Cardiff by the Sea

Cardiff-by-the-Sea is an area of the city of Encinitas from North County, San Diego County in California. Located on Coast Highway 101 at a distance of 25 miles from San Diego and 95 miles from Los Angeles, Encinitas is a coastal beach city known to many as a famous surfing point and for the Wavecrest Woodie Meet festival.

The city is divided into 5 regions, of which Cardiff-by-the-Sea represents the southernmost area, delimited by the Pacific Ocean to the west, a beach and lagoon to the south and the rest of Encinitas to the north and east.

Usually referred to as Cardiff instead of its longer name, the community comprises a population of around 12,000 formed in only a century, since the first home was built to the south of Encinitas. It was mostly a farming community in 1911, but a developer by the name of J. Frank Cullen changed that when he started constructing the first houses. Many of the streets of this area of Encinitas have names given to coincide with cities in the UK, due to Cullen’s English heritage. The name ‘Cardiff’ itself was given after the birth place of Frank Cullen’s wife.

Cardiff is known around the world because of the Swamis surf point. It was named one of the best surf spots on the planet and attracts many tourists all year round. It was even referred to in the popular ‘Surfing USA’ song by The Beach Boys. Cardiff Reef is the second spot, known for smooth and consistent waves that both experienced and beginner surfers can enjoy equally. It has grown in popularity since the 50s to become a genuine tourist attraction for many surfers coming to practice their passion. The Reef also extends 50 yards from shore when the tide is low, revealing a flat rock reef which many visitors come to explore.