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2017 Travel Guide to California - - SAN DIEGO COUNTY -

His­toric High­way 101, also called the PA­CIFIC COAST HIGH­WAY, runs through San Diego’s idyl­lic NORTH COUNTY coastal com­mu­ni­ties, pass­ing by gor­geous long beaches and wild la­goons. You can do the trip in a cou­ple of hours, but why hurry? Be­gin at the north end of La Jolla at TOR­REY PINES STATE PARK and de­scend a steep hill to Tor­rey Pines beach, then up­hill again to DEL MAR. Stop signs at each block force you to slow down and ap­pre­ci­ate the Tu­dor-style build­ings and quaint shops and cafés in town be­fore you de­scend again and cruise through SOLANA BEACH, CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA, ENCINI­TAS, LEUCADIA, CARLS­BAD and OCEAN­SIDE. Each town’s main street presents an ar­ray of din­ing and brows­ing op­tions, from funky Mex­i­can take­out stands to fancy restau­rants on the sand. Of the many beaches along the way, MOON­LIGHT BEACH in Encini­tas presents the most play­time pos­si­bil­i­ties in­clud­ing a play­ground, snack bar, pic­nic ta­bles and a year-round life­guard sta­tion. Take your time and stop of­ten. The dis­tance be­tween Tor­rey Pines and Ocean­side is only 25 miles, but you can eas­ily spend a full day ex­plor­ing. When you’re ready to re­turn to cen­tral San Diego, just hop on I-5 South at one of the many en­trances along 101.

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