My Life In Encinitas: A Photographic Walking Tour

After nineteen days in Encinitas, California, I still find myself walking the streets with a skip in my step, a smile on my face and a song in my heart. Walk along with me and I’ll show you the sights!

The view from Third Street, looking down C Street toward the public entrance to Moonlight Beach

If I leave my front door and hang a left, walking north toward C Street, here’s the view of the ocean I have from the end of the block.

Walking down C Street for two blocks, I come to the Moonlight Beach parking lot

Here's a view of Moonlight Beach from the parking lot

Moonlight Beach in all its glory

Another shot of Moonlight Beach framed against clouds and water

On the other side of C Street is the Moonlight Beach Overlook

Walk up the steps to the Moonlight Beach Overlook and you'll find my favorite spot for lunch. A far better view than ten-foot snowdrifts in Minnesota!

Me and my new buddy, Mr. Ocean

View from the street on Third Street, walking toward D Street

If I walk back up C Street for two blocks and take a right on Third Street to go toward home, here’s what I see looking south toward D Street.

View from the sidewalk on Third Street, walking toward D Street

Take a right at the end of the block onto D Street, walk two more blocks and you’re at the ocean! Here is the “D Street Viewpoint” followed by five more photos from that vantage point taken in mid-afternoon and late afternoon.

On my way home most every day, I make a point to walk the two blocks to spend a few minutes here, enjoying the ocean view

I've walked down to the beach a few times and will soon try a barefoot walk on the sand for a mile or two. I look forward to feeling the waves lap onto my feet!

Looking down the beach the other way

I enjoy standing here at the D Street Viewpoint and gazing out at the vastness of the ocean and imagining what lies within and beyond it

I keep forgetting to bring my sunglasses along!

By taking a left on D Street instead of a right and walking two blocks away from the ocean, you’ll find yourself on “Main Street,” which is actually S. Coast Highway 101. I live only two blocks away from The Roxy, the restaurant I’ve headed to during my four previous trips to Encinitas over the last decade.

I've always loved the ENCINITAS sign that welcomes you into town

On the block just past the ENCINITAS sign on D Street is the Coaster station, where I can take a train to San Diego for five bucks

Take a right on S. Coast Highway 101 from D Street and you can enjoy a great meal at The Roxy, one of my favorite restaurants

The cozy interior of The Roxy

Here's what you see as you head down S. Coast Highway 101 away from the Roxy toward E Street and beyond

Cruising down S. Coast Highway 101, you come to the Lotus Cafe just past G Street in a beautiful multi-block complex called The Lumberyard. It’s my favorite restaurant in town. I had the pleasure of sharing a bus ride to Los Angeles and back with Carl and Johanna, the very kind and friendly owners of the Lotus.

The Lotus Cafe is stylish, modern, warm and intimate (and the employees are friendly too: shout-outs to Andy, Jalet, Jillian, Brooks, Theo, Courtney, Emily and Hayley!)

Gotta love the vegetarian chile at the Lotus Cafe!

Take a right on H Street away from the Lotus Cafe, go one block to Second Street, take a left and you’ll be at my favorite spot in town: The Self-Realization Fellowship Temple, where I had an incredible experience on my first visit to Encinitas in 2000. It makes perfect sense that Paramahansa Yogananda, who founded SRF in 1920, spent so much time in Encinitas from 1937 to 1948. After all, “Encinitas” is an anagram for “nice saint!”

The Self-Realization Fellowship Temple is open to the public six days a week from noon to four for silent reflection and meditation

Here is the side view of the Self-Realization Fellowship temple, which includes a number of rooms for various member activities

Walk two-and-a-half more blocks and you come to the jewel of Encinitas, the Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens, a peaceful and lovely location to relax, enjoy the flowers, koi ponds and ocean, and reflect or meditate.

The entrance to the Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens, which is open six days a week to the public

Immediately upon entering the Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens, you walk up these steps to experience heaven on earth


A koi pond in the Self-Realization Fellowship Gardens (photo taken by my daughter, Erin, in January 2005)

My favorite view from the Self-Realization Fellowship Gardens (photo taken by my daughter, Erin, in January 2005)

Walk back to the S. Coast Highway 101 a block away, cross the street and you’ll find yourself at Swami’s Cafe, my other favorite restaurant during my previous visits here.

My heart still skips a beat whenever I see Swami's Cafe or The Roxy because that means I'm in Encinitas! Note the Self-Realization Fellowship ashram across the street on the right.


