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.

37 things to do

All Places United States California


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.

DO   —  Map

Firenze trattoria

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.

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.

DO   —  Map

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.

SEE   —  Map

San Diego Botanic 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.

SEE   —  Map

Raul's Mexican Food

Another popular inexpensive Mexican food shop located across the street from La Paloma Theatre. Especially good when the old lady is cooking inside. Try their tacos.

Açai Cafe

A cafe selling Açai Smoothies, Açai Bowls, and much more (Açai is a palm that grows in the Amazon, producing Açai berries that are used in many recipes).

EAT   —  Map

Union Kitchen and Tap

Just across the street from the Self-Realization Fellowship. Get there early, because it can be nearly full at noon on weekends. Try their awesome beer.

Pannikin's Coffee and Tea

A local favorite, built inside the 1888 Santa Fe Railroad Station. Lots of places to hangout both inside and out. Very casual atmosphere.

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.

DO   —  Map

Hansens Surf Shop

Clothes, swim suits, surfboards, and almost all beach needs can be purchased here located at the south end of the 101

BUY   —  Map

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.

DO   —  Map

Moonlight Beach

Beautiful white sand beach at the north end of town. West end of 'B' Street. Lifeguards on duty in season.

DO   —  Map

Siamese Basil

Meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes in a casual atmosphere. Don't miss the specials listed on the table.

The Black Orchid Bed and Breakfast

Three complete suites with private balconies, fireplaces, views of the ocean, and a gourmet breakfast.

SLEEP   —  +1 760 753-0584 —  653 Requeza St

Berry Happy Frozen Yogurt

Across the street from the La Paloma Theater. Flavors may be switched occasionally.

E Street Cafe

Baked goods and lunch specials. Live music, internet and wireless (with purchase).

EAT   —  130 W. E St

Honey's Bistro & Bakery

Popular breakfast and lunch cafe with plenty of California and Mexican favorites.

Quality Inn & Suites North Coast

Free continental breakfast, free wifi, spa, etc. Walking distance to beach.

SLEEP   —  +1 760 944-0301 —  186 N. Hwy 101

Lou's Records

Amazing local used music store. Plenty of new/used vinyl to choose from.

BUY   —  Map

Sushi Bar Blue Fin

Traditional Japanese flavors with contemporary Western fusion.

D Street Bar & Grill

Upscale pub lined with televisions tuned into sports and news.

DRINK   —  485 S Coast Highway

Shatto and Sons T-Shirts.

Buy a 'Keep Leucadia Funky' T-shirt at this family owned shop.

BUY   —  Map

Juanitas Taco Shop

A popular inexpensive Mexican food shop. Big burritos.

Rico's Taco Shop

Some of the best burritos in town. Local hangout.

Bubby's Gelato

In the Lumberyard. Gelato and sandwiches.

Potato Shack Cafe

Popular breakfast and lunch cafe.

EAT   —  120 West I St

Encinitas Photo Center

Lots of great cameras and film.

BUY   —  Map

Rhino Art

Great art supply shop.

VG's Donuts

Best donuts in town.

San Elijo Lagoon Reserve

Coastal wetlands.

SEE   —  Map

Pipes Cafe

Great local cafe.

EAT   —  Map

Source: wikivoyage