Cool on the Coast: Farm-fresh start to the new year in January

Layla Marino

2016_COLUMN_MARINO“New year, new you” is a slogan we’re all familiar with when it comes to that first day of a new year. New Year’s resolutions amount to trying new things and getting out there for more fun and fulfillment. The northern coast of San Diego County is an excellent place to make these resolution dreams a reality. An idyllic setting plus lots of things to do and try makes the North Coast the perfect place for all your New Year’s resolutions and goals.

Whether you want to get healthy and start checking out the local and fresh wares at one of a dozen farmers’ markets, get involved in the theater or just see more world-class shows, you need not go far to find ways to make your 2016 dreams a reality. Of course, if you’re perfectly happy with your current “you,” coastal North County is also the perfect spot to kick back and keep appreciating the beauty and fun of this vibrant region.

2016 farmers’ markets

One of San Diego County’s best features is that there is a farmers’ market in almost every neighborhood. Coastal North County is even more lucky because each area has a different twist on the farmers’ market. From the artsy market of Leucadia and Encinitas to Oceanside’s sunset market, there’s a place for fresh, local produce easily accessible to every resident. Below are the farmers’ market schedules for 2016. See the full list for the whole county at

Wednesday markets

  • Carlsbad State Street Farmers’ Market, 3-6 p.m. winter hours; 3-7 p.m. summer hours — Located on State Street between Village and Grand. Due to its proximity to the Carlsbad Flower Fields, this market has an incredible selection of fresh-cut and wild flowers in addition to local fruits and vegetables, music and crafts.
  • Encinitas Station Farmers’ Market, 4-8 p.m. — Located on Vulcan Avenue behind Whole Foods Market. This convenient market is right at the Encinitas train station, so patrons can drive, bike or ride to the market.

Thursday markets

  • Oceanside Farmers’ Market, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. — Located on Pier View Way and Coast Highway 101. Get the jump on the weekend crowds, plus the Oceanside Market is known for some of the best fresh seafood in the county.
  • Oceanside Sunset Market, 5-9 p.m. year-round. — Located on Mission Avenue. This is one of the biggest markets in San Diego County, with not only the standard market fare but an international food court and world jewelry and craft markets. During the winter, be sure the check Oceanside’s Main Street website to make sure markets haven’t been cancelled for weather:!sunset-market/c1yvd.

Saturday markets

  • Del Mar Farmers’ Market, 1-4 p.m. — On Camino del Mar between 10th and 11th streets. One of the largest fruit selections in the county. Find strange and exotic fruits and veggies at this market, which is in a convenient spot for everyone.

Sunday markets

  • Leucadia/Encinitas Market and Art Fair, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. — Located on Union Street by Paul Ecke Elementary School. This market is known for having lots of vendors from the Leucadia and Encinitas arts corridor. Do your shopping for the week and browse all the incredible art Leucadia has to offer.
  • Solana Beach Farmers’ Market, 1-5 p.m. — The market is right on Cedros Avenue, right in the heart of Solana Beach’s design district. Lots of art here, too. Plus, stop in some of the amazing design shops to get ideas for your home.

The Belly Up in Solana Beach

After a rockin’ end to 2015, San Diego County’s best spot for rock is back with a great January lineup. From intimate indie shows to local favorites, North County residents will be spoiled once again with one of the best venues in Southern California. For the full schedule this month, go to

  • Jan. 16: Tower of Power — This slick soul/jazz outfit has a resume that spans 40 years and includes working with some of the most legendary classic rock and blues bands in history. Taking time off from touring with Journey and The Steve Miller Band, Tower of Power will bring their huge power and presence to the Belly Up for one night only.
  • Jan. 17: DeVotchKa — This Russian indie group took the U.S. by storm when their single “Til the End of Time” appeared in the soundtrack of breakthrough movie “Little Miss Sunshine” in 2006. Now touring the West Coast, this unique and soulful group is hitting the Belly Up before heading to the Midwest. Check them out.
  • Jan. 21-22: Big Head Todd and the Monsters — The fact that Big Head Todd and the Monsters booked two shows at the Belly Up in San Diego should show how much of a local favorite this indie/blues group is. Friday is already sold out, so make sure you grab your tickets to Thursday’s show asap.
  • Jan. 29: G Love and Special Sauce — In the opinion of most San Diegans, soulful blues/rap combo G Love and Special Sauce are the best thing to come out of Philadelphia since the Liberty Bell. Luckily for San Diego and the Belly Up, G Love says he’ll stop touring “… when I fall off the earth.” Check out this local favorite with his favorite locals.
  • Jan. 31: “Point Break Live, Can You Keanu?” — A live version of the original “Point Break” movie where a different audience member is cast as Keanu each night? The Los Angeles Times calls this hilarious, thrilling live action Point Break “uproarious,” and it’s easy to guess why. Join the fun and see if you’d make a good Johnny Utah.

January fun in coastal North County

The weather may be cold and wet in San Diego right now, but while we get some much-needed rain, there’s lots to do on the coast. With world-class plays, music and even some outdoor fun for the brave, the coastal north is still where it’s at in the winter of El Niño.

  • Tuesdays through Jan. 26: Tuesday Night Run — That sassy El Niño isn’t going to stop this band of running warriors in Oceanside. Join SoCal’s version of the Polar Bears every Tuesday in January for a more-than-brisk run; nothing like vigorous exercise in cold weather to keep your week going. This event is free; what a way to keep a New Year’s resolution. More information online:
  • Jan. 16: Quicksilver: Fantasticus — If you didn’t get your fill of beautiful classical and baroque music with Christmas, the San Diego Early Music Society brings an evening of virtuosic German chamber music as well as modern experimental works from Italian composers to Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Cardiff. For tickets and information, go to
  • Jan. 16-17: Del Mar Gem Faire — One of the biggest gem fairs in the country is back at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Whether you’re into beautiful stones, rare and collectible jewelry or making your own jewel art, the Del Mar Gem Faire will have what you’re looking for. For further information, visit
  • Jan. 16, 22 and 23: “Thoroughly Modern Millie” — A tribute to New York in the form of a fun and whimsical musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” is a fun and different way to spend a Saturday in San Diego. For more information, call 760-752-1121.
  • Jan. 18: “Twilight Zone Unscripted” — The mother of all sci-fi shows as a live, improvised show? You bet. The newest craze in improv theater is interactive “Twilight Zone” episodes where the only limit is the imagination of the audience. Be part of this fun and fantastical theater experience. For more information, go to
  • Jan. 23-31: “Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush” — One of Sherlock Holmes’ greatest adventures comes to life at the North Coast Rep this month. Bring the whole family for one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s greatest detective in a play by Joseph Vass. More information is at
  • Jan. 24: Food Forest Festival — An amazing foraging event in Encinitas. This event is in honor of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish birthday of the trees, but anyone can enjoy and benefit from this educational foraging excursion to find natural food items. Participants will also help plant edible trees, receive lunch and a sunset concert by Darshan. A really interesting and different outdoor event. For more details visit

The lack of sun this month doesn’t mean there’s a lack of things to do in coastal North County. Markets, music, theater and educational fun just scratch the surface of all the coastal north has to offer this month. Make one of your New Years’ resolutions is to get out and enjoy all your region has to offer.

Columnist Layla Marino is a San Diego music and arts writer. Visit Follow her on Twitter at Send questions and comments to [email protected].