Encinitas Chamber of Commerce

Chamber Blog

Article originally written & published in Spanish by Viajeros Ocultos

Article translated to English

California and its beautiful landscapes captivate us on each visit, and Encinitas of course, is at the top of our list.  Located in San Diego County, it is known for its fantastic climate, laid-back atmosphere, and stunning beaches ideal for surfing.

The beautiful beach community of Encinitas is the perfect spot for an escape on the Californian coast.  It is located along Coast Highway 101, California’s main coastal road, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and in the northern region of San Diego County.

Its beachy and bohemian spirit gives a feeling of freedom and good vibes.  If you are interested in knowing everything you can do and see at this incredible destination, we will give you a guide with the best places in Encinitas, California and its surroundings.

What to see and do in Encinitas?

What to see and do in Encinitas?

Known for being a beach destination, it also has a many tourist attractions. So, not because it is a coastal town you have to go only to the beach, in Encinitas you get many options that we will detail for you to plan your travel itinerary.

San Diego Botanical Garden

The San Diego Botanical Garden, is a 12.1 site with garden paths, relaxing views, flowering trees, majestic palm trees, and the largest bamboo collection in the country.

It is located just 30 minutes north of downtown San Diego in Encinitas, California parallel to Interstate 5 between Encinitas Blvd and Leucadia Blvd, at 300 Quail Gardens Drive, across from the San Dieguito Heritage Museum at Heritage Ranch.

What to see in the botanical garden?

It features 29 unique themed gardens with 4,000 plant species from around the world, including rare bamboo groves, desert gardens, a rainforest that includes a large waterfall, native California plants, Mediterranean climate landscapes, succulent gardens, a  herb garden and subtropical, fruit garden, as well as an endangered California native area.

It also includes two children’s gardens, such as the nationally acclaimed Hamilton Children’s Garden, and features play areas for children who are enthusiastic about nature, including a tree house, mountain stream, music making area.  and more.

There are many areas that you can visit in this beautiful garden, with plants from all over the world gathered in one place.  A paradise full of nature and life for lovers of plants and flowers.

Encinitas Ranch Golf Course

It is one of the few golf courses in Southern California that sits on a magnificent stretch of cliffs with a view of the ocean across the entire golf course.  There are only a few other courses in San Diego that offer a setting remotely close to the picturesque landscape of Encinitas Golf Course.

It has many golf amenities, with 18 championship holes in a unique setting carved out of a magnificent stretch of cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  It is located at 1275 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas.

Legoland Park

Do you want to feel like a child again? Legoland is the ideal place to fulfill this. Fun will not be lacking in this place, packed with more than 60 games, shows and fun attractions for children and the whole family.

With slides to ride and rafts to build, and a water park for summer fun.  Roller coasters, a water park, interactive water activities and Lego replicas of cities and monuments are some of the characteristics that distinguish Legoland.

 What attractions and features does Legoland have?

  • The Beginning is the front of the park, which includes shops and restaurants.
  • Dino Island, there is a small roller coaster called Coastersaurus, which rotates and turns around giant models of lego dinosaurs and when you get off you can dig to expose those dinos and excavate fossils.
  • Explore village, has dozens of interactive activities and water attractions, where people can get on a boat and see Lego sculptures from various fairy tales.
  • Fun Town is all about electric Lego cars on an enclosed carousel, sailing Lego boats, or taking a walk around the Lego Factory and learning how to do it.
  • Water park, slides and buildable rafts await you in this area, especially for water fun.
  • Castle Hill, is a medieval castle with roller coasters and rides.
  • Miniland USA, includes reproductions of seven areas of the United States, all built with Lego pieces.  It also features reproductions of the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, the Capitol, and Mount Rushmore.
  • At Imagination Zone, you can ride a roller coaster in the shape of a mouse called the Lego Technic Test Track, the Bionicle blaster and a 4D theater called the Bionicle Evolution.
  • Pirate Shores, has five attractions: Splash Battle, where people compete with a pirate ship, Soak ‘N Sail, which is a two-level water park for children and adults, Treasure Falls, Swabbie’s Deck and Captain Cranky’s Challenge.
  • In Land of Adventure, are the attractions Cargo Ace, Pharaoh’s Revenge, beetle bounce and Lost Kingdom Adventure, a game that puts you in a desert jeep and you shoot the targets with lasers.

