The SFGate published an article on Encinitas recently. Here are some excerpts.
The Pacific Coast Highway, technically, is all of Highway 1, but anyone who grew up during the Beach Boys' reign knows the PCH begins at California's southern latitudes. Its laid-back, close-knit beach towns meant sun, sand and freedom from care to legions of young people.
Encinitas, halfway between San Clemente and San Diego, is a vestige of classic California beach culture that has all but succumbed to stratospherically priced homes inhabited by a generation to whom "working on myself" means attaining washboard abs rather than enlightenment. But partly because Swami's Beach remains a holy grail to hard-core surfers, good vibrations endure here.
Diversions include watching world-class surfing, exploring the 100-year-old downtown and meandering in soul-soothing gardens. If you need a vacation from life as well as work, this is the place...
Today, the city is known for its multitude of beaches, its flower growers, its mildly oddball character and the surf break immortalized by the Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA."
Spend your day: Morning is best for visiting the Self Realization Fellowship's Meditation Gardens, a beautifully landscaped bower of pathways and secluded nooks lining the bluff overlooking Swami's Beach. You can sit as long as you like to contemplate life, God, nature or surfing. There's no charge (though donations are welcome) and no proselytizing.
Swami's is a narrow, rocky beach not suited to sunbathing or swimming. A better choice is Moonlight State Beach in the center of town. Its broad, flat sands lie at street level, festooned with volleyball courts, a playground, snack bar, picnic area and fire pits.
To explore the century-old historic downtown district, download the downtown association's walking tour and map (select the "Encinitas" menu on its Web site). The centerpiece, La Paloma Theatre, was built just before "The Jazz Singer" came out in 1927 and was one of the first to show talkies. The intricately designed wooden ceiling is a show in itself.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2010/06/06/TRTL1DMKB1.DTL#ixzz0rJy2UTQy