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, or use binoculars to gaze out across the ocean. During whale migrations, you may spot waterspouts as passing whales blow.
The Solana Beach Fish House is open from 11:00 to 2:30 for lunches, and 4:00 to 9:00 for dinner. This is a small, casual restaurant, which is very popular with the locals. When we had lunch there we saw policemen and postal workers having their lunch break at the Fish House. They have a variety of seafood, soups, salads, pastas, and sandwiches. Although the theme is fish and seafood such as shrimp, calamari, clams, and oysters, there are also a few items other than fish and seafood. The first time we went we I had fried calamari strips with French fires and coleslaw. My husband had fried clam strips. We liked it enough to go back, this time having the Cippino Soup, which was just excellent, filled with chunks of fish and seafood. It was the best I have ever had.
Favorite Dish: Although it was one of the more expensive items on the menu, we loved the Cippino Soup, so much, that we purchased an order to go, and had it for dinner after we left San Elijo and moved to another state park.
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 products are so good is that the Trader Joes chain tastes every product before they decide to stock their stores with it. So if you don’t like it, it is more a question of your personal tastes rather than the quality of the item. Plus the prices are very reasonable, and won’t cost you what most organic and gourmet type shops do. How do they keep their prices so reasonable? They try to cut out the middleman as much as possible, and buy direct, then the savings is passed on to the customer. The quality of the food is excellent, and much of it is organic. They have wonderful fresh, packaged, and frozen items to choose from. They also have a nice wine selection, beer, coffees, teas, fresh flowers, and vitamins. And they have a tasting corner where they are featuring at least one item, and often one of their coffees. Smart! I have purchased a number of items just because I tasted them in the store.
What to buy: My list is too long, but here are a few of the items that I consider winners. Trader Joe’s low fat Cranberry and Pumpkin Loaf, Trader Joe’s Key Lime Pie, Trader Joe’s Chunky Olive Hummus Dip, Trader Joe’s Tomato and Basil Hummus Dip, Trader Joe’s Champagne Pear Vinagrette with Gargonzola Salad Dressing, Plats Du Cef Escargot in Brioche, Trader Joe’s Mango Fruit Spread, Trader Joes New York Style Baked Cheese Cake, Trader Joes Cranberry Walnut and Gorgonzola Salad Dressing, Trader Joe’s Mango Ginger Chutney, Trader Joes Baklava Ensemble, and Trader Joe’s Peruvian Style Chimichurri Rice with Vegetables. Notice that everything I listed except the Escargot are Trader Joe’s own brands. This is a store brand that is superior to most, if not all, name brand foods.
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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. There were also a couple of windsurfers, but they were not as popular as the other two. 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 http://www.nearfield.com/~dan/sports/kitesurf/index.htm. 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.
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 http://www.cardiffbythesea.org/
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 http://www.encinitaschamber.com/.
For information on Solana Beach visit their official city website at http://www.ci.solana-beach.ca.us
Fondest memory: Watching the sunsets, visiting San Diego, and walking on the beach.