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Karin's Guidebook: Cardiff & Surrounding areas

Karin

Karin's Guidebook: Cardiff & Surrounding areas

Food Scene - all within walking distance! We like to walk to Encinitas as the sun is setting (about 2.5 miles) and then Uber home.
The best pizza around. And you can get it by the slice and take it into the Lost Abbey Tasting Room. Enjoy your pizza with excellent micro brews! Our favorite is the artichoke special. Yum!
East Coast Pizza
2015 San Elijo Ave
The best pizza around. And you can get it by the slice and take it into the Lost Abbey Tasting Room. Enjoy your pizza with excellent micro brews! Our favorite is the artichoke special. Yum!
Everything you need is here. It's somewhat pricey, except for some good deals in the deli. The prepared soups are great! The portions are large, so I usually get two meals out of one. Always delicious! Perfect place to put together a gourmet picnic for the beach.
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Cardiff Seaside Market
2087 San Elijo Avenue
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Everything you need is here. It's somewhat pricey, except for some good deals in the deli. The prepared soups are great! The portions are large, so I usually get two meals out of one. Always delicious! Perfect place to put together a gourmet picnic for the beach.
THE best coffee. Walk straight down the hill and grab a cup (YUM)! Check out the waves across the street! Perfect morning.
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Zumbar Coffee & Tea
111 Chesterfield Drive
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THE best coffee. Walk straight down the hill and grab a cup (YUM)! Check out the waves across the street! Perfect morning.
Very local and friendly hang out. Great coffee and frozen coffee drinks, etc... One of my favorite places for a custom bagel or pre-made sandwich after the walk from Cardiff to Encinitas, or when touring the Self Realization Fellowship Gardens. Grab a bite and hang out there in the cute backyard at Java Hut, or on the benches at Swami's (1/4 mile south) for a beautiful view of one of the best surf breaks anywhere!
Surfdog's Java Hut
1126 South Coast Highway 101
Very local and friendly hang out. Great coffee and frozen coffee drinks, etc... One of my favorite places for a custom bagel or pre-made sandwich after the walk from Cardiff to Encinitas, or when touring the Self Realization Fellowship Gardens. Grab a bite and hang out there in the cute backyard at Java Hut, or on the benches at Swami's (1/4 mile south) for a beautiful view of one of the best surf breaks anywhere!
A great place for a margarita, chips and salsa! Perfect apres surf! You can walk here from our house or Cardiff Reef and enjoy the sunset. Step across the Coast Highway to the beach and enjoy the sand in your toes!
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Las Olas
2655 South Coast Highway 101
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A great place for a margarita, chips and salsa! Perfect apres surf! You can walk here from our house or Cardiff Reef and enjoy the sunset. Step across the Coast Highway to the beach and enjoy the sand in your toes!
EXCELLENT view of Cardiff Reef. You can walk here from our house. Nice upstairs bar and dining where you can watch the surfers. A bit pricey, but delicious and worth it if you want to splurge. The downstairs indoor dining can get pretty loud. Arrive early and ask for an outdoor table to sit RIGHT on the beach. Be prepared to wait... or make a reservation. The outdoor and upstairs deck tables are worth the wait. Have a drink in the upstairs bar. They have heaters and blankets outdoors on cooler nights. Lunch is less expensive and still a GREAT view!
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Pacific Coast Grill
2526 South Coast Highway 101
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EXCELLENT view of Cardiff Reef. You can walk here from our house. Nice upstairs bar and dining where you can watch the surfers. A bit pricey, but delicious and worth it if you want to splurge. The downstairs indoor dining can get pretty loud. Arrive early and ask for an outdoor table to sit RIGHT on the beach. Be prepared to wait... or make a reservation. The outdoor and upstairs deck tables are worth the wait. Have a drink in the upstairs bar. They have heaters and blankets outdoors on cooler nights. Lunch is less expensive and still a GREAT view!
We only go to the Chart House for an occasional happy hour cocktail in the bar (and Thanksgiving dinner) because it's pretty pricey. But it's an amazing place to watch the sunset from floor to ceiling windows. The view is gorgeous! The food is excellent. If you want to splurge, go for it! You can walk here from our house.
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Chart House
2588 South Coast Highway 101
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We only go to the Chart House for an occasional happy hour cocktail in the bar (and Thanksgiving dinner) because it's pretty pricey. But it's an amazing place to watch the sunset from floor to ceiling windows. The view is gorgeous! The food is excellent. If you want to splurge, go for it! You can walk here from our house.
