What to do and see in Encinitas, United States: The Best Places and Tips

August 8, 2017 Enedina Augsburger

Encinitas is a beach city in the North County area of San Diego County, California. Located within Southern California, it is approximately 25 miles (40 km) north of San Diego and about 95 miles (153 km) south of Los Angeles. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 59,518, up from 58,014 at the 2000 census.
Restaurants in Encinitas

1. Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage & Meditation Gardens

215 W K St, Encinitas, CA 92024-5040 +1 760-753-2888
Excellent
86%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 440 reviews

Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage & Meditation Gardens

Reviewed By kaioatey - The Bay Area

The gardens occupy a significant chunk of prime ocean-vieweing real estate in Encinitas. I thought the gardens were nice, perhaps a bit too groomed - a spiritual center, I'd expect them to work more WITH Nature, rather than working nature. It has also ocurred to me to what extent they rely on the labor of unpaid volunteers (as the majority of India-inspired spiritual organizations in this country) as opposed to paying gardeners for garden upkeep. I later realized that the Self Realization Fellowship is quite a presence in town, with bakeries, restaurants etc. I wonder if they've inspired the countless yoga studios, wellness centers etc.

2. Sal Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

2710 Manchester Ave, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Encinitas, CA 92007-2204 +1 760-634-3026
Excellent
72%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 58 reviews

Sal Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

Reviewed By Feedbackart - Fallbrook, California

When he was still living, the Rockett brought me here to absorb the San Diego County wonder called San Elijo (not Sal Elijo). Thanks kindly Rockett. He wasn't fooling,what a beautiful place!

First, what a wonderful, hilly area for a nature preserve! The trails were well kept. I simply could not understand why or how we only passed two other Hikers, during the 4 hours we were there! Coastal California only has so many regional, or lagoon parks, where one can observe scenery akin to undisturbed Coastal watersheds. THIS IS ONE SUCH SITE!!!

The trails have benches positioned along the route with wonderful scenic views. When the Rockett tired, we sat at these convenient benches as he regaled me about past events. Epic, memorable!

The one time we passed some other Hikers, they were such wonderful people: I wondered why we didn't already know them. When we were so happy to share this wonderful place with passer-byes, I bet they felt the same. I reckoned they felt the same, regardless. What a remarkable place!

After the Rockett passed, we held his "Remembrance of Life" at the San Elijo Reserve Park, nestled in the heart of this preserve. Many attended, who never previously connected, and we all felt bound by this wonderful place: all invited by the Rockett to appreciate one of his true joys,,, together. Whomever named this TripAdvisor page, is in a hurry. San means "Saint" for good reason. It, in my opinion, is sad someone needed to misspell it (as there is a Saint responsible for this preserve). I wish them well and hope they correct this page for the sake of those who remember it and those who seek it in the future.

3. Fletcher Cove Park

111 S Sierra Ave, Seaside Market, not Cliffside market, Solana Beach, CA 92075-1810
Excellent
71%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 158 reviews

Fletcher Cove Park

Reviewed By AlbertoMay - Rancho Santa Fe, California

One of the best beaches to go to in San Diego. Very quiet and nice beach with a lot of families from the area. It has a nice park on the top for picnic.

4. Moonlight State Beach

Encinitas, CA 92024 +1 760-633-2740
Excellent
70%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 549 reviews

Moonlight State Beach

Reviewed By Brooke B - San Diego, California

We live nearby, but it's still one of our favorite beaches in all of Southern California. The Sunday summer concerts are a lot of fun and the new concessions stand and lifeguard tower were worth the short inconvenience of the construction period a few years ago. It's always been clean and safe. There is one smallish parking lot and the rest is residential street parking so it can get pretty crowded on hot days.

5. San Elijo State Beach

2050 South Coast Hwy 101, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Encinitas, CA 92007
Excellent
61%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 27 reviews

San Elijo State Beach

Reviewed By david k - Elk Grove, California

Spaces tight but enough vegetation to give you enough privacy. Remember, your at the beach, space is at a premium. Your views , the soft ocean breezes will help you forget everything except the reason your there, to relax.

6. South Carlsbad State Beach

Carlsbad Blvd. and Hwy 101, Carlsbad, CA 92008 +1 760-438-3143
Excellent
65%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

South Carlsbad State Beach

This nearly five-mile stretch of beach is popular with families but also draws surfers and skin divers to the water and runners and cyclists to the boulevard bordering the beach.

Reviewed By Chip B - Powder Springs, Georgia

This is a lightly-traveled beach area, and was certainly not overcrowded during our February visit. We were at the "North Ponto" area of the beach. The kids enjoyed climbing on some of the boulders and rocks holding back the coastline from erosion, but there was plenty of sand for walking along the seashore. We parked near a bathroom facility and also noticed a lifeguard stand. Short drive to the rest of the Carlsbad area (within five minutes). A nice visit!

7. Dog Beach

3200 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014
Excellent
72%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 237 reviews

Dog Beach

Reviewed By on_the_go_98765 - Tucson

Four-legged children running amok, sniffing butts, chasing balls, behaving reasonably well, and (hopefully) not chomping parts off other dogs. It's a free-for-all in reality and owners (hopefully, again) are responsible and bring aggressive behavior under control (and that is, unfortunately, a really big "hopefully" hope).

Dogs are a lot like people; not everyone is well mannered and not all of us abide by rules, sadly. But for visitors like us, we love to see the unabated enthusiasm of the canine set interacting with the owners and behaving more like little kids than dogs. By the way, we've been to the big park (Sea Grove Park) further up the road and seen children behaving many times more poorly than these dogs we observed. No dogs poked another with a stick and knocked them over, etc.

Another really fun past time here is watching the volley ball players in contest. Those are some pretty fine athletes! There is also a dog garden maintained by the locals and it is exceptional. This is a fine place to visit and it is across the highway from the race track.

8. Swami's Beach

1298 S Coast Hwy 10, Encinitas, CA 92024
Excellent
70%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 189 reviews

Swami's Beach

Reviewed By Pris N - Encinitas, California

It's hard to describe the power of the beach and the sound of the waves. The quiet mornings before it is inhabited by others is my favorite time. Yet I have to admit it has an energy with those who come to share it's beauty.

9. Eli Howard Surf School

San Elijo State Beach, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Encinitas, CA 92023
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 20 reviews

Eli Howard Surf School

Reviewed By OntheStreetRepeat - Kansas City, Missouri

Instruction was excellent - campers were active all the time - campgrounds are really neat - they put a lot of effort into accommodating my daughters vegan diet. Everyone was very nice - and they were very inclusive and welcoming. My daughter will most definitely be back!

10. San Diego Botanic Garden

230 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024-2707 +1 760-436-3036
Excellent
66%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 446 reviews

San Diego Botanic Garden

Explore four miles of garden trails, enjoy restful vistas, flowering trees, majestic palms, and the nation’s largest bamboo collection. Thanks to our mild climate, plants from all over the world thrive here. Our diverse topography provides a variety of microclimates giving the visitor a sensation of going from a desert environment to a tropical rainforest, all within 37 acres.Located 30 minutes north of San Diego in Encinitas, California, San Diego Botanic Garden features numerous exhibits, including rare bamboo groves, desert gardens, a tropical rainforest, California native plants, Mediterranean climate landscapes, succulent gardens, an herb garden, firesafe landscaping, a subtropical fruit garden, and native coastal sage natural areas. In June of 2009, we opened the Hamilton Children's Garden, the largest interactive children's garden on the West Coast.

Reviewed By craftywriter - San Diego, CA

We’ve lived nearby for 15+ years and never went there. So glad we finally did. My sister, cousin, and 5 year old nephew went. Parking is $2 and adult admission is $14. You pay for both at the parking lot building.

The children’s garden is really great for kids. They have a large sand box, drum, triangle, and some noise-making bamboo. Large climbing structure in a tree that reminded me a lot of pirates of the Caribbean or Swiss family Robinson.

They do weddings there as well. Everything was set up for a wedding, looked really nice.

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