San Diego’s North County is one of the best-kept secrets in Southern California.
You’ll find all the things people love about San Diego – perfect weather, plenty of activities, gorgeous beaches, and amazing food, without all the drawbacks of being downtown. Considered by many as having some of the nicer neighborhoods in Southern California, the affluent population is highly active. It’s common to spot multiple runners or bikers carrying their surfboards as they cruise down to the beach. From Oceanside to La Jolla, these are not your typical suburban neighborhoods.
Although North County is the most affluent part of San Diego, locals can be found in all sorts of different dress, from business-ready to bikini tops. Of course, the further you are from the beach, the stranger it will look if you are shirtless. But, sandals are so common, that even in the winter it’s normal to see women bundled in giant coats with scarves and flip-flops. Just don’t wear them with socks, or you’ll be severely mocked by groups of trendy-looking teens.
The communities are also very dog and kid friendly. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself standing in line and a dog pops his head out of a purse.
There are a lot of runners and bikers in these communities. So if you are driving make sure you give them the right-of-way. Don’t worry about how cars behind you are reacting when you do, the driver is probably just as active. North County residences have a lot of energy, whether it’s gearing up for an early morning surf session or remodeling their homes. These are not sleepy suburbs, they are full of life!
Where do the locals hang out?
15th Street in Del Mar is a great place to hang out. There is plenty of shopping, cafes and restaurants within walking distance of the beach. The Del Mar Plaza has a fantastic sunset bar scene, with expansive ocean views. It’s common to find most of the community walking from the Plaza down to Powerhouse Park with a Starbucks coffee either early in the morning or after work. It’s the place to go to unwind from busy city life, and appreciate the beautiful weather. Powerhouse Park has a wonderful playground in the grassy knoll next to the beach for families to congregate.
On weekends, Seagrove Park is a popular place for wedding ceremonies of all sizes. And, it’s not hard to see why, it’s one of the few locations in San Diego with a medium-size cliff overlooking the beach that isn’t privately owned.
Del Mar Dog Beach is just a short drive down the street and is one of the best spots to bring your pup between September and June. If you head over to Dog Beach, be warned: The Del Mar side has metered parking, and it’s regularly monitored. But if you park just north of the beach, you are in Solana Beach’s jurisdiction, and they don’t charge.