Solana Beach, like many of the beach communities in North County San Diego, has several different business districts. Along Highway 101 there are shopping centers, restaurants and small shops that serve both residents and the visitors who flock to the beach. This area is bounded on the east by the railroad tracks that run along the coast to Los Angeles and San Diego.
Solana Beach is currently working on landscaping this strip as part of the Coastal Rail Trail. Eventually the trail will stretch from Oceanside to San Diego along the tracks. This multi-use pathway will include paths for running, biking and walking as well as benches and other amenities. Improvements along this strip will also help the businesses located in this area. A new public art sculpture by Betsy Schulz will be displayed at the Solana Beach entrance to the trail.
At the northern border of Solana Beach near San Elijo Lagoon, a boutique hotel and condominium project is under development east of Highway 101. Longs Drugs is building a large store along Highway 101 that will open in early 2004. The increased pace of development means greater prosperity for the area. The city is also planning to create a redevelopment agency in the near future to handle future growth.
In 1995, the train station was moved from Del Mar to Solana Beach bringing visitors to the area and offering residents another commuter option. The new station's architecture mimics the Quonset huts that border South Cedros, an upscale design district that offers galleries, boutiques and antiques as well as a fun pedestrian experience. The Cedros Design District is also home to the Belly Up Tavern--an entertainment fixture in North San Diego County. The Belly Up was recently sold and its new owner plans renovation and improvements to this landmark venue.
Another business district borders Lomas Santa Fe Drive between Highway 101 and north of I-5. Shops, restaurants and stores like Marshall's and Ross are located in this area.
Eden Gardens is another Solana Beach business district. This area was settled originally by the Mexican farm hands who worked in the area, and it's original character is reflected in its ethnic markets and restaurants. Tony's Jacal and Fidels are well-known for their food and fun dining environments. The City of Solana Beach has been improving the infrastructure in this area adding sidewalks, lighting and building La Colonia Park in 1991.
Solana Beach's annual Fiesta del Sol is the largest music festival in North County and attracts over 25,000 people to the area during the first week of June.