Welcome to Cardiff-by-the-Sea & Encinitas
A coastal treasure of world-class surfing and quaint seaside living
Cardiff-by-the-Sea — referred to locally simply as Cardiff — is an enchanting beach community within the parameters of Encinitas, a coastal town 30 minutes north of San Diego. Both Cardiff and the city of Encinitas at large are renowned surfing spots — the latter was recently named among the top 20 surfing locations in the world. Dramatic cliffs line the beaches, creating a striking landscape.
While Encinitas wasn’t incorporated officially until 1986, the city has a rich and colorful history of inhabitants who fell in love with the picturesque beauty of the land. The city can be broken down into five separate communities, of which Cardiff is the southernmost. Its relative proximity to San Diego makes it a popular day-trip destination for residents of the metropolitan area, as well.
Encinitas & Cardiff-by-the-Sea Real Estate Insights
Buyers aiming to live in Encinitas, and Cardiff in particular, are treated to architecturally diverse real estate options and plenty of stately homes. Encinitas and Cardiff real estate styles span the 20th and 21st centuries, resulting in an array of styles such as beach cottages, contemporary Cape Cod homes, tropical-feeling California Craftsman houses, and lavish, multimillion-dollar estates right on the bluffs. Contact Bryan Garrity, J.D. to find houses, estates & beach homes for sale in Cardiff-by-the-Sea & Encinitas.
What to Love
- Relatively small population without San Diego’s urban density
- The presence of the San Diego Botanic Garden
- World-class surfing beaches and diving
People & Lifestyle
At Cardiff, a vast coral reef entices snorkelers and divers who share the waters with surfers, both professional and novice. The neighborhood is a highly walkable one, just steps from the beach a conglomeration of charming local boutiques and restaurants. Further into Encinitas, a vibrant downtown with a surf-meets-bohemian spirit entices with its eclectic commercial offerings.
Dining, Shopping, & Entertainment
Since most of the action in Cardiff is centered around the beaches, it’s unsurprising that there would be an incredible number of oceanview eateries smattering the coast. However, one of the area’s lesser-discussed appeals is the presence of plentiful local boutiques. Just south along Solana Beach, the Cedros Avenue
district contains over 85 retail locations and delights shoppers with its European vibe, complete with a cobblestone street and all the hottest trends. Pacific Coast Grill
serves up top-tier seafood right on the beach, featuring a raw bar and impeccable vistas from their balcony and patios. The area’s best authentic Italian cuisine is to die for at Buona Forchetta
. Here the specialty Neapolitan pizzas are lovingly roasted inside a wood-fired oven to elevate the flavor.
Hot and fresh, the donuts at Broad Street Dough Co.
are absolutely legendary. In addition to their 40 everyday flavors and custom donuts, this innovative company also dishes out satisfying options for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and kosher diets. Swami’s
is an absolute must-try for those in search of a quintessential Cali cafe: all organic fair-trade coffee, only the freshest local ingredients, and a laid-back atmosphere.
Things to Do
Cardiff and Encinitas are both full of natural beauty, and Moonlight State Beach
is one of the most reputable locations for natural splendor and family fun. This wide, soft beach has a park for the kids, opportunities for surfing, swimming, and fishing, and was named for its history of being the site of many midnight picnic rendezvous.
Relish the majesty of nature by roaming the exhibits of the San Diego Botanic Garden
, where flora, both native and global, populate the grounds in stunning displays. From the California wildflower meadow to the Montane Rock Garden, it’s impossible to feel anything but inspired by the sheer variety.
Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Encinitas are home to several excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
- San Dieguito High School Academy, 9-12, highly rated public high school
- The Grauer School, 7-12, highly rated private high school
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