I love visiting Southern California. My husband and I happened upon the small beach town of Encinitas on a drive up the coast one summer and have since been back a couple of times. We love this little coastal town, especially because of its impressive amount of clean eating options! So, I was so excited to write a Clean Travel Guide to Encinitas for you guys!

If you are thinking about or planning a visit to SoCal, San Diego and Los Angeles areas are popular choices. However, if you like the idea of a smaller coastal beach town with walkable streets, that\’s on the beach, with local restaurants and coffee shops…look no further than Encinitas! The best part is that Encinitas is still easily drivable to main city attractions.

There is no secret as to why people love to visit and live in Southern California. The weather is great all year. You are near the beach, with great local restaurants, and boutiques, and the lifestyle has a laidback feel. With the warm weather, sun exposure, a plethora of outdoor activities, and the general \”healthy living\” vibe…it makes this a great clean travel destination.

This Clean Travel Guide to Encinitas will make you want to be on the Pacific Shores in no time!

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Things to know about Encinitas

  • This small coastal beach town is just 30-40 minutes north of San Diego on Highway 5.
  • Encinitas is along Coastal Highway 101. If you grew up in the generation that I did, you may have watched the soap \”The O.C.\” and recall the theme song \”California\” by Phantom Planet. Every time I come here, I have to play it as I drive up and down the 101.
  • If you visit Encinitas, you have the benefit of driving up and down Highway 101 to visit other coastal beach towns. Close to Encinitas are Carlsbad, Oceanside, Cardiff, Del Mar.
  • Legoland is just around the corner. If you are traveling with kiddos, this may be a big selling point.

HEALTH SHOPS

Lazy Acres Natural Market

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Lazy Acres is just off of Highway 101 in Encinitas. It is a natural grocery store focused on wellness and healthy living and is strongly involved in the Encinitas community.

Along with normal grocery store offerings, they also have a poke & sushi bar and a coffee & juice bar.

Sprouts Farmers Market

Sprouts is a pretty well-known national grocery chain that offers healthy options, and organic produce. Sometimes it\’s nice to go to the grocery store that you are used to, while you are traveling.

Trader Joes

Trader Joe\’s is another well-known national grocery chain with organic and healthy options that are very reasonably priced.

Leucadia Farmers Market (Sundays 10am – 2pm)

Leucadia Farmers Market has a certified organic section, local artisans, and live music! If you are in Encinitas on a Sunday, you can\’t miss it!

Just Peachy

Just Peachy is a local goods store on Highway 101 in Leucadia that offers organic produce.

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EAT

GoodONYA **Highlight!**

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GoodONYA is a local restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They have an incredible food philosophy with a menu serving 99.9% organic & 100% non-GMO food! Seriously…this is a place you can come, relax, and not worry about toxin exposure or dietary issues.

When I talk about food philosophies on my blog…this restaurant is a great example of exemplary food philosophy. Organic & Non-GMO, free of bad oils (soy, canola, corn), accomodating to diets/lifestyles, and curating a menu almost completely free of gluten!

Highlights for me were their superb Bone Broth (description in photo below), Housemade Mylk (coconut or cashew), Organic grass-fed Raw Whole Milk, Organic Wine List, and the numerous options for dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo, & vegetarian eaters.

Something that makes this place unique is that they are also a business that makes their own Electrolyte/Mineral drink mix, sells some of their housemade baking mixes, and other unique GoodONYA products.

They have an adjacent market that sells all of their products, organic wine, and grab-and-go items from their menu! This is a perfect place for a sit-down or quick to-go for your day\’s adventures!

Swami\’s Café

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Swami\’s Café is a local chain in southern California, but the original location is Encinitas on the 101! Almost right across from Swami\’s café is Swami\’s beach in Encinitas.

Swami\’s is gluten-free/vegan/vegetarian friendly and has a couple of organic ingredients on the menu. They also serve organic coffee.

Healthy Creations **Highlight!**

Healthy Creations is not on Highway 101, as some of these other places are, but it\’s a bit inland in Encinitas in a shopping center. Nevertheless, this is a clean eating highlight! Their entire menu is gluten-free, and the majority is organic!

The menu highlights paleo, keto, and vegan dishes; and they use free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, and wild-caught seafood. It\’s a dream.

One of the best things about this little café is that they are also a gluten-free bakery and make their bread and pastries in-house. Most of these are paleo, vegan, keto, and/or dairy-free!

Lotus Café & Juice Bar

Lotus is another café in Encinitas that is right on the 101. They specialize in gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian food.

Lotus has a great food philosophy. Many menu items are *always* organic. Some items that are too expensive to source organic, are grown as clean as possible (some farmers can\’t afford organic certifications). They are committed to fresh quality ingredients, so much is sourced locally and/or made in-house.

Nectarine Grove **Highlight!**

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Nectarine Grove is in Leucadia, a small community within Encinitas. This is a 100% gluten-free, organic restaurant open all-day.

One of my favorite things about Nectarine Grove is that they use locally sourced ingredients, meats and eggs are organic pasture-raised, and sauces, bread, and pastries are made in-house.

