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Encinitas City Overview

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Encinitas was named for its hills of live oaks by the Spanish traveling the El Camino Real. Encinitas real estate is diverse, spanning coastal beaches, cliffs, flat-topped coastal areas, steep mesa bluffs and rolling hills. Located along six miles of Pacific coastline and bracketed by Batiquitos Lagoon to the north and San Elijo to the south, the city sports 11 public beaches. Just 22 miles from downtown San Diego, Encinitas residents enjoy the commuting options of historic Highway 101, Interstate 5 or the Coaster commuter train.

Five distinct villages comprise Encinitas, each with its own flavor. "Historic” or “Old” Encinitas follows the Highway 101 corridor that parallels beautiful Pacific beaches. Its old-style beach community flavor is filled with cafes, shops and historic architecture. Here, cottages sit side-by-side with larger, newer executive homes. On the east side of Old Encinitas are acres of greenhouses and fields of poinsettias, orchids and other tropical ornamentals – the largest single industry in the city.

Cardiff-by-the-Sea, just south of downtown Encinitas, is made up of quaint homes dotting the hillsides overlooking the sea. Named after Cardiff, Wales, many street names in the area also reflect a British flavor. This area is known for Swami's Beach, called the surfing capital of Southern California, and the Self Realization Center, whose beautiful gardens are a peaceful spot to sit and gaze at the waves. Quaint single-family homes dot the Cardiff hillsides, many with terrific Pacific views.

Leucadia, north of downtown Encinitas, is an eclectic beach community with eucalyptus-lined streets, quaint cottages and expensive homes with ocean views. Alongside Highway 101 in Leucadia are a variety of antique stores, one-of-a-kind shops and eateries.

New Encinitas has become the focal point of commerce and opportunity in the city, centered on El Camino Real ("The Kings Highway" founded by the early missionaries from Spain). It has enjoyed explosive growth in the last 10 years and features upscale homes, a golf course, and a large area shopping center. It is a popular region for families who are attracted to the suburban lifestyle, new housing, and highly rated schools.

Olivenhain, west of El Camino Real, boasts plenty of open horse country, pastures, and a uniquely rural way of life. Expensive homes on large lots dot the hillsides of Olivenhain ("olive grove" in German).

Encinitas homes are as varied as the distinct villages that comprise the city. Condos are interspersed throughout the area, and prices start in the low $300,000s. Beach-style cottages, ranch-style homes, contemporary architecture, and custom homes can all be found both west and east of I-5. The centerpiece of “New Encinitas” is Encinitas Ranch, a recent development of a wide range of homes and includes Encinitas Ranch Public Golf Course, a championship 18 hole par 72 course with panoramic ocean views.