If you prefer a spiritual place to meditate and find peace in Encinitas, the Encinitas Temple has inspiring activities and services every day.  It is an international religious organization founded in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda, to spread the universal teachings of Kriya Yoga, a sacred spiritual science that originated millennia ago in India.

The Temple offers a full program of conference services, meditations, readings and meditation services, kirtans (devotional singing), Sunday school classes and other activities to deepen spiritual practices.

Every year thousands of people from all over the world come to visit this place in search of peace and spirituality, fostering greater harmony and goodwill among people of all races, cultures and creeds.

An ideal place for seekers of truth with its teachings on the ancient science of Yoga and its time-honored meditation methods.  Where can I find it?  It is located at 939 Second Street.

Hansen’s Surfboards

Of course when we travel to the coast the surf cannot be missed.  For sports enthusiasts and fans, there is a well-known store in Encinitas, which offers you all the necessary and suitable equipment for surfers and more.

This story is fascinating. In the early 1960s Don Hansen returned to his home in Cardiff, California after an epic surfing stint on the north shore of Oahu and opened Hansen Surfboards.  By 1970, surfing went from being a marginalized sport to a main source of recreation for California families.

Identifying the need for a quality surf shop, Don Hansen moved his operation up the street to Encinitas and opened Hansen Surfboards.  Since its opening it has become much more than a surf shop, it is a place for surfers, beach lovers and travelers to shop, learn and tell stories. 

It has the most prestigious and recognized brands in the market, more than 500 surfboards, a ski shop, snowboard, a large selection of swimsuits, surf clothes, wetsuits, sandals, everything you want for a beach vacation.

It is located at 1105 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, but you can purchase its products through the online store if you wish.

Soul of Yoga

We continue with our spiritual retreat in Encinitas, this time if you prefer to take a yoga class, Soul of Yoga is a fantastic option.  It is a world-renowned yoga studio offering teacher training, workshops, and daily classes.

This studio offers you Hatha yoga, Kundalini yoga, yin yoga, vinyasa yoga, gentle yoga, restorative yoga, prenatal yoga, meditation, yoga Nidra, yoga therapy, sound healing, QiGong, a whole world at your fingertips.

Whether you are looking for a personal transformation, to incorporate yogic technique or theory into your current profession, or to become a yoga professional, Soul allows you to take a path of study, course or workshop.  It is located at 627 Encinitas Blvd.

North Coast Repertory Theater

Another of the most authentic and enjoyable ways to get to know Encinitas is through its theatrical culture.  The North Coast Repertory Theater is a platform where artists and the audience thrive through the intimacy of theater.

With multiple shows, it has become one of the leading performing arts organizations in the area.  Located in Solana Beach, in the heart of San Diego County’s North Shore, the theater features a main stage, with performances throughout the year in its intimate 194-seat setting.

North Coast Rep provides opportunities for local actors, directors and designers, with seven major productions each year drawn from classical and contemporary theater. It’s an amazing way to spend your Encinitas vacation, appreciating theater art.

Encinitas Historical Society & Schoolhouse

It is a historic school dating back to 1883, representing the oldest building in Encinitas.  You will find photographs, exhibits, research papers, stories, and teachers eager to share their passion for this unique city and its history. Located at 390 West F Street Encinitas.

The one-room school was home to the entire school population of the city. Today it is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and interpreting Encinitas’ rich past through its research, library, programs, exhibits, and publications.

