This small town in California is a work-from-home paradise.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Where the landscape and oceanside air make it a naturally inspiring place to work, play, and (re)create.

By Maya Harrison
In Partnership with Chaco

As an Encinitas native, this sleepy surf town that hangs above the pacific ocean has my heart. As a remote worker, I could choose to live and work anywhere (within reason), and most would not choose to stay in their hometown given that opportunity. However, to me, Encinitas is a vibrant hub for creatives, environmental activists, and outdoor enthusiasts. Every day I spend here, I feel the inspiration and drive to create something new. This tight-knit community revolves around creative expression and connection with others and the outdoors. In my beach town, any day encompasses a blend of simple-living, meaningful work, and relationships with our community. All of these reasons, and many, many more, make me so happy to call Encinitas my home base.

Perfect weather for Chaco sandals

Pursuit of sunshine and passion projects

Even during a stay-at-home order, I found that hustling from home was still so enjoyable as long as I was able to get outside. Not only is Encinitas' cultural environment one that cultivates inspiration, but its natural environment is perfect for how I like to work. Personally, I can't think of anything better than being able to set up my WFH office in my yard, and in 75-degree sunshine (it's Chaco weather here from dusk to dawn). No matter what season, I can always find a slice of summer in this town.

When I'm in need of a change of scenery during the work day, I love riding my bike to one of my favorite places in town that has free wifi. There are so many great options for remote workers here in Encinitas. 

A few of my favorites are:

  1. 1. Zumbar Coffee & Tea: Located across the 101 HWY from Cardiff State Beach, this local coffee roaster offers outdoor seating, free wifi, and has outlets (just in case)! Not only is the coffee here incredible, but the vibes are always high, and the barista's music choices are always just right.
  2. 2. The Encinitas Library: This has to be one of the most beautiful public libraries I have ever entered. One of the walls in the library is made up of only windows, looking out onto downtown Encinitas, and the ocean expanding past town. They also offer free wifi that extends out onto their balcony, so you can bask in the sun watching the waves while getting your work done!
  3. 3. Lofty Coffee Co.: Lofty has a few locations throughout north county San Diego now, but their Encinitas Roasting Works location is so perfect for working remotely. This location is a bit quieter than other cafes, has a great meals filled with local and organic ingredients, offers free wifi, and is just a five minute walk from Encinitas' Moonlight Beach.

*** Make sure to check out local guidelines in Encinitas, and at recommended locations before visiting to stay up to date with Covid-19 regulations, changes in hours of operations, and more. ***

You can go anywhere in Encinitas in Chaco sandals


Meditation by the coast

Working from home also allows me to have more free time to do the things I love, and being located in Encinitas means that all of my favorite activities are usually just a bike ride or 5 minute drive away.

When it's time to take a break from work, the beach is the perfect escape. I seek solace on the coast, and I find comfort in simply observing the rolling cliffs along the water's edge. Research has shown that staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves' frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state, so I try to walk to the beach at least once a day for a midday reset.

After my work day, it's almost too easy to go for a surf, a hike, or pursue other creative projects with my friends, since I'm able to do all of that without having to leave town.


Seamless transition from work to fun

I need a good balance of work and social life, and luckily, this town could not make it easier. One of my favorite ways to spend time with my friends here is meeting up to enjoy a meal. San Diego in general offers an array of culinary excellence, and I love trying out new restaurants just as much as I like revisiting my long-time local favorites. You can usually spot me kicking around in a pair of Chaco sandals. They're a part of that seamless transition. The only wardrobe consideration here is the need for a jacket and beanie in case that coastal cool rolls in.

One of my all time favorite breakfast or brunch spots is Pannikin Coffee & Tea's Encinitas location. Pannikin is a family-owned business that's been an Encinitas go-to since 1968. Making its historic stand on the 101 highway, Pannikin resides in a legendary railroad station from 1888, and it offers a huge amount of outdoor seating. Their coffee is incredible and their pastries can't be beat.


When I'm looking for a new restaurant to take my friends, Little Italy in downtown San Diego is usually where I head. From fine dining to food trucks, this neighborhood is an amusement park for any foodie, and always offers something enjoyable for everyone. This area is super walkable, so it's convenient for carrying conversation while we're on the hunt for food. 

One of my go-to restaurants is Underbelly Little Italy. I don't think I have ever had a better bowl of ramen than the bowls that Underbelly serves, and I've tried a lot of ramen in my life. Their Little Italy location is super modern looking, and is right in the middle of all the excitement in the neighborhood, so it is such a great place to bring friends and family who are visiting San Diego for the first time.

After a visit to Little Italy, I usually try to finish the night at a local Italian gelato spot, and savor the taste of downtown's art and diversity, before heading back home to Encinitas.

This small beach town in San Diego will always include elements of connection, community, and creativity. Encinitas' endless outdoor activities, incredible weather, and unique personalities create a buzz that I just can't get enough of. Catch me as I WFH here for as long as I possibly can. 


More about Chaco

Chaco felt like the perfect brand to sponsor my visit to Encinitas, because one pair really does fit every adventure around here. Chacos are super durable and comfortable, and effortless to cinch up and get out the door for a hike on the beach or a walk to the donut shop. The Z/Sandal is a favorite go-to (and is featured in the photography from this story). 

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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