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4 Local Favorite Adventures in Encinitas, CA

With its vibrant outdoor community, small business economy, and hub of artists, a day in this small beach town will never go wasted.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

In Partnership with Chaco

Towns along the California coastline always consist of individual character and culture, and the small beach community of Encinitas is no different. It's located about 30 minutes north of San Diego, CA, and somehow is tucked away just enough to still feel like a true, sleepy, surf town. In such a simple paradise, a day in Encinitas never fails to be full of community, connection, culture, and most of all - outdoor adventure. Within this town, artists get inspired, friends cultivate conversations of change, and people are encouraged to lead a simple life, revolving around the connection that one has to nature. If you are ever able to visit, the following adventures are favorites of the locals, and definitely not to be missed!

#1: Bike and Skate to Check the Surf at Beacons Beach.

One of Encinitas's most attractive qualities is that everything is just a walk, bike ride, or skate away. Morning surf checks are no different. Gather your crew and cruise to the coast to check out the waves! Leucadia State Beach, commonly known as "Beacons" is such a great surf break, and being able to skate or bike down Neptune Avenue on your way there just feels right. Throw in a stop at Leucadia Donut Shoppe (a highly recommended local favorite that has been around for over 35 years) before or after your ride, and that's a truly perfect morning.

Cruising around in Chacos Z/Sandals
Donuts here are a must. Chaco Women's Z/Sandals featured.

#2: Hiking and Tide Pool Exploring in Torrey Pines:

Just down HWY 101 from Encinitas is the legendary Torrey Pines State Reserve. With miles of oceanside trails and incredible views, this is such a great area to dive into the spectacular nature of San Diego County. Whether your goal is to get a great workout in on the beach-side cliff trails, or if all you need is a leisurely stroll down the sand, Torrey Pines has it all! Keep your eyes out for wildlife while there too, you might be able to spot dolphins, seals, hawks, and (if you're super lucky) whales.

Local tip: plan to visit Torrey Pines at low tide, and you just might be able to explore some incredible tide pools. Little creatures can be all over the rocks and reef during low tide, and discovering their underwater world is so exciting! I like to head here in a pair of outdoor sandals that can withstand getting soaked and still feel comfortable for whatever's next. A pair of Chaco sandals work great for this, and if you're into taking photos, a bright pair makes your feet pop!

#3: Grandview Beach Surf Session

Encinitas revolves around beach and surfing culture. This town's heartbeat comes from people's passion for surfing, walking and hanging out on the sand, paddle boarding, fishing...anything and everything ocean related. While there are so many different beaches in Encinitas to enjoy, Grandview Beach just has something special. Less busy than beaches that are closer to downtown Encinitas, Grandview can be a sweet relief from summer crowds on the sand and in the water.

The surfing at Grandview is perfect for beginners in the summer, with small, forgiving, and super fun waves. Winter in Encinitas brings slightly larger sets of waves, and Grandview's break can usually handle that extra size pretty well, making for exciting sessions for more advanced surfers.

Don't surf (yet)? You'll still love the wide, soft sand beach of Grandview for a relaxing read, picnic, or walk!

#4: Ponto State Beach Sunset.

The sunsets in Encinitas are always worth a trip to the beach. Which beach is the best beach to view a sunset? Ponto. 

Formally known as Ponto State Beach, it is a bit more unique than others in Encinitas. Ponto is a sandy and rocky beach, but has great spots to lay out a blanket and bring a cooler with your favorite snacks!

Gathering friends for a sunset hangout here is such a great time. Having rock-skipping competitions and watching the sun dip down below the ocean while the sky gets steadily prettier makes one feel extremely lucky to be alive in Encinitas. 

Encinitas is undeniably special, and if you are able to visit, anything you do within the town will be an amazing experience. These are some awesome local favorites, but don't hold back from exploring on your own! There is always a new outdoor adventure to try just around the corner.

More about Chaco

Chaco felt like the perfect brand to sponsor a visit to Encinitas, because one pair really does fit every adventure around here. Chacos are super durable and comfortable, and effortless to cinch up and get out the door for a hike on the beach or a walk to the donut shop. We kicked off the day in Chacos Z/Sandals, featured throughout these adventure photos.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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