1. Take A Good Close Look At Our "Magic Carpet Ride"
Surfing is the essence of Cardiff By The Sea. You'll undoubtedly see our $120,000 surfing statue across Highway 101 from the Cardiff Lodge overlooking Cardiff Reef Surfing Beach - a young surfer boy with his arms stretched out, ostensibly riding a wave, entitled "Magic Carpet Ride." Surfers have been critical of the statue since it was unveiled in July, 2008 complaining that the pose of the bronze figure does not capture the essence of a true surfing move. Called dorky by some, too feminine by others, pranksters have since been dressing the statue in pink skirts, chains, bikini tops, biking bottoms, flowers, lingerie and fairy wands. What do you think?
2. Watch The Surfers At Cardiff State Beach
Cardiff Reef is a popular stretch of sandy beach at the mouth of San Elijo Lagoon, just north of Restaurant Row. It's popular with long-boarders because it has a soft sand bottom and slow, mushy waves. Spectators line up to enjoy the views from the State Beach parking lots and picnic tables. The rocky reefs along Cardiff sport a great selection of surfer talent from beginners to seasoned pros. If you're staying at one of the nearby bed and breakfasts in Cardiff, have lunch on the outdoor patios of The Beach House or The Chart House restaurants, and you'll have the best view in the house.
3. Take A Hike in an Ecological Reserve
San Elijo Lagoon is one of San Diego County's largest coastal wetlands. It lies along the Pacific coast between Cardiff-By-The-Sea and Solana Beach, extending inland to the community of Rancho Santa Fe. This mosaic of habitats supports more than 310 species of plants, 21 species of fish, 22 species of reptiles and amphibians, 24 species of mammals and more than 300 species of birds. The new visitor's center is open to the public seven-days-a-week from 9 am to 5 pm, and is an excellent vantage point from which to explore the Ecological Reserve and its more than seven miles of hiking and jogging trails.
4. Have Fun At The Beach
Cardiff State Beach is a wonderful place to work on that tan, enjoy a picnic, watch surfers, or try your hand at surfing, boogie-boarding or body surfing. It has been called the Riviera of the West because it has a gently sloping sandy beach with warm water. The site offers swimming, surfing and beachcombing, people-watching and relaxing after a night at a Cardiff lodge bed and breakfast.
5. Enjoy The Sunset From Your Private Hot Tub
The Inn at Moonlight Beach just 2 miles up Historic Highway 101 is a romantic seaside inn located on a hillside above Moonlight Beach. The four guest suites overlook the Pacific Ocean and the quaint beach town of Encinitas and recall a French-European Inn with spotless private baths, wi-fi internet, refrigerator and cable TV. Inquire about the Penthouse Suite with it's own private balcony and private hot tub with a commanding view of sunsets over the Pacific Ocean.
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