Encinitas

Encinitas is a Southern California beach city of approximately 60,000 residents that is known for its inviting strips of sand and its famous surfing scene. Some have gone as far as to rank the city as one of the top surfing destinations in the world. When a break from spending time at the beach or surfing is in order, Encinitas visitors can find plenty of other ways to stay entertained. Certainly adding to the activity options are any number of annual events. An example of a popular Encinitas CA annual event is the Encinitas Street Fair. It is held over a weekend in April and features such things as food vendors, arts and crafts booths, live music performances, and opportunities to sample locally crafted beers.

Beaches

Beaches
Beaches  Image: little blue hen (flickr)

Southern California is home to some of the best beaches in the United States. It’s certainly the region that gets the most attention by travelers who are planning California beach vacations. Thanks to the coastal position of Encinitas, the city offers easy access to several Beaches that are of high repute. These beaches include Moonlight Beach and Beacons Beach. Moonlight Beach, or Moonlight State Beach, as it is more officially known, is a wide and sandy beach that gets its name from the fact that locals used to enjoy midnight picnics there in the early 1900's. Among the numerous activities that can be enjoyed at Moonlight Beach are surfing, swimming, and fishing. As for Beacons Beach, it doesn’t feature a lot of facilities, and since it is backed by bluffs, you have to use a winding path to hike down to it. The hike down is a deterrent for some, and this helps to keep Beacons Beach a relatively tranquil place to hang out. On most days, this is a strip of sand where you can expect to find more locals than tourists.

Surfing and Surfing Lessons

Surfing and Surfing Lessons
Surfing and Surfing Lessons  Image: Bengt E Nyman (flickr)

Encinitas is without question one of California’s top surfing destinations - perhaps the best in the San Diego area. Largely responsible for this distinction is the point break surfing spot known as Swami’s. Many within the surfing world hail Swami’s as one of the best surfing spots on the planet, and it was even mentioned in the famous Beach Boys song, Surfin’ USA. To get to Swami’s, you must take a long, wooden staircase down to the beach below Swami’s Park. The rocky point that carries the Swami’s name is approximately 200 yards north of the beach’s lifeguard station. Swami’s Park has picnic tables, benches, a water fountain, and restrooms. As is true of other Southern California surf spots, Swami’s gets especially good swells in the winter. Established surfers who are visiting Encinitas surely won’t want to pass on the chance to surf at Swami’s. For those who aren’t as skilled, taking a surfing lesson is a possibility. It is easy to arrange surfing lessons in Encinitas, particularly in and around Moonlight Beach. The area surfing schools are known to provide their guests with everything that they should need, including surfboards, wetsuits, sunscreen, and rashguards.

San Diego Botanic Garden

San Diego Botanic Garden
San Diego Botanic Garden

One of the best attractions in Encinitas CA is the San Diego Botanic Garden. The name of this attraction reflects the fact that Encinitas is found in San Diego County and rests to the near north of the city of San Diego. At the San Diego Botanic Garden, visitors can hike along four miles of trails that wind their way around the park’s 37 acres. The terrain varies considerably, and this helps to create a variety of microclimates that support many different kinds of plants. One moment, you can wander through a tropical rainforest area, while another moment can see you exploring a desert environment like those found elsewhere in the state. Among the main highlights at the San Diego Botanic Garden is its Hamilton Children’s Garden. It’s the largest interactive garden of its kind on the entire West Coast.

Encinitas Hotels & Resorts

Encinitas Hotels & Resorts
Encinitas Hotels & Resorts

Several chain-brand lodging establishments count themselves among the hotels in Encinitas CA. On the top end of this spectrum is the Best Western Encinitas Inn & Suites at Moonlight Beach (pictured). Cheaper chain-brand choices include the Econo Lodge Encinitas, the Days Inn Encinitas Moonlight Beach, and the Howard Johnson San Diego Encinitas. Also worth keeping in mind for those who are looking for a good room at a good price is the Moonlight Beach Motel. Encinitas visitors who are more interested in a bed and breakfast lodging experience can turn instead to such local lodging establishments as the Kate Stanton Inn, the Inn at Moonlight Beach, and the Black Orchid Bed and Breakfast. As for resorts, there aren’t any in Encinitas proper. The region in general offers up some good options, however, with an example being the wonderful La Costa Resort and Spa in nearby Carlsbad.

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