The cover of Transmist in San Diego, California

Situated at the threshold of many frontiers, San Diego merges the best of many worlds into a colorful menagerie of culture and nature: breathtaking beaches and dramatic flora, destination cuisine and exhilarating activities…

It’s also where it all started for our founder and creative director. 

Guide by Shanan Campanaro

shop the CALIFORNIA edit 
  • Lourdes Mexican Food

    650 S Escondido Blvd, Escondido, CA 92025

    If I had to pick an absolute favorite Mexican food spot, Lourdes is it — for its fish burrito (add cheese and sour cream) and chicken soup, which I order without rice in a flour tortilla bowl. But, honestly, everything is good.

  • Robertos Mexican Food

    274B El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024

    Located in Leucadia, Robertos has the top carne asada burrito: a San Diego classic that is simple, yet amazing, with just marinated steak, salsa fresca, and guacamole.

  • The Taco Stand

    642 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

    Come here for the ambiance, stay for the Sonora tacos — a memorable combination of angus steak, melted cheese, beans, guacamole, onions, cilantro, and salsa.

  • Serranos Mexican Food

    110 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas, CA 92024

    This Encinitas joint is my go-to for Al Pastor tacos. That’s all.

  • Los Dos Pedros

    723 Turquoise Street , San Diego, CA 92109

    Since I went to The Bishop’s School in La Jolla for middle school and high school, Los Dos is another mainstay of mine for fish burritos that rival those from Lourdes, but are completely different. I’d have a hard time choosing between the two if Los Dos was closer to my office in Cardiff.

  • The Waverly 

    2005 San Elijo Ave, Cardiff, CA 92007

    Located in the lovely Cardiff-by-the-Sea neighborhood, The Waverly is where I head for amazing Cesar salad and cocktails.

A group of people standing next to a large piece of paper

I grew up on the southernmost coast of San Diego, and I truly love California and all the state and my city have to offer, which is a lot. In North County — Encinitas, Leucadia, Cardiff — my favorite things to do are surf, eat Mexican food, and partake in hot yoga.That may seem like a simple list, but the offerings for each are world-class. Further south in Coronado, Little Italy, and Old Town, the city’s layered history takes center stage — plus incredible hikes abound and there’s always plenty to do after-hours. 

My formative years here influenced many of Eskayel’s first designs, and I return often (in summer and fall, when the weather is almost always perfect!) for inspiration and nourishment of all types. Many of the below destinations are among my first stops.

  • Dija Mara 

    232 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054

    I endorse pretty much everything on the menu of this Balinese restaurant.

  • Filippis Pizza Grotto

    1747 India Street , San Diego, CA 92101

    If you’re in Little Italy, stop by for the garlic bread, red-sauce pastas, and eggplant parmigiana at this classic spot.

  • Vino Carta 

    2161 India Street , San Diego, CA 92101

    Or for something a bit more progressive in Little Italy, I highly  recommend this great wine shop and bar serving organic, natural orange wines and funky reds. It  also offers a nightly tasting menu created by two excellent chefs.   

A woman enjoying a taco at a restaurant

Trattoria Positano 

2171 San Elijo Ave, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007

Last and certainly not least, this charming Italian spot specializing in dishes from the Amalfi Coast is beloved by my family. We’ve known the owner for decades; there are even paintings of my nieces and nephews on the walls, done by his sister.

  • Cardiff Reef

    2500 South Coast Hwy 101 ,
    Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007 

    This beautiful beach offers easy parking, a great place to hang in the sun, and world-class waves — for proof just look to the pro surfers, such as Joel Tudor, who are out in the water nose riding their longboards when the surf is small and ripping on their shortboards when it’s big. 

  • San Onofre State Beach

    5200 S. Pacific Coast Hwy
    San Clemente, CA, 92672

    Further north, this is a fun scene for all-day sun and surf.

  • Torrey Pines State Park

    12600 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037

    If hiking is more your thing, this state park is beautiful.

  • San Diego Zoo & Balboa Park

    2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

    The city’s zoo is famous because it’s amazing. As a bonus, it’s situated in Balboa Park, an incredible compound of buildings, museums, theaters, and parks constructed for the 1916 World Fair. My favorite is the Aero Space Museum.

  • Badlands Vintage

    845 S Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054

    The city’s zoo is famous because it’s amazing. As a bonus, it’s situated in Balboa Park, an incredible compound of buildings, museums, theaters, and parks constructed for the 1916 World Fair. My favorite is the Aero Space Museum.

A surf shop with many surfboards hanging from the ceiling

Local’s Tip

For a fun day trip, venture across the border to Tijuana — just be sure to download this song for the short drive.

  • Alila Marea Beach Resort

    2100 N Coast Hwy 101,
    Encinitas, CA 92024

    There are many great Airbnb options in North County around Encinitas, but there is also this serene new Alila property right on the beach.

  • Surfhouse Adventures

    960 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

    This hotel’s a bit more down-to-earth — and it’s right by Beacon’s Beach and Leucadia, within walking distance of one of my favorite bars: the Regal Seagull!

  •  Hotel Del Coronado

    1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, CA 92118

    Whether to sleep or just to visit, it’s worth driving south to Coronado and, specifically, Hotel Del Coronado, where Hollywood royalty has come for decades (as the photos on display verify). While you’re there, check out the murals at Barrio Logan and grab a bite at Quattro Milpas. 


San Diego has served as both the backdrop and inspiration for a number of Eskayel designs. I have painted the palm trees we use as markers when surfing some of my favorite breaks to create the perfect palm pattern. The backyard of my parents’ house is featured in Regalo di Dio, while their pool inspired Reflettere. Plus, we shot our outdoor fabric in Leucadia, at a very cool Airbnb.

The eucalyptus trees seen in Clemente (one of our most popular wallpapers) and in Balboa and Kalypto (two of our most popular rugs) are planted along the San Diego highways. Presidio is a collage of eucalyptus paintings and San Diego’s famous Presidio Bridge in downtown. 

Finally, the kaleidoscopic pattern Huerfano is named after the street I grew up on in Claremont. And the Claremontt rug is in my house in the Hamptons, where I tried to channel the So-Cal vibe.