You will be able to immerse yourself in the history of the city, its monuments and its people, learn how this coastal community of fishermen and farmers evolved into the vibrant and fascinating city that it is today. You will feel like you took a trip to the past with the historical wonders and the education of that time.

Lux Art Institute

The Lux Art Institute allows you to see art in a different way. It is a museum that makes contemporary art more accessible and meaningful on a personal level.  At Lux, you don’t just see finished artwork, you see the art process first hand.

You will be able to observe internationally recognized artists in a work studio environment.  A way to enjoy the art of Encinitas, supporting artists in the development of new projects.

The current exhibitions of the Lux Art Institute are open only by reservation from Thursday – Saturday from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm.  How do I go there?  Its exact address is 1550 S. El Camino Real, Encinitas.

Encinitas Beaches

We cannot leave out the beautiful beaches of Encinitas; A coastal city that gives you the opportunity to enter the sea and sand, practice sports such as surfing, volleyball or simply relax to sunbathe.

Encinitas’ beaches are some of the best hidden gems in the North San Diego County coastal region. Among the most popular and visited are:

Moonlight Beach

It is the main central beach and the most popular in Encinitas. It is a California state park that is located at the west end of Encinitas Boulevard. It has a play area for children, as well as a large family beach.

What can I do at Moonlight Beach?

As the most central beach in the city, this state park has everything you need for a family day out by the sea.  In addition to sunbathing and swimming, you can do activities such as:

  • Enjoy the playground
  • Picnic in the park
  • Playing sports like sand volleyball, tennis, and surfing

Swami’s Beach

The ideal beach for surfing, at the southern tip of Encinitas. It is a great meeting point to watch the surfers and enjoy a picnic.  Access to Swami Beach is through the small park “Swami” on the top of the cliff.

It has restrooms, a water fountain, benches, picnic tables, parking, and a wooden staircase that leads to the sandy beach.

Beacon’s Beach

It is located in the north of San Diego County in Encinitas, its access is a bit difficult to find, so it is not as frequented by tourists.  It is one of the beaches preferred by the locals, due to its surrounding nature and a little more solitude.

Grandview Beach

It is a narrow beach under high cliffs with buildings that have a great view of the ocean.  It is located at the north end of Neptune Avenue, near Grandview Street.

Despite having few facilities, it is a meeting place for surf lovers and athletes, as it is not so crowded with tourists or children.

Cardiff Beach

It begins at the mouth of the river, flanked by San Elijo State Beach, and extends north to Swami’s Point in Encinitas.

It offers two attractive reefs for diving and surfing, as well as a campsite in a spectacular setting facing the sea.  It has all the necessary services for a day at the beach, a favorite for many locals and visitors to Encinitas.

When to visit Encinitas?

In Encinitas, summers are short, hot, arid, and clear, while winters are long, cool, and partly cloudy.  Its climate is mild, so you can visit it at any time of the year without any problem.

How to Get There and Get Around Encinitas

It is located about 40 kilometers from San Diego, and 150 kilometers south of Los Angeles, due to which it is easily accessible from anywhere.  The closest and most feasible airport for travelers from elsewhere is San Diego.

When it comes to mobility, you have many options like any other coastal city in the United States.  However, one of the best alternatives to get around Encinitas is that you can fully explore it by bicycle.  A sustainable, fun way that allows you to visit each place comfortably and in detail.

Did you like the tour of Encinitas?  A destination that is more than just a beach, although it revolves around it, you have many other options to have fun.  1960s-inspired beach culture combined with boutique shops, contemporary restaurants, meditation gardens, and yoga studios make Encinitas an authentic and relaxing place to meet.

It is a vibrant and unique beach city where local surfing is the protagonist, as well as an atmosphere of tranquility, which captivates travelers eager to explore the Californian coast in a more local way, a great tourist attraction.

Article originally written & published in Spanish by Viajeros Ocultos

Article translated to English