Our quaint town of Encinitas is full of interesting, picturesque sites and scenes. We often get caught up enjoying the gorgeous ocean views, and miss some of the other distinct and unique sites Encinitas has to offer. Encinitas has a rich history, and some unique historical sites worth visiting as well. One of the most unique sites is "The Boat Houses." Located at 726 and 732 Third Street, these two buildings look like large boats docked for repairs in the middle of the residential neighborhood, just 2 blocks West of South Coast Highway, right in the heart of Encinitas.
The S.S. Moonlight and its sister “ship” the S.S. Encinitas sit along a hillside above Third Street looking as if they've recently been pulled ashore for repair work.
The much-photographed structures aren't real boats — they're apartments that have been built to look like boats.
Miles Kellogg, an architect whose father was a sea captain, built his ship-shaped structures in the late 1920s using old timber from the Moonlight Beach dance house. That once-famous local night spot failed to survive the dry years of Prohibition.
But these “boats” have lived on to become a favorite Encinitas attraction. In fact, they're only partial boats — the front half truly looks like a boat, the back looks more like an apartment, with a four-unit apartment complex behind them.
The Encinitas Preservation Association,
largely formed from the Downtown Encinitas Mainstreet Association (DEMA)
and Encinitas Historical Society, purchased the houses in 2008 and currently rent both out as private dwellings. But once that income has paid off the loan, the plan is to turn them into a small museum for the enjoyment of all.
The Boathouses are part of our Guided Downtown Walking Tour
, which starts at 10.30a.m. every third Saturday from September to July.
The Guided Tours meet outside the Schoolhouse at 10:30 a.m. for the 90-minute tour led by one of the knowledgeable docents from the Encinitas Historical Society. There's no charge - although donations are always very welcome!
Other sites on the tour include the Bessie Love compound (1926), Paloma Theatre (1927) and the Daley Double Saloon (1928).