Great Microbrews and good caesar salad, mac & cheese, and pizza. $12 for a slice and a brew. Nice open air feel with views down to Seaside beach. Always a surf video on at least one TV!
Best Pizza & Brew Cardiff By The Sea
102 Aberdeen Dr
Great Microbrews and good caesar salad, mac & cheese, and pizza. $12 for a slice and a brew. Nice open air feel with views down to Seaside beach. Always a surf video on at least one TV!
OUR LOCAL FAVORITE RESTAURANT. Fresh, healthy, delicious food (breakfast, lunch and dinner), affordable, craft beer and cocktails with an ocean view. A local's favorite! Early bird (sunset) specials and happy hour from 4:30-6. Live music most Friday nights. New Sushi Bar serving Wed-Sat. You can walk here from our home and watch the sunset! Ki's catered our wedding. They are great! Ki's also has great breakfast, lunch, and fresh juice/smoothies and healthy fare.
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Ki's Restaurant
2591 South Coast Highway 101
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OUR LOCAL FAVORITE RESTAURANT. Fresh, healthy, delicious food (breakfast, lunch and dinner), affordable, craft beer and cocktails with an ocean view. A local's favorite! Early bird (sunset) specials and happy hour from 4:30-6. Live music most Friday nights. New Sushi Bar serving Wed-Sat. You can walk here from our home and watch the sunset! Ki's catered our wedding. They are great! Ki's also has great breakfast, lunch, and fresh juice/smoothies and healthy fare.
Excellent Vietnamese food. Small, unpretentious, local.
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Kim's Restaurant
745 S Coast Highway 101
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Excellent Vietnamese food. Small, unpretentious, local.
Yummy Asian hot pots with brown rice, veggies, kim chi, egg, or meat, etc... Nice beer and wine selection. A great place to eat before a movie at the La Paloma. Put your name on the list and walk around. Usually it's a 1/2 hour wait, but well worth it. Note: the tables in the window are super uncomfortable... wait for a better table if you can.
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East Village Asian Diner
628 South Coast Highway 101
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Yummy Asian hot pots with brown rice, veggies, kim chi, egg, or meat, etc... Nice beer and wine selection. A great place to eat before a movie at the La Paloma. Put your name on the list and walk around. Usually it's a 1/2 hour wait, but well worth it. Note: the tables in the window are super uncomfortable... wait for a better table if you can.
The freshest, tastiest fish tacos anywhere, and you can walk to it from here!
Fish 101 Cardiff
2101 San Elijo Ave
The freshest, tastiest fish tacos anywhere, and you can walk to it from here!
Great local Italian restaurant with awesome happy hour specials at the bar - which is fun and cozy, warmed by the stone pizza oven behind the bar. HAPPY HOUR: Sun-Thurs. 4:30-6:30, Fri. 3-6. Get there early, because the bar only seats about 15 and is usually full with locals! LIVE MUSIC Friday and Saturday. Sometimes it's opera singing/piano.
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Cicciotti's Trattoria Italiana & Seafood
1933 San Elijo Avenue
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Great local Italian restaurant with awesome happy hour specials at the bar - which is fun and cozy, warmed by the stone pizza oven behind the bar. HAPPY HOUR: Sun-Thurs. 4:30-6:30, Fri. 3-6. Get there early, because the bar only seats about 15 and is usually full with locals! LIVE MUSIC Friday and Saturday. Sometimes it's opera singing/piano.
Although known for their beer, this place also has great food. Including vegetarian options. Kids allowed. Fun kitschy decor. Across the street from La Paloma Movie theatre.
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Modern Times Far West Lounge
470 S Coast Hwy 101
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Although known for their beer, this place also has great food. Including vegetarian options. Kids allowed. Fun kitschy decor. Across the street from La Paloma Movie theatre.
Drinks & Nightlife
Very friendly and social vibe with lots of Cardiff locals and kids running around outside. Excellent brews! Bring food in from wherever you want - like East Coast Pizza next door or the famous and delicious deli at Seaside Market.
The Confessional by The Lost Abbey
2007 San Elijo Avenue
Very friendly and social vibe with lots of Cardiff locals and kids running around outside. Excellent brews! Bring food in from wherever you want - like East Coast Pizza next door or the famous and delicious deli at Seaside Market.
The best venue in San Diego for great music! Check out their calendar online. I've seen Lucinda Williams, Sharon Jones, Jimmy Cliff and many more... always great sound! You can have dinner next door at the Wild Note Cafe before the show.
