Cardiff by the Sea

Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California – A beautiful Southern California coastal town nestled between the San Elijo Lagoon to the south and rolling hills to the east. Known simply by locals as Cardiff, it was named by Esther M. Cullen, who arrived from Boston in 1910 with her husband, J. Frank Cullen, a man determined to transform the swampy expanse of fertile farmland into a coastal playground and town. During the 1920s, the town evolved quickly into a bustling community with a school district, post office, train station, and water irrigation district. Many streets in Cardiff bear names this English-born landowner grew up with in his native UK. The names “Birmingham”, “Oxford”, “Chesterfield” and “Manchester” are major streets in this city.

Today Cardiff-by-the-Sea is one of five communities comprising the city of Encinitas and is proud of the small-town atmosphere first cultivated by the pioneering spirit of its early settlers.Cardiff is also home to a few well-known surf spots, such as Swami’s and Cardiff Reef, also known as “The Reef”. Cardiff Reef is a popular surf spot in Cardiff that produces waves both professional and novice surfers enjoy year round. Surfing at The Reef has progressed from just a few surfers in the 1950s to become one of the most popular surfing spots in San Diego County. Cardiff Reef and nearby surf spot, Pipes, are famous for their smooth and consistent wave shape. When the tide is low, a flat rock reef is revealed that extends 50 yards from shore. Exploring these tide pools is a popular activity for visitors of Cardiff.


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