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San Elijo and Solana Beach Activities

San Diego County

Caution: Before setting out, always check with rangers that conditions are safe for your planned activitites.

Surfing San Elijo,
Cardiff, and Solana Beaches

Surfing at San Elijo State Beach can be good when conditions are right, often in winter, but also in summer. An east-northeast wind coupled with swells from the west-southwest produces some nice beach and reef breaks. A mixed sand and rock bottom creates some hazards. Pipes at the north end of the campground is the main surfing spot.


Cardiff also has a mixture of rocks and sand. At low tide the reef can be a hazard. The best surfing tends to be at a medium tide. Most surfers prefer the winter months here. Nearby to the north, Suck Outs' shallow water over the reef and often powerful waves make it a spot for extra caution.


Seaside is located at the southern end of Cardiff State Beach. It is known for an exhilarating reef break best suited for intermediate surfers and above. Surfers find a number of peaks, offering a variety of rides. George's is found along the highway where there is free parking. A sandy bottom makes it a favorite with many. Tabletops is a reef break about 100 yards south of Seaside.

Fletcher Cove surfers, San Diego County, California

Fletcher Cove

Fletcher Cove (also known as Pillbox) in Solana is popular with everyone from beginning surfers to experts. Most often surfers find a sandy bottom with few rocks, but changing conditions can warrant caution. Waves are good through the summer and winter, breaking right and left. Wind from the south can sometimes cause the waves to turn mushy.

Surf Lessons, Camps, and Clubs

Eli Howard Surf School

Surfing lessons and camps for everyone from beginners to advanced. Weekend Escapes, Teen and Adult Overnight Surf Camps, Daily Lessons, Day Surf Camps and more. Located at San Elijo State Beach under a permit with the California State Parks.
Eli Howard Surf School

San Elijo Surf Team

The San Elijo Surf Team for middle school students is part of the San Elijo Surf Club. Among their goals are developing surfing fundamentals while learning ocean safety and surfing etiquette. The team practices on Wednesdays and Fridays after school and Sunday mornings at various locations. They participate in various competitions throughout the year.
San Elijo Surf Team

Leucadia Surf School

Two-hour surfing lessons at Moonlight Beach - softboards and wetsuits provided. Private, semi-private, or small group lessons available. Summer Surf Camp for all ages.
Leucadia Surf School

Surfboard and Paddleboard Sales and Rentals

Mitch's Surf Shop

Rentals and sales of boards and wetsuits, also sales of clothing, fins, gear and more.
363 North Highway 101, Solana Beach, CA
Mitch's Surf Shop

Iron Cross Surfboards

Rentals of surfboards, wetsuits, stand-up paddleboards, boogie boards, beach chairs and umbrellas. Sales of surfboards, apparel, and accessories.
2101 San Elijo Avenue, Cardiff by the Sea, CA
Iron Cross Surfboards

Concept Surf Shop

Surfboards, wetsuits, boogie boards, bikes, and beach chair rentals.
215 West D Street, Encinitas, CA
Concept Surf Shop

Progression Surf

Rentals of surfboards (hard and soft), stand-up paddleboards, bodyboards, wetsuits, fins
828 North Coast Highway 101, Leucadia, ca
Progression Surf

Hansen's Surfboards

Demo surfboards, soft surfboards, bodyboards, and wetsuits
1105 S. Coast Hwy. 101, Encinitas, CA
Hansen's Rentals

Paddle Planet

Stand-up paddleboard, kayak, surfboard, and bodyboard rentals.
996 N. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA
Paddle Planet

Fiesta del Sol at
Fletcher Cove Beach

May 20, 2018
The Fiesta del Sol in Solana Beach is a free 2-day music and crafts festival hosted by the Chamber of Commerce along with the Belly Up and the City of Solana Beach. Visitors will enjoy local talent, an exciting Children's Area with rides and games, a climbing wall, food vendors and art.
Fiesta del Sol

