5 Things to Do in Carlsbad

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Carlsbad is a cute surf town located on the coast between Los Angeles and San Diego. It has been one of my favorite locations to spend time surfing and relaxing. If you’ve never ben to the area before, here are some things I recommend on your trip there!

1) Go for a run on the Seawall. Located along the PCH between Pine Street and Tamarack Ave., the Seawall is a great spot to run right along the coast. The mile long path allows you to be separated from the bike path and cars while also being closer to the ocean. Running on the seawall is exceptional because you have the most spectacular view of the ocean and even sunset during your run. If you’re looking to clock more than just a few miles, you can continue running along the PCH, on the bike path to Leucadia and even Encinitas. Nothing like the ocean breeze and breathing salt water air while running!

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2) Grab breakfast or a juice from Choice Juicery. Choice Juicery is located right on Carlsbad Village Drive in downtown Carlsbad. They’ve got a super relaxing oasis-like property where people can come and sit on turf or beautiful wooden benches. The people on staff are all incredibly friendly. They offer a plant-based menu that is 100% organic, gluten free and dairy free. It’s a great place to grab breakfast – their breakfast bowls and smoothies are sumptuous! My favorite was the “PB&J” bowl with homemade granola & banana. They also serve great salads, superfood snacks and a tasty selection of juices. Their “Hot Sunrise” drink was a perfect mid-day pick-me-up!

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3) Go surfing in South Carlsbad. Beacons beach at the edge of Carlsbad and Leucadia is a good spot for longboards. The waves are usually pretty small and also very forgiving. It’s also a great area to picnic with the family or friends and hang out for the entire day. If you’re looking for something a little bigger, you can also head down to Swami’s in Encinitas just a few minutes south.

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4) Explore downtown. The one thing I loved most about staying in Carlsbad is being able to walk everywhere. The downtown area is adorable and has some super rad vintage shops, record stores, book stores, beach shops, etc. There are also a lot of delicious local restaurants such as PAON (if you’re looking for something more high-end and classic, their homemade pasta was delicious!), or Swami’s Cafe (the best & cheapest brunch spot in the city!), or even Cessy Taco Shop for some cheap tacos or burritos. If you’re looking for a little entertainment, there are some films being presented outdoors throughout the summer and also the Carlsbad Village Theatre that always presents some great plays, comedy shows, etc. The city also has beautiful parks, lot’s of bike paths and great places to hang out.

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5) Grab a post-surf pizza at Pizza Port. Pizza Port is a local institution. If you’re from the area, chances are you’ve eaten at Pizza Port before, celebrated a birthday there, had some of their homemade beers, pizza, etc. I’ve had the opportunity to eat their pizza a handful of times but going to their Carlsbad location is always my favorite. I love their outdoor patio, the family and community vibe there, their delicious garlic buddies, enormous salads and of course, their super tasty pizzas. Though I’m not really a beer drinker, the place is also renown for their cool beers brewed fresh on premise. Some of the beers worth trying: “Sharkbite Red”, “Wipeout IPA” and “Amigo Later”, all found at the Carlsbad location. Make sure you also try their wholegrain beer pizza crust while you’re there, it’s unreal!

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Rainy Vibes #DailyOutfit

I’m sending rainy vibes to my friends and all the people living in the Carlsbad area in Southern California tonight, who have had to evacuate due to fires. Tons of rain has been pouring down on Toronto for the past couple of weeks and I would do anything to trade all this rain for sunshine and send it to where people need it the most. Carlsbad, Encinitas, San Marcos and all of the surrounding cities are some of my favorite places on earth. My thoughts are with you all at the moment!

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Photos by @Offner

Free People Key Pendant

Club Monaco Sonica Double-Knit Legging

H&M black oversized blazer (similar one here)

H&M shimmery oversized tee 

Anine Bing boots with silver studs (get them here)

Biko Jewellery Solo Grid Ring (get it here)

Karl Lagerfeld ’7′ Beveled Bezel Bracelet Watch (get it here)

 

New SoCal Faves

Last month, I was able to spend a few days in my favorite place on earth – Southern California. It’s always so lovely seeing all of my friends, discovering new places to eat and shop as well as spending time surfing at the beach. Didn’t do too much shopping on this past trip, so the following post will be more of a #foodporn post. Like I did with my last travel post (see here), here are some of my new favorite things about SoCal.

1 – Ace Hotel – When I went last month, the hotel had opened a few weeks prior. The Ace Hotel is a small chain of hotels, they can be found in New York City, Palm Springs, Portland and most recently Los Angeles. It is located in the historic United Artists building in downtown LA. I had the pleasure of going to their new bistro LA Chapter. Not only were the food and drinks incredibly tasty, the atmosphere was very chic yet also laid back and also we had the funniest waiter. The menu was original and fairly priced. After dinner, I took a tour of the hotel. I loved all the books and music in the lobby, everything about the building was absolutely beautiful. I highly recommend checking out the hotel, if not for a stay then for a brunch, lunch or dinner. You can make reservations easily via Open Table.

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2 – Urth Caffé – Alright, this place isn’t a new place but it’s become a staple when I’m in Los Angeles. I purposely plan my day around the different Urth locations in and around Los Angeles. Honestly, the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch and even dinner. It opens super early in the morning and stays open until late at night. Some of my Urth favs: Almond Milk Green Tea Latte, the Urth Salad, any of their croissants, the Coconut Pound Cake and their homemade granola. My mouth waters, as I write this post. I think I’ve developed an addiction to Urth Caffé!!

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3 – Veggie Grill – Is a chain of vegetarianvegan and gluten free restaurants that serve food cafeteria style. I knew one of their latest locations had just opened up in Carlsbad, so I took the opportunity to pay them a visit. They have a very extensive menu, great homemade drinks and pride themselves in only serving healthy food that is good for the mind and body. I ordered the Crispy Chickin’ Plate as well as a side order of their Mac N’ Cheese. Both plates were very filling and all tasted pretty good. You can get a good meal for under $15. My favorite was their cauli mashed potatoes!

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4 – Los Feliz – Is a new area I got to explore on this past trip located just west of Hollywood. It’s a beautiful neighborhood with lot’s of pretty homes as well as a little “downtown” area located on Vermont Street with plenty of super cute shops, bookstores and yummy restaurants. I checked out the French bistro Le Figaro for brunch. They offered all the best typical French specialties and also had a counter section, where you could buy baked goods and desserts to go. I wish I could have spent more time in the area, it’s definitely on my list of places to go back to on my next visit.

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5 – Laurel Hardware – Is a trendy relatively new restaurant and bar located on Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood. I met up with friends there for dinner one night. There are two rooms and an incredibly big patio at the back. The first room is quieter and has a more “dinning room” vibe where as the back room has a lot more of a “bar” feel to it. Lot’s of local models, musicians and young entrepreneurs have been seen flocking to this place. The night I went, the place was definitely filled with lot’s of young and beautiful people. Small but solid food and drink menu. The menu contained lot’s of sharing plates including many vegetarian options. I loved their open kitchen concept as well as the fresh flowers and candles that were on each table.

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All in all, another incredibly memorable trip with tons of new discoveries!

Till next time SoCal!

SoCal Adventure Pt 1

Last Sunday, my boyfriend and I came back from another wonderful trip to California! It was our second trip there in just three months and what a perfect time we had again!

We flew in and out of Vegas again this time, because the tickets were a lot cheaper. Even if you decide to stay the night in Vegas when you arrive, you can find hotels for so cheap there that it’s totally worth it. We took a direct flight with Westjet and got a $20 room at the classy Hooters Casino. I wouldn’t recommend going there unless you’re just there for a few hours. It was perfect for what we needed but it was definitely not luxurious at all… Think Circus Circus… 😉

We rented a car at Fox Rentals, they always have super cheap rates and good cars. This time we got a brand new Fiat 500, which was perfect for us since we would be doing a lot of mileage. Great on gas, perfect for two people and SUPER easy to park in a place like downtown LA.

On the drive out of Vegas, we stopped at the legendary diner Peggy Sue’s 50s Diner, which is right off the highway in Calico (there’s also a great ghost town – an old mining village, in Calico that you can visit). They have a big dinosaur park outside and great Hollywood memorabilia all over their walls. I had one of their famous homemade peanut butter pies, it was ginormous!

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We started our trip with a week-long stay in the Carlsbad/Encinitas area. It’s an area I’ve been going to for a while, I just love the peace, tranquility and community vibe of these little villages. We spent a whole lot of time in the water surfing! Who would have thought that we could fit two boards on this little Fiat?! It was so great to finally be in the water with Offner, hanging out on the sand, doing a DIY beach BBQ, etc. The water was a lot colder than usual this time of year, people were still surfing in their 3/2 wetsuits. I ended up going to the Ripcurl outlet in San Clemente to get myself one, the only one I was missing in my wetsuit collection. If ever you’re looking for a wetsuit and you’re down in SoCal, it’s the best and cheapest spot!

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We rented an amazing studio apartment in Carlsbad a street away from the ocean at a place called Ocean Palms. It’s was the perfect location, everything was walking distance. We were a street from the ocean, they had BBQs, a fitness room, an outdoor pool, fire pits and a really nice overall atmosphere. The studio also had a kitchenette. We spent several nights after a long day of surfing just BBQing and making delicious snacks, sitting by the fire or our little patio.

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Encinitas has really been growing a lot these past few years. There are lot’s of great restaurants opening up in the area. My three favorite spots this time were:

Solace & The Moonlight Lounge

A great place for organic, local American cuisine. I had a delicious watermelon and feta salad, it was so refreshing. We went with some of our friends who also had an amazing meal. Everything was super tasty and fresh. I also had this ridiculous peanut butter cake for dessert… woah! Make sure you call to reserve in advance, the place is usually packed!

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Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria

I had been to this place before but had to return. They serve the best homemade wood fired pizzas. My favorite is the EVOO pizza with ricotta cheese, lemon and onions. We also had the truffle salt and parmesan popcorn as an appetizer, outstanding! If you make it down there, make sure you call in advance, there’s usually a 1h wait in the evening.

Solterra Winery & Kitchen

This place is brand new, it opened just a few months ago. The wine comes from the San Diego and Mexico area. They had some great local wines to recommend, great Spanish style tapas and a tasty cheese platter. I also loved their wine cave and the fire pit on the outdoor patio. It was a perfect post-surfing place to relax!

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Also, another go-to place in the area that we absolutely love and went to a bunch of times for breakfast or lunch is Swami’s Café. They have three locations: one in Encinitas, one in Carlsbad, right beside where we were staying and another one in Oceanside. The menu is enormous, they offer many delicious options for vegetarians, they also have vegan and gluten free selections as well. They also make tons of yummy juices and smoothies. For the price you pay, you can’t go wrong!

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We discovered a great little spot on the drive down from Carlsbad to Encinitas called Pannikin Coffee & Tea. It’s a beautiful old train station that they transformed into a super hip breakfast, brunch and lunch spot. I had always passed in front of the place but never actually took the time to stop. It’s always filled with people. There’s a beautiful patio out front, a cute little tea and gift shop and the food is yummy! We ordered a bunch of cookies, pastries and dessert, it was to die for!

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In between Carlsbad and Encinitas, there’s another little coastal town called Leucadia. They have a rad donut shop and also a great local surf shop held by a super nice guy JP, called Surfy Surfy. I love the shop because they often hold concerts, art events and are really all about the community. They sell lot’s of really great surfing apparel and also make custom boards. They’re also associated with a cute little café next door called Coffee Coffee. If you pass by Leucadia, please go say hi to JP!

Before leaving the area and heading up north to LA for the second part of our trip, we stopped by the biggest all-female surfing event in the world called the Supergirl Pro. Last year, local surfer Sage Erickson had won the competition. I had the pleasure of also watching the young French surfer Pauline Ado in the water. This year, we showed up early on day 1 to catch a few surfers from France, Japan, California and Hawaii compete. This is an ASAP 6-star event, 15 of the top 16-ranked pros were at the competition this year. Not only is there great surfing to watch but there’s also a great “Festival Village” they call where local female-oriented activities and companies come out and organize dance, prizes, contests, etc. for event goers. This year it was Hawaii surfer Malia Manuel, which we saw surf the first day, who took home the $40 000 purse at the Oceanside Pier.

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All in all, it was a dreamy start to this long SoCal trip! The Encinitas area, still remains one of my favorite spots in the world. I truly feel at home there! Stay tuned for pt. 2 of our trip coming on the blog soon!