Cookbook writer and wellness expert Candice Kumai shares the not-to-miss spots.

Moonlight State Beach
Jeremy Gallman/Unsplash

Sunset’s Insider Guide series highlights seasonal diversions and secret travel tips from local experts. Follow along as we learn where to eat, drink, stay, and shop.

Candice Kumai headshot

Photo: Jack Jeffries

Meet the insider: Candice Kumai, cookbook writer

Candice Kumai grew up in San Diego, and is the author of six best-selling books, including Kintsugi Wellness and Clean Green Eats. She’s appeared on HBO Max’s Selena + Chef and is the host of the weekly podcast Wabi Sabi.


Moonlight State Beach
Moonlight State Beach

Jeremy Gallman/Unsplash

“My favorite spot is Balboa Park. This is by far one of my favorite places in San Diego, besides the beach, of course,” and “the museums and parks are the best medicine for a technology cleanse.” And “if you can make it out to Encinitas, I recommend Moonlight State Beach” as well.


Spicy Miso Ramen from Kintsugi Wellness
Kumai sources ingredients from Japanese grocery stores for dishes like her Spicy Miso Ramen.

Candice Kumai

“My mom is Japanese from Kyushu Island, known as the mecca of ramen, and Tajima Ramen and Nishiki Ramen are some of the best. There are some great Japanese grocery stores, too,” like Nijiya, Mitsuwa, and Marukai.


Four Moons Spa Deck
Four Moons Spa

Shawn Kallio

Four Moons Spa is a delightful, blissful retreat for massages, facials, and relaxation. Their hip and stylish gift shop has thoughtful, spiritual gifts and an outdoor area to read a book or catch up with a girlfriend for a tea. Nearby are surf spots like Beacon’s and D Street, plus plenty of local good eats.”

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