My hot tip for Bad Yogis on the go is to visit the adjoining beach cities of Encinitas and Carlsbad, north of San Diego, California. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more yoga-friendly destination on the West Coast; in either city, you’ll be less than a stone’s throw from a yoga studio, a healthy juice bar, and/or a kindred spirit.
Mantra’s ready to welcome you!
Carlsbad is where you’ll find “my” yoga studio, Mantra Yoga & Juice, which I’ve written about previously on the Bad Yogi blog. Stop by and do a drop-in class, or at the very least, get a smoothie from the juice bar. I’m pretty fanatical in my loyalty to Mantra, but friends and family also recommend Yoga Six in Carlsbad, as well as CorePower Yoga and Yoga Tropics in Encinitas.
In both cities, you’ll encounter lots of what I call “yoga-adjacent” places and things to do … wellness and meditation centers, climbing gyms, spin classes, and more. For example, stop by the Self-Realization Fellowship Hermitage, Retreat & Gardens in Encinitas, and take a stroll or some time to meditate. The Gardens are located on the cliff just above the world-famous “Swami’s” surf beach and offer spectacular views of the Pacific.
Get thee to the beach.
Even if the sun’s not out, this beach is still so enticing!
Speaking of the surf … yoga and surfing go hand-in-hand in these coastal communities; it’s not unlikely the guy or gal doing Warrior II next to you in class was in the water an hour ago. And of course, the beaches of Carlsbad and Encinitas offer the perfect settings for yoga-pose Instagram selfies. You can snap off a few pics, then grab your board and paddle out to catch some waves.
Where to eat?
Once you’re back on dry land, you’ll be hungry and thirsty. Whether you’re looking for acai bowls or greasy tacos, a kombucha or an IPA, you’ll find what you need and a good vibe from the locals. EVE (Encinitas Vegan Experience)
is a favorite of my pals at Mantra, with its vegan cuisine … though you’ll find me a couple of storefronts away at the Encinitas Cafe
, sucking down a milkshake with my grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich. Two of my favorite spots in Carlsbad are also walking distance from the waves: Cafe Topes
, with its tasty breakfast and lunch options, and Pizza Port
, with its award-winning craft beer offerings.
Pizza’s the perfect follow-up to some surfing and beach yoga.
Forgot your yoga gear at home? Not a problem. The Vuori Clothing
, in Encinitas, offers great yoga/surf clothing for dudes who might not find what they’re looking for at lulu
. (Vuori has cool options for women as well.) But fear not, if it’s gotta be lululemon
, if you have teen/preteen daughters like I do), there’s one just a few miles inland at the Carlsbad Forum shopping center.
So, if you need a weekend (or more) away from it all, set your drishti
on Carlsbad and Encinitas … where you’ll find everything a fun-seeking yogi or yogini could ask for.
Featured photo used under a Creative Commons license. All other photos by the author.
P.S. Love this series? Be sure to check out all our city guides and our interactive map of our writers’ favorite spots!
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