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A Local's Guide to San Diego

Canadian surfers and entrepreneurs Mitch Martin and Nate Batara take us to their favourite spots in the city.

Mitch Martin and Nate Batara

Photo: (Mitch Martin); (Nate Batara)

When Mitch Martin and Nate Batara aren’t teaching crafty ­Canadians how to make surfboards at Shaper Studios in ­Vancouver and Montreal, they’re honing their skills at the company’s flagship shop in San Diego, a city they love for two reasons, says Martin: “surfing and Mexican food.”

La Jolla Shores

Photo: Brett Shoaf, Artistic Visuals

1. La Jolla Shores

La Jolla has beaches for all levels of surfing, and La Jolla Shores is great for beginners. Sand-bottomed with gentle, friendly surf, beach volleyball, grassy picnic areas (it’s one of the few spots you can bring a barbecue), fire pits and showers, this is the perfect place to spend the day.

8302 Camino Del Oro, La Jolla

The Taco Stand

Photo: Courtesy of The Taco Stand

2. The Taco Stand

Nothing beats a Baja-style fried-fish taco with a glass of homemade horchata after a surf – although a combo of Mexican beer and a burrito comes pretty close. Just a few blocks from the La Jolla Reefs, this spot is extremely popular, so it’s best to hit it on a weekday.

621 Pearl St., La Jolla, 858-551-6666

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

Photo: Courtesy of Studio Schulz

3. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

This is our go-to hangout when we’re craving a good vibe and an endless selection of beer – there are over 140 choices. It’s one of San Diego’s original craft brew­eries, and the Liberty Station location is housed in an old navy mess hall. We start with the Nah Mean, a hoppy, refreshing lager that quenches post-surf thirst. Then we work our way through the list with some Belgian-style wits and American pale ales. Did we mention the bocce ball court outside?

2816 Historic Decatur Rd., #116, 619-269-2100

4. North Park

North Park is our favour­ite place to roam (and it’s where Shaper Studios’ flagship shop is). We start at the whisky bar Seven Grand, and after an old-fashioned made with Old Grand-Dad’s Kentucky straight bourbon, we head to the Observatory to catch a show, like Tame Impala or Beach House.

Shaper Studios, 4225 30th St., 619-889-1158



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