Elijo State Beach
This beach is a long, narrow, gently sloping stretch of sand backed by bluffs, atop which
resides the campsite. Besides regular beach activity, there is a reef nearby for
snorkeling and diving. To get to the beach, there are six beach-access stairways that
descend from the campground. Surfers have access to a newly paved public parking lot and
an entrance at the north end of the park grounds, making access to surfing reefs such as
Tippers and Pipes much easier.
Swimming, surfing, snorkeling, diving, beachcombing, fishing, picnicking, and camping.
Restrooms: Six family-style restrooms with individual unisex stalls.
Campsites: South end of beach. Campground has 171 spaces for tents or RVs up to 35-feet
long, picnic tables, fire grills, piped water, flush toilets, showers, a dump station and
a small store. Some of the campsites and the store are wheelchair-accessible. Pets are
permitted on 6-foot leashes on the campground, but not on the beach.
AT&T Wi-Fi Service
Location / Directions:
2050 South Highway 101
Cardiff By The Sea, CA 92007
Beach open dawn to sunset. Campgrounds: (760) 753-5091
San Elijo State Beach is located one mile south of Cardiff along Coast Highway 101.
From I-5: exit at Manchester Avenue, go west. Manchester will become San Elijo Avenue.
Turn left on Chesterfield Dr. to Coast Hwy 101. Turn right on Coast Highway.
Beach access is via several sets of stairs. Some unstable bluffs, so parental supervision
is suggested. At high tide there is very little beach.
With a California Day Pass, you can park in the San Elijo parking lots
Parking is also available along the West side of Highway 101
Beach Access: From inside the San Elijo State Beach parking lot, past the shower and
restrooms, there is a walkway that leads down to the beach.
No dogs on the beach
No alcohol on the beach.
Alcohol and dogs on leashes are permitted only in the campsite.
3/4 miles south of the beach is San Elijo Lagoon's entrance channel. San Elijo Lagoon is
an ecological preserve, home to marine birds such as herons, egrets, and others. They can
be viewed along a small network of trails.
Cardiff State Beach
Located just west of the San Elijo Lagoon, this laid-back beach is extrememly popular. The
large, sandy beach is great for board surfing, swimming, windsurfing, and surfcasting. The
south end of the beach is a favorite with surfers and competitions and events are held
there from time to time. There are tidepools at the south end and boat launches at the
Swimming, surfing, body-boarding, beachcombing, surf-casting, and sunbathing. Explore the
tide pools at the south end of the beach.
Lifeguards (in summer)
Restrooms (east side of parking lot)
No wheelchair access.
Location / Directions:
Located at the mouth of San Elijo Lagoon.
From I-5, exit at Birmingham Dr, west on Birmingham. Left on San Elijo Ave. Right on
Chesterfield Dr. Left on S. Coast Hwy. Cross over bridge and enter parking lot on right
(requires park pass), or park along Coast Highway 101.
Beach access: Simply walk about 40 feet to the beach.
Day use parking lot $4 per vehicle
Handicap parking also available
Parking is available along the West side of Hwy 101
No glass containers
Contained fires: in elevated barbeques (your own).
At high tide there is very little beach.
Restaurant Row, on the beach at the north end of San Elijo Lagoon. Has seafood and Mexican
The Self Realization Fellowship Retreat gardens are open to the public Tuesday thru
Sunday, located north of San Elijo State Beach (gold dome).
Seaside State Beach
Easily accessible, Seaside reef is located just South of Cardiff right as you enter Solana
Beach. Seaside has some awesome waves that break on these reefs and can actually produce
some amazing barrels along the inside section with the right swell and conditions.
Activities: Primarily surfing.
Lifeguard in summer
Restrooms: southeast corner of parking lot.
Shower: northwest corner of the parking lot, next to lifeguard tower
Location / Directions:
Located right off of Old Highway 101, South of Cardiff and North of Solana beach.
From I-5 southbound, exit Birmingham (right) westbound. Continue until you reach a
dead-end. Turn left onto San Elijo Ave. Turn right (at the first signal) onto
Chesterfield. Cross the railroad tracks and turn left onto Old Hwy 101, southbound.
Continue on through Cardiff and down along the beach. When you see a large parking lot
coming up, turn right into this parking lot.
From I-5 northbound, exit Lomas Santa Fe (left) westbound. As you go over the hill, merge
right. Turn right onto Old Hwy 101. Continue on through Solana beach, and down the hill.
At the foot of the hill you will a big parking lot with the beach on your left. Turn left
into that parking lot.
A huge parking lot right on the beach. If by some strange chance this big lot is full, you
can park along Old Hwy 101 to the south -- if you have a skinny car.
Beach access: There is a dirt path from the parking lot leading down to the beach, or you
can walk over the rocks if you are so inclined.
Other: No rules available