Hiking at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Hiking at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

The warm weather this week makes me want to get OUTSIDE! A few years back, my friends and I hiked just about every popular trail in San Diego. One of my favorites will always be Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve because the trails along the bluffs overlook the ocean for the most beautiful mid-hike views. There are several trails within the reserve but I usually opt for the longest of the bunch, Broken Hill Trail, a 3-mile loop with scenic lookouts. It’s a popular trail, which means heavy traffic at times, but you can begin or end the hike by walking along Torrey Pines State Beach, so it’s worth joining the crowd. The reserve’s namesake pine tree is an endangered species only found within the reserve and on one of the Channel Islands off the coast of Oxnard, Calif. The Torrey Pine was also the inspiration behind renowned author/illustrator Theodor Geisel‘s (AKA Dr. Seuss) famous illustrations when he lived in La Jolla.

Butternut squash panini at Caroline's Seaside Cafe
Butternut squash panini at Caroline’s Seaside Cafe

For the best restaurant view in Torrey Pines, head to Caroline’s Seaside Cafe, located on the UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus in the Seaside Forum. Caroline’s serves healthy California cuisine during breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch, and is very popular among UCSD students. It often gets packed during lunchtime, especially on a nice day when people want to sit outside overlooking the ocean. I like the seasonal chopped salad with pomegranate, butternut squash and avocado, and the pan-seared salmon salad with pineapple salsa, sesame seeds and avocado. The butternut squash panini is another favorite because of the combo of roasted squash, truffle butter and cheddar cheese. Keep an eye out for their daily specials, too.

Now GO – get outside!