I Left My Heart in Solana Beach

April 20, 2015  •  19 Comments

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“Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Every so often, you come across a place that transforms you. Somewhere that changes your very essence.

I had always imagined that I would be struck by places like the Colosseum or the Taj Mahal or the Iguaçu Falls or the Great Barrier Reef. I never imagined I would be altered by somewhere so close to home. And just outside of San Diego, no less.

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That is, until I first visited Solana Beach. This tiny, bedroom community is near Encinitas and Carlsbad, north of San Diego. The only reason I discovered it was because I was looking for an inexpensive hotel near Carlsbad. And, boy, did I luck up on a gem.

On my first trip, I was riding down South Coast Highway 101 to get to the area from brunch in Encinitas. I had read on TripAdvisor that Fletcher Cove Beach Park was a cute little place to take some photos, so I was creeping along the 101 to the location as my GPS instructed.

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At some point I realized I was driving with my mouth open. The peacefulness, the view… it captured me. The magnificent view of the ocean along the 101 was awe-inspiring. The cute community with the bicyclists and the small-town strip of local shops and oceanfront property had me dumbfounded.

Of course, I have been to San Diego numerous times (that city holds a special place in my heart), along with parts of Carlsbad and Encinitas, but something about this trip was different. It was magical in some way. I tried to take it all in while driving, and I instantly felt myself relaxing.

Photo watermarked with iWatermark for iOS. Fletcher’s Cove didn’t disappoint. The gorgeous view (cover photo, above) and the ocean overlook was so calming. It is my new favorite thinking spot; a perfect quiet place. I was already looking forward to my return. So when I went back this time, I took some time to snap a few shots and just sit and think. People watch. Stare at the waves…in reverie.

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Everything about the area is peaceful. Even my hotel, The Courtyard Marriott Solana Beach, was Zen and peaceful, with turquoises and blues consuming the room, and an outdoor fireplace by the pool. Even when doing some work, it was just a relaxing place to work. And that is so much more important than I realized.

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While I was down in Solana Beach, Carlsbad, and Encinitas, I enjoyed great food, great fellowship, had an amazing spa, got some work done, and took some dope photos. But nothing can compare to the stretch of highway between Encinitas and Solana Beach and that relaxing spot at Fletcher Cove.  I even took my shoes off and ran my toes through the sand. Even with kids yelling and running at the playground, I didn’t even hear it. All I heard was the waves and my own thoughts.

Sometimes, you need just that. 


Such a beautiful view you had. I love to people watch and think especially with a nice view like that.
beautiful and definitely sounds relaxing! One of the things I love about Cali is all the quaint beach towns. Will add this to the list!
How wonderful! I have never been to Solano Beach but I am glad you recommended The Courtyard Marriott Solana Beach. I love the Marriott hotels. I have always preferred them because their beds are so comfy! :)
Julian B. Kiganda (@BoldFearless1)(non-registered)
I used to make an annual trip to California. Reading this post reminds me that I am sooooo overdue! That drive down the Pacific Coast Highway is my favorite ever. Now I have a place to check out the next time I roll out there. Great post!
I feel like California completely transformed me the way Solana Beach did for you. It's so gorgeous there (and of course in Northern California where we now live). It almost feels like I am in a constant state of vacation living there, it's so much more different than in Canada.
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