5 Local Gems to Visit in the San Diego Area
When you think of San Diego, you might imagine amazing beaches, perfect weather, and maybe even Sea World. Although this is all definitely some of what you will experience, while I was vacationing with a friend who lives there, I got to visit some local treasures you can only find in San Diego and I think they are must-visits for those traveling to this beautiful city.
1.The Aviara Cove – 6600 Hidden Valley Road Carlsbad, CA 92011
In Carlsbad, there is an outdoor area where you can run or walk on a 6 mile trail around a protected, calming lagoon. As you travel through the trail, your view is not only the relaxing lagoon, but also all sorts of wildlife that surround it, including a variety of birds, plants, and fish. You will also notice signs with education on the type of nature and animals you will see, hear and smell. This is so enjoyable for any age!
2. Tomoyama Sushi – 6949 El Camino Real #201, Carlsbad, CA 92009
Yum and a ton of fun! This is a must try restaurant for Sushi lovers. The culture inside the family owned restaurant makes you feel like you are at a friend’s house. Behind the bar, where the chefs are preparing your food, the servers joke with each other as if they’ve known each other for many years. The owner of the restaurant even personally handed out a 4th of July celebratory shot of their famous, delicious Sake to everyone there (including the chefs and servers). It might have been 3 days before July 4th, but he was excited and so were we! Even if you aren’t a sushi fan, they have a delicious teriyaki chicken and other non-sushi dishes. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this place.
3. Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage & Meditation Gardens – 215 W K St, Encinitas, CA 92024
This is a magical find of a garden with an ocean view to die for. Many of the locals come here to meditate and some come just to stroll through and take in the sites of the exquisite plants and flowers as well as experience the very tranquil environment. As you make your way through this garden, you will eventually reach a patio area that overlooks the entire ocean that is breathtaking. The best part is you can avoid a crowd and it’s completely free. My friends and I ended up accidently staying here for 2 hours. You really get taken back by the beauty!
4. Carlsbad Massage: Secret Herbal Foot Spa – 7040 Avenida Encinas Ste 106 Carlsbad, CA 92011
You might be thinking you can get a massage anywhere, but not like this one. This charming spa has 6 seats available in a room, so it’s a perfect place to unwind with friends or family. When you pay for their $40 one hour foot massage, you actually receive a head to toe, full body, fully clothed massage. They use their own herbal oils that will be sure to keep you relaxed for the remainder of your trip. When in San Diego, do as the San Diegans do and “chill”.
5. Mr. Peabody’s – 136 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas, CA 92024
This Encinitas bar has jazzy live music with a dance floor. We had about 8 girlfriends together and had so much fun interacting with the band and dancing with a couple of local brews in our hands. From the Uber driver’s recommendation and a couple of the locals we talked to, we discovered that Mr. Peabody’s is the new and upcoming bar that has all the San Diegans talking. We all commented on the fact that there was such a good mix of people in there so you don’t have a crazy college club scene or something that is too laidback to have a good time. The culture is great and I would recommend at least stopping by for a drink while you’re in town. You are guaranteed an awesome time!
All in all, I can totally see why the locals live in San Diego. Not only just the beaches and the perfect weather, but the culture and relaxing environment all make you never want to leave. So next time you decide to visit, make sure you explore these quaint local places that can give you a real feel of San Diego.