Swami's Cafe has a well-deserved reputation of a surfer hangout

Inside Swami's Cafe, the perfect beach town eatery. Note the painting of Paramahansa Yogananda hanging ten on the side wall!

Walk another block or so south on S. Coast Highway 101, climb up the hill, cross the railroad tracks and you’ll have a majestic view of the ocean and the Self-Realization Fellowship ashram grounds that house the Meditation Gardens.

This photo doesn't come close to conveying the breathtaking beauty of this panoramic view of the ocean

A view of the Self-Realization Fellowship ashram grounds from across S. Coast Highway 101

BONUS: Here’s a ninety-second video of the above-mentioned majestic view. I shot it after spending the summer in Minnesota and then returning in mid-August to Encinitas, where I rented a room at a new address. I thought a video would better convey the beauty of this panorama in paradise!

Cross back over the railroad tracks, down the hill, across S. Coast Highway 101 and back toward the Meditation Gardens. Follow the road as it curves up a hill and to the right, and you’ll find yourself on Third Street heading back toward my house six blocks away. Halfway there, however, you’ll come upon another landmark: the S.S. Encinitas and the S.S. Moonlight! Click here for more information about these unique boathouses.

Looking for a place to rent in Encinitas? These landlocked boathouses are just the ticket!

I've enjoyed seeing these boathouses ever since I started coming to Encinitas in 2000


I hope you enjoyed this guided tour of my new life in Encinitas. Thanks for tagging along!

Click here to view all my posts about Paramahansa Yogananda and Self-Realization Fellowship.

Click here to view all my posts about Encinitas.


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24 Responses to “My Life In Encinitas: A Photographic Walking Tour”

  1. shadywilbury Says:


    You are in Heaven on Earth. Thank you for sharing your new hometown with us.

    Peace and blessings,


  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    My pleasure, Shady!

  3. Kim Wencl Says:

    Great photos Phil! I can see why you love it so much! Enjoy!

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I will do my best, Kim!

  5. Kathleen Says:

    How lovely, Phil! I can see why you’re so enamored of the place. It makes me happy to hear the joy in your words and see the beauty you see through your photos.

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you, Kathleen! I’m glad I can share the beauty of my world with you!

  7. Jess Says:

    Awesome! Thank you for sharing!! I can see why you love it there! : )

  8. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thanks for checking it out, Jess! I’m glad I could share it with you!

  9. JohnLClose Says:

    Thanks phill. I really enjoyed your walking tour. I have spent quite a bit of time in the area. Thanks for the fun. Namaste, John

  10. Phil Bolsta Says:

    My pleasure, John! I’m glad you have had the privilege of spending time here as well!

  11. Paula Says:

    What a blessing you are living in Encinitas now. I love the pictures you
    posted of SRF and the one that made me giggle was of Paramahansa
    Yogananda hanging ten. Have a wonderful Christmas Phil.


  12. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you, Paula! The same to you!

  13. Missy Hunt Says:

    Aw, Phil. It’s just perfect for you. I am overjoyed at your circumstances. I myself have made some immensely wonderful changes as well.

    Let’s catch up soon.


  14. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Definitely, Missy! Looking forward to hearing your good news!

    Big love!

  15. Nancy Freaner Says:

    I haven’t been there since 1976, and miss it so much after seeing your beautiful pictures. Encinitas here I come, sooner than later.

  16. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Make it sooner, Nancy! I’ll give you a guided tour in person!

  17. Vinnie Lobascio Says:

    Just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing this walking tour.

  18. Phil Bolsta Says:

    You’re quite welcome, Vinnie!

  19. Luci Klendo Says:

    These are wonderful Phil, it is so great to see you’re having a blast and a true escape from a Minnesota winter. Congratulations on making the move! The photos are breathtaking, Encinitas seems like a dream place to be. I would love to visit the Self-Realization Fellowship Gardens! Will you be there next winter too?

  20. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I hope to be here nine months out of the year, Luci. And winter will definitely be part of those nine months! It would be quite awesome to give you and Vladimir a tour of Encinitas in person!

  21. Rachel Says:

    Looks like heaven. Can’t wait to visit!

  22. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Heaven awaits, Rachel!

  23. eva Says:

    We love you Phil! Thanks for sharing your new life with us, we are so proud of you & your decision to enjoy a most deserved new beginning! Keep-in-touch, dear friend, we’ll see you soon: Love, yours: E/P**

  24. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thanks, Eva and Peter! You paved the way by moving to California from Minnesota more than twenty years ago, Peter! Unlike you, however, I don’t think I’ll be moving back. No more snowdrifts for me!

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