Encinitas is a beach town just north of Solana Beach. Recently named among the 20 best surf towns in the world by National Geographic, with it’s beaches such as Swami’s and Moonlight, Encinitas wears its surf history proudly. Located along six miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, Encinitas is an unspoiled reminder of the historic Highway 101 beach culture that thrived in the mid-1900s.
The neighborhood’s eclectic downtown has long drawn surfers with a unique and dynamic blend of San Diego’s top surf shops, coffeehouses and record stores and the beaches in Encinitas are coveted by locals as hidden gems.
Encinitas is alternately known as the “Flower Capital of the World,” because of its extensive collection of unique nurseries and gardens, most extensive of which is the San Diego Botanic Garden. Encinitas is also the world’s leading grower of the Christmas flower, the poinsettia.
Encinitas real estate has become one of the most expensive real estate markets per square foot in all of North County. The Encinitas Ranch Community is one of the newer housing communities and consists of five distinct neighborhoods totaling, upon completion, over 500 homes. The neighborhoods are QUAIL RIDGE on the north end, 37 RANCH ROAD, QUAIL HOLLOW, DEVONSHIRE and the entire south mesa area, including HILLTOP, THE LINKS, BRAEMAR and CONCORDIA. The neighborhoods are linked together by a system of walking trails, which in turn are linked to the City of Encinitas trails bordering the golf course and Indian Head Canyon.
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Encinitas was incorporated after a majority vote of 69.3% in 1986 from the communities of historic Encinitas, new Encinitas (Village Park), Leucadia, Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Olivenhain. These communities retain their identities and distinctive flavors.
A great beach community is Cardiff-by-the-Sea. With a population of under 12,000, Cardiff-by-the-Sea operates as part of the city of Encinitas, but unlike the other communities that comprise Encinitas, it has its own ZIP code (92007). Cardiff is home to a few well-known surf spots, such as Swami’s and Cardiff Reef.
If surfing isn’t your thing, Cardiff’s long quiet beach is also perfect for strolling, sunbathing, and wading.
Leucadia is the community on the north side of Encinitas. For many, it is the most appealing area of this seaside town.
Reminders of its surfing roots are obvious in Leucadia, yet at the same time this community is realizing a renaissance of sorts, with many new and expensive homes for sale, nurseries that have been there for years but are now disappearing and being replaced by expensive housing, and more upscale dining and shopping.
Despite these changes Leucadia retains much of the rustic, quaint seaside charm that has attracted so many residents and vacationers over the years, and that suits many residents and visitors just fine. Indeed, the often-seen bumper stickers touting “Keep Leucadia Funky” say it all!
Olivenhain (German for olive grove) is the eastern-most neighborhood in the City of Encinitas and offers upscale country living just a short drive from downtown. Walking and riding trails meander through the neighborhood, and historic landmarks dot the landscape to remind residents of the Colony Olivenhain that once called this land home. Olivenhain is a semi-rural community made up of mostly custom-built, detached homes on lots that range in size from about .5 acres to five acres. Gently rolling hills, small ranches, and two-lane roads that wind through the community past rail fences and horse stables give this small community the country feel that residents hold dear and visitors quickly fall in love with.
There are currently about 1,500 homes in Olivenhain, and low-density zoning ensures that this number is not likely to significantly increase. When remaining lots are developed, the number of houses is projected to reach just more than 1,600.
There is a variety of properties available here, including more modest homes, country estates, horse properties and multi-million dollar mansions. Like its eastern neighbor, Rancho Santa Fe, Olivenhain is considered an exclusive, upscale community for those looking for country living within a short drive to city amenities, attractions, and beaches. However, homes in Olivenhain are generally more affordable than Rancho Santa Fe – which most people would agree is the most exclusive community in San Diego County – and Olivenhain is generally perceived as a more laidback neighborhood without the old money reputation of Rancho Santa Fe.