San Elijo State Beach Travel Guide

  • San Elijo State Beach
    San Elijo State Beach
    by KimberlyAnn
  • Cheetah as Seen From Tram
    Cheetah as Seen From Tram
    by KimberlyAnn
  • African Crowned Stork Seen In the Walking Zoo Area
    African Crowned Stork Seen In the...
    by KimberlyAnn

San Elijo State Beach Things to Do

  • San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park

    Although this park is called the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, it is actually located in Escondido, not San Diego. This is a much smaller zoo than it’s partner, the famous San Diego Zoo, and is laid out differently, with an open area that contains a variety of animals that can roam around together, thus, the Safari theme. A tram, included with your...

  • Follow the Stairs to the Beach

    Beaches can be places of relaxation, exploration, or exercise, and you may visit this beach by parking in its day use parking areas, or by staying in its campground. Many people find walking and jogging on this expansive beach a pleasant activity. As you stroll, notice the many sea birds in the area. Find a comfortable place to sit and read a book,...

  • San Elijo State Beach Hotels

    0 Hotels in San Elijo State Beach

San Elijo State Beach Restaurants

  • Delicious Peruvian & South American Food

    I had never eaten Peruvian & South American food before going to Qero for lunch, and it was delicious. My only regret was that we discovered this delightful restaurant a day before we were leaving the area, as we would have loved to go back for another meal. This is a very small restaurant, and when we arrived, every table was full. We were lucky,...

  • Tasty Italian Meals, and a Local...

    Trattoria I Trulli Italian restaurant pairs fresh ingredients and traditional tastes to bring you a wonderful dining experience. We were told that the restaurant is a local favorite, and I could understand why after dining there. The menu is varied, including creations of the week, daily specials, appetizers, salads, pasta, seafood, and meats such...

  • An Eatery Inside San Elijo State Beach

    Bull Taco describes itself as “Inauthentic Mexican food.” This is Mexican, but not Mexican, it is Mexican with a twist. Since this is located within the state beach, you will have no need to bring a picnic lunch. If you are a camper, it is close to the campground for those meals when you need a break from cooking, or want something different for...


San Elijo State Beach Shopping

  • An Outstanding, Family Owned Grocery...

    The Seaside Market in Cardiff has been offering wonderful food products since 1985. When camping in San Elijo, we often use this market, which is open daily from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM. This market won first place on the San Diego A list for “Best Gourmet Grocery” in 2010, 2011, 2013, and was 2ond place in 2012. (these awards were last checked by me...

  • My Favorite Grocery Food Chain

    Trader Joes is a different type of grocery store, and is one of my favorite places to shop. Shopping here is actually fun! And this comment comes from someone who doesn’t list shopping as a favorite past time. To me it is like an adventure, I always find some thing new to try, and I am rarely disappointed. I think part of the reason that their...

  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

San Elijo State Beach Warnings and Dangers

  • Secure or Hide Your Valuables

    The Park issued a warning on their campground map to take precautions against theft by locking or hiding such items as surfboards, wetsuits, bikes, and food coolers. It was stated that thieves have been know to cut bike locks, so if you intend to lock a bike up while you enjoy the beach, be sure that you have a high quality lock that would be...

  • Lifeguards

    We were in the park in January. As you look at the photo, you will see that there are very few people on the beach. During prime time, however, this greatly changes. Be aware of the number and locations of lifeguards if you intend to swim in the ocean. In the summer, when swimming is popular, most lifeguard towers are staffed from 10:00 in the...

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San Elijo State Beach Off The Beaten Path

  • The Official California State’s Tall...

    When we were visiting the Maritime Museum, the Californian was just in, and we were told it was a visiting ship. This 145 foot sailing ship is an excellent 19th Century Revenue Cutter replica. The original would have patrolled the coast during the California Gold Rush. This schooner was built for speed, carrying 7,000 square feet of sail. In the...

  • A Russian Submarine at the Maritime...

    The B-39 is a Russian, Soviet era Foxtrot class diesel electric powered attack submarine. Foxtrots are among the largest non-nuclear submarines ever built, carrying a crew of 78, she could dive to a depth of 985 feet. Launched in 1967, she patroled the North Pacific, including the coast of the U.S. and Canada, and ranged as far as the Indian and...

  • Maritime Museum’s H.M.S. Surprise

    The H.M.S. Surprise is a tall ship, which is an excellent replica of an 18th century Royal Navy 24 gun frigate. She is a 179-foot fully rigged sailing ship, which when launched in 1970 was used as a sail training ship on the east coast. She was used in the movie, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World:. The museum then purchased her from...


San Elijo State Beach Sports & Outdoors

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    Riding the Wind and Waves

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Dec 29, 2013

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    In the winter when we were there, the most popular sports seemed to be surfing and kite surfing, also know as fly surfing and kite boarding. We also observed children using boogie boards, also called bodyboards. There were also windsurfers, although they were not as popular as the surfers and kite surfers. If you are not familiar with kite surfing, this is sport where a person stands on a board, such as a small surfboard, feet strapped to the board, wearing a harness connected to a large power kite. The rider controls the kite, so that it pulls the person across the water, sometimes at fast speeds. As you become more expert at the sport you may be able to learn to become air born for a short time, twirling in the air before landing. This is a challenging sport, with the kite having to be piloted in the sky, while the board must be steered with the feet. I really enjoyed watching these people, especially since we enjoy stunt kites, and our son is into power kites. It is just amazing how fast these folks go sometimes. If you would like to learn more about this sport visit There are some great action photos of kite surfers on this site.

    Equipment: For Kite Surfing you will need the correct type of board, a harness, power kite, and proper kite strings. Depending on the style of kite you purchase, you may also need a pump to blow air into the air chambers of the kite. Everyone we saw up and down the coast, also wore wet suits.

    Sometimes Surfing is a Family Sport Kite Surfing in San Elijo Windsurfing In San Elijo State Beach Kite Surfing Power Kites Father and Son, with a Boogie Board
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    • Surfing
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San Elijo State Beach Favorites

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    Nearby Communities

    by KimberlyAnn Updated May 5, 2007

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    Favorite thing: San Elijo State Beach is located in Cardiff, and is also near Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Encinitas.

    Cardiff-by-the-Sea, also called Cardiff, which operates as part of Encinitas, lies along the pacific ocean 95 miles south of Los Angeles and 25 miles north of San Diego. At one time this was a farming community, but in 1911 the area began to be developed by J. Frank Cullen. The community is named after Cullen’s wife who was a native of Wales, and many streets have English names. The By the Sea was added to the name by Victor Kramer, and later German developer. For information on Cardiff, visit its Chamber of Commerce website at

    If you are visiting Encinitas and are looking for fun things to do in the area, lodging, or restaurants the Encinitas Visitor Center can be a great help. Visit its website at

    For information on Solana Beach visit their official city website at

    Fondest memory: Watching the sunsets, visiting San Diego, and walking on the beach.

    An Evening View From Our Campsite
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    • Road Trip

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Explore Deeper into San Elijo State Beach
Visit the Berkley at the Maritime Museum
Off The Beaten Path
Maritime Museum of San Diego
Off The Beaten Path
Off The Beaten Path
Visit the San Diego Zoo
Off The Beaten Path
A Favorite of the Locals

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Map of San Elijo State Beach