Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
Yes
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
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Located right on Highway 101, San Elijo State Beach is an easy walk from downtown Cardiff. It's a perfect stop for a lunchtime surf session, an evening stroll at sunset, or to simply lay on the beach and soak up some rays. San Elijo offers all variety of water sports, as well: surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, boogie boarding, skim boarding, kayaking, and good old-fashioned swimming are all common. When waves are calm, scuba diving or snorkeling is possible and is made interesting by a nearby reef system and some kelp patties. In fact, the first industry in Cardiff-by-the-Sea was a kelp works, founded in 1912. 

San Elijo State Beach runs for 2 miles up the coast where it merges with Cardiff State Beach. Although they are technically separate units, the beach is continuous and the beaches can be enjoyed as one. Camping at the 171-site San Elijo State Beach Campground fills up fast, so book early.

No dogs are allowed on the beach.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Easy access. Great for beginning surfers.

Cons

Not much geologic or natural interest.

Features

Fishing
Picnic tables
Surfing
Tide pools
Wildlife
Tide pools

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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