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Cardiff By The Sea

San Elijo Lagoon
Cardiff Kook
Cardiff Kook


Cardiff-by-the-Sea is a classic Southern California beach town tucked between Encinitas and Solana Beach in San Diego County. It has the Pacific Ocean on its west, Encinitas on east and north, and a beach and lagoon on the south. Cardiff, as it is referred to by the locals, boasts a moderate climate, breathtaking views, two miles of Pacific coastline, a 900-acre ecological reserve, world-class surfing and lovely residents who take pride in their community. Cardiff-By-The Sea features an eclectic array of homes, from charming beach cottages to more spacious, luxurious homes.

Cardiff was initially founded in 1911 as a farming district. It quickly developed into a residential town as new homes sprouted up. The initial developer of the community named it after his wife’s hometown: Cardiff, Wales. This history serves to explain the charming street names found throughout the area, including Oxford Street, Birmingham Street, and Manchester Road.

Operating as part of the city of Encinitas, the town of under 12,000 still considers itself a separate entity. Like so many other towns around the region, locals prefer the small town atmosphere and most want to keep it that way. Conveniently located just west of Interstate 5, many residents live on hillsides with gorgeous ocean views but are still within commute distance to downtown San Diego.

Cardiff-by-the-Sea’s moderate climate, two miles of Pacific coastline, and world-class surf draw professional and amateur surfers from all over Southern California and beyond. Cardiff Reef (“The Reef”) is a popular surf spot in Cardiff that produces waves both professional and novice surfers enjoy year round. Surfing at The Reef has progressed from just a few surfers in the 1950s to become one of the most popular surfing spots in San Diego County. Cardiff Reef and nearby surf spot, Pipes, are famous for their smooth and consistent wave shape. When the tide is low, a flat rock reef is uncovered and allows for ample exploration within the approximately 50 yards of tide pools that remain exposed until the tide rolls in again.

Outdoor lovers will feel right at home in Cardiff. Cardiff State Beach is a part of the larger San Elijo State Beaches that run along the area’s coast. San Elijo Lagoon and San Elijo Lagoon County Park are both located in Cardiff and offer great recreational and exploration opportunities.

Residents enjoy this charming, friendly beach town with quaint shops, delicious cuisine, an arts community, yoga studios, ocean sports, parks, a walkable downtown area complete with a linear organic community park and plenty of biking opportunities. A sculpture in Cardiff-By-The-Sea referred to as ‘The Kook,’ is often featured in the news for the elaborate decorations placed on and around the art piece.

For more information on Cardiff real estate, contact Kylie Reiter at 858-705-1699.

Cardiff By The Sea Resources

Cardiff Elementary School District
San Dieguito Union High School District
Mira Costa Community College
Cardiff 101
The Cardiff Kook
Cardiff Lodge
San Elijo State Beach Campground
San Elijo Lagoon Trails

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