A De-stress Destination

Meditation gardens in Encinitas
(Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles)

Need to de-stress from your complicated life? Just a short getaway — for a vacation, weekend or even a day — can do wonders.

“A change of scene literally gives us a fresh perspective and helps us to understand our lives better when we return,” said psychotherapist and radio personality Ruth Sucato.

For Sucato, a La Jolla resident, the San Diego area is an ideal relaxation destination.


With the city’s compelling combination of world-class culture, small-town atmosphere, miles of magnificent beaches, nature preserves and parkland, the carefree feeling of delight is clearly contagious, she- said.

Your mood can lighten the moment you see the blue expanse of harbor and inhale the salty ocean air. And that’s just the start of an unforgettable getaway to restore your body, mind and spirit.

Here’s how to do it — in three easy steps.

Let’s get physical

Mom was right — get out in the fresh air and play. “Even mild athletic activities will release endorphins, which provide a feeling of well-being,” Sucato said.

For an easy walk or strenuous hike, the trails at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve offer spectacular views. The nearby beach is a good spot for dolphin watching. For bicycling, the Silver Strand along the beach in Coronado is an easy, scenic ride. More strenuous — but with spectacular views — is the uphill ride from Ocean Beach along Sunset Cliffs to the Cabrillo National Monument and Point Loma Lighthouse.

When it comes to water sports, San Diego offers 70 miles of coastline with some of the best beaches in the state for swimming, paddleboarding and surfing.

Natural serenity


Simply taking in San Diego’s breathtaking natural setting can easily restore your spirits, Sucato said.

A short drive north is Encinitas, home of the Self-Realization Fellowship Hermitage, Retreat & Meditation Gardens. Few places are as conducive to inner peace as the bluff-top meditation gardens with a panoramic view of the ocean.

Yet another environment that fosters serenity is the Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park, with its sheltered deck, koi pond and waterfall. There’s a Zen rock garden nearby to help induce a sense of balanced calm.

As the daylight hours wind to a close, the setting sun puts on a dazzling, tranquil show along the San Diego coast.


Time to indulge

It’s not a vacation without great food. And in the San Diego area there are culinary delights in every price range.

The charming Gaslamp Quarter has more than 100 restaurants with food from the far corners of the world, including Persian, Brazilian, Indian, Spanish and Thai.

Old Town is famous for its Mexican restaurants. And while La Jolla may be upscale, you can enjoy lunch at George’s Ocean Terrace and stay within budget. If you want to splurge, indulge in gourmet dishes at Nine-Ten or the Marine Room.


Maxine Nunes, Custom Publishing Writer