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Free Things To Do In San Diego County - Encinitas

Updated on June 8, 2012

Just south of Carlsbad is the city of Encinitas, which includes the neighborhoods of historic Encinitas, new Encinitas, Leucadia, Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Olivenhain. Leucadia State Beach is the northernmost beach in town. Grandview, Beacon's and Stone Steps provide stairway access down steep vertical cliffs directly onto rocky, kelpy beaches that are good for surfing. Further south is Moonlight State Beach, which tends to get more crowded because it has easier access and is family friendly, offering picnic areas, a playground and public showers. Just south of here, the cliffs get steep again and D Street provides access to Boneyards' Beach, another popular surfing spot, but perhaps not quite as well known as its neighbor directly to the south, Swami's Beach. San Elijo and Cardiff State Beaches are further to the south, to the north and south of the San Elijo Lagoon channel, respectively. These are both, again, well-known surf spots. The San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve has a nature center that is open free to the public daily from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. It houses exhibits that tell the story of the lagoon's history and ecology. Take a stroll along the half-mile loop trail, or a guided nature walk on Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. The San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy also offers free family discovery days during the summer. See the website for details (

Aside from its fantastic beaches, Encinitas is also home to the Self-Realization Fellowship Temple, located near Swami's Beach, where the public can bring lunch and enjoy serene gardens and ocean views on Tuesday - Saturday from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., or join the regularly scheduled group energization and meditation sessions. Visit the website ( or call (619) 295-0170 for current details. The Encinitas Library offers several reading, writing, language, dance, meditation and movie clubs throughout the week for people of various ages. See the website for details ( Additionally, the Lux Art Institute in Encinitas hosts a free family day four times a year from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Check the website for specific dates (

Free annual events that take place in Encinitas include the Wavecrest Woodie Meet, held at Moonlight Beach on the third Saturday of September, where you can watch over 300 wooden-bodied cars and their owners parade by ( The Oktoberfest celebration takes place on the third Sunday of September in the vicinity of Mountain Vista Drive and El Camino Real (, and The Fall Festival, previously known as The Poinsettia Festival, is the annual street fair hosted by the Downtown Encinitas Mainstreet Association, where live music, food, arts and crafts can be found along the Coast Highway 101 during the month of November (


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      Open 3 years ago

      We had a fantastic halodiy at Beachside during early September. The house was equipped with everything we needed a real home from home and was spotlessly clean. The location was perfect, being right on the beach but also a short walk to shops, cafes and a pub. The footbridge across the River Adur to Shoreham town is currently being replaced, but there is a regular shuttle bus in service. Thanks, Rae we can't wait to go back! lablos