Located between Encinitas and Solana Beach, Cardiff by the Sea is a quaint beachside community known for its "walkability", with the beach, lagoon, restaurants, markets, post office, library, restaurants and other services within easy walking distance of each other. Originally founded in 1911 by developer J. Frank Cullen, the community was named in honor of his wife's native Wales, and many streets have English names.
It is home to the San Elijo Lagoon, with great bird-watching sites and ideal hiking trails. Restaurant Row, along Highway 101, provides great dining restaurants with fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean. Cardiff is also known for its awesome surfing, particularly Cardiff Reef which attracts professional and amateur surfers year round. It is a charming town that bases many of its activities around the ocean. Local residents take pride in and strive to maintain the community’s unique identity with its ideal climate, breathtaking views, world-class surfing, and small town atmosphere.