Cardiff by the Sea is a demure little beach & surf community in North County San Diego that while small in proximity is abundant in charm, character, and simply beams with organic coastal beauty. Sharing a connection with the native beach towns of Solana Beach to the south, and Encinitas to the north, Cardiff makes a statement with its beautiful cliff-side that begins just east of the I-5 Freeway, then sweeps west with a direct connection to serene beaches that lead straight to the tranquil Pacific Ocean.
Home styles in Cardiff range from antiquated beach cottages, to unique duplex arrangements, and a host of new and restored contemporary styles from the mid to late 20th century. Cardiff by the Sea is also home to the Composer District, which presents a series of streets named after 12 historically eminent composers. Homes at the southern edge rest easily on scenic bluffs, boasting panoramic views of the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve and nearby beaches. A surprising variety of homes can be found nestled into quiet neighborhoods that are sure to fit a broad range of homebuyers.
While Cardiff epitomizes the small town vibe, residents actively take advantage of the ideal climate backdrop by enjoying outdoor beach activities such as surfing, kite boarding, paddle boarding, and kayaking. Runners, cyclists, and beach goers can be seen daily along the open shoreline of Cardiff State Beach, which runs parallel to Highway 101. At the northwest end of Cardiff lies the San Elijo Campgrounds where tourists and even local San Diegans come to camp-out at the beach.
Several mainstay local favorites include Cardiff Seaside Market and VG Donut & Bakery. Located in The Cardiff Town Center, Seaside Market is exactly what you’d expect with fresh local produce and seafood, along with a gourmet deli showcasing a variety of delectably prepared eats and decadent desserts. VG Donut & Bakery is located in a nearby vintage strip mall, and has been serving an assortment home-style baked goods and classic cakes since 1969. Either spot is the perfect place to stop-in and grab a bite after a day at the beach! Other blocks in the area offer a variety of casual dining spots, small cafes, boutiques, and yoga studios. Another notable locale, that is near and dear to our hearts, is the Rancho Coastal Humane Society Thrift Store, in which proceeds directly benefit the efforts of The Rancho Coastal Humane Society for the welfare of local shelter animals.
As Cardiff is technically a part of the city of Encinitas, schools in the area are abundant. Elementary schools such as Cardiff Elementary and Ada Harris belong the Cardiff School District. While surrounding middle and high schools belong to the San Dieguito School District such as Oak Crest, San Dieguito HS Academy, and Torrey Pines High School. There are also some notable private school options in the area such as The Grauer School, and The Rhoades School.