From its small-town vibe and laid-back surf culture, to spectacular beaches and restaurants, Encinitas is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway.

It’s a nearby gem for Southern Californians – within just an hour or two of driving, you can feel like you’re a world away! For those who don’t live locally, it’s definitely worth the trip (for a weekend or longer) and we HIGHLY suggest putting it on your bucket list! Without a doubt, a weekend in Encinitas will be relaxing and memorable. You’ll leave feeling refreshed and ready to get back to the grind of daily life.

Here’s why:

1. Epic Waves

You'll get to surf a lot if you spend a weekend in Encinitas. Whether you’re a pro surfer or have never popped up before, Encinitas has great waves for you! The beaches here are typically quite consistent and the many types of breaks create fun waves for all types of surfers.

D St. is a beachbreak with lots of whitewater and it’s a great spot for beginners to learn how to catch a wave, pop up and ride straight into shore. (We teach lots of lessons here! Schedule one with us today! 😀)

Cardiff Reef is a mellow break and is an awesome place for both longboarders and shortboarders to improve their skills. These waves usually have a long shoulder section – an ideal situation for practicing turning down the line or for working on your maneuvers. Intermediate and advanced surfers alike love Cardiff! (It’s another one of our favorite spots to teach!)

Swami’s is a fun point break, typically for the more advanced crowd. Moonlight Beach is another great spot and it’s a prime destination for families with young kids. It has bathrooms and a playground right on the sand!

2. Fantastic Restaurant Scene

There are so many fantastic local restauntrants nearby if you spend a weekend in Encinitas.

Downtown Encinitas is lined with charming spots to eat. Photo Credit:

Encinitas is packed to the brim with unique and delicious restaurants. Eateries, bars, ice cream shops, fancy sit-down spots and upscale take-out places line Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) in the main downtown area. These cater to just about every type of taste palette – vegan, Mexican, American, seafood, gourmet, Italian and almost anything else you can think of!

From well-known chains to local Mom ‘n Pop restaurants, Encinitas has endless places to nurture your inner foodie. Here’s a directory of them all!

3. Stock Up on Surf Gear

If you’re looking for a place to snag some deals on all things surf-related, you’ve got to spend a weekend in Encinitas. Home of the famous Hansen Surfboards, the Hansen Shop and Board Room is a must-see. They have pretty much anything you could need (or want) in terms of surf gear and they also have a huge section of surf-brand clothes like O’neill and Billabong. The store is so large you can practically get lost in it, especially because it extends into a RipCurl Store on the south side!

Encinitas Surfboards Surf Shop

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Encinitas Surfboards is another great surf shop to check out. Locally owned and family operated, they have a fantastic reputation in terms of customer service and their friendly, laid-back staff. They shape boards in addition to selling gear and surf apparel! If you need advice out how to fix a board, input on a type of fin to purchase or have any questions about the gear you need, this is definitely the spot to go. They will usually bend over backwards to help you out!

Other surf shops also line PCH, such as Catch Surf and Progression Surf Shop (which has board rentals!), that are worth stopping by.

4. Detox from Stress

Low tide at a Beach in Encinitas.Nothing promotes a good mood like a mellow day at the beach or a lovely walk along a scenic bluff. Luckily for us, Encinitas has many awesome ways to get some fresh air, chill, and soak up the sunshine.

The streets have wide bike lanes and seeing that many of the streets have unparalleled views of the coast, the bike rides are quite refreshing. Also, many of the neighborhoods along the beaches, such as by D St. or north of Moonlight Beach, are quite charming and are great places for a walk or run.

Of course, walking on the sand is always an incredible option as well! A beach walk is so good for the soul. But, be sure to time it with low tide if you want to walk, not swim, back to your car though!

So, as you plan your next vacation or weekend getaway…

Make a point to stop by Encinitas. Whether you love to surf or are just getting into it, you won’t be disappointed by the surf-related fun that Encinitas has to offer! And if your travel companions aren’t interested in surfing, there’s plenty for them to do as well – the diverse food scene, lovely outdoor spaces and overall charm of the area almost guarantee an awesome trip!