Encinitas is one of the best surf towns in the world, and was rated as such by the likes of National Geographic and SURFER Magazine. If you surf in Encinitas, you’ll know the spots on this list. We’re not giving anything away here – just a recap of the best, most well-known waves in and around town. Insert shaka sign here, and have fun, brah! Bodhi from Point Break would want you to.
Without further ado, here are the 5 best places to surf in Encinitas:
#1. Seaside Reef
Seaside is a rocky reef point that breaks better left than it does right, and which might as well have an “Experienced Surfers Only” sign on it. Right in between Solana Beach and the southernmost end of Encinitas, a lot of competitions are held here and the vibe, generally, is a little aggressive. Post-wetsuit-strip down, check out Pizza Port a little further south, which is known for its beer and I’m sure you can guess what else (okay, it’s pizza).
#2. Cardiff Reef
Just behind the Cardiff Kook – for all ya kooks, that’s the silver surfer statue on the 101 – are some pretty easy lefts and rights where you’ll find a lot of paddle boarders and a relaxed vibe. Both novice and experienced surfers paddle out at Cardiff for the long rides and consistently good wave shape. The only challenge is the parking. Check out Cardiff Beach Bar at Tower 13 after your surf. This sports bar-beach bar hybrid just a few steps away is mostly windows, which makes it a great place to grab a drink while watching the sunset.
Pipes is famous for its consistently good waves and a generally laid back atmosphere. All levels of surfers surf at Pipes and if there are beginners in the water, the more experienced surfers are usually very gracious about it. Funneling down from the San Elijo campgrounds just above, you’ll also see a lot of tourists and families at this beach. There are both good lefts and rights at Pipes, making it one of the best overall spots to surf in town. Post-surf, check out Bull Taco – a gourmet, locally-famous taco shop located within the San Elijo campgrounds. Think lobster ceviche and duck tortas.
Duh. Swami’s is a right point-break with a rock-and-sand-bottom that breaks far offshore just under the Self-Realization Fellowship. This very nice wave gets seriously crowded, but if you’re a beginner, you’d be better off surfing further north or south, anyway. When you get out of the water, check out Encinitas Ale House which is known for the excellent burgers and mind-boggling beer selection (over 350 bottled beers and 32 taps of German and Belgian beers).
The fast wave south of Moonlight Beach at the end of D street is one of our town’s better kept secrets. For those of us who just bought our first board – and it’s a foam topper from Costco – head a little further north of the parking lot where beginners are sure to be frolicking in the whitewater. Post-surf, check our any of the eateries and drinkeries downtown. Lofty Coffee – aka the best coffee shop ever – is also only a few steps away. There’s also a playground for kids, and a concession stand right on the sand.
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