In Coastal San Diego in between Encinitas and Solana Beach is the small, yet lively beach town of Cardiff-by-the-Sea, or sometimes, just Cardiff. To the south of Cardiff before Solana Beach is a beach and lagoon area. Cardiff is considered a part of Encinitas, as it is a tiny town of only 12,000 residents. Due to its location and integration with Encinitas, Cardiff still maintains a feeling of connectedness with the rest of Coastal San Diego.
First founded as a farming district in 1911, Cardiff-by-the-Sea was swiftly changed into a community of residences as new homes sprouted up. The initial developer of the area named it after his wife's hometown, Cardiff, Wales. This history also explains the names of street throughout the area that bear names from the UK, including Birmingham Street, Oxford Street, and Manchester Road. Cardiff-by-the-Sea's schools are operated by the Encinitas School District and include schools like Cardiff Elementary and Ada Harris Elementary Schools. Once in middle school and high school, Cardiff residents commute to Encinitas. For continued education, Cardiff residents can attend Mira Costa Community College, which is located in the area.
Shopping opportunities are scarce in the actual town of Cardiff. However, a short drive to Encinitas leads to the Encinitas Ranch Town Center or the Encinitas Marketplace. Both of these shopping centers provide all grocery, restaurant, coffee, and other store needs that Cardiff residents may have. Within Cardiff, there are a few eateries and bars that are popular hangouts for locals.
Cardiff State Beach is a part of the larger San Elijo State Beaches that run along the area's coast. San Elijo Lagoon and San Elijo Lagoon County Park are found in Cardiff and offer great recreational opportunities to visitors and residents. Other recreational areas in Cardiff are Ada Harris Park, Cardiff Sports Park, Cardiff Park, and Glen Park.