Encinitas – Another Groovy Beach Town

by on March 4, 2022 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Kathy Blavatt

All photos by Kathy

A little more than a stone’s throw away, to the north, is O.B.’s groovy sister, Encinitas. Like Ocean Beach, this colorful little beach town loves its palm trees, pines, native plants, exotics, and succulents.

Within Encinitas, borders are some of the best public and private gardens in San Diego County. These include the renowned San Diego Botanical Garden and Swami’s Meditation Gardens.

A lovely, sunny February day inspired us to take a jaunt up the coast to Encinitas, in which we decided it was perfect weather for checking out one of our favorite beaches, Moonlight Beach.

In the last couple of decades, the area on the south side of B Street that leads to the entrance of Moonlight Beach has become “Cottonwood Creek Watershed.” The previous old storm drain is gone. The only visible storm drain pipe is where the road lays over the creek.

Old smelly drainage pipes leading to Moonlight Beach, were replaced with an ultra-violet water treatment facility, a creek with paths, healthy palms, and lush greenery.

Across B Street, from the water treatment facility and garden, is another very unusual garden that was once a big unsightly dirt lot. Now it is a welcoming garden full of hundreds of painted rocks, various plants, and artwork.

The roadside garden called “Dave’s Rock Garden” has paths and sitting areas for people to enjoy and relax among the colorful stones and foliage.

Whimsical painted rocks with words and colorful art fill the park.

The park-lined road Moonlight Beach makes the journey magical.

The article —Moonlight’s Beautiful Rock Garden – Encinitas Coolest “Rogue” Public Park, came out about the making of the park.

Dave Dean, a local Encinitas Resident, took an eyesore created the community park with the help of neighbors. Soon it became a guerrilla art project—this inspirational site for the community to turn into a folk art garden. Dave considers the park “a gift to the city.”

This park reminds me of what OBceans tried to do with the World Oil property that sat vacant for years at the corner of Sunset Cliffs Blvd. and Voltaire St.

Local activists cleaned up and planted the property. They made it a memorial for a young Ocean Beach Voltaire businesswoman named Mika, who had passed away.

Sadly, the O.B. park project ended badly. The park was bulldozed and sat fenced off and empty for years.

Now that corner is a restaurant and business, and the park is a distant memory of the community trying to beautify O.B.’s busy corner.

Encinitas, like O.B., knows how to get their groove on when it comes to refurbishing old school buses and keeping their palm-lined streets.

Recently on a blustery day, my husband and I took a walk to the cliffs. On the way home, we walked on the sidewalk side of Sunset Cliffs, and I looked up to see what I consider a perfect connection from Ocean Beach to the Cliffs, on the corner of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Adair Street. In the corner of a yard was an outdoor art display. There are overhead copper-tone kinetic sculptures that create an extraordinary visual show of movement and sound with the accompaniment of the nearby palms that sing and dance in the wind.

As usual, the palms make the picture and the memories.







{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Frances O'Neill Zimmermsn March 5, 2022 at 10:22 am

Kathy sees the best sides of Encinitas by visiting the Botanical Gardens and Moonlight Beach, but in fact Encinitas is an area that grew large and congested without benefit of planning or zoning of any kind. It is now a centerless poster-child for hodge-podge, formerly an agricultural area with hillsides dotted by greenhouses where homes with acreage could be built at will. The beach and Botanical Gardens are surviving remnants of the past, with entrance to the latter barely recognizable amidst the exurban sprawl.


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