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Belly Up
143 South Cedros Avenue
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The best venue in San Diego for great music! Check out their calendar online. I've seen Lucinda Williams, Sharon Jones, Jimmy Cliff and many more... always great sound! You can have dinner next door at the Wild Note Cafe before the show.
Small Divey Bar located down the street on Chesterfield, across from Zumbar Coffee and up the street from Patagonia. JUKE BOX and POOL TABLE. Some good beers on tap. No views. Good place if you want to play pool. 1 pool table. Friendly service.
Shanty Place
142 Chesterfield Drive
Small Divey Bar located down the street on Chesterfield, across from Zumbar Coffee and up the street from Patagonia. JUKE BOX and POOL TABLE. Some good beers on tap. No views. Good place if you want to play pool. 1 pool table. Friendly service.
This famous local brewer has its main brewery, tasting room, and restaurant 18 miles inland from us in Escondido. It's hot out there, better to stay here at the beach during mid-day. Beautiful gardens, and a big beer menu. Kid friendly.
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Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Escondido
1999 Citracado Parkway
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This famous local brewer has its main brewery, tasting room, and restaurant 18 miles inland from us in Escondido. It's hot out there, better to stay here at the beach during mid-day. Beautiful gardens, and a big beer menu. Kid friendly.
Huge selection of IPAs and other craft beers. This is a very popular brewery for locals. Also good food, and minors are welcome.
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Modern Times Far West Lounge
470 S Coast Hwy 101
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Huge selection of IPAs and other craft beers. This is a very popular brewery for locals. Also good food, and minors are welcome.
Parks & Nature
One of the best surf breaks anywhere. Great for longboarding most days unless it's big. Intermediate and advanced surfers will love Cardiff Reef. If the waves are good you might have to compete with the pros. If you're learning, just head over to the campground nearby for more chill vibe and less competition.
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Cardiff State Beach
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One of the best surf breaks anywhere. Great for longboarding most days unless it's big. Intermediate and advanced surfers will love Cardiff Reef. If the waves are good you might have to compete with the pros. If you're learning, just head over to the campground nearby for more chill vibe and less competition.
One of my favorite local hikes. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Stunning views as you hike along the beach or up into the hills overlooking the ocean. Even the drive along the Coast Highway from Cardiff to the park in Del Mar has breathtaking views. There's a nice loop that takes about 2 hours from beach to hills and back down .
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托瑞松國家保育區
12600 North Torrey Pines Road
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One of my favorite local hikes. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Stunning views as you hike along the beach or up into the hills overlooking the ocean. Even the drive along the Coast Highway from Cardiff to the park in Del Mar has breathtaking views. There's a nice loop that takes about 2 hours from beach to hills and back down .
Gorgeous, peaceful, lagoon hiking trails! You can hike on the North side of the lagoon in Cardiff, or drive over to the South side (Solana Beach) and hike through the slot canyon trail that just opened up to a beautiful lookout point (see photos).
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San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center
2710 Manchester Avenue
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Gorgeous, peaceful, lagoon hiking trails! You can hike on the North side of the lagoon in Cardiff, or drive over to the South side (Solana Beach) and hike through the slot canyon trail that just opened up to a beautiful lookout point (see photos).
Check out the breathtaking views of the ocean from the manicured gardens and Koi ponds at the Self-Realization Fellowship Garden. It's free (donation box) open 9-5pm, Sun 11-5, closed on Mondays. (But if you are visiting on a Monday, sometimes they'll open the gate just for you.) It's a quiet, natural, spiritual place... enjoy the peace. Loud talking and cell phones not allowed. Meditation encouraged.
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Self-Realization Fellowship Hermitage
215 W K St
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Check out the breathtaking views of the ocean from the manicured gardens and Koi ponds at the Self-Realization Fellowship Garden. It's free (donation box) open 9-5pm, Sun 11-5, closed on Mondays. (But if you are visiting on a Monday, sometimes they'll open the gate just for you.) It's a quiet, natural, spiritual place... enjoy the peace. Loud talking and cell phones not allowed. Meditation encouraged.
This state park has great beaches and is renowned for surfing for beginners or advanced surfers. Some of the best long boarders in the world surf here, and some surf schools too. Just 7 blocks away from our home, we can help advise you on parking, best time to surf, and a couple semi-secret beach spots to get away from the others.
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San Elijo State Beach
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This state park has great beaches and is renowned for surfing for beginners or advanced surfers. Some of the best long boarders in the world surf here, and some surf schools too. Just 7 blocks away from our home, we can help advise you on parking, best time to surf, and a couple semi-secret beach spots to get away from the others.
