There’s so much to love about our backyard of sunny SoCal, so we’re highlighting our favorite local spots and sharing why we love them. If there’s anything staying home during the pandemic has taught us, it’s how to appreciate and explore our own neighborhoods while we can’t take our usual vacations. So today, we’re heading south on the 5 just a bit, toward San Diego county to explore the cute coastal town of Encinitas. Hop in!

(Note that some offerings such as indoor dining may be temporarily closed at this time. Order takeout and support small businesses!)

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Photo 1597296743447 ff40547e4a56 2048x2048 Local Love Encinitas Travel Guide

BITES

It’s not a trip to San Diego County unless you enjoy the amazing Mexican food it has to offer, and The Taco Stand is a must-go. The Al Pastor tacos, with fresh handmade corn tortillas, are iconic. Bonus points if you get a Mexican coke to go with it!

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Brunch, lunch, dinner and everything in-between – Union Kitchen does it all, and it’s all delicious! Start the Skillet Cornbread, try one of their many burgers for your entree, and don’t forget a craft cocktail. The 2 Kool 2 Be 4 Gotten, made with Blackberry infused Bulleit Bourbon, cider, cinnamon, and lemon, is most definitely memorable. 

SIPS

Pannikin Coffee is a North County mainstay, serving up amazing coffee and yummy pastries since 1968. With its inviting yet eclectic vibe, this old railroad station-turned-cafe is the perfect spot to enjoy a morning beverage. You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but we have to say the Jimi Hendrix (4 shots of espresso, Mexican chocolate, and a shot of hazelnut) is *chef’s kiss* 

Touted as seasonal west coast comfort food, The Bier Garden has a little something for everyone. With 25 beer taps for local brews, it’s hard to choose! But if you’re something a Bloody Mary aficionado, you have to try their towering version. 

SWIM

Located at the heart of Encinitas, Moonlight State Beach has everything you could want in a beach. With volleyball courts, a playground, and bonfire rings, you could easily spend the whole day here with family and friends. Bonus! It’s located walking distance to lots of great food and drink spots in town.

A visit to Swami’s Beach is a must when in Encinitas. This famous beach is an internationally known hot spot for surfing. It was named after the founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship ashram, which overlooks the point break. If you’re not here for the waves, don’t fret – the park offers lots of a shaded areas to enjoy a picnic or stroll. 

SHOP

Flashbacks is a great spot for thrifting, with lots of fun gems to be found. We recommend doing a new year’s closet cleanout and exchanging your old clothes for some new (to you) finds. 

Located the cutest cottage off the 101, Salt Culture boutique radiates the Southern California lifestyle. They have a little bit of everything, from home decor to clothing, and it’s all on point. There’s also a cute back patio to hang out on and enjoy the ambiance. 

Ready for more Southern California travel inspo? Read up on our other favorite spots here!

Plus, check out our new arrivals to get your bikini drawer summer-ready this season. 

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