Leucadia – Not Just For Hippies And Surfers



Filed under : Destinations

Leucadia is an artsy beachside community within the picturesque South California beach community of Encinitas. At one time it was a mecca for surfers and hippies alike; remnants of the 1960′s era are still very much in evidence. Where else can you see tie-dye T-shirts, eclectic lawn art, cigar store Indians, hippie love beads and surfboard mailboxes?

Settled by English spiritualists in 1870, Leucadia was named after a Greek island. Its streets are named after mythological figures. Not too many years ago Leucadia was primarily agricultural; today, many of the wholesale flower-growing businesses are gone, replaced by homes.

Leucadia is home to phenomenal restaurants, goofy shops, palm readers, coffee shops and hip galleries. Popular hangouts include Pannikin Coffee, housed in a former train station (very artsy); the iconic Lou’s Records (national recording artists have played in Lou’s parking lot) with an enormous collection of CDs and records; and Juanita’s Taco Shop, home of the best Breakfast Burritos on earth.

Most of Leucadia’s residents will tell you that the best thing that ever happened to Leucadia is that nothing ever happened to it; it’s beaches are locked in time with the 1960s – true neighborhood surf breaks where many locals have been surfing for decades. Very much off the beaten path, there are three popular spots – Grandview, Beacon’s and Stone Steps – that are hidden gems, tucked away at the bottom of steep staircases.

If you want a great work out, try “running the stairs” with the locals at Stone Steps Beach. 99 stairs take you from the bluffs to the beach. All along your workout you have incredible views of the Pacific Ocean while you exercise.

If you want to learn to surf, you can take a lesson or two from the one and only Kahuna Bob, an icon in Leucadia – just Google Kahuna Bob. Dolphins and whales are regularly seen. And it you look closely on a clear sunset, you will see the “green flash” as the sun sets behind the Pacific Ocean.

Moonlight Beach is often called “the beach with everything” because it has lifeguard towers, a children’s playground, big parking lots, play areas, fire-rings, showers, restrooms, beach rentals and a snack bar… and, of course… a wide sandy beach!

Adventure and travel interest the author. He spends months each year at sea. His passion is photographing seabirds. He operates a small inn near San Diego. Visit: Encinitas Inns or Bed and Breakfasts in Encinitas.

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