When it comes to traveling these days, more and more people are seeking out ways to stay like a local—but that craving is now going far beyond accommodations. In fact, many adventure seekers are looking for experiences that will immerse them into the local culture. Well, for those looking to temporarily join a tight-knit surf community, Surfhouse in Encinitas, California, is a dream come true.
Driving up California’s historic Highway 101 offers picturesque views of the surreal coastline and sun-soaked beach towns, especially while passing through San Diego and its various communities. After entering Leucadia in Encinitas, you’re welcomed with a large colorful wall mural that sits adjacent to a small boutique hotel that beckons modern design lovers and surfers alike.
A “Welcome to Leucadia!” sign welcomes visitors to the quaint block where Surfhouse sits. It borders a community coffee joint called Coffee Coffee, as well as Surfy Surfy, an old-school surf shop that began as a surf blog in 2005 where JP St Pierre documented his family surfboard factory called Moonlight Glassing. In 2010, Pierre teamed up with a few of his surf buddies to open up Surfy Surfy, which is the same group that opened up Coffee Coffee. Both destinations were part of a community effort to make sure local businesses continue to rule there.
During the process, they added upper and lower decks for visitors to enjoy, and inset sea glass into part of the concrete walkways in order to make visitors feel like they’re still at the beach.
In order to provide a durable and hardy surface for beachgoers, the floors are lined with tile that looks like sun-bleached wood. To create a fun, casual, and beachy vibe, the team introduced barn doors, white beach rock tile in the shower, retro-looking light green sinks, and open closet systems made with wood and iron.
The rooms are furnished with comfortable, contemporary, and beachy textiles, as well as artwork by local artists including Andy Davis, Daniella Manini, and Billy Watts.
While staying at Surfhouse, you can borrow a seven-speed beach cruiser by Electra Bicycle Company. The area is extremely bike-friendly, so it’s the perfect opportunity to roam around and explore the local restaurants, wine bars, shops, and beaches.
All of the rooms can accommodate two guests, except for “Pipes,” which includes a set of camp-style bunk beds that can fit four people. Guests have access to the hotel’s surf equipment, including a quiver that’s filled with Firewire surfboards. They also have partnerships set up with a handful of other local business so that they can offer guests whatever it takes to complete the experience.
The hotel is only about a three-minute walk to Beacon’s Beach, where you can follow a mellow goat path down to pristine waves that look up to the cliffs and a lineup of incredible modern homes—some of which cantilever off the edge.
According to the Harth brothers, opting in for Surfhouse Adventures will allow you to “drop in as a guest and take off as a local.”