There are so many things to do in Encinitas. Here are some of my favorite Encinitas places.Encinitas is a funky, laid back beach town just south of Orange County. It is known for the Surfing Madonna, Swami’s beach and the Self Realization Center, but what I love about Encinitas is that it is a feast for the senses
Sign outside an Encinitas beauty shop.
Coast Hwy Traders Encinitas has the best DOTD
You can spend the day at the beach, go to a funky seaside art bazaar, eat at fun restaurants or browse the many art co-op stores along Highway 101. If you are a night owl and love The Rocky Horror Picture Show, that’s available too.
One of my favorite things to do in Encinitas is window shop. Coast Highway Traders has the best collection of Day of the Dead ephemera in San Diego. From small altars and Day of the Dead figurines to iPhone cases, stickers and larger-than-life-sized Katarinas, this store is a color-fest. Coast Highway Traders is run by a group of vendors, so in addition to the Day of the Dead merchandise, there are mermaids, seashells and seashell-covered gifts, other Mexican art, purses and handmade jewelry.
Maybe because he’s an Encinitas Frog he whistles like a canary instead of croaks
Plum is an Encinitas art co-op
Plum is another artist co-op store filled with photography, hand painted silk fish ornaments, Christmas merchandise and handmade jewelry. Plum is definitely more upscale than Coast Highway Traders but both are equally fun to browse. The prices for a resort/tourist area are reasonable, and the artist/owners are very friendly. George the frog tweeted like a canary every time we walked in or out of the store.
I was drawn into _____ after looking at the statue on the sidewalk and glimpsing the salt crystal lamps, sari patchwork throws, and luscious stone and mineral jewelry. I loved the small dark-purple amethyst pieces they had. Really spectacular.
Queen Eileen’s reminds me of Babette Schwartz in Hillcrest. Fun, somewhat tacky gag gifts crowded the walls next to Anne Taintor magnets and cocktail napkins. More jewelry and unique clothes.
Lots of gag gifts at Queen Eileens
Encinitas Seaside Bazaar artist
Encinitas Seaside Bazaar sign. Love it!
We browsed through the Seaside Market. I had a chance to talk to artist Cecilia Gabriel. She and her husband Roger sell mini-pieces of art. Mini as in 2×2 inch squares at the smallest. She explained that they like to create collages of smaller pieces of art work so in a limited space they can enjoy many different types of art instead of focusing on one piece only. The 2×2 mini paintings start at $25 and go up to $65 for a 10×10 canvas. I asked her if they made the canvasses themselves and she said no, you can actually buy them online. Fascinating. We talked about chakras and she told me about chakra-size, which are exercises for your chakras. I love her infectious happiness and her jewelry is beautiful and reasonably priced for hand-made works of art.
I picked up a few gently used paperbacks from Patricia McFarland at Book Tales. Patricia said she has owned the store for 15 years but it has been at this location for over 30! It is so nice to see a used bookstore flourishing; they are a dying breed of retail.
Book Tales used book store in Encinitas
Another great shop was Earth’s Elements. They have a great selection of eco-friendly soaps and cleansers, solar phone chargers, clothing, art and handicrafts…and a fun bumper sticker covered wall. How do you decide which one you want to buy? They are all awesome!
Koi pond at SRF in Encinitas
I ended the day at the Self Realization Fellowship’s meditation gardens. After a small climb up some stairs, you can either sit and view the Pacific Ocean and watch the surfers down below, or you can relax watching the flashing ballet of the enormous koi. The grounds are immaculate and well-kept and though there were quite a few people at the large koi pond, it didn’t seem crowded.
Encinitas is a visual feast. It is one of my favorite San Diego towns. I hope you get a chance to visit.
Now it’s Your Turn! What’s your favorite thing to do in Encinitas? Do you have a go-to restaurant?
Unless noted otherwise, all photos are the original work of Susanne Romo. If you wish to use them, please add photo courtesy of www.susysmusings.com to the photo. Thank you.