Washington Post writer Blaine Harden describes his family trip to southern California where they rent a beach house (possibly at the gated community of Sea Bluff) in Leucadia. He describes how his kids love our local beaches as much as they would anywhere in the world, discover Leucadia Donuts and make several grueling treks to the San Diego theme parks.
Since we wanted to keep it simple and maximize the amount of fun and relaxation we could have while staying close to a refrigerator stocked with sippy cups, we spent the biggest chunk of our vacation money on accommodations. We had decided that a hotel would be too constraining - without being all that cheap. Spending $200 to $300 per night for two suites (for our family and my wife's parents) would add up.
We also worried that if we spent a week in a hotel, we would feel compelled to drive somewhere every day - to pricey theme parks, crowded public beaches or fancy restaurants where the kids would spurn the complicated food - just to keep from going crazy. We decided we would rather spend that money to rent a nice place where we would not feel pressured to rush out the door.
In the end, we settled on a $2,500 waterfront townhouse with four bedrooms (two of them with king-size beds) and a large, well-equipped kitchen in a gated community in Leucadia, 30 miles north of San Diego. We booked it three months in advance and rented a minivan for the week ($400).
With a big airy home base (one that was filled with the sound of surf) it was easy to establish routines that Lucinda and Arno could find comfort in. There was, of course, a price to pay: We were far away from downtown San Diego - and its restaurants, museums and shops. But the kids did not care and neither did we. When they are older, we will come back and be sophisticated.
I bring this up because not too long ago our former mayor Christy Guerin flew to Monterey and lobbied the Coastal Commission to put a ban on home beach rentals in Encinitas. I was against this because it is my opinion that although Encinitas/Cardiff/Leucadia has many fine hotels/motels none are truly adequate for a large family vacation. Thank goodness for the Harden family (and our local economy) that the Coastal Commission wisely rejected mayor Guerin's anti-social request.
Leucadia Blog: Limitation, not ban, urged for Encinitas. Mayor Guerin's blood boils