Encinitas is a North San Diego County coastal town about 25 miles north of San Diego, sandwiched between Carlsbad to the north, Cardiff then Solana Beach to the south, the ocean (west, of course), and Rancho Santa Fe to the east.
Incorporated in 1986, Encinitas has an international reputation as a flower capital (especially poinsettias), and a cruise around town will show you why this is so.
While many nurseries have disappeared, or are in the process of disappearing in order to make way for housing, you will still find a good number of them scattered about. Rightly so, Encinitas is also the home of the San Diego Botanic Garden, a feast for the eyes if you are a plant lover.
Sunshine Gardens, a popular nursery, is right down the street and has a far-reaching reputation for the quality of its flowers and plants (and houses a wonderful bakery called Betty's Pie Whole, by the owner/founder of Elizabethan Desserts).
Encinitas (92024) consists of several areas from which it was originally incorporated:
Encinitas (which includes the downtown area) and sometimes referred to as Old Encinitas
Leucadia (the older, funky, surfing part of town to the north)
Olivenhain (to the east bordering on Ranch Santa Fe)
Encinitas Ranch (a newer and fairly large planned community) , occasionally called New Encinitas,
and Cardiff or more formally Cardiff-by-the-Sea (to the south bordering Solana Beach, with a separate zip code, 92007, but without a separate town government).
Each neighborhood has a different feel, and housing can vary quite a bit both in style and price depending on what area you are in. The town of Encinitas covers about 20 square miles and as of the 2000 census had a population of 58,000. As of 2013 this population had grown to 61,588 according to the census!
Encinitas' location allows for ready access to the Interstate 5 freeway for easy commuting north and south. The Coaster (commuter train) also stops in Encinitas (the Amtrak train does not but you can catch it in Carlsbad, to the north, or in Solana Beach) also providing easy access north and south to San Diego.
Encinitas has a thriving downtown area, primarily south of Encinitas Boulevard along the Coastal Highway (Route 101) near the beaches and bordering Cardiff.
The down town area includes abundant office space, along with numerous shops, clothing boutiques, restaurants (about 50), art galleries, and a wide range of services catering to residents, surfers, vacationers and others - just about everything you can imagine or need except the "big box stores".
Another major shopping area is several miles to the east along El Camino Real, for a couple of miles north of Encinitas Boulevard, with hundreds of retailers (with larger stores like Home Depot, Target, Office Depot, TJMaxx, HomeGoods, Best Buy, Ross Dress for Less, among others), and other several distinct shopping centers (e.g., Encinitas Town Center ).
There is a nice array of restaurants in Encinitas, ranging from the most casual to fairly upscale. The downtown area along the Coast Highway has approximately 50 eating places, offering a broad range of American, California, and ethnic styles (Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Jamaican, Italian, French). You will certainly find the place to suit your budget and dining preferance.Or just stop in at Wholefoods at Pacific Station.
A favorite local hangout and one also popular with vacationers is Le Papagayo, in Leucadia. And the amenities of Carlsbad, including high-end dining at the Park Hyatt Aviara and the Omni La Costa Spa and Resort, are a short distance away. Or head south a mile or so to Cardiff and take in one of the many shore-front eateries on the costal route such as the Beach House and Pacific Coast Grill.
Encinitas Schools have an excellent reputation, a reason many residents have decided to reside here (and in parts of South Carlsbad also served by these schools). Two school districts service the residents, along with some students from neighboring communities in the upper grades: San Dieguito Union High School District and Encinitas Union School District.
Encinitas beaches are well-known by surfers and non-surfers alike. No matter what your favored beach activity, you will likely find a place here to suit your fancy.
Swamis, at the far southern end, is probably the best known surfing beach in the area. It is located below the bluff where the Self-Realization Fellowship Temple built back in 1937 - locals began calling the beach Swamis (it was originally named Noonans Beach) and the name stuck [this beach was immortalized by the Beach Boys' famous hit, "Surfin' USA" - see video below].
Heading north you will come to Boneyard Beach, D Street Beach, and then Moonlight Beach, perhaps the most family/activity friendly - it is popular with residents and vacationers, there are barbecue pits, picnic tables, beach volleyball areas, showers/changing rooms, a snack bar and plenty of parking, plus handicapped access to the beach itself.
Other beaches as you head north include Stone Steps, Beacon's and Grandview (in Leucadia, and my favorite!!) below the bluffs; all are particularly popular with surfers and beach-goers alike but beware - because of the bluff they require a steep set of stairs for access - easy going down but quite a trek heading back up.
Housing in Encinitas is fairly diverse - in style (cottage, contemporary, Tuscan, Spanish, Italian/Mediterranean, traditional, craftsman and so on), age, size and price, but with the coastal location prices are higher than further inland.
There are wonderful updated beach cottages (and those that are not so wonderful) and a couple of boat houses that are now preserved, bluff-top homes along Neptune Avenue (the most expensive area on average) with fabulous ocean views, expansive tract homes in Encinitas Ranch, funky houses in Leucadia mixed in with some of the newest subdivisions in Encinitas, larger homes on huge lots with room for horses in Olivenhain, and numerous condos and town-homes, great for primary and second homes or vacation rentals.
There are a good number of rental properties in the area for vacationers, as well as several mobile home parks and multiple apartment buildings. There are also several 55+ communities.
There are a number of subdivisions in Encinitas, both gated and ungated, and some have been built in just the last couple of years or still under construction.
Village Park is a large neighborhood west of Encinitas Ranch offering a mix of housing (attached and detached homes , condos and apartments) and tending to be the least expensive area on average.
Nearby, and east of El Camino Real, you will find a 55+ community, High Country Villas, and a neighborhood of attached single family homes, Summerhill, among others.
Encinitas Ranch is a large community of newer tract homes, many with views of the distant ocean and/or the Encinitas Ranch Golf Course.
Some other Encinitas complexes include Pacifica, Nantucket, Sea Bluff (attached townhomes in Leucadia, some with direct ocean frontage from the $900,000s to the millions), West Hampton Cove, Cambria, Rancho Encinitas, Palomare Heights, Sage Canyon, Sheridan Estates, Nautilus Cove, and Sandalwood.
Several new housing communities have been built in Encinitas in the last few years, some still under construction going into 2015 - Mainhouse, Fiore, Seaside Ridge and The Beach House Cabanas.
An appealing coastal town in North San Diego County, Encinitas may be just the place for you, with a range of homes for sale, excellent schools, beautiful beaches, a booming downtown, abundant recreation, and terrific climate year-round.
If I can provide more information about this wonderful community or the housing market in general, or help you in any way, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
CALL me at (760) 840-1360 or email me JeffDowlerSolutions@gmail.com and we can arrange a time to sit down and discuss your housing needs and budget, then plan a strategy for buying and or selling an Encinitas home.
Take a TOUR of ENCINITAS BELOW - relax, turn up the sound and enjoy the music!