Leucadia is a funky beachside community within the little South California beach town of Encinitas. Once a hippie heaven, remnants of the 1960′s are still in evidence throughout this north San Diego community. Here you will find wooden cigar store Indians, tie-dye T-shirts, weird lawn art, cool 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 some of San Diego’s finest Italian restaurants, eclectic “head” shops, heated-sauna yoga studios, mysterious palm readers and ultra-hip art galleries. Local hangouts include the very popular Pannikin Coffee & Tea in the old Encinitas train station (very chic); world-famous Lou’s Records (home of a huge collection of new and used CDs and records); and Karina’s Taco Shop, where you can experience the best Shrimp Burritos ever invented.
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.
Fitness enthusiasts will get a great workout at Stone Steps Beach. These killer stairs lead down from the bluffs to the ocean offer incredible views while you huff and puff. At high tide the ocean beats at the bottom of the stairs, at low tide, the beach is wide and sandy.
You can learn to surf by taking a class at Beacon’s Beach from world-famous Kahuna Bob, a Leucadian celebrity. Dolphins and whales are regularly seen, especially from the “high-bluff” beach entrances at Stone Steps and Beacon’s. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the famous “green flash” as the sun takes its final dip into the vast Pacific Ocean.
Leucadia’s largest beach, Moonlight Beach, is often called “the beach with everything” because it has lifeguard towers, a big playground for children, roomy parking lots, safe play areas, fire-rings for use after sunset, clean restrooms and showers and a very wide, very sandy beach.
The author retired in 2008. He spends months each year at sea. His special interest is marine animals. He and his wife own a B&B near San Diego. Visit: Encinitas Hotels or Bed and Breakfasts in Encinitas.
It’s a chore to write anything new or unique about Los Angeles. It’s as tired and predictable as another Hollywood edition of VANITY FAIR. Do we really care? Should we really care? I suppose if you’ve ever seen a movie that helped you understand your life even a fraction better than you used to, you care about Hollywood on some level. We’ve been programmed to care about the city.
Other than a brief, titillating look at celebrity miscues and embarrassments, what good can come from writing about Los Angeles? I suppose you can divorce the industry from the city and try to delve into the cultural impact and significance of Surf City, but you’d be jumping into dangerously shallow waters. Yes, there is the Getty — but so what? Rodeo Drive — sure. But who cares?
LA, shallow? Yeah, I know that’s old hat. The cliche that Los Angeles is shallow becomes more and more entrenched with each Hollywood wannabe I meet. Is New York the fashion capital of the world? No — that’s London or Paris. Sorry. Is Chicago the blue-collar mecca of America? Sorry — that honor goes to Pittsburgh or Cleveland. The only thing going for LA is the fact so many aspiring wannabes flock to it. You can’t get paid to be an extra on a Hollywood film if you live in Lubbock, Texas.
There are some genuine attractions in LA, like Griffith Park and it’s famous Observatory. There is indeed the Getty and MOCA, but after that you’re looking for natural phenomena. When you peel back the layers and layers of highways and smog, you may find a gorgeous beach or two — but my oh my what price nature?
When in Los Angeles, eat at Joe’s. If you happen to be an aficionado of boutique hotels Los Angeles is the place to be. Only San Francisco can compare to the number of designer hotels and motels given to the great goddess of Tourism. You can find one that fits your budget and puts in the middle of whatever action you happen
If you fancy prime boutique hotels Los Angeles is the place to be. You can find a cozy crash pad anywhere in the city, from Manhattan Beach to Hollywood Boulevard.