Fletcher Cove Beach, San Diego County, California

Fletcher Cove Beach

Cardiff Surf Classic
Block Party

November TBA, 2018
A celebration of Cardiff surf culture and sustainability. Live music, art, t-shirt printing, food trucks, beer lounge, movie night and more.
Cardiff Surf Classic & Block Party

girl in the surf on a boogie board

Solana Beach Summer Day Camps

Solana Beach offers Kids Summer Day Camp for ages 5 to 11. They usually meet at the Fletcher Cove Community Center, Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM. Activities include beach games, swimming at the Boys and Girls Club, Wednesday field trips, arts and crafts, and library visits. A variety of camps are offered, such as Treasure Hunters, Survivor, and Splish Spashtacular.
Solana Beach Summer Day Camps

Events at Fletcher Cove Park

Beach Blanket Movie Night, August 26, 2017
6:00 PM at Fletcher Cove Park
Concerts at the Cove
Thursdays, mid-June through mid-August, 6:00 PM
Beach Blanket Movie Night

Solana Beach
Junior Lifeguards and Groms Programs

The Solana Beach Junior Lifeguard Program develops ocean and beach safety, lifesaving skills, and physical fitness. Participants enjoy beach games, surfing, swimming, body boarding, body surfing, snorkeling and competitions. Included in the program are a Parents' Day, team photos, and a banquet.

Solana Beach Junior Lifeguards program is open to individuals ages 7 to 16. Participants are divided into two groups by age, Junior Lifeguards ages 9 - 16 and Groms ages 7 and 8. Groms is an introductory version of the Junior Lifeguard Program. Groms has a 1:4 staff to student ratio and participation in water activities is optional. No swim test is required for Groms.

First-time participants in the Junior Lifeguards Program (ages 9-16) must complete a swim test, offered at dates in May at San Dieguito Boys and Girls Club. The Junior Lifeguard Program has two 4-week-long sessions and one 2-week session for 2017. Participants can sign up for either mornings or afternoons for each session. Groms are morning or afternoon for any of five 2-week long sessions.
Solana Beach Junior Lifeguards

Nearby Bicycle Rentals

Revolution Bike Shop

235 S. Highway 101, Solana Beach, CA
Beach cruisers and road bike rentals
Revolution Bike Shop

Ride Cyclery

449 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA
Road bikes, women's road bikes, mountain bikes, comfort bikes, and accessories.
Ride Cyclery

Pedego Solana Beach

238 N. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach, CA
Pedego electric bikes, sales and rentals
Pedego Solana Beach

Events and Activities

Dog Days of Summer

August 12, 2018
Dog contests, custom pet products, kids' zone
Hosted in Cardiff-by-the-Sea by Cardiff 101 Main Street.
10 AM - 5 PM
Dog Days of Summer

San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

Between Solana Beach and Encinitas
Coastal wetlands with 1000 acres of habitat for plants and animals
7 miles of trails, guided nature walks on weekends
Nature Center at 2710 Manchester Ave., Cardiff
San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy

Belly Up

143 S, Cedros Ave.
Solana Beach, Ca
Live music and events every night
Bar food and drinks
Belly Up

Magical Adventure
Balloon Rides

153 S. Sierra Ave. #505
Solana Beach, CA
Magical Adventures Balloon Rides

San Dieguito County Park

1628 Lomas Santa Fe Dr.
Del Mar, CA
Open daily 8 AM to dusk
125 acres - playgrounds, exercise stations, basketball, lawn areas, picnics, restrooms, and the Miracle Field, a fully accessible baseball field.
San Dieguito County Park

San Diego Botanic Garden

230 Quail Gardens Dr.
Encinitas, CA
Open daily 9 AM to 5 PM, admission fee
Plants from around the world - Mexico, Central America, New Zealand, South Africa, Tropical Rain Forests, and many more.
San Diego Botanic Garden

Of Interest for
San Elijo Beach Visitors

Ocean Safety

California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at
CA State Parks: Ocean Safety

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