Five Things Visitors Absolutely Must Do In Cardiff-By-The-Sea California

The San Diego beach town of Cardiff-By-The-Sea is different from other Southern California beach communities.  How so?  Well, there’s our “Magic Carpet Ride” sculpture, a vast ecological reserve with hundreds of species of birds, the vast Pacific Ocean, incredible warm and sunny sandy beaches, a “restaurant row” with some of the best food in San Diego, hotels in Cardiff lodge bed and breakfasts and great surf breaks.

1.  Take A Good Close Look At Our “Magic Carpet Ride”

At the corner of Chesterfield and Highway 101 (across from the Cardiff Lodge) is a bronze sculpture of a surfer that has been the topic of much conversation and ridicule ever since it was installed.  The one-of-a-kind sculpture depicts a young surfer boy and is entitled “Magic Carpet Ride.”  Ever since it was unveiled in the summer of 2008, surfers and locals have been griping that the look of the “surfer” it too feminine and does not capture the essence of true surfing.  Called dorky by some, “gay” by others, pranksters have delighted in adorning the statue with pink skirts, braids, bikini tops, biking shorts, high heels, flowers, lingerie and teddy bears.  Take a walk by…. what do you think?

2.  Watch The Surfers At Cardiff State Beach

Cardiff State Beach stretches from our bronze surfer sculpture all the way south to Solana Beach with some of the most beautiful coast line in California.  The beach is popular with surfers because of the soft sandy bottom and mushy “perfect” waves for long boards.  Visitors, photographers and spectators love the views of the surfers from any where along the beach.  The nearby bed and breakfasts in Cardiff lodge many visitors who enjoy having lunch at the seaside restaurants while watching the surfers.

3.  Take A Hike On The Wild Side

San Diego County’s largest coastal wetland is San Elijo Lagoon, situated along the ocean between Cardiff and Solana Beach.  This lush habitat supports 305 plus species of plants, 22 species of fish, 23 species of reptiles and amphibians, more than 20 species of mammals and upwards of 300 species of birds.   The new San Elijo Lagoon visitor’s center on Manchester Avenue is open daily to the public free of charge.   More than seven miles of hiking and jogging trails branch out from the visitor’s center, so bring your walking/jogging shoes.

4.  Have Fun At The Beach

Cardiff’s beaches are wonderful places to work on your tan, read a good mystery novel, have a picnic with your sweetie, enjoy the antics of the surfers, body surf or go boogie-boarding.  The beaches are sandy, gently sloping, and the water is some of the warmest in San Diego county.

5.  Enjoy The Sunset From Your Private Hot Tub

Just 2 miles up Historic Highway 101 from Cardiff-By-The-Sea is a romantic inn located on a hillside above Moonlight Beach in the beach town of Encinitas:  The Inn at Moonlight Beach.  The Inn has four lovely guest suites overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  The Penthouse Suite is a favorite for honeymooners and those celebrating their anniversaries because it has its own private balcony and hot tub with phenomenal view of the Pacific Ocean sunsets.

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