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Welcome to Cardiff-by-the-Sea, a favorite beach-going spot for families and surfers alike. Boasting pristine beaches, an oceanfront campground, and a devout local surfing community, Cardiff starts at the river mouth, flanked by San Elijo State Beach and Cardiff State Beach, and extends north to Swami’s Point in Encinitas. This stretch of coastline offers wide open sandy beaches, gorgeous cliffs and great surfing. At extreme low tide, the reef reveals itself with intriguing tide pools, where plants and sea creatures can be observed up close. Cardiff is also home to the Cardiff Kook – a surfer statue which has been much criticized as a parody of California’s iconic sport.
WHERE TO GO:
• Pipes, is a fun peaky surf break north of the campground, popular with swimmers, sunbathers and surfers alike.
• San Elijo, the beach in front of the campground is great for families.
• Cardiff Reef, a pleasant little beach park and surf spot on the south end of the campground where the cliffs end.
• George’s is a popular spot, located just south from the San Elijo Lagoon river mouth, also known as ‘Restaurant Row’ as restaurants, like the Chart House and the Beach House, are located right above the beach on Highway 101.