Cardiff or Cardiff-by-the-Sea is a beach community tucked between
Encinitas and Solana Beach in San Diego County, California. It has the
Pacific Ocean on its west, Encinitas on east and north, and a beach and
lagoon on the south. Operating as part of the city of Encinitas, the
town of under 12,000 still considers itself a separate entity. Like so
many other towns around the region, locals prefer the small town
atmosphere and most want to keep it like that. It's hard to believe it
is located just 25 miles north of California's second largest city, San
Diego. Conveniently located just west of Interstate 5, many residents
live on hillsides with gorgeous ocean views but are still within commute
distance to downtown San Diego.
Over eighty years ago, this farming community in the hills north of the
San Elijo Lagoon, began to take root and grow as Cardiff when developer
J. Frank Cullen broke ground to build new homes. Many streets in Cardiff
bear names this English-born landowner grew up with in his native UK.
Birmingham, Chesterfield and Manchester are familiar streets to Cardiff
residents. See the history of Cardiff.
Primarily residential, there are two hotels in town, fine dining, shops
and the beautiful Pacific Ocean which attracts tourists to the region.
San Elijo State Beach Campground, provides opportunities for tent
camping right on the ocean. Locals and travelers alike, enjoy bird
watching and hiking along the trails in the San Elijo Lagoon and running
and biking along the beachside highway.
One of several restaurants lined up side by side on
Restaurant Row is The Beach House. The unique building complete with
stained glass bathroom windows looking to the ocean was designed by
famed architect, Hubble (not related to the Hubble telescope).
Dishes are served with a colorful flower. The Cobb Salad pictured
contained a mix of gourmet greens, lots of avocado, turkey, bacon,
tomato and bleu cheese with fresh bleu cheese dressing on the side.
Fresh round loves of hot sourdough bread come to the table with soft,
The day I ate there, dolphins swam by, a wind surfer skimmed across the
water and birds sat on the rocks, watching diners and hoping for a
morsel of food. It was a most relaxing lunch, watching and listening to
Cardiff offers a range of water-related activities; swimming, surfing,
sunbathing, wind sailing and strolling along the shore. Also enjoy
hiking, jogging, boating, tennis, fishing, hang gliding, bicycling, or
nearby golfing. There is a residential and business district and a
Chamber of Commerce office in Towne Centre. Drop by when they are open
to purchase souvenir gifts such as T-shirts, ball caps, license plate
frames and postcards.
Cardiff-by-the-Sea is a great escape. Known for its charm, village
hospitality and warm, sunny weather, it offers everything unique to
those who seek the beauty of a small ocean side town.
Annual events include:
Cardiff's Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church Greek
Festival every September.
A Chili Cookoff in October.
Cardiff by the Sea Chamber of Commerce 2051 San Elijo Ave.
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Ca. 92007 Located at Cardiff Towne Centre Phone:
History of Cardiff San Elijo State Beach Campground North County Map