|Encinitas is a small beach town in the north end of San Diego County in Southern California. The town has a main street that looks to be right out of a George Lucas 1950's movie scene, including a city name sign spanning the Coast Highway that welcomes visitors arriving into the north end of town from Carlsbad. Population of Encinitas is around 60,000.
Swami's Beach in Encinitas
Visitor info can be found at 138 Encinitas Blvd.
Encinitas is located just off Interstate Highway 5. Take the Encinitas Blvd exit.
The regional COASTER  rail line between San Diego and Oceanside stops in Encinitas. The station is located downtown between C and D streets. Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner trains operate on the same track, and though most trains do not stop here, 6 trains (3 northbound, 3 southbound) stop here each day. Check the schedule, and other information about the Pacific Surfliner here .
The closest airport with scheduled service is McClellan-Palomar Airport, in nearby Carlsbad, with service to Los Angeles International Airport. The closest international airport is in San Diego. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is 2-3 hours away by bus or car depending on traffic.
Almost everything can be reached by foot, including the beach and most restaurants and shopping. Bikes can be rented as well. NCTD also offers buses and trains for transportation purposes.
- The beach. Main entrance to the seemingly endless stretch of the sandy beach is at C street. A scenic outlook and stair access can also be found at the end of D street. Swimming is allowed only in designated areas.
- Quail Botanical Garden, . Specializing in tropical rainforest plants with the largest display of bamboo in the world. A great way to spend the day gazing at magnificent and exotic plants, it's also a popular wedding destination.
- San Elijo Lagoon Reserve Coastal wetlands.
- Meditation Gardens at the Self Realization Fellowship, . edit
- Surfing a favorite activity in Encinitas. Swami's is one of the most famous surf spots in Southern California, which is accessed via steep stairs down the bluff from the small city park by the same name at the south end of town. Several surf shops along Coast Highway can provide gear for the visitor.
- Cardiff State Park. Oceanfront camping with beautiful views. Surfing and swimming beaches within short walking distance. Reservations can be made in advance, but the park books up for the peak summer season very early in the year.
- Leucadia Surf School, . For those who want to try out surfing for the first time with year around 2 hour surf lessons and summer surf camps.
- Moonlight Beach. Beautiful white sand beach at the north end of town. West end of 'B' Street. Lifeguards on duty in season.
- YMCA Skate Park, . One of the first and still one of the best skate parks in the world. Not uncommon to see greats such as Tony Hawk here. edit
- Hansens Surf Shop. Clothes, swim suits, surfboards, and almost all beach needs can be purchased here located at the south end of the 101 edit
- Shatto and Sons T-Shirts. Buy a 'Keep Leucadia Funky' T-shirt at this family owned shop, peruse the "Surf Hut" art gallery, and grab a smoothie nextdoor at Mozy Cafe.
- Lou's Records, . Amazing local used music store. edit
- Rhino Art, . Great art supply shop. edit
Encinitas is a small town with a long restaurant list. Along Coast Highway 101's downtown district are a wide range of options from upscale Italian to cozy cafes and diners. Small cafes can be found in the more residential streets heading towards the beach.
- E Street Cafe. 130 W. E St. Baked goods and lunch specials. Live music, internet and wireless (with purchase).
- Honey's Bistro & Bakery, 632 S. Coast Highway 101. Popular breakfast and lunch cafe with plenty of California and Mexican favorites.
- Jamroc 101 Caribbean Grill, 101 N Coast Highway 101, . Authentic Jamaican cuisine.
- Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Co.. 305 Encinitas Blvd (Just off Highway 5).
- Potato Shack Cafe, 120 West I Street, . Popular breakfast and lunch cafe.
- Siamese Basil, 527 S. Coast Highway 101, +1 760 753-3940. Meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes in a casual atmosphere. Don't miss the specials listed on the table.
- Sushi Bar Blue Fin, 257 N. El Camino Real (Exit ENCINITAS BLVD. just off of 5 fwy), ☎ +1 760 479-1555, . Traditional Japanese flavors with contemporary Western fusion. edit
- Rico's Taco Shop, 165 S El Camino Real # L Encinitas, CA 92024, ☎ (760) 944-7689. Easily the best burritos in town. Local hangout. edit
- VG's Donuts, 106 Aberdeen Dr (between Newcastle Ave & San Elijo Ave) Cardiff, CA 92007, ☎ (760) 753-2400. Best donuts in town. edit
- Pipes Cafe, . Great local cafe. edit
- Firenze trattoria, 162 S. Rancho Sante Fe Rd (in the West Village Center at Encinitas Blvd and Manchester/Rancho Santa Fe), ☎ +1 760 944-9000, . An Italian restaurant with a Tuscan style menu, and food prepared using fresh ingredients. There is a beautiful outdoor dining area with a water fountain. The food is quite excellent and if you are planning do be sure to make reservations. edit
- Lofty Coffee, 90 North Coast Highway, Suite 214 (On Highway 101, just north of Encinitas Blvd.), ☎ 760 230 6747, . Monday~Friday 6:00~18:00, Saturday 7:00~18:00, Sunday 7:00~17:00. Local cafe, serves coffee, tea, lattes, and espressos throughout the day. Also serves hand-crafted pastries, breakfast, and lunch. It is often crowded in the mornings, especially on the weekends. edit
- D Street Bar & Grill, 485 S Coast Highway. Upscale pub lined with televisions tuned into sports and news.
- Best Western Encinitas Inn & Suites at Moonlight Beach, 85 Encinitas Boulevard, ☎ +1 760 942-7455 (fax: +1 760 632-9481), . edit
- Days Inn Encinitas-Lego Land/Moonlight, 133 Encinitas Blvd, ☎ +1 760 944-0260, . edit
- Linda Flores (The Black Orchid Bed and Breakfast), 653 Requeza St (Westlake and Requeza St), ☎ +1 760 753-0584, . Three complete suites with private balconies, fireplaces, views of the ocean, and a gourmet breakfast. $175 to $225. edit
- Quality Inn & Suites North Coast, 186 N. Hwy 101, +1 760 944-0301, . Free continental breakfast, free wifi, spa, etc. Walking distance to beach.
Driving North on PCH will get you into Carlsbad, and driving south will set you in Solana Beach. Inland of Carlsbad is LaCosta, and inland of Solana Beach is Rancho Santa Fe.