If Ocean Beach is the free-spirit of San Diego, Encinitas is the older surfer of the group. The notorious surf town rests on the Pacific Coast, spanning six miles of surfable waves. Locals are laidback, likely in flip flops or just leaving the beach. Encinitas is the place to go if one is looking to stay by the sea. Take a journey along the Coast Highway to try local eats and activities.
Early morning waves
Before the crowds flood the sandy beaches in the afternoons, wake up bright and early for a trip to the beach. Whether it’s surfing in one of the many spots along the Encinitas coast (Swami’s and Cardiff are popular), running along the sand or just sitting on a bench nearby, take advantage of the crisp morning air.
Bowls for breakfast
After an early morning, a vitamin-rich smoothie bowl is the way to go. Mozy Cafe is a hole in the wall, located next to a custom t-shirt store but its smoothie bowls and quick bites leave people coming back for more. Try the Açaí Bowl which includes açaí, gluten-fee granola, sliced banana, blueberries and coconut flakes.
698 N. Coast Hwy. 101, 760.944.9168, mozycafeleucadia.com
And we’re back
Go back to the beach, why not? Enjoy that breakfast you just ordered by eating it next to the waves. Plus, science shows that going to the beach is beneficial to your brain and overall health — so do it for your health!
Yes to pizza, always
Napizza began in Little Italy and has since ventured to new neighborhoods. The local pizzeria is known for its local and natural ingredients and the 72-hour rising crust process. Order a Roman-style slice or any of its other entree dishes. Napizza’s Happy Belly Combo includes a choice of two items (one slice of pizza, half a salad, cup of soup or half a panino) and a drink or boozy beverage. Don’t feel like leaving the waves? A special perk about the Encinitas location is free deliveries to the beach! Just order online and meet at the nearest lifeguard tower.
615 S. Coast Hwy. 101, 760.452.2340, na-pizza.com
Tap into a new spot
Fresh on the Encinitas scene is the Saint Archer tasting room. Opening in May, this tasting room serves 30 of its beers on tap as well as cans, bombers and growlers to take home. You might even catch the space on a day its hosting an art show or event.
978 N. Coast Hwy. 101, saintarcherbrewery.com
Make it vegan
Encinitas has a number of vegan and vegetarian eateries, EVE Encinitas being one of them. Get anything from jackfruit BBQ to a buffalo ranch cauliflower flatbread with vegan ranch. The restaurant also hosts a variety of community events in the space.
575 S. Coast Hwy. 101, 760.230.2560, eveencinitas.com
Drinks with a view
Grab a drink at a bar without having to miss out on the night sky. Shelter Encinitas, a full service bar and cocktail lounge, leaves its roof exposed with a retractable ceiling. The bar offers specialty cocktails and VIP bottle service in a private booth. An art studio and video system are installed for guests to enjoy art and music.
540 S. Coast Hwy. 101, 760.753.1366, shelterencinitas.com
Need a place to crash?
The Plantation Beach Cottage is perfect for travelers who want an entire home in the center of Encinitas. This one-bedroom vacation home is adorned with beachy decor and includes a tropical garden, a full kitchen, beach equipment, two BBQ areas, a hot tub and much more.
909 San Dieguito Dr., 760.456.9333, plantationbeachcottage.com
The Inn at Moonlight Beach is not a place one just sleeps, it caters toward guest wellness. Choose between four different suites all with clean and earthy decor.
105 N. Vulcan Ave., 760.450.5028, innatmoonlightbeach.com
Book a getaway by the sea with Cardiff by the Sea Lodge. Located on the southern wing of Encinitas, just a five minute walk from the beach, this classic lodge offer guests the opportunity to stay close to the water. If spacious rooms and bathrooms with quaint style and plenty of amenities is what you’re looking for, this is right up your alley.
142 Chesterfield Dr., 760.944.6474, cardifflodge.com