Destination guide

Redefining small town perfection in sandy Cardiff

Resting comfortably along the Pacific Ocean, laid-back Cardiff is known for its wide sandy beaches and some of the most renowned surfing in the world. Part of the city of Encinitas, the seaside community reportedly got its unexpected name from the founder's Welsh wife (homesick, perhaps?). That famous San Diego vibe meets small town life in this picturesque seaside community on historic Highway 101, where the surf culture hasn't changed since the 1950s. With a Cardiff vacation rental, the Pacific is your playground. Life doesn't get much better than this.

Things to do

Get a taste of classic California on historic Highway 101

A Cardiff vacation rental is the perfect place for soaking up the local culture. Swing by the Cardiff Kook bronze surfer statue and see how the locals have dressed him up today. The San Dieguito Heritage Museum serves up local history, and the Lux Art Institute offers plenty of visual stimulation. For some fresh air, head to the San Diego Botanic Garden or the Sal Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. Find your Zen in the meditation gardens at the Self-Realization Fellowship Encinitas Temple, or catch a flick at the 1920s La Paloma Theatre. Midnight picnics and bonfires at Moonlight Beach are a must.


It may not be Wales, but there are whales

The town is also called Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and you'll quickly see why. Life undeniably revolves around the ocean. Catch a wave with some of surfing's best in the world, particularly at The Reef, Pipes, and Swami's (good enough to merit mention in the Beach Boys Classic "Surfin' USA"). Try your hand at paddleboarding, snorkeling, or spearfishing, or just work on that tan, whale watch, and catch an amazing sunset. When the tide goes out, join the locals in exploring the fascinating tidal pools. Cardiff is also a prime spot for oceanfront camping, local festivals, and farmer's markets.


Discover that endless summer the Beach Boys loved so much

Leave the winter blues behind. Highs will be in the 60s and 70s all year long at your Cardiff vacation rental. The moderate temps are perfect for experiencing those famous ocean waves (water temps range from 60 to 70 degrees, too). In the coldest months of January and February, you might see overnight lows in the mid-40s, but you don't need to worry about seeing any snow. Ocean storms can bring rains from December to April. The rest of the year is generally dry, though May and June can see those famous Pacific fogs.

Natural features

Pondering the pounding surf of the Pacific

Maybe it's the cliffs that inspired the name. While they might not be as big as the ones in Wales, they still make for a great place to look out over the broad sandy beach, crashing waves, and spectacular sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. The consistent shape of the waves is what makes the area so popular with surfers. You have to pass a handful of lagoons before you can get inland from the beaches. Low tide exposes a flat, rocky reef and fascinating tidal pools.

How to get there

Transportation to and around Encinitas

The nearest airport is in Carlsbad, CA (CLD-McClellan-Palomar), located 4.7 mi (7.6 km) from the city center. If you're unable to find a flight that fits your schedule, you might consider flying into San Diego, CA (MYF-Montgomery Field), which is 18.5 mi (29.7 km) away.

Where to stay around Encinitas?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 2,362 vacation rentals near Encinitas. From 932 Houses to 965 Condos/Apartments, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Encinitas for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What is the best area to stay when traveling to Encinitas?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the areas with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Encinitas:

  • Leucadia: 383 vacation rentals
  • Mission Beach: 1,360 vacation rentals
  • La Jolla: 774 vacation rentals
  • Pacific Beach: 1,066 vacation rentals
  • Ocean Beach: 436 vacation rentals

For other neighborhoods, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

What are the popular points of interest near where I can stay when traveling to Encinitas?

HomeAway offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Encinitas. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Moonlight State Beach: 4,537 vacation rentals
  • Swamis Beach: 4,938 vacation rentals
  • San Diego Botanic Garden: 4,394 vacation rentals
  • Encinitas Ranch Golf Course: 3,708 vacation rentals
  • Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage & Meditation Gardens: 4,852 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Encinitas listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Houses in Encinitas?

Yes, of course. HomeAway has 932 Houses in Encinitas. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Encinitas include:

  • Condos/Apartments: 965 rentals available
  • Cottages: 81 rentals available
  • Villas: 50 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Bungalows and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Encinitas?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 950 vacation rentals with pool available in Encinitas. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

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