I have this whole website here about hidden, haunted and amazing spots in San Diego but never once have I listed some of of my FAVORITES! So, I thought I’d take a little time and put together a few of my top recommendations. Enjoy!
Restaurant: YELLOW DELI- These people know many of life’s secrets and I definitely want to be around that type of energy. Good food created with love from selfless individuals seeking their own path towards enlightenment. I can completely respect that. The décor is hand-crafted by them and takes you back to simpler (better) times. Oh, and the food is gooooood, trust me! No additives in this stuff! A lot of the food is freshly grown and picked from their farm.
Hiking: HO CHI MIHN TRAIL- I will admit that when I go hiking, beauty ranks higher than endurance for me. In fact, strangeness, thrill, adventure….those all rank higher. That’s not to say I’m not an advocate for being fit, I just want to get some good photos in darnit! This area blew my mind the first time I visited it. I’ve been back multiple times since and am still just as impressed. Please be respectful if you hike here. Don’t litter (ever for that matter) and please help to preserve mother nature’s architecture. Try to hike back at sunset-- you will not regret it.
Romantic: RED FOX PIANO BAR - I’m not really trying to blow this place up, but at the same time I enjoy sharing my recommendations with you guys. If you’re an old-soul type and drawn to all things vintage, out-dated and historical, then this may be the place for you. It is very dark with red lighting, old jazzy LIVE music dating back to the early 1920’s & darn good grilled cheese (only thing I’ve eaten here though I hear the steak is great for you meat-lovers) Pair it with red wine and your honey and you have perfection if you ask me. Not to mention the interior of this restaurant was built in the 1500's and shipped over from England for a silent film actress.
Haunted: HARMONY GROVE- If you couldn’t tell from the insanely large list of spots I have for Escondido, I am a fan of this town. I also lived there for a decade. Escondido has some very heavy and strange energy. The whole area feels like a vortex to me, slowly pulling you back in (you Esco folks know darn well what I’m talking about). Harmony Grove (when I say that, I also mean Questhaven & Elfin Forest) just seem to have a little thicker energy than the rest of the town. I have explored these areas dozens of time out of boredom and fascination. Sadly, after so much construction, destruction and new housing, it is not what it used to be. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t many places to explore, you just have to keep your eyes peeled.
Rejuvenating: LAVENDER FIELDS- The Lavender Fields are owned and operated by the same people that own the Yellow Deli (both spots) and Morning Star Ranch. I looovvvveeee the drive up here for one. Valley Center is gorgeous, especially in spring time! The people out here live an enviable lifestyle and really have the right idea going on (in my opinion). I'm not talking about the religion aspect (though not bashing it either) but mainly communal living, team-work, farming, health, love, simplicity, etc. I love what they’re doing up there and just soaking it all in. This is a great spot for photography too.
View: KWAAYMII POINT- My friend Allison (friend who occasionally writes highly entertaining articles for this site) showed me this spot last year. It instantly became a favorite. This is right next to Julian, which, if you know what you’re looking for is a whole lot of adventurous fun. That makes this an all-day trip easily. The view is breathtaking, nothing else like it in San Diego that I know of. This is a spot to go to for true peace of mind.
Historical: OLD TOWN- I cannot name just one spot in Old Town because it truly is this whole area in general. I will even lump Victorian Village & Presidio Park into this because they are literally a stone’s throw away. This area is old (oldest in SD in fact), haunted (it is, trust me) and there are many quiet spots to scope out. Not to mention they have the best homemade tortillas. Look for the ladies making them outside the restaurants and do yourself a favor and order them! I go here all the time and never tire of it (unless there’s too many people there). I enjoy it at night just as much, although everything is closed then. There is very interesting energy out here--those of you sensitive to that type of thing will see what I'm talking about.
Museum or Gallery: DISTINCTION GALLERY- I don’t know if I’m being biased because I am an artist myself, but I LOVE Distinction Gallery. They have been voted the #1 gallery in San Diego multiple times and for good reason. I know there are still so many galleries and museums that I need to hit up but for now, this is my favorite. If you are young and an artist, you will most likely love this as much as I do. Why? Well, for one, many of those artists that you ooh and ahh over in Juxtapoz & Hi-Fructose magazine show here. You get to see it all for free! The second Saturday of every month is their monthly gala. The art here is no joke. I leave on the most incredible natural high and SOOO motivated to create. It’s wonderful.
Architecture: VILLA MONTEZUMA- It’s funny that this is my favorite architectural location because I’ve never actually been inside. This spot has been closed off for as long as I’ve known about it but hopefully it will re-open soon as that’s the word on the street! Just exploring the perimeter is enough to satisfy me. Dragons on the rooftop? Yes please! Gothic Victorian? Yup! It's colorful and has a spooky story to go along with it. And I don’t know, there’s just something very special about it...you can tell.