Encinitas

A charming town with an amazing variety of restaurants and boutiques.

Welcome to Encinitas

Renowned beach city boasts vibrant surf culture and artsy charms

 
Named one of the best surf towns in the world, Encinitas is an artsy, surf-side enclave revered for its surf history and vibrant beach culture. It’s also a reminder of the historic Highway 101 culture that thrived in the 20th century. In fact, Encinitas 101 is probably the crowning jewel of the city and the bustling, thriving downtown area has drawn surfers and hipsters to the area for years. Encinitas is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the region along with earning a nickname as the “Flower Capital of the World” because of the colorful nurseries and gardens dotting the area.
 
Encinitas is divided into several different communities, such as the funky and eclectic beachside community of Leucadia, located in the northern part of the city. Then there is the upscale and picturesque Cardiff-by-the-Sea, a charming town with an amazing variety of restaurants and boutiques, plus sandy beaches. Olivenhain is a mostly residential community with recreational trails often used by walkers and equestrians.


What to Love

  • Ample opportunity for recreation at the many gorgeous sandy beaches
  • The beaches in Encinitas invite a healthy beach culture and are considered some of the best in California
  • An incredible culinary scene with numerous acclaimed restaurants, many of which sit on the water

People & Lifestyle

Encinitas is a thriving beach city known for its beautiful and vibrant gardens, an array of incredible beaches, and a fascinating legacy of beach and surf culture. The city is also divided into several distinct communities, each of which offers unique traits and lifestyles. The semi-rural Olivenhain in eastern Encinitas is home to private equestrian facilities while Leucadia is the city’s coastal heart with some of the area’s most popular beaches and has recently become popular for its “barefoot luxury” appeal.

 
Cardiff is a picture-perfect oceanfront community located to the south and New Encinitas is a newer area home to a premier golf course and several shopping centers. The downtown district by the beach, Encinitas 101 combines a charming beach town atmosphere with a healthy, active outdoor lifestyle, rife with shopping, dining, and entertainment.
 

Dining, Shopping & Entertainment

There are a lot of great places to shop and dine in Encinitas, such as the Encinitas Ranch Town Center and the Encinitas Village Square. The Crack Shack is a fun and lively spot at the forefront of the fried chicken craze. The shack’s original “SoCal Style” fried chicken has received national acclaim, especially because the restaurant is known for serving locally raised, free-living chicken without using antibiotics.
 
The 101 Diner is an old-fashioned diner and beach town classic where you can get breakfast and lunch amid colorful surf decor. There are also several sidewalk tables for those who want to relax in the sun and people-watch while dining. Leucadia is home to Fish 101, run by a husband-and-wife duo who prepare sustainably-caught local fish and offer a modern interpretation of the traditional west coast fish house.
 
For a casual atmosphere, Swami’s Cafe is a popular family-owned restaurant serving some of the best food in San Diego and they have 11 different locations throughout the area. Seafood lovers can’t get enough of the waterfront Pacific Coast Grill. With two levels for dining, you can plan for an ocean view and watch dolphins and whales while dining on oysters, steaks, select sushi rolls, or any number of fresh seafood options.
 
Newly built Alila Marea Beach Resort brings vibrancy to the southern end of Leucadia. With sweeping Pacific Ocean views, modern eats and hand-crafted drinks at VAGA Restaurant & Bar, and relaxing treatments at Spa Alila, this sleek new accommodation is perfect for a staycation.
 

Things to Do

The beaches in Encinitas are considered some of the very best in San Diego’s North County Coastal region.
 
  • Swami’s Beach –– A popular surf break on the southern end of Encinitas below the bluffs.
  • Moonlight State Beach –– At the end of Encinitas Boulevard, this large sandy beach has a lot of great amenities like fire pits and volleyball courts. It’s especially popular with vacationers and families.
  • Cardiff State Beach –– Known for its gently sloping sandy beach where you can go swimming, surfing, or beachcombing.
  • Beacon’s Beach –– This southern beach is state-owned and city-run and tucked beneath the bluff. It has a narrow trail and is especially appealing to surfers and sunbathers.
The Self-Realization Fellowship in Encinitas is a beautiful place to visit or take a stroll through the meditation gardens. You can also attend a service at the Encinitas Temple or even embark on a silent retreat.
 
Encinitas is home to the San Diego Botanic Garden, which encompasses 37 acres that includes rare bamboo groves, California native plants, desert gardens, a subtropical fruit garden, and much more.
 
The Leucadia Farmers Market in Encinitas is a family-friendly market that consists of over 75 vendors for guests to shop from and peruse. There are plenty of artisans to visit, a certified organic section, and live music performances.
 

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