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San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

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Review Highlights
Nice area to enjoy an easy hike

Looking for a spot to hike that is easy, short, and scenic? If you are in the San Diego area, then... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Bakersfield, California
via mobile

The very beautiful visitor's center is probably the best place to start here, then there are two... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
New York City, New York
Read all 62 reviews
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Certificate of Excellence
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent72%
  • Very good27%
  • Average1%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“nature center”(8 reviews)
“small museum”(2 reviews)
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2710 Manchester Ave, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Encinitas, CA 92007-2204
+1 760-634-3026
Reviews (62)
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All reviews visitor center nature center small museum enjoy nature limited parking ecological reserve quiet spot great walk bird life migrating birds off the beaten path native plants nice hiking trails jumping fish water birds preserve freeway
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1 - 10 of 61 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Looking for a spot to hike that is easy, short, and scenic? If you are in the San Diego area, then you might want to check out San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve in Encinatas, CA. We did, and we enjoyed our time here. There are...More

Thank ExpoNationals
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The very beautiful visitor's center is probably the best place to start here, then there are two close-by loop trails that are easy to walk and you will see a lot of nature. Take your binoculars. As well as water birds, there are a lot...More

Thank invertpaleo
Reviewed 26 June 2018

The second trip here I didn't walk on the well-maintained paths, but sat comfortably on the second level deck of the Visitor's Center. From this vantage point with tables, chairs and a couch, you can see the Pacific and enjoy the coastal shrubs and birds....More

1  Thank GlobalGypsy_13
Reviewed 16 May 2018

Nice coastal spot to walk and bird-watch along well maintained boardwalks. Check the website before going (as of 5/15/18) as some renovation work is underway and some of the area may be blocked off.

1  Thank BlueNWashington
Reviewed 14 March 2018 via mobile

My sister introduced me to San Elijo Lagoon’s hiking trails many years ago and we have been going ever since. Coastal shrub landscape offers a chance to watch birds and spend time away from it all. Trails are well maintained and appropriate for walking or...More

2  Thank Elizabeth S
Reviewed 11 February 2018 via mobile

Sooner or later all migrating birds show up to enjoy this wonderful lagoon. It’s a simple walk over perfect trails which are so easy and relaxing with excellent view points.

Thank yogiacomo
Reviewed 13 January 2018

This is the perfect place to take a short walk with your dog or small child. Lagoon is near the beach and has a good view. Good place for when you just walk to walk somewhere but you don't have that much time. Flat.

Thank Monaiv
Reviewed 11 January 2018

My wife and I found the Sal Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve somewhat disappointing. There is a nice 45-60 min walk on a loop trail from the visitor's center - but most of the other trails were closed - apparently due to work on the nearby...More

1  Thank LightFighter
Reviewed 29 October 2017

The Reserve encompasses nearly 1000 acres and has seven miles of trails through 5 different types of habitat. Over 700 species of plants and animals live there. The Lagoon is a major place on the Pacific flyway so good birding especially in the winter. In...More

Thank Linda j
Reviewed 28 August 2017

Easy walking trail around the lagoon with informative signs and knowledgeable staff in the learning center.

Thank Cindy R
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Questions & Answers
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27 August 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Moxiethebeagle | Reviewed this property |
Dogs on a leash are allowed but NOT dogs off leash.