This north coastal community of 12,000 is tucked between Del Mar to the south, Cardiff by the Sea to the north and Rancho Santa Fe to the east. And though it wasn’t officially incorporated until 1986, it’s history began a hundred years earlier.
In 1886, the first family settled in the area. The Jones were farmers and bought huge swaths of land. The Lake Hodges Dam was built in 1918, creating a much needed water supply to North County, which proved instrumental in the rapid growth of the farming industry and the future development of Solana Beach.
In 1922 Colonel Ed Fletcher, an early community leader and developer, purchased 140 acres from the Jones Family at $20 per acre. He then set about establishing the town of Solana Beach. Colonel Fletcher knew that you couldn’t have a beach town without beach access, so he made one. Over three months, he eroded tons of earth from the seaside cliffs with a high-pressure water jet supplied by the spillway of Lake Hodges Dam to create the beach access now known as Fletcher Cove.
Solana Beach has changed enormously since its founding by Col. Fletcher in the 1920’s. Farming and agricultural lands have given way to residential growth, and the light industry that was situated along the railroad has transformed into high-tech enterprises, charming shops, and the Cedros Design District https://www.shopcedros.com/. The small town feel is still very prominent in the City of Solana Beach, which remains to this day a picture perfect Southern California beach village.
Originally from New Zealand, and a San Diego resident since 1985, Katy Kingery has lived and worked in Solana Beach for the last 12 years. She moved to Solana Beach by chance, and soon discovered that it was the perfect location to access great waves for surfing the California coast, and terrific schools for her young boys at Skyline Elementary, Earl Warren Middle School and nearby, Torrey Pines High School, with the middle school even offering a surfing class as part of their physical education.
Now, as a Realtor at Beal Real Estate, whose offices are right in the middle of the action on Cedros Avenue, she loves introducing new potential residents and visitors to the beachy town that has become her home.
210 Plaza Street, Solana Beach
Katy says: “My favorite thing about living in Solana Beach is the beach! Not only is Fletcher Cove a great local surf spot, but on Thursday evenings during the summer there is movie night on the lawn. It is the place to be throughout the year to enjoy local family fun, with the park for kids, the overlook to watch the sunsets, and close proximity to food and shopping on Cedros Avenue.”
Pro tip: Take note of Fletcher Cove parking signs. On Tuesday mornings there is street cleaning and they do ticket!
143 S Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
Katy says: “Even in this relaxed and laid-back beachtown you can find a world-renowned music venue. No need to make a trip to LA or New York, at the Belly Up, you can regularly catch musical legends or the latest up-and-coming artists. I have had the opportunity to see Jonny Lang perform at the Belly Up and it was nothing short of incredible. What makes this venue especially different, is that you are in an intimate setting an arm's length away from the musician.”
Pro tip: Belly Up rents out its venue for private events, too.
135 N Highway 101, Solana Beach
Katy says: “Pizza Port is one of the longest standing restaurants in Solana Beach and boasts a loyal following and a highly regarded reputation in San Diego's booming craft beer scene. Aside from serving incredible pizza and its very own award-winning craft beers, Pizza Port is a landmark establishment for Solana Beach residents where locals go to meet. I personally enjoy the cesar salad and sharing a pizza and beer with my husband. I recommend sitting out front on the sidewalk patio to people watch.”
132 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach
Katy Says: "Lofty Coffee is definitely a neighborhood coffee shop. This is where locals connect, travelers make friends, and business gets done. The coffee is unreal, they roast their own beans and are serious about seeking out farms, co-ops and importers from around the world that grow and transport in a sustainable manner. This is where I can find my ideal creamy smooth café latte. Lofty even offers their own freshly made pastries. My all-time favorite order is the awesome slow poached eggs with the "to die for” avocado toast. While shopping on Cedros Ave it’s an ideal spot to take a break. Best part? They are pet friendly, so take your furry friend along."