmer’s Market takes place every Sunday from 12:00-4:00pm. The local vendors fill the market with fruits, veggies, meats, breads, pastries, sauces, soaps, flowers, plants, jewelry, clothing and lots of surprises!
📍444 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, CA
Fitness & Health:
Enjoy A Yoga Class At Yoga Six
Located on the 2nd floor of a freestanding building in Beachwalk Center, Yoga Six Solana Beach is part of an active, seaside community. Enjoy the neighborhood both before and after class – zip down the beach steps to go for a walk or surf.
Yoga Six changes the way people think about and experience yoga. Mystical and ethereal are out; modern, results-oriented yoga is in. Their approach to yoga is rooted in science and delivers real results by focusing on the body as the gateway to the mind.
Stratum Fitness (Crossfit)
Stratum Fitness is the gym of your dreams. The 2,500-square-foot facility is a hop, skip, and jump away from the sparkling Pacific Ocean. The gorgeous locale is just one of many attractive features they have to offer.
There’s top-of-the-line equipment, ample space, and a variety of programs for you to choose from. Plus, a team of devoted coaches who are ready and waiting.
Dig Into History:
The Heritage Museum
The Solana Beach Heritage Museum was built in 1887, the Museum is the first home built in the community. In a visit to the Museum, you will discover the key to sleepy Lockwood Mesa’s transformation into bustling Solana Beach.
A timeline photo exhibit traces the arrival of Indians, Spanish explorers, Mexican Silver Dons, American farmers and Mexican ranch hands. Early pictures of the development of the community of Solana Beach also are featured.
The Museum is open to the public on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
📍715 Valley Avenue, Solana Beach, CA
Explore The Solana Beach Library
What a beautiful library! Just like Solana Beach, itself, the Solana Beach library is gorgeous yet low-key. Located on the campus of Earl Warren Middle School, this should be the wave of the future in consolidating schools and libraries near or even adjacent to one another.
Plus the design is modern and stimulating. Fresh, vibrant colors are used and industrial style design gives the Solana Beach Library a contemporary feel so kids feel cool about hanging there. It is most definitely NOT like the stuffy, dingy and bland libraries of the past!
📍157 Stevens Ave, Solana Beach, CA
The Cedros Design District
The Cedros Design District is one of the few San Diego neighborhoods that predominately features DIY designers and artists in a modest sunny landscape. Adjacent to the 101 and across from Solana Beach’s train station, the humble three blocks surface a creative haven for any design appetite.
Hidden amongst Cedros District favorites like the Belly Up and Leaping Lotus are precious gems that make morning to noon to night a genuine dive.
📍410 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach, CA
Delicious Food & Drinks:
Lockwood Table Cafe
Hidden away off the mainstreet in Cederos this place is a local gem. The cafe serves health-focused sandwiches & breakfast are served in this spare, modern cafe with tables in & out.
Get Creative at Naked Cafe
Do you want to get Naked in Solana Beach? Of course, we’re talking about getting a bite to eat at Naked Cafe, and not the other thing that you might be thinking – save that for Blacks Beach, if you’re so adventurous.
This popular breakfast and lunch only spot is a “must try” for anyone visiting Solana Beach, and is definitely worth the drive up from San Diego.
The Curious Fork
At the Curious Fork Cafe, they believe that a true passion for food is always best when shared. This unique eatery offers the opportunity to share culinary knowledge through their school, café, and unique, personal product experiences.
Have A Slice At California Pizza Kitchen
The California Pizza Kitchen is a chain eatery serving up inventive pizzas as well as plates of pasta & salads in a modern setting. The menu prices appropriate for the quality of food ordered, also offered well priced alcoholic beverages, wine, and beer if desired.
Grab A Craft Beer
The local pizza chain, Pizza Port is known for its craft brews and is popular with families, beer fans & surfers alike. This local spot is the perfect way to soak up the California culture while enjoying a cold brew and handmade pizza all while making new friends.
Craving Some Italian
Hearty Italian fare & brick-oven pizzas served in chic, upscale rooms with open-air dining spaces. If you are looking for the perfect date night, girls night out or upscale restaurant to treat yourself, look no further than this amazing must try Italian restaurant.
Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar
Japanese entrees featuring meat & fish plus an array of creative sushi rolls in a vibrant room. This is a must try for all meat & fish lovers!
This elegant restaurant is known for its beautifully prepared, creative French-New American cuisine crafted from fresh, local ingredients courtesy of the top-notch chef. In other words, if you are looking for an extraordinary wine, this place is well worth the money for a special occasion.
Culture Brewing Co.
Trendy microbrewery features a modern-rustic tasting room with craft beers on tap & patio seating. This is the perfect daytime or evening spot to enjoy a beer with some good company.
Open until 9:00 pm
📍111 S Cedros Ave Suite 200, Solana Beach, CA 92075
The Belly Up
The Belly Up is the perfect late night spot to enjoy some good music and a cocktail. The intimate music venue creates a lively yet casual scene with a rotating lineup of popular acts. This is a small music venue but a local favorite for its coastal location.
Open until 2:00 am on the weekends.
📍143 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075
The Saddle Bar
Shhhhhh…it’s a secret.
Clint Eastwood’s son Scott is one of the owners of this “cheers’ of Solana Beach.
Literally only a few hundred feet from the Pacific Ocean, Saddle Bar continues to be known as the place to go for great service, dancing, live music and DJ’s several nights a week.
When the Del Mar Race Track opens in the summer time, Saddle Bar is a favorite watering hole for the jockey’s, trainers and fans of horse racing. Only a mile from the track, and typically the first bar to open in the morning (and the last bar to close), it has always been the place to get drinks before or after the races.
Open until 2:00 am on the weekends.
📍123 Plaza St, Solana Beach, CA 92075
The Tidewater Tavern
This classic beach town tavern located on historic Pacific Coast Highway 101 in Solana Beach. The nautical-themed neighborhood haunt with burgers, tacos & other eats, plus pool tables, trivia & TVs.
Open until 12:00 am on the weekends.
📍221 N Hwy 101, Solana Beach, CA 92075
Fires are allowed from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and are limited only to fire rings, barbecues, hibachis, or other containers specifically constructed for this purpose. No fires permitted on the sand, in a pit, etc. Pallets are NOT allowed for firewood. You must fully extinguish your fire with water when you are through.
Solana Beach sunsets are epic and unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. When in town make sure you take the time to drive, bike, walk or run down the coast and find a spot to enjoy the beautiful coastal sunsets of Solana Beach.
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