We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Tips for a first time visitor??

New Haven...
Level Contributor
23 posts
24 reviews
Tips for a first time visitor??

Rented a home in November, 2 couples in our 50's. Any tips on things we really should see in the area? We enjoy great scenery, food and drink. I'm not familiar with this general area, so any tips about where there might be a nice scenic drive with photo ops would be appreciated, or the best place to grab a margarita and a fish taco would be helpful too.

Encinitas, CA
Destination Expert
for Encinitas
Level Contributor
595 posts
13 reviews
1. Re: Tips for a first time visitor??

Its a pretty laid-back area, all about the ocean and the beach, no real must-see attractions. November is a great time to visit, no crowds, fewer tourists. The drive along the coast is the most scenic, from Oceanside/Carlsbad down to La Jolla. Be sure to stroll around downtown Encinitas, walk by the boathouses and down to Swami's beach.

Not sure about where to get a fish taco with a margarita, we generally get fish tacos at the hole-in-the-wall little taco shops that don't serve alcohol. Maybe Las Olas in Cardiff? I've never eaten there but it is very popular.

Enjoy your visit!

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
68,148 posts
72 reviews
2. Re: Tips for a first time visitor??


With a whole week I'd assume that you will be exploring from Encinitas south into the city of San Diego and possibly also spending some time away from the coast to the mountains and desert in other parts of the county. There are many things to see/do in the entire county which is the size of your home state! I think it is all quite scenic!

Let us know a bit more about what you'd like to see/do and we can help more intelligently.

New Haven...
Level Contributor
23 posts
24 reviews
3. Re: Tips for a first time visitor??

Thanks for the information, much appreciated.

Level Contributor
9 posts
8 reviews
4. Re: Tips for a first time visitor??

Our go-to places for Mexican food in a fun environment are Las Olas in Cardiff and El Callejon near the corner of Encinitas Blvd and the 101. Good happy hour in both places. For a quicker option, Raul's is on the corner of the 101 and D street.

Check out the Self Realization Fellowship meditation gardens (entrance on K St). Very pretty landscaping and good views of the Ocean. yelp.com/biz/self-realization-fellowship-her…

Enjoy your stay in Encinitas!

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
3,934 posts
57 reviews
5. Re: Tips for a first time visitor??

a must for me would be to drive the coast up to laguna beach for lunch and to enjoy that beautiful area.. you can start on the coast road but will have to divert onto freeway 5 at oceanside for a short spell and then take the dana point turn off to get back to the coast. if you guys like easy hikes, head south to torry pines state park. also an afternoon/sunset dinner in la jolla.

New Haven...
Level Contributor
63 posts
16 reviews
6. Re: Tips for a first time visitor??

Great ideas, thank you. We will take a few drives in each direction on our stay and check out some areas that we missed on our last trip. Thanks for posting!

San Diego...
Level Contributor
117 posts
197 reviews
7. Re: Tips for a first time visitor??

Delayed response by for a casual lunch one day - check out Bull Taco at the Cardiff campgrounds - sounds weird but they have a beautiful view with good tacos (very casual).

Mexican food for dinner - you will hear lots of opinions but I love Fidel's in Solana Beach - great margaritas.

Drinks - check out Pacific Coast Grill on the patio in Cardiff - right on the ocean

Dinner - Ciciotti's in Cardiff for Italian food

Drinks - Wine Steals Cardiff patio (next door to Ciciotti's)

Lunch or Dinner - Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria in Encinitas

Cooking at home? - Go to Cardiff Seaside Market and go to the meat counter and ask for the "Cardif Crack" - amazing tri-tip

Have fun!

New Haven...
Level Contributor
23 posts
24 reviews
8. Re: Tips for a first time visitor??

Awesome tips, thank you so much for taking the time to post all of your helpful suggestions.

Level Contributor
16 posts
14 reviews
9. Re: Tips for a first time visitor??

Whenever friends visit we go to the Torrey Pines State Park (http://www.torreypine.org/). It's a short drive south of Del Mar. On the drive in look for parking on the road. Often in the off season you can park for free and walk in. If not, no sweat they have a large lot with pay parking. Short hike up hill and then the rest is pretty easy walking. Beautiful views and unlike any other "hiking" I've done. Before heading down there, stop at the Stratford Court Cafe in Del Mar for breakfast or lunch. Very casual, great food and great ambiance. Kinda hidden down a side street (it's located in an old house) and all the tables are outside. If you've never had an acai bowl, get one to share. You won't be disappointed.

10. Re: Tips for a first time visitor??

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 18 February 2018, 00:18
Get answers to your questions about Encinitas