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Rob Machado’s San Diego

Known for sunshine and great surf, San Diego may be Southern California’s most desirable destination.

Pro surfer Rob Machado is known for his Zen-like approach to both life and waves, but that hasn’t stopped him from realizing major accomplishments both in and out of the water. A member of the Surfer’s Hall of Fame, Machado took home 12 World Championship Tour (WCT) victories over the course of his career. After leaving the tour in 2001, he turned his attention to new opportunities and opened the Salt Culture boutique with his wife, as well as an adjoining surf shop, Salty Garage, which sells custom Rob Machado surfboards. But Machado didn’t stop there, expanding his empire from business pursuits to preserving the planet. He founded the Rob Machado Foundation in 2004 with the goal of encouraging young people to live more sustainable lives.  

Machado still resides in the place he was raised, Cardiff-by-the-Sea in North County San Diego. He was recently recognized by his hometown, getting inducted into the Breitbard Hall of Fame by the San Diego Sports Association.  

There is no better person to ask about the best ways to experience San Diego than the sunny city’s native son. And considering Exclusive Resorts’ new La Jolla residences, an elevated luxury experience awaits.

Here’s his insider list of things to do:

Favorite Surf Break

I keep my surfs pretty close to home — from Cardiff Reef South to Seaside Reef and north to Swami’s.

Off-The-Beaten-Path Adventure

On the south end of the San Elijo Lagoon, there’s a great little hike ending at a spot called The Mushroom Caves (aka Annie’s Canyon). It’s about three miles and is a narrow, sandstone slot canyon that used to be closed but is now open to the public.

Healthy Meal

After a surf, I stop into the Sambazon Acai Cafe in Cardiff. If you like peanut butter, try the Rob Machado PB & Banana Bowl with acai, chocolate hemp milk, peanut butter, granola, and banana.

Grab-and-Go Eatery

Our friends at Seaside Market always have something freshly made in the deli.

Best Little-Known Locals’ Spot

Take a stroll through the gardens at the Self-Realization Fellowship. It’s open to the public and has beautiful views.

A Don’t-Miss San Diego Experience

Visit in November for the Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival. The weather is still nice and it’s a great live music experience. 

Favorite Place to Start the Day

Seaside State Beach, located on the border of Solana Beach and Cardiff-by-the-Sea. 

Favorite Tourist Spot

Del Mar Racetrack on opening day.

Favorite Thing About Living in San Diego

The beaches.

Thing You Miss the Most When Traveling

All of the above!   

Local Culinary Favorites

George's at the Cove

This mainstay overlooks La Jolla Cove, and Chef-Owner Trey Foshee’s modern California cuisine celebrates the finest seafood and locally sourced produce.


Located in the Grand Del Mar resort, think French Laundry meets San Diego. The high-end outpost dishes “contemporary haute cuisine” by Chef William Bradley and is known for such unforgettable delicacies as langoustines with parsley and caviar. 

El Paisa Mexican Grill

This is a go-to for mouthwatering tacos, served in housemade tortillas. Family run and always fresh, El Paisa is the perfect stop en route to a day at the beach.

Cardiff Seaside Market

This upscale grocery has amazing prepared foods for a summer picnic or al fresco dinner party. It’s known for wild caught fish, tri-tip steak, and organic produce.

Liberty Public Market

Akin to Pike’s Place in Seattle, this one-stop shop is located in Point Loma’s Liberty Station and features more than 30 unique local vendors.



Located in the heart of the La Jolla Shores business district, the Club’s two new luxury vacation residences feature three bedrooms with en suite baths, chef-grade kitchens, indoor-outdoor living, a subterranean garage accessed by a car lift, and an elevator for exclusive use of the residents.  

Residences: 2 | Bedrooms: 3 | Bathrooms: 3.5 | Sleeps: 6