Encinitas California Is Surfing And Beaches

June 29, 2012 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

Encinitas is a lovely beach town along the Pacific Ocean just north of San Diego. There are other cute towns along the coast, but Encinitas is special, quite different from other beach towns in San Diego county because it is lost in time ” locked in the 1960s. To feel the flavor of this little town, here are seven things you must do while visiting.

1. Spend The Day In A Rainforest

Lovely Quail Botanical Gardens is less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean with more than 32 acres full of endangered and extraordinary plants from all around the world. Tours and nature walks each day take visitors down the wonderfully scenic trails (with killer views of the ocean!), through totally unique tropical gardens, arid desert gardens, enormous bamboo groves, California native plant gardens, a rainforest with its own waterfall, Mediterranean gardens, tropical fruit gardens and a unique children’s garden. At once beautiful and serene, Quail Gardens is a place to spend an entire day simply enjoying nature in all its splendor.

2. Yes, You CAN Learn To Surf

Famous Kahuna Bobs Surfing School has been training SoCal surfers for nearly 23 years. He taught me to surf in 1999. His entertaining and totally unique teaching methods put you right at ease when you are learning ” and its a load of fun. The Kahuna is so good that the City awarded him the only surf-lesson license at the best beginner surfing beach in all of Encinitas (Beacons Beach) where waves almost always break perfectly for beginners and experts alike.

3. Become A Beach Boy (or Beach Girl)

World renown Swamis Beach was put on the map by the Beach Boys in 1963 when they sang about Surfin USA. Nearly fifty years later, Swamis draws the best surfers on the planet, making for exciting entertainment when watching them from above. An enormous staircase takes you down to the beach if you want to be closer, while picnic tables and benches up-top near the cliff edge give you an eagles view of phenomenal surfing feats.

4. Take In A Movie ” At A Real-Life Movie House

If you wax nostalgic for a real old-time movie theater, take in a film at La Paloma Theatre, where they feature first-run hits, art movies and surf/skate/snowboard/music film premieres. Its THE place to see Rocky Horror Picture Show. La Paloma Theatre was built in 1928, and was one of the first theatres to show “Talkies” in 1927 with the Warner Brothers film “The Jazz Singer” starring Al Jolson.

5. Ommmmm and Meditate At A Real Temple

Swami Yogananda came to town in 1936 and built the Self-Realization Temple on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. His philosophy of love and introspection still attracts thousands of followers from around the world. The beautiful Self-Realization Fellowship grounds ” lush gardens and Koi ponds ” are open to the public each day. Here you can walk, meditate, breathe deeply and put life into perspective ” the only sounds you might hear are singing birds and the pounding of the surf on the cliffs below.

6. Work On Your Tan

The most popular beach in all of North County San Diego is Moonlight Beach, just two blocks from downtown – its a wonderful spot to soak up sun, enjoy a picnic, play volleyball, surf, boogie-board, body surf, read a book, watch other people people-watch or simply take it easy. Its a state park complete with plenty of parking, fine life guard stations, beach-gear rentals, showers, playground, snack and lunch shop and even fire-rings on the beach where you and your friends can enjoy bonfires late into the night.

7. Watch The Sun Set Over The Ocean From Your Private Hot Tub

The Inn at Moonlight Beach is a romantic little Inn perched on a hillside above Moonlight Beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the quaint beach town. It’s a magical place of sand, sea, sun and surf. 4 lovely ocean-view suites recall a French-European Seaside Inn with spotless private baths, wi-fi internet, refrigerator and Cable TV. All this, yet prices are $50 – $75 less than other Bed & Breakfast Inns in San Diego. Inquire about the Penthouse Suite with its own private balcony and very private hot tub overlooking Pacific Ocean sunsets.

The author is the former president of a Carlsbad corporation who quit to follow his love of exploring the ocean and whales. Hunefeld and his wife Ann Dunham own the Inn At Moonlight Beach in Encinitas near Del Mar and San Diego. For more information visit: Solana Beach Bed and Breakfasts or Carlsbad B&B.

Six Great Outdoor Activities You Can Do While Vacationing In San Diego

October 19, 2011 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

The most difficult decision to make when planning a vacation to San Diego is determining what things to do. San Diego has an excellent array of fine and trendy restaurants covering a wide range of cuisines, world-class beaches and hotels from lavish to budget. This article lists six things to do in San Diego that you should not miss when visiting one of America’s finest vacation destinations.

1. Stroll through the historic Gaslamp Quarter and view the renovated turn-of-the-century Victorian architecture, home to boutiques, art galleries and specialty shops. Historic buildings have been relocated to Gaslamp from other parts of the San Diego, their nineteenth century architecture restored to its former glory. Restaurants, shops and clubs occupy former brothels and saloons. The nightlife is throbbing and vibrant 365 days a year. The Quarter is home to many events and festivals, including San Diego’s Mardi Gras, Taste of Gaslamp and the city’s St. Patrick’s Day events ensuring that the Gaslamp Quarter will remain one of San Diego’s favorite travel destinations.

2. John D. and Adolph Spreckels donated the Spreckels Organ, one of the world’s largest outdoor pipe organs, to the City of San Diego in 1914 for the Panama-California Exposition. This unique organ contains 4,530 pipes ranging in length from the size of a pencil to 32 feet and is housed in an ornate vaulted structure with highly embellished gables. Since 1917, San Diego has had a civic organist who performs free weekly Sunday concerts.

3. At dusk on the first Wednesday of each month, following the monthly “Sky Tonight” planetarium show in the Space Theater of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, members of the San Diego Astronomy Association set up big telescopes by the large fountain in Balboa Park for free public sky viewing. See Saturn’s rings through a big telescope as well as the moon, planets, nebulae and globular clusters – up close and personal.

4. The San Diego Natural History Museum is where you will have fun combining education with knowledge. See the huge tree in the front yard? It’s a Moreton Bay fig tree that has been documented as one of the largest of this species in the state. Inside you’ll find a Foucault Pendulum that gives visual proof of Earth’s rotation. You can become mesmerized watching it swing back and forth, knocking over a circle of dominos with no force acting to make it change direction other than the turning of the Earth beneath it. Wow!

5. Explore the tide pools in LaJolla at low tide and see strange and unusual life forms. There’s lots to see if you look closely: scuttling hermit crabs, colorful sea anemones, real octopus, creepy dead man’s fingers and cavernous gaping barnacles. Many of these creatures shelter under rocks or bury themselves in the sand; some use their camouflage to hide in plain sight. Like a hidden puzzle, tide pools must be examined carefully to reveal their treasures. San Diego travel tip: look closely!

6. How can we not mention the beach? With over 65 miles of coastline, this best part of San Diego is absolutely free – and all the beaches are just perfect for trying your hand at surfing or boogie-boarding.

Terry Hunefeld retired in 2007 from his job as a CEO to follow his bliss of sailing the Pacific Ocean to census pelagic seabirds and marine mammals. Terry and his wife Ann Dunham own and operate the delightful Inn At Moonlight Beach Bed and Breakfast in the San Diego area. For more information visit: San Diego Bed and Breakfasts or Encinitas Hotels.