I've never been to Encinitas and I'm a little overwhelmed by all the hotel options. I'd like to stay in a hotel that is central and gives me good sense of what Encinitas is like. I'd love to know where locals tell their friends to stay when they visit, and why those areas and hotels are special. thanks!
Hi Katie. The best part of Encinitas is the downtown area on old highway 101, the coast road. It's a fun, lively area full of cute shops and restaurants.There are hardly any hotels or motels there, but after looking it up Motel Villa Mar looks like it might be okay if you want to be within walking distance of everything as well as the beach. Hope that helps!
I would recommend different places to stay depending on what you want to do and whether you have a car or not. The Moonlight Beach Motel is probably the number one place if you want to be within walking distance to the downtown Encinitas area, where there are many restaurants and some nightlife. It will probably will be a little pricey this time of year because hotels along the coast generally are this time of year, but it is walkable to Moonlight Beach and the Encinitas Station, where you can pick up the Coaster and Amtrak trains, which will take you to the North County beach towns of Oceanside, Carlsbad (California), and Del Mar, as well as San Diego. You can also take the train down from Los Angeles, so you could make the trip without a car.
If you have a car or don't mind walking a mile or so to get to downtown Encinitas, a less expensive choice would be the Econo Lodge Encinitas Moonlight Beach. It is within the City of Encinitas in an area called Leucadia.
Encinitas also includes the Cardiff-by-the-Sea area to the south of downtown. There are some nice restaurants in this area and the beach there is a good one. I think the best place in that area is the Cardiff by the Sea Lodge.
Have a great trip!
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Encinitas is pretty small, and a lot of it is pretty close to a railroad line. My last two times, I've stayed in Carlsbad. It's minutes by car (a bit more by bike) from Encinitas, and also close to the central area of Carlsbad. That's some nice flexibility, along with being quieter since the railroad is further away.
Here's a blog post about my recent trip to that area - you might find some of it interesting.