Summertime is a great excuse to hit the shore, and the Pacific Coast is dotted with sweet seaside towns and cities that make for a perfect beach weekend. Here, organized from south to north, are seven special places to stop and chill a while.
North of swanky La Jolla and south of quaint Carlsbad, Encinitas is the quintessential SoCal sleeper town. Surfers swear by the sandy beaches—Moonlight State Beach and Swami’s State Marine Conservation Area in particular—where waves are formidable but not too tough. (For the novices among us, there are plenty of surf schools to go around.) Downtown, four blocks from the ocean, locals queue up for homemade ravioli at Trattoria I Trulli. Curiously, Encinitas also is home to the San Diego Botanic Garden, 37 acres of floral wonderland that includes rare bamboo groves, desert gardens, and a tropical rain forest.