You could be forgiven to think San Diego’s just surfing, craft beers and fish tacos. Don’t get us wrong, it’s all of those things, however, it’s much, much more.
The Southern California coastal city is only a 22-minute drive from Mexico and houses the largest number of military personnel in the country. It’s also the home of one of the largest groupings of Chicano art murals in the world, with more than 80 in Chicano Park alone. No one can deny it’s a city of true American diversity.
MARCH AND ASH
For our first stop, we pop over to the California cannabis dispensary, March and Ash—a beautifully designed, high-end retail cannabis experience in Mission Valley, San Diego. Sitting between the 8 and the 805 freeways, this store is, in short, absolutely extraordinary.
You walk into a space that has been crafted to show the very best that cannabis has to offer. Their calming CBD room, hydroponic clone wall, and shelves lined with cannabis products are a sight to see; and the staff, well, they’re excited to show it all off.
We meet up with Nicole, a cannabis concierge at March and Ash. Nicole has been there from the start—she helped open the place back in September 2018 and happily takes us on a tour through the space.
She brings us over to show off the baby cannabis plants (or clones) they have growing against a mirrored wall in the back of the store. She explains how each one is passionately cared for and is ready to plant by those who’d like to test out their green thumb.
After taking a closer look at some of the indica and sativa plants, we mention we want to pick up some Sunday Goods for our day in San Diego. She shows us the pens and pre-rolls, telling us her favorite (so far) is the Rest Pen. Since we still have a full day ahead of us, we grab a Delight Pen, thank Nicole for showing us around and hit the road.
Next stop = coffee. We hit Communal Coffee, a shop unlike any other. You walk into a large white room with a long wooden bar stretching the length of the majority of the space. To the right, there are little tables laden with flowers, while people sip their drinks and draw charcoal creations on art pads.
The friendly barista asks if he can get us a drink or perhaps maybe some flowers, gesturing to the wall behind us that holds blooming flower bouquets crafted by Wyld Blooms. Glancing over the menu, we gravitate toward the Vanilla Bean Latte, a perfect pairing for the Delight pen we picked up. Their fresh ground espresso with the hints of vanilla are exactly what we need to head to our next stop, oysters
LITTLE ITALY FARMER’S MARKET
We grab some farm fresh berries and stop by a booth that can’t be passed: Captain Jack’s Shellfish, owned and operated by Jon Bernetskie. He sells fresh oysters at the farmers market every Wednesday and Saturday and serves them up either grilled or shucked…with lemon and hot sauce for us, please.
Jon tells us he started in the Hollywood Farmers Market in LA before branching off on his own adventure in San Diego. On Saturdays, he says, he can sell upwards of 80 dozen oysters. If he’s catering an event, he can be shucking upwards of 150 dozen, that’s a lot of oysters—1800 to be exact.
His love of oysters is immediately apparent, as these are some of the best oysters you’ll have…meaty and salty with a tart, spicy finish from the drops of lemon and hot sauce. Truly a delight! We head out to check out some local art, but before we do, we listen in on some tunes from Matt Huz, a local musician playing at the market.
NORTH PARK MURAL
We head over to visit a mural in North Park, San Diego on the wall of Artelexia, a shop that’s “sharing the vibrant culture of Mexico with the world.” The mural is painted with vibrant colors and reads “You are radiant, yes, you.” Painted by the local artist, Channin Fulton, it’s a wall of feel good in the community. After some food in the belly, some local art adored, it’s time for a drink.
We head over to a brewery, but not just any brewery, Juneshine, a newly opened hard kombucha place.
If you’re wondering, that’s tasty, 6% alcohol kombucha with over 15 flavors to choose from. We meet up with Jay, the GM of the space and grab a flight to sample: Kumquat, Acai Berry and Strawberry, please. As we sip on each of the delicious flavors, Jay explains to us why they taste so smooth. Their Kombucha is brewed with honey and green tea, unlike most other kombuchas that are made with black tea and sugar.
Jay also points to our, now half-filled glasses, and mentions that they don’t add any artificial coloring and that their focus is on sustainability. In fact, they use all organic ingredients so you can feel even better while you’re already feeling good. We order another flight, as one should, and call it a day.
Until next time, San Diego.