Nice long beach with access at south and north ends. Camping along the bluffs is nice, but usually requires reservations months in advance. About 10 miles away.
Carlsbad State Beach
Nice long beach with access at south and north ends. Camping along the bluffs is nice, but usually requires reservations months in advance. About 10 miles away.
This nice little park is just over a mile away from our home. It has gorgeous views (and stairs going down to) one of California's most iconic surf spots. A lovely beach. Close to downtown Encinitas' restaurants and bars. Lots of people stop and enjoy the view from the benches at the top. We've even run into Jack Tempchin (songwriter of many Eagles' tunes - like Peaceful Easy Feelin') singing and playing his guitar there.
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Swamis Seaside Park
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This nice little park is just over a mile away from our home. It has gorgeous views (and stairs going down to) one of California's most iconic surf spots. A lovely beach. Close to downtown Encinitas' restaurants and bars. Lots of people stop and enjoy the view from the benches at the top. We've even run into Jack Tempchin (songwriter of many Eagles' tunes - like Peaceful Easy Feelin') singing and playing his guitar there.
Most of the schools in the area are at Moonlight Beach, approx. 2.5 miles north of Cardiff at the base of Encinitas Boulevard. This beach has bathrooms, showers, lifeguards and good food at the snack bar. The best place to park is up above, in the parking lot on the hill behind the lifeguard tower. You can also park on the street if you can find a spot. Here are the links for 4 schools that operate at Moonlight Beach. http://www.elihoward.com http://www.leucadiasurfschool.com/Surfing_Lessons.html http://encinitassurflessons.com http://moonlightbeachsurfcamps.com For beginners, it’s best to use as big a board as you can get! A nine or ten foot long soft board is usually sufficient fo
San Diego Surf Lessons
707 Pacific Beach Drive
Most of the schools in the area are at Moonlight Beach, approx. 2.5 miles north of Cardiff at the base of Encinitas Boulevard. This beach has bathrooms, showers, lifeguards and good food at the snack bar. The best place to park is up above, in the parking lot on the hill behind the lifeguard tower. You can also park on the street if you can find a spot. Here are the links for 4 schools that operate at Moonlight Beach. http://www.elihoward.com http://www.leucadiasurfschool.com/Surfing_Lessons.html http://encinitassurflessons.com http://moonlightbeachsurfcamps.com For beginners, it’s best to use as big a board as you can get! A nine or ten foot long soft board is usually sufficient fo
Getting Around
Get the train (either Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner or NCTD's Coaster) to points South (Solana Beach, Old Town, Downtown San Diego's Santa Fe Station) or North (Carlsbad, Oceanside, Los Angeles Union Station) There's a rapid bus from Union Station to LAX (Los Angeles Airport). http://www.gonctd.com/coaster/ https://www.amtrak.com/pacific-surfliner-train
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Encinitas train station
102 S Vulcan Ave
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Get the train (either Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner or NCTD's Coaster) to points South (Solana Beach, Old Town, Downtown San Diego's Santa Fe Station) or North (Carlsbad, Oceanside, Los Angeles Union Station) There's a rapid bus from Union Station to LAX (Los Angeles Airport). http://www.gonctd.com/coaster/ https://www.amtrak.com/pacific-surfliner-train
Just 10-15 min away, this small regional airport is convenient for quick flights. Free parking, quick check in, this is a great alternative to Lindberg Field in San Diego.
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McClellan-Palomar Airport
2198 Palomar Airport Road
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Just 10-15 min away, this small regional airport is convenient for quick flights. Free parking, quick check in, this is a great alternative to Lindberg Field in San Diego.
This Train station is just 5 minutes from our home. It is the closest train terminal with service to Orange County and LA. Plenty of taxis or Uber service.
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Solana Beach Station
105 North Cedros Avenue
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This Train station is just 5 minutes from our home. It is the closest train terminal with service to Orange County and LA. Plenty of taxis or Uber service.
Most people fly in and out of this airport when visiting San Diego and Cardiff-by-the-Sea. An Uber ride between the airport and our home is usually about $35, but can be more if there's surge pricing.
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聖地牙哥國際機場
3225 North Harbor Drive
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Most people fly in and out of this airport when visiting San Diego and Cardiff-by-the-Sea. An Uber ride between the airport and our home is usually about $35, but can be more if there's surge pricing.
Entertainment & Activities
Less than 5 miles away by car or bicycle, The Del Mar Racetrack is San Diego's world-class horse racing venue. Here is the link: https://www.dmtc.com. The season goes from mid July through early September. Fridays include top notch bands playing live after the races.
