This post was most recently updated on December 4th, 2023
Leucadia is a beautiful coastal community in northern San Diego County. Established by a group of English spiritualists in the late 1800’s, it was named after the Greek island of Lefkada. Today it is a vibrant and diverse community of surfers, artists, musicians, families, and retirees. Leucadia might be most known for its thriving art scene, with numerous galleries, studios, and boutiques showcasing the work of local artists. The streets are also adorned with colorful murals, adding to the area’s artistic charm. Join me for a virtual Leucadia art walk!
This Leucadia art walk is quite walkable; you can get your steps in for the day, or you can drive along historic Highway 101 to see most of the murals. Beginning from the north end of Leucadia and travelling south, you’ll spot over 20 works of art!
And to make it even better, this article has been converted to a GPS-embedded guide on GPSmyCity. Use it without internet or data to follow my footsteps! (I will receive a small commission if you purchase the guide — thank you!)
1. The 7-11 at 1966 N. Coast Highway 101
Along the back wall of the 7-11 property, enjoy a mural that includes scenes from Leucadia and Encinitas. See the gold onion dome of the Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens, beaches and palm trees.
2. Leucadia Donut Shoppe, 1604 N. Coast Highway 101
Whether you’re here for the Leucadia art walk or for the donuts, you’re in for a treat. This family-run donut shop has the best donuts. I bought a buttermilk donut, and it was the best I’ve ever had! The mural was painted by Taylor Chapin.
3. Smoke & Salt BBQ, 1542 N Coast Hwy 101
I have yet to eat at Smoke & Salt BBQ, but it sure smells good! Enjoy this historic music mural by Michael Richard Rosenblatt. It depicts creative heroes Michael Schmitt, Robert Cowan, Semisi Ma’u, Scott Clayton, Wally Passet, Candye Kane, Graham Nancarrow, and Jack Tempchin.
4. & 5. Wineco Liquor Store, 1496 N Coast Hwy 101
Skye Walker has painted two colorful and dynamic murals, on both the north and south sides of the Wineco Liquor Store. His art is inspired by Mother Earth and human connection to the natural world. Skye’s hope is that the viewer will remember that earth is our home and we can be inspired by it…but we must also protect it. (The south-facing mural was painted in collaboration with Mark Warren)
6. Sip-N-Sea Cafe, 1488 N. Coast Hwy 101
I had to snap a photo of this trending mural and send it to my kids right away, because they’re all Start Wars fans. Plus, who’s ever seen Boba Fett surfing? Painted by the talented @jm47art.
7. Just Peachy Farm Fresh Market, 1354 N Coast Hwy 101
Artist Wyn Di Stefano brought this beautiful work of art to life to pay homage to the relationship between agriculture and commerce. There’s even a bonus mural on the north side of the store, depicting a picnic — can you spot it?
8. Beachside Moped Rentals, next to Corner Pizza 1246 N Coast Hwy 101
There’s no way to know if this trailer will remain in this location, but I found it parked behind a fence near the Corner Pizza restaurant. It definitely makes riding a moped along a coastal highway enticing!
9. The French Corner Cafe, 1200 N Coast Hwy 101
You’ll find this sunny mural on a utility box on the south side of the French Corner cafe. Painted by Jim McConlogue, it depicts a historic 101 road sign, with a surfer and a vintage automobile.
10. Seaweed & Gravel, 1144 N Coast Hwy 101
On the day I went on a Leucadia art walk, this mural was obscured by an artisan market in the parking lot, so I couldn’t get a good photo. There’s a detailed depiction of a native American on the north-facing wall of the building — very lifelike and impressive.
11. 101 Piercing, 1114 N Coast Hwy 101
Not exactly a mural, but a serene setting and photo opp can be found next to 101 Piercing. Stop here for a selfie and a rest on your Leucadia art walk! Who doesn’t need to be reminded to “just breathe”?
12. Atelier-Manna, 1076 N Coast Hwy 101
I enjoyed spotting this unique piece of art by local mixed-media artist Rory Morison (@strangebouquets). It makes a great compliment to this cute brunch and lunch cafe.
13. & 14. Leucadia Art Gallery, 1038 N Coast Hwy 101
It is certainly fitting that a framing shop and art gallery would have some murals on display. Be sure to check out both the north-facing and south-facing walls.
15. A Little Moore Cafe, 1030 N Coast Hwy 101
This is another painting by Michael Richard Rosenblatt, that appears to portray the sloping beachside cliffs of Leucadia and the sea. I appreciated his treatment of sky and water, nearly blending into one.
16. Coffee Coffee, 970 N Coast Hwy 101
Every town needs a city name sign where we can all take our selfies and prove to the world that we’ve been there. Here is Leucadia’s welcome sign! “It’s pretty autobiographical,” Casey O’Connell said of the mural, which depicts her standing on a ladder and adding one more number — representing herself — to a tally of Leucadia’s population. She doesn’t want to ever leave Leucadia!
17. Surfhouse Boutique Hotel, 960 N Coast Hwy 101
These murals might be some of the most lively graphic art in Leucadia. Both are created by Pepa Ivanoff (Pepallama). She is inspired by tropical plants, geometric shapes, indigenous prints and bright colours. You’ll find one of the murals boldly displayed in front. And you can get great selfies with the “Keep it Surfy” mural in the alley behind the hotel.
18. Kotija Jr Taco Shop, 852 N Coast Hwy 101
Behind the Kotija Jr Taco Shop is another painted utility box featuring a surfer in a wetsuit, riding a wave. The title is “Leucadia Soul.”
19. Healthtopia Urgent Care, 802 N Coast Hwy 101
In slightly muted colors, this mural shows a setting sun, palm tree, rocky beach, and a surfer ready to ride.
20. Hermosa Aesthetics, 718 N Coast Hwy 101
I wasn’t able to learn who painted this vibrantly painted wall, but I couldn’t help but admire the detail and color!
21. La Especial Norte, 664 N Coast Hwy 101
This beautiful tropical wave mural is actually painted on a south-facing wall of the building at the north end of the La Especial Norte parking lot. Apparently it is a new building replacing one recently destroyed by fire.
There’s a bonus for art lovers here. Note the low barrier wall in front of the mural in the photo above. If you walk between the barrier wall and the wall with the mural, you will discover the works of local artists Jessica Fuller, Michael Amorillo, John Hester, Josh Rehkopf, Christian Slocum and Karissa Bordin. They all contributed murals to beautify the concrete partition.
22. Neel’s Nursery & Garden Spa, 466 N Coast Hwy 101
This is not an art mural, but I think you’ll love this magical retreat, especially at the end of your 1.7-mile Leucadia art walk. It’s a hidden, secret garden paradise behind Neel’s Nursery. While it appears to belong to the Garden Spa business, it is open to the public as long as it is treated respectfully. Step inside and be transported to another place — with a little stream, koi pond, gazebo with rocking chairs, bamboo, palm trees, and a quaint cottage,
Summary: Is There More to the Leucadia Art Walk?
Leucadia is a fun, colorful and quaint community, and there is a lot to enjoy here besides art. With great places to eat and shop, historic retro buildings (see the Leucadia post office and the Leucadia Beach Inn motel for great examples), and proximity to several beaches (Grandview, Leucadia, and Beacon’s) you can’t go wrong visiting Leucadia!
I hope you will let this Leucadia art walk introduce you to Leucadia and its welcoming vibe…
For a list of my favorite beaches, see Best Five San Diego Beaches
If you’d like to read more about art in San Diego County, see Discovering Art in San Diego at UCSD