Encinitas, California stretches along six miles of Pacific Coast shoreline approximately 25 miles north of San Diego. The town has a laid back, home grown, mom-and-pop atmosphere that makes it an ideal spot for a relaxing vacation in the sun. Nature enthusiasts, and those looking for that perfect tan, will find plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun. A day’s itinerary in Encinitas can include hiking, swimming, surfing, parasailing, sailing, deep-sea fishing, horseback riding, or simply relaxing on a beach under the California sun. Quirky shops are inviting targets for shopping fanatics, and the restaurants offer plenty of international cuisine that will please every appetite. The beaches of Encinitas can’t be beat for sunshine fun time.

Moonlight State Beach is an excellent family beach due to the flattish terrain and the gentle slope into the ocean. The beach offers great facilities, and is a excellent place to jump into a pick-up volleyball game. Cardiff by the Sea, a satellite community of Encinitas, has the San Elijo Lagoon, a naturally occurring inland waterway fed by the ocean. Cardiff is also blessed with gorgeous beaches, and is also popular with families. Leucadia State Beach is an interesting area made up of relaxed hippies and luxury beach homes. This blending of types lends an eclectic feel to this wonderful surfing beach.

Near the beach is a strip of surf shops, taco eateries, and other restaurants stretched along the neighboring highway. Encinitas has been called the “Flower Capital of the World”, a title garnered due to the number of roses from Encinitas used in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Los Angeles. For a good view of the area’s gardening prowess, visit the Quail Botanical Gardens, a 30-acre facility filled with flowers and plants. Some of the more popular species include natural chaparral, orchids, bamboo, and an extensive collection of items found in rain forests. You can treat yourself to a self-guided tour and climb the observatory, which offers spectacular views of both the garden and the surrounding area. If you are looking for a truly “off the beaten path” experience, be sure to visit the Self Realization Fellowship Temple and Ashram Center. Paramahansa Yogananda established the Self-Realization Fellowship Ashram Center in Encinitas in 1937 as a place of spiritual enlightenment. Today, the golden dome of the Ashram can be seen all over town. The Hermitage and Meditation gardens are open to the public. They are beautifully maintained and are a great spot if you are seeking a quiet place to sit and think. An added benefit is the spectacular view overlooking the “swami’s” surfing beach, just below the property. Encinitas is a great place for a Southern California vacation.

There is something for everyone. Bargain hunters will want to check out the city’s flea market that takes place on the weekends. Go hiking along the 33 miles of trails that meander through the city. Take the kids to see LegoLand, a theme park in nearby Carlsbad made primarily out of Legos. Or you could visit the San Luis Rey Mission in Oceanside, the last and largest of 18 missions built in California. Jump in a boat and go deep-sea fishing or out on a moonlight cruise. If it is fun in the sun you seek, then look no further than wonderful Encinitas