By David Silva

Posted May 21, 2009 in Travel

Cost: $$-$$$

Why You Must Go: With so much to do and see in San Diego, it’s easy for weekend visitors to overlook the seaside charms of unassuming Encinitas. And of all the many charms Encinitas has to offer, one of the most charming is the Inn at Moonlight Beach bed-and-breakfast. Hidden away on scenic Vulcan Avenue, the Inn affords all the amenities of a country English B&B without the fuss and bother of transcontinental travel and, well, English people. It’s clean, unpretentiously elegant, homey and laidback—and has suites priced at about $75 less than comparable B&Bs in the region. The only drawback to the place was trying to stay awake long enough to enjoy it. We took one look at our suite’s cozy-fluffy bed (down duvet, big feather pillows), climbed in and were out for the next two hours. Later, we hot-tubbed in the private spa, climbed back into the bed to watch TV—and were out for the night. Something about the warm greeting you receive from innkeeper and co-owner Ann Dunham, the Inn’s subtly Asian landscaping and interior décor and the cool Pacific breeze causes your cares and worries to drift quietly out the door. It was, in a sentence, the most relaxing weekend we’ve had in years.

Where To Eat: Unlike with so many B&Bs, where you have to get up impossibly early for a hurried meal in a room full of strangers, the Inn’s breakfasts are brought right to your suite. Dunham spends about 2½ hours every morning preparing the fare for her guests: Homemade muffins and hardboiled eggs, fresh-baked oat-bran bread, yogurt and homemade granola, seasonal fruit and Starbucks coffee(!) All of which my wife and I enjoyed on our private patio while reading the morning paper and looking out at a gloriously overcast view of the ocean.

What Else To Check Out: There are six miles of beaches to enjoy or you can learn how to ride the Big Blue at local icon Kahuna Bob’s Surf School.

The Inn at Moonlight Beach, 105 N. Vulcan Ave., Encinitas, (760) 944-0318, www.innatmoonlightbeach.com; Rooms from $129 to $269.  


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