Cardiff, or Cardiff-by-the-Sea, is a beach community 89 miles (144 km) southeast of Los Angeles and 21 miles (34 km) north of San Diego, located within the city of Encinitas, California. Cardiff is known for the popular surf locations at Swami’s and Cardiff Reef. The community is named after Cardiff, Wales.
The first inhabitants of the area were the Kumeyayya American Natives, referred to as the Diegueño by the Spanish. In 1769, the Spanish started colonizing this area with the construction of 21 missions along the coast. The first settlement here was by the pioneer Mackinnon family who headed west from Ohio in 1875. They traveled by train from Cleveland to San Francisco, then boarded a steamer for San Diego, and lastly a horse and carriage to their destination at the San Elijo Lagoon. They developed a farm and grew barley and corn, plus an orchard. The Mackinnon barn was used for a school by the local families.
In 1909, J. Frank Cullen, who was a painter from Boston, purchased the land from the MacKinnons, and subdivided the farmland for residential lots. Frank Cullen’s wife was a native of Cardiff, Wales and persuaded him to name the community “Cardiff-by-the Sea”, despite heavy Spanish influence in the area. Read more here and here. Explore more of Cardiff here: