City Gems: Encinitas/Carlsbad

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Next up in this blog series is from Christine Fox and she is taking us to Carlsbad/Encinitas, CA.

If you live in Southern California then most likely you’ve been to Carlsbad and Encinitas via Legoland. Yes, Coastal North County San Diego, aka “Home to Legoland California,” which is located about 80 miles south of Los Angeles and 30 miles from downtown San Diego. While Legoland may be the main attraction to getting people to visit, my hometown has much more to offer than just building bricks.

Sweet Treats

Photo courtesy of Elizabethan Desserts

I have a weakness for cupcakes and anything that is frosted and looks way too pretty to eat. The best place to find sweet treats in Encinitas is a bakery that is hidden within a nursery and all you see hidden among the many plants they’re selling is an aqua sign that says “Bakery.” Pull into the rather large parking lot and just follow your nose to Elizabethan Desserts. While everything on the menu is delicious, you can’t go wrong with the Peanut Butter Carmel S’mores Bar ($4.25) which they flambe right in front of you like a true s’more or the Chocolate Toffee Cupcake ($3.25). They just opened up an indoor eating area too so pull up a chair and enjoy your sweets.

However if you have a hankering for pie, head north to Carlsbad where you’ll find the Village Kitchen & Pie Shoppe. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all on the menu but I say skip the meal and just eat the pie. With 25 pies to choose from you may want to choose two or three slices and share with your family and friends so you can sample all the yummy flavors like Oreo Cookie Cream Pie, Key Lime Pie, Sour Cream Apricot and Boysenberry.

Family Time


If you can manage to lure your kids away from the many amusement parks in the San Diego area, there are actually a lot more things to do in the area than you think. In fact, hidden just around the corner from Legoland is the Museum of Making Music, which offers you and the kids the opportunity to learn about the history of music in America all the way to how they make modern music. The exhibits are interactive and are sure to keep the kids entertained on a rainy or a sunny day.


Photo courtesy of HapiFish

In today’s day in age happy hour and kid-friendly dining are not synonymous but at HapiFish, they are! HapiFish is one of the most kid-friendly places to eat in Encinitas but not so kid-friendly that the adults feel like they’re eating at Chuck E. Cheese. A full sushi menu as well as gourmet tacos and wok bowls, the menu has something for every palate. Definitely order the signature Beach Bum roll, Fried Green Beans and the Hamachi Hapi.ness. With happy hour available every day from 3 to 7 p.m., you’ll miss the crowds and the kids will be happy, as will you.

Beauty in my City
Photo courtesy of Detour Salon

Photo courtesy of Detour Salon

You know how Cali girls are, we love to look good and Encinitas has no shortage of places to go for a quick blowout, hair cut or mani/pedi. My personal favorite is located right in downtown Encinitas just a few blocks from the beach, Detour Salon. With an adorable boutique in front filled with the latest trendy beauty items like fun nail polish colors or blouse you can wear out on the town that night, it’s just the start of your beauty experience. The salon is funky and chic and if you are dying to have the latest hair style, this is the place to get it. From ombre hair to hair extensions, Detour will get it done right.

Me Time

I’m a barre workout addict. There are so many variations that have popped up in the past few years but the method is essentially the same — isometric movements that exhaust the muscles to make them stronger. Hidden in an old shopping center is Studio Barre, a barre workout studio that is one-of-a-kind in its mix of cardio, strength and barre movements. Open seven days a week, it’s a great place to get a good workout in and you won’t get out of there without spending a few dollars in the adorable front office boutique which carries Lululemon, Suja Juices and Violet Love headbands. Instructors to look for: Charlotte, Shannon or Kris.

CFoxHeadshot_colorlowresChristine Fox is an Everyday Mama to three and a Carlsbad based freelance writer. She loves everything that has to do with shopping and being the talk of the playgroup when she finds the perfect shirt and diaper bag. Her fashion philosophy is simple, that being a mom does not mean that you should sacrifice style. You can be a mom and still be stylish! When she is not shopping or writing about shopping, she can be found playing with her three kids at the park. Her favorite stores are Target, Nordstrom and Anthropologie but when it comes to finding the perfect pair of jeans, no store is off limits. She has her own daily blog at, is style editor at and For more mom finds, follow her on Twitter @EverydayMama.

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