San Elijo State Beach

California, United States
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 (2 votes, 2 reviews)
The San Diego Coast is world famous for its mild year-round climate. This 50 mile stretch of coastline, from the U.S. Marine Corps base at Camp Pendleton to the Mexican border, contains some of California’s most interesting and rare examples of natural and cultural heritage.

San Elijo State Beach offers swimming, surfing, showers and picnicking. The narrow, bluff-backed stretch of sand has a nearby reef popular with snorkelers and divers.
Getting There
San Elijo State Beach extends along Coast Highway 101, 3/4 mile north from San Elijo Lagoon's entrance channel, near the community of Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Exit Interstate 5 at Encinitas Blvd., head west. Turn left on So. Coast Hwy. Follow the Coast Hwy. south, about 2 miles.

The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park.
Operating Hours & Contact
The park is open from dawn until sunset.
Telephone: 760-753-5091
Camping & Activities
Although San Elijo and Cardiff are separate state park units, they adjoin and can be enjoyed as one. San Elijo State Beach, with two miles of coastline, is mainly a campground, but includes a small day-use lot. Reservations are necessary for the 171 campsites, which fill quickly for holidays and the summer season.

“Pipes,” “Turtles,” “Cardiff Reef,” “Georges,” and “Seaside” are major surfing attractions in these state parks. Swimming and scuba diving are also popular activities. Inshore holes and strong rip currents can be dangerous. Contact a lifeguard for suggestions about safe swimming areas.

Make Campground Reservations
A camp store and snack bar located near the campground entrance operates March through October and provides all the amenities a camper may need including some RV supplies, boogie boards, firewood, and is the home of the original Bull Taco snack bar. Visit their website or telephone the camp store at 760-436-6601.

Eli Howard Surf School is an Overnight surf camp which also provides summer surf camps, Weekend Escapes for adults and Scouts, private surf parties, surf rentals, & day surf lessons year round and is also located near the campground entrance. Visit their website or telephone 760-809-3069.
Accessible Features
Six campsites are designated accessible. Site surfaces are either fully or partly paved, and water spigots have accessible controls. Restrooms with showers: Toilets are accessible. Showers may require assistance reaching controls and coin box.

Beach wheelchair is available. Call 760-753-5091 for information.


Walk along San Elijo State Beach
A nice walk along the beach from the cliffs where you will find many surfers as well as many local birds.
0.7 mi/
1.1 km
Walk along San Elijo State Beach
Walk along San Elijo State Beach
San Elijo State Beach, California, United States
A nice walk along the beach from the cliffs where you will find many surfers as well as many local birds.
Community Trips
Cardiff-Reef-and_0.jpg Photo
Cardiff Reef and San Elijo State Beach
par goof220 le Jan 01, 2010
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California, United States
cute flower shop | 0.0 miles
Where we have been camping this week and rang in the new year.
Turkey Trundle
par snoballnd le Nov 27, 2008
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California, United States
0.8 miles

San Elijo State Beach is a very short stretch of beach that provides very accessible options:
1) both fee'd and free parking are available
2) flat beach with feet friendly smooth sand
3) shower available even for day use.
4) ramp for ADA needs.
5) campground has short shrub fence, hot shower, firepit and vehicle washing station.
6) scenic beach to watch sunset and lots of surfers (it's a known surfing area with mild to advance level surf zones.).
7) can do a bit of beach hopping to the Cardiff beach.
8) restaurants are only a 2-3 miles away, closeby restaurants 2 streets away.
9) facility clean and well maintained, firstaid includes AED. Camp store selling variety of items and even rents surfboards.

A very nice beach all in all...I can imagine it be crowded on sunny days, and that may be the only downside.

Visited on Nov 30, 2010

par kittyl on Dec 18, 2010
I like San Elijo but the campsites are close together. It's a great place for families.

par GirlyCamping on Nov 25, 2012

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