When Dr. Barry Katzman opened West Coast Eye Care & Med Spa, he envisioned the space as a small practice that would help locals better enjoy the city’s famous sunsets and beaches. With his expertise—he’s participated in hundreds of studies for advanced treatments—the business quickly took on enough customers to sustain seven offices, a staff of a dozen doctors, and its own language, which outsiders describe as Latin spoken in pig Latin. After outfitting eyes with prescriptions and preventive care, staffers can help them navigate an optical boutique stocked with more than 10,000 designer frames by Dior, Bvlgari, and Tom Ford. Regular performances of more advanced surgeries, such as LASIK, cataract laser procedures, and eyelid lifts, made the staff intrigued about similar aesthetic procedures. As a result, they opened a med spa, where they tighten and brighten skin with injections, rejuvenating laser treatments, and even plastic surgery.
Glasses frames have come a long way from the clunky, squarish black frames that were originally used to punish children for squinting in church. Choice Vision offers a plethora of sophisticated, stylish, and comfortable frames from designer brands such as Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Dior, Gucci, and the guiding light of global fashion, SpongeBob SquarePants. Ladies will find the perfect design to adjective their vocation of choice with "hip," while dudes can score some retro frames that surround their head in a glittering haze of irony. Frames range from $75 to more than $500.
Disguised in wetsuits, flippers, and diving masks, humans almost seem indistinguishable from the scores of aquatic life that thrive among the San Diego coastline. In the water, curious sea lions tug playfully at divers' fins, and thick stalks of kelp wave like Queen Elizabeth telling the gathered crowd to go home already. With access to five separate sites in which to see such wonders, the guides at San Diego Excellent Adventures tailor their adventures—whether snorkeling, diving, or paddling—around the experience level of each tour group, ensuring an easy assimilation to undersea life.
During guided dives along La Jolla Shores, swimmers peer in on frolicking creatures such as lobsters, octopuses, and leopard sharks, and standup paddleboards grant access to Mission Bay's shoreline views previously seen only by terribly lost Venetian gondoliers. Currently the largest manmade bay in the country, Mission is known for its calm waters suited to beginners just learning to explore the ocean.
Eclipse Eyewear fashions chic sunglasses from a selection of 1,500 frames from high-end brands such as Chanel, Prada, and Versace. Luxurious shades stand against walls and look out from display cases, eager to slide over patrons' eyes to shield them from harsh rays or pigeons' attempts to make eye contact and demand breadcrumbs.
Pacific Beach Surf Shop opened in 1962 and is the oldest of its kind in San Diego, making it the ideal place to learn how to conquer the motion of the ocean. Whether you are a true beginner or a modest dolphin, the 90-minute lesson will have surfers of all rank take to the waves with the confidence of a pro under the nearly gilled guidance of Pacific Beach's surf instructors. Highly trained and experienced, the instructors work closely with students to help them realize their deep-downest aquatic ambitions by passing along time-honored tricks of the trade. Classes are kept small—limited to three to five students—ensuring said individualized attention and reducing the chance that someone else with your initials will be there to falsely claim your monogrammed beach towel.