Encinitas, California




Sunny Days: 263
65100 Affordability
95100 Schools
40100 Diversity
90100 Safety

The Best Thing About Encinitas?

Surf Vibe Cred

There is plenty to love about Encinitas but top of the list for most locals is the laid-back beach vibe that persists in spite of the development going on outside the downtown area. That vibe might come from the surfers, or the old-school eat and drink spots, or the fact the beaches and ocean never change? Hard to know but just know that it remains strong.

The Worst Thing About Encinitas?

Pricey Development

It’s expensive. People who grew up here are somewhat saddened that it’s become so homogeneous and cliched what with all the yoga and male hair buns, the OG locals feel it’s losing its unique charm. While we note the surf vibe remains it is now surrounded by wealth and development that locals feel threatens that energy.

Lifestyle of Encinitas

If you’re a surfer you probably already know about this place (the breaks of Moonlight Beach are legendary and Swami’s Beach is literally referenced in the Beach Boys Surfin USA. If you like surfer vibes and surfer lifestyle, you should know about this place.

If you dream of a California Surf City, this is pretty much quintessential. But these beaches aren’t just for the elite surfers. There are parks, parking, kiddie playgrounds, lifeguards and picnic tables.

Even though it’s a dense suburb that’s generally not very diverse and where housing is quite expensive and is rife with athleisure-clad women and board-shorted men, the cool factor persists with a free-spirited, laid back coastal vibe.

Schools in Encinitas

Families in Encinitas have access to excellent schools and educational opportunities. The area is served by the highly regarded Encinitas Union School District that receives an A rating on niche.com . Even more impressive, Encinitas is part of the San Dieguito Union High School District that gets an A+ on niche.com. You can hardly do better than sending your kids to school in Encinitas.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

The Lifestyle

Living here, if you can afford it is truly amazing. You can pick from cozy and charming enclaves that exude a small-town feel, or the hillside retreats that provide tranquility amidst nature.

Neighborhoods in Encinitas

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Encinitas Ranch


Encinitas Ranch is a super prime location along the coastline of North County San Diego. Its elevated position gives residents ocean views and sea breezes. The neighborhood is known for its well-maintained homes, ranging from elegant single-family residences, spacious estates and an acclaimed 18-hole championship golf course, Encinitas Ranch Golf Course with stunning coastal views and landscaped parks. The Encinitas Ranch Open Space Preserve is also here - a 400 acre open space with miles of hiking trails and mindblowing views of the Pacific. While newbies brag about the beach, long-timers know there's some amazing outdoor experiences just a bit in-land.

Local kiddos attend amazing schools like El Camino Elementary School, although all schools in Encinitas rank highly for academic excellence. The median home price in Encinitas is $2.4m but open listings are $3m+ at present. Living here with all the beauty and amenities does not come cheap.


Families/Young Professionals/DINKs

Leucadia is the northernmost neighborhood and is probably the funkiest. A hippie haven for bohemian types and artists, it was founded by a group of English spiritualists. These beaches (Grandview and Beacon’s) are indeed for surfing. There are no family-friendly amenities – no lifeguards or restrooms although the waves accommodate all levels so it gets crowded. Stone’s Step Beach is much less crowded.

Downtown Leucadia is overwhelmingly locally owned, with an eclectic mix of surf and coffee shops that are neighborhood institutions plus, art galleries, and beachwear boutiques mixed in with hippie-dippy cafes. Homes are a mix of old school ranches/cottages nestled in the hills and absolutely cutting-edge modern builds. In spite of all this groovy vibe the median home price is $3.2m, making it the most expensive neighborhood in Encinitas. All that authentic hippie experience comes with a price tag.



Cardiff-by-the-Sea has a nice combination of small-town charm on the coast with high end farm-to-table cuisine and community events throughout the year in the Cardiff Towne Center. The whole area is walking distance to San Elijo State Beach, Cardiff State Beach and even a nature reserve with hiking trails (Annie’s Canyon Trail) and a nature center with wetlands.

One of the wonderful things about the Encinitas are that Cardiff-by-the-Sea exemplifies is the feeling that you're living in your own little beach town. The downtown of the neighborhood is filled with boutique shops, locally-owned restaurants and eclectic art galleries. In addition to the cool commercial, beach and outdoor experiences, local kids attend the wonderful Cardiff schools including Cardiff Elementary or Ada Harris Elementary.

New Encinitas


Nestled in North County Coastal, San Diego (which is in the southeastern corner of Encinitas), New Encinitas is a more conventional suburb with housing developments and shopping plazas and a golf course. It’s often referred to as a “modern suburban aesthetic” since the neighborhood is a mix of residential areas, commercial centers, and recreational spaces. The homes come in the contemporary architectural styles favored by high end homebuyers.

The area was developed in the 2000's so everything, including the homes is new and with all the modern amenities larger, newer homes provide. With access to top-rated schools like Flora Vista Elementary and La Costa Canyon High School, New Encinitas is most popular with families looking for a classic suburban lifestyle but with a touch of coastal charm.



Olivehain is a semi-rural area with rolling hills, custom homes and expansive lots but few restaurants and shops. Rather, a robust network of hiking and equestrian trails and even a Dark Skies Policy which restricts nighttime outdoor lighting and makes stargazing ideal.

It's one of the tightest communities, with the Olivehain Town Council playing an active role in organizing year-round community events. Much of this happens at the Olivehain Meeting Hall and Park. It's the center of events and recreation for the neighborhood. The center has playgrounds for the kiddos, sports fields of all kinds for little leagues and grown-up leagues, picnic spots and tons of outdoor space for everyone (including doggos) to run and play.