For years, Black Friday signaled the beginning of holiday shopping. The day after Thanksgiving was a frantic day of driving to the store at the crack of dawn to fight off other shoppers (in some cases literally) for great deals. If you are like us and never liked the Black Friday ritual, we suggest doing what a lot of people are now doing… #OptOutside.
A full 81% of us feel stress around the holiday shopping season in general, with 45% of us marking Black Friday as the most stressful time to shop. Why not take advantage of this day and spend some time outdoors? If you are in the Southern California area, we are sharing 3 of our favorite things to do instead:
Take the Pacific Surfliner train up to Santa Barbara. For $48 you can leave Carlsbad station and be in Santa Barbara in a little over 2 hours. Skip the LA traffic and take in the beautiful coastal scenery. Part of the joy of a journey by train is the ability to explore, and what better way to do that than by bike. Yep, you can bring your bike onboard (some trains charge a fee, but the Pacific Surfliner to Santa Barbara does not). Explore the Mission, ride the boardwalk from the bird sanctuary to the pier, eat at some amazing restaurants (we highly recommend Olio Pizzeria – best pizza we ever had, and it was gluten free). While going for a run or riding your bike on the beach boardwalk, be sure to stop and say hello to Kenny, who lives on the beaches of Santa Barbara and makes beautiful dog leashes for $40.
In just 2 hours from Encinitas, you can be in a campground in Idyllwild. Did you know there are Redwoods and Sequoias this far south? We recently camped and hiked in Fern Basin. It is a small campground and some are first-come-first-served sites and the rest you can make reservations. Beautiful hikes all around, dogs are welcome (not on all trails) and there are some great paved roads in the campground if you longboard. The little town of Idyllwild is so charming. The town will have their annual tree lighting event. This year, the event will be held on Saturday, November 25 and is an all-day event starting at 10a. The tree lighting ceremony starts at 4:40p. They will light over 6,000 lights on the towns Sequoia tree.
While many are fighting the crowds shopping, why not hit some popular trails that are typically crowded? One of our favorites is Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve. The rare Torrey Pines, breathtaking ocean views, and unique geology will have you smiling ear-to-ear. Better yet, take our Baba Wrap + Blanket with you and have a picnic. Wow, our shoulders just relaxed at the sound of that!
So, whatever you decide to do, remember to make some time to enjoy the outdoors and spend it with people you love. If you do decide to partake in the madness, we have something for you as well. However, instead of Black Friday, we are calling it Green Friday in support of sustainable products that are good for you and the planet.
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