“What is there to do in Solana” one might ask, “where is Solana?”one might add. The answer is simple: the same thing you do in any beach town: “Soak up the sun, grab a bite, grab a brew, shop around, call it a day.”
My friend Lauren and I traveled south to Solana Beach on a mission. She had to do some quick business in the area, and we decided to make a day of it – we traveled into the unknown and were rather pleased with what we found.
There was a stretch of shops in the “Design District.” Which offered a selection of cafes, restaurants, and beach boutiques – ideal for lovers of nautical decor, the DIY aesthetic, and succulents.
But -as you know- the beach comes first. Across Highway 101 we found a quiet cove of sandy cliffs, rainbow umbrellas, piles of seaweed, and a calm surf.
The middle of July welcomed many young families – we witnessed two toddlers (both females) experiencing their first kiss together, much to their parents surprise and exchange of shrugs – this was the right atmosphere for people to get away from the everyday and just be themselves – whatever that may look like.
Lauren and I grabbed lunch at The Naked Cafe, the local health food eatery, equipped with build-your-own menu items, from pancakes to wraps, it was a build-your-own paradise.
Once we were stuffed we walked down to the beach and set up camp on the shore between the cliffs and the surf. Magazines and gossip ensued until the suns heat encouraged us into the water. Within seconds of our leaving the tide decided to lap its way closer and soak our sprawl of belongings. Lucky for us the Marc Jacobs, Vintage Dooney, and iPhones were safe. But the poor boys of One Direction in my Glamour, and Lauren’s Steve Maddens were drenched. While the salty water would normally just emphasize the boys’ natural fluffy dos – water and print don’t mix and my magazine resembled nothing more than a wet rag.
We moved to higher ground, I read what I could, and we eventually made our way back to the mainland, it was time for some ice cold refreshments.
We could have stopped at Culture Brewing, a new brewery and tasting room whose smell beckoned us closer. Its open atmosphere and decadent aromas could have pulled us in for hours, but we had to get going. If we were staying through the evening (and perhaps older and more cavalier) we could have also stopped at Belly Up, the local tavern and night club, where bands such as Atomic Groove rock lobster the night away. -I recommend this venue to any parents that welcome nostalgia, us Millennial’s will kick it at Culture Brewing. Instead we shopped around and grabbed an iced coffee to quench us through the trek back home. (Note to visitors: most cafes close at 5, go to the cafe’s before 5).
We said so long to Solana, and watched the sunset as we drove back up the 5 to get home. Maybe we will come back again, or maybe we will explore another beach town that is probably exactly like it, as there are hundreds spotted up and down the Southern California coast.
We are blessed to live in such a nice place, especially in the summer.