As a resident of Los Angeles County, I’m often searching for easy day trips to cities in the surrounding area. I’ve visited San Diego a few times in the past eight years, but I’ve essentially skipped over the 150 miles in between.
After turning 26 at the beginning of May, I finally decided to make a trip to North County San Diego. The first part of this adventure is detailed in the previous episode, “Single, Indian And Partying,” and below is a four-day recap of the rest of my time there.
Cutting straight to the chase — Encinitas is holistically the best part of this county. Oceanside, Carlsbad, and the surrounding neighborhoods and beaches were lovely, but they come in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place by comparison.
If you’re also planning a trip to San Diego this summer, I recommend prioritizing Encintas in your travels. Below is a complete summary of all the cafes, beaches, bars, and restaurants I experienced on this trip. Enjoy!
FULL EPISODE ABOVE
OCEANSIDE & CARLSBAD
Local Tap House — 308 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
LTH provides comfort food and local beers just a few blocks inland from the beach. The environment is lively and clearly a crowd favorite for gathering on a Friday night after work. Seating is available inside, outside, at the bar, and the staff sprinkled throughout the venue are all so friendly – beginning with the host stand and concluding with the bartenders who entertained my constant curiosity if any of the fish were “from here.”
The Jazzy Wishbone — 234 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
Accompanied by the sweet sounds of talented musicians, The Jazzy Wishbone can fit about 20 people within the venue and has unique performances almost every night of the week. If you’re early for a dinner reservation, or heading into an evening of drinking, check out The Jazzy Wishbone to see comedy, bands, solo artists, and anyone in between!
Larry’s Beach Club — 1145 S Tremont St Oceanside, CA 92054
An unusual, yet memorable, selection for your evening. Larry’s Beach Club was recommended as a community watering hole featuring karaoke, and after 90 minutes inside witnessing a wedding party and various locals trying their best, we exited the venue. I’m hesitant to include Larry’s in this roundup for OnTheTrend, but if you’re looking for a cheap place to buy a beer and do some people watching, then this is the place for you.
The Coyote Bar & Grill — 300 Carlsbad Village Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Coyote is technically located in Carlsbad, but definitely has the energy and attendees that I expect to experience during an evening out on the town. The outdoor patio has fire pits for groups to gather, the music is current, dancey, and upbeat, and the bar is located near the dance floor, staffed with plenty of bartenders serving inexpensive drinks. I arrived after the kitchen closed, but would recommend beginning an evening at Coyote and seeing where the night takes you.
The Alley — 421 Grand Ave, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Throughout this Friday night of going out in Oceanside and Carlsbad, I struggled to identify a category of people who I was partying alongside. Coyote was right across the street, so the crowds inside both bars mixed and mingled. Despite letting go of any expectations and giving into the experiences, these bars are truly… just local bars. If you’re in the area and need somewhere to dance and drink, check them out. But if you have the energy to travel 5 more minutes south… Encinitas is the place for you.
ENCINITAS & CARDIFF
An incredible depiction of the beauty that is Encintas begins at minute 3:30. I cannot recommend this little square enough, and here’s a quick list of all the locations.
Vigilante Coffee — 1575 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
Modern Times Far West Lounge — 470 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Moonlight State Beach — 404 W D St, Encinitas, CA 92024
The Saloon — 546 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
SHELTER Encinitas — 540 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Waverly — 2005 San Elijo Ave, Cardiff, CA 92007
Please let me know when you make your own trip to North County! I’d love to hear all about it.