This is me at my happy place. If I could I would blog about beaches only all day everyday. But I live in the desert! NO beaches here. As often as I can I make it to the beach, and my new favorite little California coastal town is Encinitas, CA! Encinitas is about forty minutes outside of San Diego. If you think you love San Diego you don’t know what you’re missing! We stayed at The Portofino Beach Inn which was really nothing special, but they offer fresh espresso in the morning. The Portofino is extremely close to the beach. In September we only paid fifty dollars a night.
Let’s start with Moonlight beach. This beach has got these beautiful stretches of cliffs on both sides that run for miles. The water is on the clearer side. While I was out boogie boarding I looked down and could clearly see my feet (love it). I rode in wave after wave at Moonlight Beach. It was the perfect flat beach for boogie boarding. Moonlight Beach is fairly deserted early in the morning. This is my favorite time to go and watch the waves.
This picture gives you an idea of the cliffs. Note that beautiful old staircase. We walked in both directions for miles and saw two more. Makes for some beautiful pictures!
While you are visiting Moonlight Beach don’t forget to stop at Moonlight Yogurt & Ice. They have frozen yogurt (who cares??) and amazing coffee and Boba tea. Boba drinks are really big in California. All those beautiful tan people people love their Boba. Boba are like chewy baked tapioca balls. When made correctly it should be of gummy-bear substance and a little sweet. I have to admit at first I was skeptical, but with all the cool flavors (passionfruit, fresh watermelon, honeydew, green tea-coconut) I couldn’t help myself. I’ve tired Boba tea a couple of places since, but this place has it nailed. Get the milk+fruit flavored Boba (Snow Tea). Now for their coffee. I started every morning on Moonlight Beach with a Thai Latte (sweetened condensed milk and espresso). I swear best coffee ever. They have a lot of creative things on their menu so don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions. Staff is very helpful.
Here is their yelp link: http://www.yelp.com/biz/moonlight-yogurt-and-ice-encinitas-2?osq=moonlight+boba
Swami’s Beach is pictured in the slideshow below. For the love of all beaches this place is BEAUTIFUL. You take about four sets of stairs to get down to the beach area. The cliffs just tower above you. I was surprised at how many people were up top looking down. Don’t get me wrong, the view is amazing, but hardly anyone was on the beach! Up on the top area there are a ton of tables and benches, perfect for a book, lunch and also makes for some beautiful pictures. The water here is a bright green and you can see clear down to the bottom even from up high. Am I obsessed with clear water or what? From up top we watched a sea lion swim and a group of surfing students.
After a long hard morning of beaching you MUST stop by 101 Diner. Don’t let the line fool you. They are a fast paced diner and they’ll set you down fast. The key here for me are the Hawaiian pancakes. Coconut, banana, and pineapple pancakes topped with a fresh homemade coconut syrup. TO DIE FOR. We also had the chorizo scramble. It too was amazing, but I am a pancake girl all the way. They have great specials all week long and the omelets passing by me looked great! Service was fast and friendly
So you can find your way here is the yelp link: http://www.yelp.com/biz/101-diner-encinitas?osq=pancakes
The last beach I’m going to touch on is Windandsea. This beach is perfect for you adventure goers. I love to climb up all the cliffs and look in the tide pools. It’s not a hard hike up and down the beach rocks, but I do recommend wearing shoes you want wet. Some parts you have to run when the waves go back down.
LOTS of tide pools which I LOVE. I saw all kinds of fish, snails, crabs, and weird plants. It was fascinating! You’ll see all the cliffs pictured above. There is also a lot of black moss so BE CAREFUL (I may have slipped a couple of times). Another good tip is to google the tide times in this area as they change. If you come too late or too early you won’t see much. Also summertime is the best time to see critters 🙂
My all time favorite beach activity is searching for pieces of sea glass. I found my first pieces at Lake Michigan and was hooked!!!After I came back I did some research about the best places in California to find these treasures. I found a lot of blogs saying it was really tough to find. Umm . . . . BULL. It’s all over, you just have to look. This was literally one day at the beach. I have one basic sea glass searcher rule; don’t take the pieces that aren’t ready. You want smooth edges and it should be very foggy to look through. If you pick up a piece that isn’t developed enough, chuck it as far as you can so someone else can discover it later.