Welcome to Encinitas
Encinitas is a quintessential beach town located along six miles of Pacific coastline in northern San Diego County. Surfer Magazine named Encinitas one of the Top 10 spots in the U.S. to “eat, sleep, work, and shred,” which came as no surprise to its 60,000 residents.
Incorporated in 1986, the city brought together the communities of New Encinitas, Old Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Olivenhain, and Leucadia to create a single city filled with delicious dining, spectacular surfing, and impressive shops.
Encinitas has some of the most beautiful beaches in California with excellent year-round surfing conditions.
Every resident in North County, San Diego will perk up at the sound of Cardiff Crack
. Believe it or not, Cardiff Crack is a burgundy marinated tri-tip made by specialty grocer, Seaside market. The famous tri tip is carved from the bottom sirloin, infused through a secret process with either exclusive Burgundy Pepper or Spicy Chipotle Marinade. Yum!
An icon in Leucadia, Encinitas is Pannikin Coffee & Tea
, opened in 1968 and housed in a converted train station. Pannikin is always packed with locals adorning its wrap-around porch with freshly baked pastries and fair trade coffees from around the globe.
Head to the outdoor mall, The Lumberyard
for a healthy lunch at Lotus Café, City Tacos, Himalayan food, St. Tropez Bakery and Bistro, and JoJo’s Creamery. Down the street is Philz coffee, made to order fresh brew on the ocean side of the 101. For a local coffee spot, Better Buzz is packed with locals getting their coffee buzz on while they work or socialize.
If you enjoy live music and an energetic vibe, check out The Roxy
, with over 570 live music shows per year. A favorite spot for Mediterranean Latin fusion food is Le Papagayo
in Leucadia. Le Papagayo has live music and great food.
is one of the most popular and visited beaches in Encinitas for its beauty and facilities. Moonlight Beach recently underwent a huge remodel to add a two-story lifeguard station, new restrooms, a concession stand, and garage structures. There are volleyball courts, showers, fire pits (first come first serve), and a children’s playground at this beach. There are also free dedicated parking spots at this beautiful beach.
is the access point to Boneyards, a mile-long beach that runs below the bluffs from Moonlight Beach south to Swami's point. D Street is a renowned surf spot and can be accessed from the staircase at D Street.
is the popular surf break highly coveted by surfers at the southernmost end of Encinitas, set below bluffs from where the Self-Realization Center is located—an enduring symbol of Encinitas' positive and spiritual vibe. The small park adjacent to the Swami’s parking lot is Sea Cliff, with shade trees, picnic tables, barbecues, and clean bathrooms. Head into Swami’s Cafe
for delicious food before or after your beach day.
For a quaint beach that is a favorite of surfers, Beacon’s Beach
, AKA Leucadia State Beach, is known for great swimming, surfing, fishing, and picnicking. The beach access is via an improved trail at the foot of Leucadia Boulevard.
San Diego Botanic Gardens
is a 37 acre garden oasis with four miles of trails and the largest children’s garden on the West Coast. At the Botanic Gardens in Encinitas, you will find special exhibits like the World of Orchids, an Amazon Rainforest, and showcases the largest display of bamboo in the world. There are more than 5,000 varieties of plants in 29 specialty gardens.
Check out La Paloma Theatre
downtown Encinitas, San Diego’s oldest theater which has been around since 1928 and one of the first theaters to play “talking pictures”. Today, you can see live music performances, local documentaries, Hollywood movies, and poetry slams.
Hike the seven miles of nature trails to see 330 different plants and 26 animal species at The San Elijo Ecological Reserve
. The reserve consists of 979-acres of shallow-water estuary and is one of the country’s only remaining coastal wetlands. Take guided tours of the reserve and view exhibits about the lagoon at the on-site nature center.
For serene walks through the meditation gardens overlooking the Pacific Ocean and classes on meditation, Self-Realization Fellowship
(SRF) Encinitas temple is a mainstay in Encinitas. Paramahansa Yogananda founded SRF in 1920 to disseminate his teachings of inclusivity worldwide. Today, silent retreats, yoga teachings, and inspirational services are held at SRF.
Golf lovers will rejoice at the Encinitas Ranch Golf Course
, a championship 18 hole, par 72 course with panoramic ocean views. This public facility has five tees for all skill-levels. Encinitas Ranch has a beautiful clubhouse and The Ranch Grill restaurant.
What SUP in Encinitas? One of the most invigorating ways to enjoy Encinitas is from the ocean on a stand up paddleboard
. A cross between surfing and kayaking, SUPing is a favorite activity in San Diego. To SUP the ocean in Encinitas, you can rent high performance paddle boards from Paddle Planet
on Highway 101.
The Lux Art Institute
in Encinitas features on-site exhibits by resident artists, including Cosmo Whyte, Beatriz Martiel, and Baseera Khan. As you explore the institute, watch resident artists practice their creative craft in the studio area. Attend art classes, yoga, and take tours at the Lux Art Institute.
Cruising down highway 101 along the coast will lead you to downtown Encinitas, the century-old shopping district featuring boutique shops, sidewalk café, casual and upscale dining, and historic architecture. Called the Encinitas 101
, this downtown strip features more than 80 retail shops from shoes and bikes to clothing and art. At the south end of downtown Encinitas is a huge Hansen’s surf shop with beach wear, surfboards, wetsuits and more.