Cardiff State Beach is located at the northern end of Solana Beach, just south of the mouth of San Elijo lagoon. This gently sloping beach is a great place to spend a day in the sun, whether chilling on the beach or surfing the break in front of the park entrance.
There is a public parking area south of the lagoon mouth, just before the road climbs the hill into Solana Beach, which requires purchasing a day pass to the park. The parking lot fills up pretty early on weekends. There’s also free parking along the 101 next to the beach.