Free things to do in or near North County Coastal San Diego
September 12, 2010 4:14 PM   Subscribe

Free things to do in or near North County Coastal San Diego?

I'm pretty open to whatever. I can't do anything physically strenuous, but light to moderate walking are okay.

I've found tons of threads about San Diego proper, but it's a lot more driving than I'm willing to do regularly.
posted by moira to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
Downtown Encinitas is great, lots of little shops, and restaurants and a movie theater. They have a Farmer's Market Sundays on and you can get to it on the Coaster (which unfortunately does not run on Sundays) which is block or so away from it all. It's also real close to the beach (wonderful beaches all along here, I'll point out Swami's as one, but there are many others. You can get a good sense of it by looking at Google Street View and explore from the train station.

The Coaster makes it easy to get downtown (M-Sa) and downtown the transit is pretty good and you can do all that San Diego stuff. Old Town is nice to visit, downtown, along the Bay, all very straightforward to get to and walk to via the train and trolley.

You probably already know that The North County Times is the newspaper for the area, and when I lived there last (~9ish years ago) did a nice job covering events. You might cross-reference events on the San Diego Reader website against the list of stops on the Coaster: Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach.

Is it physical things you're looking for? Outdoor? Daytime? Evening? Weekend?
posted by artlung at 4:54 PM on September 12, 2010

It can be physical if the physical part is ultra-light, such as walking or very light hiking. Indoor or outdoor work. I'm mainly looking for daytime stuff, weekday or weekend, but I don't want to rule out evenings. They key is that it be free and I not spend lots of time on transportation (I have limited time chunks and driving can be hard on my back).
posted by moira at 5:12 PM on September 12, 2010

I'll stick by Encinitas as a mellow place to start exploring. Maybe people with more current local knowledge will chime in.

San Diego County has great libraries. My wife used to be involved with writer's groups there, some fun events listed on - not all North County, but a good start in terms of "events."

Encinitas/Leucadia, culturally, with the reason for Swami's being named Swami's so close by, has a lot of spiritually mellow places, and as a result a lot of Yoga. You might be interested in joining something local for that, super-low-intensity Yoga might be up your alley and I'd bet money you could find that somewhere in that area.

I say light beach walks are awesome. Maybe take up photography, there is so much beautiful in that part of the county all up and down. Hard to take a bad picture of lovely beaches and scenery. If you're comfortable sharing which your closest to, it might be helpful to say whether you're closer to Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, Leucadia, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar. Lots of range, and the 5 free, as you know, can get to be pretty much of a pain (I used to do that commute, no fun, so I ended up taking the Coaster into Downtown SD). If you are really closer to Del Mar, then La Jolla and the museums there are in range, La Jolla Cove, etc.

All Southern California has traffic problems, so that's normal. And parking is a pain as well, unfortunately that's a fact of life, so be prepared for frustrations there because of your physical limitations there. I have a friend who does not drive and lives closer to the center of San Diego and when she had back surgery it was a big bummer. Eventually she got more able to move about and the buses worked pretty well for her. Almost all of them are disabled-accessible, if that's a concern.
posted by artlung at 5:48 PM on September 12, 2010

We currently live in Oceanside. I have to agree with your enthusiasm about the Encinitas area; the Swami gardens are gorgeous, and the library on D is fantastic. Perusing the farmer's market could be fun, and beach walks would be perfect. I have a camera that has been languishing.

I'm not a native, so my knowledge of the area has lots of holes. Thanks for your suggestions.
posted by moira at 6:11 PM on September 12, 2010

Oceanside events list looks okay, Zvents, likewise.

I think Oceanside Pier is pretty. I'd go there if I lived there. Beach is beautiful, of course. You might consider a 3-wheel bike, maybe a bike rental. Fairly low impact, and a nice way to explore. You might try Alan's and see if they have them.

Carlsbad Village is pretty cool, smaller than Encinitas but still with a lot of fun stuff, and close to the train station. There's an ice cream place there whose name I can't remember that's great (looked it up, it's a Cold Stone Creamery, less exciting than I remember, but still, great place for ice cream and people watching). Carlsbad likewise beach-close.

This end of the summer is a lovely time in SoCal, the tourist season is over, but the weather is still darn nice. Some years I was going to the beach daily to bodysurf (high intensity out in the surf), but you could also visit La Jolla Cove and snorkel when it's low tide and that would be low-impact.

I feel like this has been a fun excuse for me to be homesick, though I've lived a lot of places, so I can choose to be homesick for a lot of different spots on the planet.
posted by artlung at 7:49 PM on September 12, 2010

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