Gay San Diego – Solana Beach

Published Date Author: , December 30th, 2014

Solana Beach - Cedros Design District

Solana Beach - Cedros Design DistrictWe lucked into the Cedros Design District (Solana Beach, cedrosdesigndistrict.net) by accident – we were attending a wedding reception in Solana Beach and had a few hours to kill before it started, and we wound up here. You’re gonna love this place.

To get here, take the 5 Freeway north from San Diego about half an hour. Exit at Lomas Santa Fe Dr., turning west toward the beach at the base of the exit. About half a mile down, you’ll reach South Cedros Avenue, just before the railroad tracks and Old Highway 101. Turn left and you’re here!

Solana Beach - Cedros Design DistrictThis place is amazing – filled with unique boutiques, galleries, little restaurants and outdoor cafes, and more cool shopping than you can shake a stick at (believe me, we tried, and the stick broke halfway through).

The district was once a cabinet making and woodworking center, filled with industrial buildings, and began its transition to a funky, hip, upscale design, art and shopping center in the ’90’s with the arrival of a West Hollywood developer, Sean MacLeod, who articulated the new vision for the district. He opened the Cedros Trading Company, a consignment mall, which nurtured a number of vendors who eventualy moved into their own shops in the district. Buildings were renovated and painted, and the District continued to grow and thrive.

Solana Beach - Cedros Design DistrictThe Belly Up Tavern (www.bellyup.com), which has brought in a wildly varied group of entertainers since the ’70’s, was renovated, and MacLeod opened up the Wild Note Cafe next door in 1997.

We ate at the Wild Note Cafe (www.bellyupcantina.com/index.html) for lunch – the food was really good, and the funky jazz atmosphere enjoyable.

Menu items for lunch include sandwiches, burgers, seafood, quesadillas, and more, with entrees running from $7-12. Dinner includes seafood, steak and chicken, with entrees running from $15-23.

 style="margin: 6px;"There’s no Starbucks or Peets Coffee here (I know, shocking) – but for a quick drink and snack, check out Zinc Cafe (www.zinccafe.com), a super-cute cafe with an ivy-covered outdoor patio to relax in under the trees and a large umbrella (see below, right)

It’s truly a pleasure to walk down South Cedros – the whole district is just a couple blocks long on a single street, but take a look at a small sample of what’s packed into these blocks – there’s lots of street art and art that happens to be on the street.

Here are a few of our favorite stores and shops along South Cedros:

Solana Beach - Cedros Design DistrictLeaping Lotus (www.leapinglotus.com) – ever been to one of those converted old warehouses that’s been broken up into a bunch of little antique stores, each individually rented by someone to show off their wares, usually dusty old things no one really wants?

Leaping Lotus is like that, but much, much better – think antique mall on steroids – instead of old dusty lamps and soda bottles, it’s filled floor to ceiling (actually, two floors to ceiling) with interesting arts and crafts.

We found all kinds of interesting things here, from oil paintings to masks, from wooden Hawaiian gods to woven baskets and hand-made candles. And yes, there were even lamps here.

Solana Beach - Cedros Design DistrictTimeless Furnishings (www.timelessfurnishingsandpatio.com) was another cool home store (with locations both in Hillcrest and in Solana Beach) with exotic imports – kind of a local Pier 1).

There’s also a Farmer’s Market (www.solanabeachfarmersmarket.com) on Sundays from 1-5 PM.

The Cedros Design District in Solana Beach was far and away the best shopping place we found during our recent visits to San Diego – a great place to spend an afternoon.

San Diego Gay Travel Resources

Comments reader  No Responses

Gay San Diego – Solana Beach – Gaycation Magazine - Gravatar

gaycationmagazine.com/gay-san-diego-solana-beach/ Gay San Diego - Solana Beach - Gaycation Magazine said on December 30, 2014, 8:58 am:

[…] By Scott and Mark – Full Story at Purple Roofs | San Diego Gay Travel Resources […]

Gay San Diego – Solana Beach | Sawatdee Network - Gravatar

sawatdeenetwork.com/2014/12/31/gay-san-diego-solana-beach/ Gay San Diego – Solana Beach | Sawatdee Network said on December 31, 2014, 1:41 am:

[…] post Gay San Diego – Solana Beach appeared first on Purple Roofs Gay Travel […]

Leave Your Comment  Leave a comment

All fields marked with "*" are required.