Swami's Surf Spot

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At a very young age, my father and I would spend our days surfing the awesome waves of Swami's, located in the community of Encinitas. I can recall some of the best waves of my life at this awesome reef break. From the three foot days with a few buddies to the double overhead days that are captivating with their beauty and power.

I suppose I have a bias to this particular spot because I grew up surfing at this location, but I truly feel that this is a premier spot in Southern California. It's not just for the waves that I feel this way but for the beauty and culture that surrounds this break. On many occasions, I've found myself talking about that day of surfing or past swells with complete strangers and almost instantly, I feel like I've acquired a friend. Swami's is one of my favorite places in the world and I only hope that everyone who surfs has that one surf spot where you just feel at home. Swami's is that spot for me.

The Swami's view from the 101 Highway


The town of Encinitas in North County of San Diego. This is a community with a strong hold of the surfing community and culture. There are several surf shops, surf inspired restaurants and a variety of great surfing all along the coast.

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The Parking Scenario:

The Swami’s parking lot is pretty ample for it’s size and can accommodate around 50 automobiles. When it’s an epic day at the beach or when the surf is pumping, this parking lot will fill up by dawn and in that case, here are some other options.

Please note: that on the Bluff side of the parking lot (The row against the cliff facing the ocean) there are two spots that are marked for Fire and City Vehicles. They are the first and last spots and Police routinely come through the parking lot in looks of finding some avid surfer parked in these spots. Watch yourself because parking in one of these spots will put a dent in your checkbook!

The Swami's Parking Lot

On Highway 101, from in front of the Swami’s temple until where the road narrows by the cliffs is open for public parking. Watch out for the fire zones as there are a few. If the side of the road is already packed full, it’s time to search and start walking! Pull around the North side of the Swami’s temple and there is a few more streets with available public parking.  

I’ve been surfing Swami’s for my entire life and I can only recall a few times where parking had become a problem. Most of them were on sunny holidays and the others were on the days at Swami’s where it doesn’t matter how far you have to walk, the long promising walls and playful shoulders make it worth while.

Beach Accessibility and Conveniences:

The only beach access is by the stairs located at the South side of the Swami’s parking lot, they are impossible to miss. They are definitely long and well maintained by the City. They are not too bad when walking down on the way to the beach but after a 3 hour long session, it seems to take an eternity to reach the top of them

The Swami's stairs leading to the Beach

The Stairs from the Swami's Beach

There are public restrooms at the top of the Swami's stairs toward the South side of the parking lot. They are open from 6 am to 9 pm and are in fairly decent shape for all of the use they receive. There is also a public shower that is awesome for rinsing off sand and saltwater after a long session. This shower is located at the botom of the stairs. To be quite honest, that shower is one of my favorite things about Swami's!

The bathroom's at Swami's


There is a Lifeguard tower at Swami's. It is located near the bottom of the stairs in the right hand side of the picture above. Like most beaches, the Lifeguard is not on duty 100% of the time. To the best of my knowledge, the Lifeguard tower is open throughout the summer season, on exceptionally nice days, and on the big days that Swami's can offer. Please remember that whether or not a Lifeguard is on duty, please take extreme caution when entering the ocean. It is a powerful aspect of nature and it should never be forgotten.

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