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Shop Cedros Design District for unique gifts

Cedros Design District is marked by distinctive signs SOURCE:Antique Warehouse

California is a culture dominated by automobiles and San Diego is no exception, but there are a few places that are pedestrian friendly. One of these areas is the Cedros Design District. Located in Solana Beach just east of the Coast Hwy, South Cedros Avenue used to be a run down collection of funky Quonset huts and light industry.

The district is about four blocks long and is adjacent to the train station in Solana Beach to the north and the Del Mar Fair grounds to the south. The ocean is due west and keeps the area cool making for pleasant walking weather even in the summer. Driving, it is best reached from I-5, exiting at Lomas Santa Fe and going west. Park at either end of the district. There is street parking or park in one of its well-marked lots. Plan to walk up one side of the street and back to your car down the other side. The district also makes a great day trip from Los Angeles by train.

On the west side of the street are Kern & Co , showing Indonesian-made furniture and accessories; Adventure 16 displaying expedition-quality outdoor equipment and clothes; and Birdcage offering fun gifts and d?cor. Also on the West side of the street are Weeds, a source for casual clothes and unusual gifts; SoLo, a combination design book store and furniture store; Leo Hamil Jewelers and Out of the Blue, an eclectic shop devoted to an ocean theme.

On the east side of the street, you'll find Cassidy West, famous for its SouthWest furniture and design; Trios Gallery, showcasing fine art, one-of-a-kind jewelry and crafts; Cedros Gardens, a totally organic nursery; Plum Pudding, with a large selection of unusual cards and holiday merchandise; and Art & Accents, offering a colorful collection of Italian home furnishings, china and textiles.

Dominating this side of the street is Leaping Lotus with 24,000 square feet of marketplace. Plan to spend some time to go through this selection of gifts, furniture and crafts from around the world. This side of the street also houses the Antique Warehouse, a collection of 101 vendors offering collectibles, antiques and memorabilia.

Dining and Clubbing

The Wild Note Caf? is a neighborhood bistro located next to the world famous Belly Up Tavern. It serves lunch and dinner, a weekend brunch and there are often live music evenings. The Wild Note is part of the Belly Up Tavern. Make reservations for dinner there before a show and get into the Belly Up without having to stand in line.

The Belly Up Tavern is legendary in San Diego and has been voted San Diego's "Best Live Music Venue" numerous times. It features an eclectic list of performers from hip-hop to jazz, many nationally known. Every Tuesday night there are three local bands playing and many San Diego music acts got their start on the Belly Up's stage.

Caf? Zinc is on the east side of the street. Stop here for a refreshment break when walking and shopping has taken a toll of coffee and fresh pastry.

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