A wise man once said that it is better to live where you play than live where you work. For singles after the age of 50, we’ve taken a look at the best places to live and play, whether you’re looking to meet someone or enjoying flying solo. We’ve rated the neighborhoods based on best places to get out and walk and be a part of the community, year-round activities, restaurants and entertainment.
Where cool meets classy, Carlsbad Village is wonderfully flat with a centralized downtown area and a beautiful beach that make it the ideal place for enjoying days and nights out without ever having to get in your car. With a nice blend of locals and tourists, there are plenty of places to meet up with friends or make new ones after hours whether your tastes run towards drinking pints at a cozy Irish pub, listening to live music, tasting wine or beer, juicing up at organic eateries or indulging in seafood. When chatter gets old, the local live theaters offer plays and other entertainment all in one walkable area for a well-rounded night out. Your best bet for mingling is the ever popular Coyote Grill that offers live bands and dancing all weekend long that draws a mature, but enthusiastic early crowd before making way for the younger dancers after 10 pm. Find great surfing to the south of the village, a boardwalk for seaside exercise, and wide swaths of sand, Carlsbad offers plenty of daytime meet ups as well, including beach volleyball, yoga and running clubs. A weekly farmer’s market, annual marathon, and regular music festival offer events to look forward to all year long.
Dining & Nightlife: 5
No matter what side of the gentrification argument you are on, there’s no denying that Oceanside has plenty to offer in the way of restaurants and entertainment. Find cajun classics, hip sushi joints, fine farm-to-table dining, chic rooftop bars, and hole-in-the-wall taco shops all in one central area – there’s a taste for every mood. With an expansive downtown area that also encompasses a movie theater and two live theaters with a constant itinerary of theater, comedy, live music, dance and artist openings within walking distance, you can truly have a night out on the town in Oceanside. Offering weekly sunset markets with live music, afternoon farmers market’s, and monthly art walks with a drum circle, there’s always something to do and someone to chat with. Outdoorsy types can take advantage of fishing off the pier, popular surf spots, or boating and paddle boarding at the harbor, as well as a boardwalk for biking, running or walking.
Dining & Nightlife: 5
A beacon (pun intended) for those who love the beach life more than night life, Encinitas is slightly less meet-cute friendly in that its coastal downtown is spread out along both sides of the 101 and not as pedestrian friendly to navigate on foot as its northern neighbors. Nevertheless, it offers a variety of dining opportunities and is a fantastic brunch location. Leucadia Farmer’s Market on Sundays creates an excellent opportunity for enjoying the coast highway eateries and shops on foot while bi-monthly artnights with a shuttle to take patrons around town to enjoy different galleries and live bands offer opportunities for meeting new people or spending time with friends. An oft overlooked spot for meeting people, book lovers can’t go wrong spending time at the Encinitas library with its wide floor to ceiling windows offering stellar ocean views and weekly music sessions. The heart of daytime activities is Moonlight Beach with volleyball, ocean swimming, beach yoga, and bike club meet ups that spill over to nearby Lofty Coffee. However, the most popular hang out in Encinitas is definitely on a surfboard at Beacon’s.
4. Del Mar Coastal
What it lacks in size, the tiny coastal village of Del Mar makes up for in aesthetic. Offering just a few gems of nightlife, Del Mar nonetheless is notable for having one of the truly rare seaside restaurant locations in North County. Poseidon and Jake’s are right off the sand and offer a feeling of delicious luxury. Just a block away, Del Mar Plaza’s festive patio scene with equally spellbinding views of the vast ocean and its lively music and crowds imbibes diners and drinkers with a feeling of infinite possibility. Drawing a posh crowd, mature in age, the intimacy of the setting encourages more mixing and mingling than some of the larger downtowns. As for daytime activities, there’s always something happening at the Del Mar Fairgrounds; from the fair to concerts to haunted houses and holiday festivities, you’ve got a go-to day date for just about every season.
There’s the Belly Up Tavern. And then there’s everywhere else. Seriously though, if music is your jam, the constant flow of talent through this popular music venue will keep you entertained. Even if you’re not attending the shows, the eclectic music lovers drawn to the nearby wine bars and eateries offer regular opportunity for meeting new people, as well as hanging with the locals. Spread out between Cedros and the Coast Highway, Solana Beach offers some hidden gems for dining and drinking including Carruth Cellars Urban Winery and Tasting Room, Culture Brewing, and Homestead, as well as local casual favorites Chief’s Burgers & Brews and Pizza Port for catching the game with friends. Movies at Fletcher’s Cove and the annual Fiesta Del Sol offer activities to look forward to during the year. Solana Beach offers a singles scene for the low key, homebody who likes to hang out where everyone knows your name.
Dining & Nightlife: 2
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