Bordered by Batiquitos Lagoon to the north and San Elijo Lagoon to the acres of prime land near what is now the south. Encinitas got its start in 1881, when a settler named Jabez Pitcher filed a claim for 160 acres, which is now the Encinitas Civic Center. In the 1920s, Moonlight Beach was popular with sunbathers, race-horse aficionados, and bootleggers, who used the beach as a hooch drop-off point. In 1925, Charlie Chaplin bought his mother a house in downtown Encinitas and 1927 marked the opening of La Paloma Theatre, which stands today as a film lover’s paradise.
The city was incorporated in 1986, bringing together the communities of New Encinitas, Olde Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Olivenhain, and Leucadia.
The city got its name in 1769 while Baja California Governor, Gaspar de Portola dubbed it “Encinas Canada” which is Spanish for “Canyon of the Oaks”.
Did you know? The famed Swami’s Beach, which has some of the best surfing, is name-checked in Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ U.S.A.” where it shares a verse with such historic spots as Haggerty’s in Palos Verdes and Oahu’s Waimea Bay?
Passing through, don’t miss the meditation gardens, the Self Realization Fellowship’s, the lifestyle boutique owned by pro surfer Rob Machado, shopping in the Lumberyard, the San Diego Botanical Gardens, the surging Madonna and dining at Herb & Sea or Leucadia Pizza, or the car show once a month that lines the Village.
The secluded beach community of Leucadia was founded in 1870 and developed by a group of British spiritualists in search of religious freedom. It got its name after Greek and Roman gods were similarly inspired when they named the town. Loosely translated from the Greek to mean “sheltered place”.
It grew into a haven for artists, surfers and free spirits, along with independent art galleries, surf shops, natural food stores, and farmers markets. Many surfers will contest that the surf is like no other anywhere in the world, to include Beacon’s Beach and Grandview Surf Beach.
The community was incorporated in 1986 but Leucadia follows its own singular, funky beat. Dining options include Fish 101, Le Papagayo, Vigalucci’s, Pannikin Coffee & Tea, Solterra, and Leucadia Donut Shoppe.