Located approximately 25 miles north of San Diego and about 95 miles south of Los Angeles, Encinitas has been recognized by national publications as one of the most desirable cities in the Nation to live in. Described as a large city with a laid-back, beachy vibe, and high-end taste and style that epitomizes Southern California cool. This is a city that takes its health seriously and offers a plethora of outdoor and pet-friendly activities.

Pet-Friendly Activities in Encinitas

Encinitas Ranch Trail

Location: Here’s the map

Open to hikers, equestrians, bicyclists, and dogs on leashes, this trail offers scenic views while in the heart of Encinitas. Don't forget to have your pup on current flea and tick prevention before you go!

Maggie Houlihan Memorial Dog Park (Encinitas Dog Park)

Location: 335 Santa Fe Dr, Cardiff, CA 92007

Located in the Encinitas Community Park, this approximately 2-acre dog park features areas for small dogs, timid or first-time dogs, and a large lawn open to all.

Del Mar Dog Beach

Location: 3200 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014

Nine months of the year, dogs are allowed along the entire two-plus mile stretch of beach in addition to the City’s two major parks, Seagrove Park and Powerhouse Park. Be sure to check the Del Mar Dog Beach website for the dog beach schedule and rules.

Cardiff State Beach

Location: The beach is located one mile south of Cardiff on Old Highway 101

Cardiff State Beach is a dog-friendly beach on the San Diego Coast. Fido can join you on the sand, as long as they are on a leash under 6 feet. The beach is open every day from 6 am to sunset.

Pet-Friendly Restaurants in Encinitas

The Naked Cafe

Location: 288 N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA, 92024

A favorite of Dr. Michele Drake, Naked Cafe offers a variety of breakfast options and a number of infused dishes as well as smoothies, juices, coffees, and teas. Dog-friendly tables are provided so you can enjoy brunch with your favorite furry friend.

Pannikin Coffee & Tea

Location: 510 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA, 92024

Pannikin Coffee & Tea offers an impressive selection of teas and java, along with upbeat music and tasty food, and both you and your pup are welcome!

Encinitas Cafe

Location: 531 S. Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA, 92024

Encinitas Cafe offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner at great prices, a casual ambiance, and dog-friendly sidewalk tables.

Potato Shack Cafe

Location: 120 W I St #4436, Encinitas, CA 92024

Potato Shack Cafe serves hearty breakfast food and classic lunch favorites in a cozy setting with dog-friendly outdoor tables.

The Brewers Tap Room

Location: 1456 Encinitas Blvd. Encinitas, CA, 92024

A brewery tasting room with a rotating selection of craft beer sourced from breweries in San Diego County and Southern California. And the best part: you can bring your dog!

The Besta-Wan Pizza House

Location: 148 Aberdeen Drive, Cardiff By The Sea, CA, 92007

Serving their original pizza recipe and a variety of American, Mexican, and Italian dishes for over 50 years, this restaurant is pet friendly and perfect for a delicious meal.

Our Pet Services in Encinitas

The Drake Center for Veterinary Care

Location: 195 N. El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024

The Drake Center for Veterinary Care is a full-service AAHA-accredited veterinary hospital offering a variety of pet services such as high-quality pet medical care, dentistry, boarding services, and more. The Drake Center is dedicated “to providing the best medical and surgical care in a compassionate environment for our patients and unsurpassed customer service for our clients.” The Drake Center has been a staple of the community and the top go-to resource for local pet care for over 20 years. We are located on the East side of El Camino Real, halfway between Encinitas Blvd and Mountain Vista.

Pet Stores and Supplies in Encinitas


Location: 227 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075

Collars, comfy beds, soft toys, carriers, and more, Muttropolis is the one-stop-shop for all your dog needs.

Pet-Friendly Events in Encinitas

Encinitas Oktoberfest

When: September

For over 20 years, the Encinitas Oktoberfest has been a staple in the Encinitas community. Featuring great food and brews, live entertainment, and local vendors, this outdoor event is pet friendly.

Cardiff Dog Days of Summer

When: August

This free event features over 100 dog-related vendors, rescue groups, pet adoption agencies, and a carefully curated “Maker’s Market Row”. Activities include dog contests, live music, kids activities, a beer & wine garden, food trucks, and more.

Encinitas Demographics & Economic Data

Encinitas, California's estimated population is 60,571 according to the most recent United States census estimates. The population density is 3,178.90/sq mi people/mi². You can find more in-depth demographics and economic data here.

Important Organizations in Encinitas

Good Dog! Autism Companions

A local non-profit dedicated to training and matching service dogs for families and their children with Autism. The Drake Center has been involved in supporting Good Dog! for over 7 years and has fundraised thousands of dollars through events and the generosity of our clients.

Rancho Coastal Humane Society

Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue and care of homeless companion animals, the rehabilitation of wildlife, and the promotion of humane education through community outreach.

Helen Woodward Animal Center

Helen Woodward Animal Center is a unique, private non-profit organization in San Diego County that has been committed to the philosophy of people helping animals and animals helping people for over 40 years.

History of Encinitas

In the year 1669, Gaspar de Portola named the area of Encinitas "Encina Canada", meaning "hills of live oaks" in Spanish. In 1881, Jabez Pitcher filed a claim for 160 acres where the Encinitas Civic Center is now located. In 1870, English spiritualists settled in North Encinitas and named it Leucadia. In 1875, the McKinnon family settled in the Cardiff area, and in 1909, J. Frank Cullen bought a big part of San Elijo, established streets and lots, and named it "Cardiff-by-the-Sea". Today, Encinitas consists of five communities with very distinct personalities. “Historic Encinitas” is the stretch of Highway 101 that runs parallel to the beaches and ocean. “New Encinitas” centers on El Camino Real. Lovely homes dot the hillside in “Cardiff-by-the-Sea,” while “Leucadia” is famous for its giant eucalyptus trees along Coast Highway. Last but not least, “Olivenhain” offers some incredible open horse country, pastures, and a rural vibe just minutes from the Ocean.

Pet Laws in Encinitas

Being a responsible pet-owning resident of Encinitas, and abiding by San Diego County Animal Laws, helps ensure that your pet is not disruptive to your neighbors. You can find more information on San Diego Animal Laws here.