It\’s not often that you can find a place that serves organic, paleo bread and pastries. This is so fun to find places like this to enjoy on vacation. If you are in a hurry, this is a great place to grab an organic latté and paleo pastry to-go! You can also find gluten-free beer and organic wine offered here!

Nectarine Grove is right on Coast Highway 101 and has a great outdoor seating area.

Plumeria Thai Vegetarian

Plumeria is a really cool place. It\’s a vegetarian Thai restaurant that serves organic & non-GMO Soy products. Soy can be one of the most toxic things we can eat because of how it\’s produced. So if you are vegan or vegetarian, it\’s important to make sure your soy is organic to lower the toxic burden!

If you don\’t eat soy, don\’t worry! Plumeria offers the option to cook in coconut oil, instead of soybean oil.

Haggo\’s Organic Taco

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Haggo\’s is an organic taco joint that sources grass-fed beef, organic free-range poultry, and wild-caught seafood. They also have gluten-free and vegan cheese options as well.

*Closed Mondays*

Choice Organic Café

Organic, Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free Juicery & Café.

This shop focuses on serving organic superfoods in form of smoothies, bowls, gluten-free toasts, cold-pressed juices, and more!

Fully Loaded Micro Juicery

Organic Cold-pressed Juice, Cold brew coffee, Tonics, Nut Mylks, and Cleanses.

Right on Coast Highway 101.

Prager Brothers Artisan Bread

Prager Brothers are local to Carlsbad, CA (just north of Encinitas. They have several locations, one being on the 101 in Encinitas. You\’ll also find their tent at local farmer\’s markets and their bread in local restaurants.

The Prager Brothers use mainly organic ingredients and are very intentional in how they process and ferment their bread. You can go on their website and read more about the science behind their bread-making.

ACTIVITIES

Take a Surf Lesson

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The Pacific Coast is the perfect place to learn to surf if you are a beginner, or take a lesson at any level!

I actually learned to surf in La Jolla, just south of Encinitas! The water is chilly, but it\’s normal to surf in a full or knee-length wetsuit. The best part is that you can surf in southern California during any season.

Check out local shops on Highway 101

Highway 101 is a great place to do some walking and pop in and out of local shops. Encinitas is the perfect place for this. Throughout your trip, if you want to wander a little farther north or south, you\’ll find coastal towns like Carlsbad, Oceanside, Solana Beach, and Del Mar with more unique local shops.

Visit the Meditation Gardens

These Meditation Gardens are a part of the Self Realization Fellowship. This is an international religious organization founded by Paramahansa Yogananda. I\’m not particularly advocating visiting the Temple or service offerings, but the meditation gardens are lovely and open daily (except Mondays) to enjoy.

*Closed Mondays*

Hang out at Moonlight State Beach OR Swami\’s Beach

Visit Moonlight State Beach is a California state park and a popular beach in Encinitas that can get quite crowded on a sunny summer day. It\’s a great beach for families and kids and has a swimming zone.

Swami\’s Beach entry is near GoodONYA on the south end of Encinitas. It is a very popular surfing spot. The park above the beach is a great vantage point to sit on a bench and enjoy the views of surfers from above. When the tide is low, there are stairs down to the beach to talk a walk along the beach and maybe even find some tide pools.

Catch a Class at Peace Love and Yoga OR Yoga Tropics

These are two local yoga studios that offer heated and nonheated yoga classes. Move your body, get your lymphatic system flowing, and sweat to detox!

Go Tide Pooling at Swami\’s Beach

Tide Pooling is one of my favorite beach activities. In certain parts of the beach, when it\’s low tide, water pools in the crevices and holes of the rocks. You can sometimes see little ocean creatures in these \’tide pools\’.

At Swami\’s, walk north on the beach to the rocky areas, where you\’ll find tide pools during low tide.

Walk along Carlsbad State Beach

Carlsbad is just north of Encinitas on Highway 101. Between Pine St. & Oak St. you\’ll find a public parking lot, or parking along the road.

From this parking lot is the start of a nice paved walkway along Highway 101 that overlooks Carlsbad State Beach. Along this walkway, there are several entries down to the beach where there is another very nice paved walkway on the beach.

Hike Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines Reserve is a nature reserve just north of San Diego. It is a very popular place to come for coastal hiking. It\’s got great trails, but beware, there isn\’t much shade!

Torrey Pines State Beach is next to the nature reserve to enjoy a swim or walk on the beach after your hike!

Manchester Preserve

Manchester Preserve is located in Encinitas and has a great system of hiking trails. This link takes you to the trail guide and map of the preserve.

San Diego Botanical Gardens

Even though this is called San Diego Botanical Gardens, it\’s actually in Encinitas. This is a 37-acre facility with 4 miles of hiking trails and a large children\’s garden.

Adult tickets are 18 USD and they are currently taking reservations for timed entries on their website.

Spa Day at REJUV

Treat yourself to some wellness treatments! REJUV offers several cryotherapy treatments, hydrafacials, red light therapy, infrared sauna, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and immune support treatments.

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