Sand, self-ralization and Surfin' U.S.A. hallmarks of North County Beach Town
History: Bordered by Batiquitos Lagoon to the north and the San Elijo Lagoon to the south, Encinitas got its start in 1881, when a settler named Jabez Pitcher filed a claim for 160 acres of prime land near what 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 the La Paloma movie theater, still a film-lover’s paradise. The city was incorporated in 1986, bringing together the communities of New Encinitas, Old Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Olivenhain and Leucadia.
How it got its name: While traveling through the area in 1769, Baja California Governor Gaspar de Portola dubbed it “Encina Canada,” which is Spanish for “Canyon of the Oaks.”
Did you know? The famed Swami’s beach is name checked in the Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” where is shares a verse with such historic spots as Hagerty’s in Palos Verdes and Oahu’s Waimia Bay.
Things to do: Passing through? Don’t miss the “surfer crossing” sign on Highway 101. Visit the Surfing Madonna mural (on the north wall of Leucadia Pizzeria) before heading to Swami’s or Moonlight Beach. Chill out at the Self-Realization Fellowship’s meditation gardens and check out To the Stars, the boutique owned by former blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge. Sip a latte at the 1888 Santa Fe train depot that now houses Pannikin Coffee & Tea.
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Updated Aug 20, 2018 10:57:pm.
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