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Del Mar Racing
2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard
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Less than 5 miles away by car or bicycle, The Del Mar Racetrack is San Diego's world-class horse racing venue. Here is the link: https://www.dmtc.com. The season goes from mid July through early September. Fridays include top notch bands playing live after the races.
Just 12 minutes away from our home is the popular amusement park.
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加州樂高樂園
1 Legoland Drive
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Just 12 minutes away from our home is the popular amusement park.
This is a wonderful and large botanical garden with both local and introduced species of plants. It also has a fun area for kids to explore.
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San Diego Botanic Garden
230 Quail Gardens Dr
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This is a wonderful and large botanical garden with both local and introduced species of plants. It also has a fun area for kids to explore.
This historic aircraft carrier is loaded with new and old planes, helicopters, and other military items of interest. 24 miles away, easily accessible by car or train.
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USS Midway Museum
910 North Harbor Drive
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This historic aircraft carrier is loaded with new and old planes, helicopters, and other military items of interest. 24 miles away, easily accessible by car or train.
This is where the Padres play, as well as major bands. In the heart of downtown, this is around 25 miles away, but there is train/trolley service from Solana Beach or Encinitas train stations.
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沛可球場
100 Park Boulevard
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This is where the Padres play, as well as major bands. In the heart of downtown, this is around 25 miles away, but there is train/trolley service from Solana Beach or Encinitas train stations.
This is an excellent place for exercise, only 2 exits away. Also has big skateboard park, pools, and lots of activities for adults and kids.
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Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA
200 Saxony Road
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This is an excellent place for exercise, only 2 exits away. Also has big skateboard park, pools, and lots of activities for adults and kids.
This surf school provides lessons and equipment for all ages. Less than 1 mile from our home. Very nice people. Fun to watch the classes from the bluff top.
Eli Howard Surf School
2050 South Coast Highway 101
This surf school provides lessons and equipment for all ages. Less than 1 mile from our home. Very nice people. Fun to watch the classes from the bluff top.
This popular amusement park is easy to get to from Encinitas. Approx 22 miles, just hop on the 5 and head south to Sea World drive. Also near the USS Midway, Old Town, and Downtown.
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SeaWorld
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This popular amusement park is easy to get to from Encinitas. Approx 22 miles, just hop on the 5 and head south to Sea World drive. Also near the USS Midway, Old Town, and Downtown.
A funky old Art Deco style (unrefurbished) movie theater in downtown Encinitas. A real local vibe. If you can catch a surf premier or adventure film, you're in luck! They play current feature films and special runs. Cash only!
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La Paloma Theatre
471 South Coast Highway 101
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A funky old Art Deco style (unrefurbished) movie theater in downtown Encinitas. A real local vibe. If you can catch a surf premier or adventure film, you're in luck! They play current feature films and special runs. Cash only!
Arts & Culture
A great museum for kids or adults who are interested in making music. Special exhibits on a regular basis. Right next to LegoLand and the Carlsbad flower fields.
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Museum of Making Music
5790 Armada Drive
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A great museum for kids or adults who are interested in making music. Special exhibits on a regular basis. Right next to LegoLand and the Carlsbad flower fields.
Live music under the stars by the bay. Lots of incredible bands and comedians. Also some nice restaurants in the area. 24 miles away. Can take train to downtown and then bus or Uber to venue.
Miniland USA
1 Legoland Drive
Live music under the stars by the bay. Lots of incredible bands and comedians. Also some nice restaurants in the area. 24 miles away. Can take train to downtown and then bus or Uber to venue.
World class university also has interesting sculptures on campus. Just 12 miles from our home. Regular bus service is available.
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University of California San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr
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World class university also has interesting sculptures on campus. Just 12 miles from our home. Regular bus service is available.
Shopping
Discount stores near LegoLand, Museum of Making Music, and the Carlsbad Flower fields.
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Carlsbad Premium Outlets
5620 Paseo Del Norte
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Discount stores near LegoLand, Museum of Making Music, and the Carlsbad Flower fields.
South Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach is a nice place to stroll around and visit funky/artsy shops. If the tide is low, you can even walk there along the beach from our house (about 2.5 miles). There are lots of nice places to eat, drink or have coffee along the street. Finish the evening with a visit to the world famous "Belly Up" music venue and Uber home.
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South Cedros Avenue
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South Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach is a nice place to stroll around and visit funky/artsy shops. If the tide is low, you can even walk there along the beach from our house (about 2.5 miles). There are lots of nice places to eat, drink or have coffee along the street. Finish the evening with a visit to the world famous "Belly Up" music venue and Uber home.