<p>Just half an hour's drive north of San Diego, Encinitas's shores draw surfers and sunset beachcombers.</p><p><strong>Staff Tip: </strong>When visiting the beaches of Encinitas, make time to swing by <a href="https://pannikincoffeeandtea.com/" target="_blank">Pannikin Coffee &amp; Tea</a>.<em> </em> Delicious coffee (and coffee-related beverages), oversize gluten-free muffins, a yummy breakfast burrito, and local art are just some of its perks. Started in 1970s at this location, it's a mainstay of San Diego coffee culture. Another delicious local joint is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.swamiscafesd.com/" target="_blank">Swami's Cafe</a> on Hwy 101. Enjoy a fresh juice and a hearty brunch surrounded by Encinitas residents in flip-flops and board shorts. —<em>Carolyn Fox, Digital Director, National Geographic Travel</em></p><p><em>Read more of "In Praise of the American Beach Town" in the June/July 2014 issue of </em>National Geographic Traveler <em>(<a href="https://secure.customersvc.com/servlet/Show?WESPAGE=OrderPages/tr/1304/order_15A1.jsp&amp;MSRSMAG=TR&amp;EK1=TRAJ">subscribe here</a>).</em></p>

Encinitas, California

Just half an hour's drive north of San Diego, Encinitas's shores draw surfers and sunset beachcombers.

Staff Tip: When visiting the beaches of Encinitas, make time to swing by Pannikin Coffee & Tea. Delicious coffee (and coffee-related beverages), oversize gluten-free muffins, a yummy breakfast burrito, and local art are just some of its perks. Started in 1970s at this location, it's a mainstay of San Diego coffee culture. Another delicious local joint is Swami's Cafe on Hwy 101. Enjoy a fresh juice and a hearty brunch surrounded by Encinitas residents in flip-flops and board shorts. —Carolyn Fox, Digital Director, National Geographic Travel

Read more of "In Praise of the American Beach Town" in the June/July 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveler (subscribe here).

Photograph by Sam Wells Photo

America's Beach Towns

These timeless shores run on salt water, sand, and an unflagging spirit.

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