The Olivenhain community is characterized by rolling hills, large lots, many fences, lots of cul-de-sacs and dead-end roads, and a good number of horses, cyclists and pedestrians. The town has an interesting policy of "dark skies" which limits outdoor lighting, allowing for better views of the moon, stars and night sky, in keeping with the rural atmosphere.
Colony Olivenhain (meaning Olive Grove), as it was originally called, was founded by a group of German immigrants from Denver who arrived in 1884; the area was originally called Ranchas Las Encinitas. These first residents were given 5-acre plots of land and granted the use of the community's horse teams and equipment. The one-room Olivenhain Meeting Hall (see photo in virtual tour at bottom of page) was erected in the heart of town in 1895 and was used for a wider range of functions and events, and remains an event hub of this town of about 5,000 residents. The Meeting Hall is on the National Registry of Historic Places. You can read more about Colony Olivenhain on their website.
The main shopping area of Olivenhain is centered around the intersection of Encinitas Boulevard and Rancho Santa Fe Road, which cuts through the heart of town. You will find a smattering of services here, including the 7-11, a couple of cleaners, a handful of clothing boutiques for men and women, home furnishings, banks, real estate offices, restaurants, a couple of private schools and a host of other retail and small business establishments. The largest shopping area is the West Village Shopping Center with a host of stores and services.
Meritage Wine Market is a wine tasting room and retail store in the West Village Shopping Center in town; Harvest Ranch Market provide fine food products, a terrific deli and general groceries. Local restaurants include The Pancake House, Marie Callender's (a well known and popular chain, famous for frozen foods and pies), and the upscale Firenze Trattoria whose reputation for fine dining extends well beyond Olivenhain.
Olivenhain is just a couple of miles east of the main shopping area of Encinitas so you are not far from major grocery stores and other large stores including Home Depot, Target, Office Depot, and Bed, Bath and Beyond., to name a few.
Children in Olivenhain attend the Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School, through the 6th grade. After that they attend the Encinitas Schools. A private coeducational school in the heart of town, The Rhoades School, meets children's needs through grade 8. There is also a Montessori School and a Head Start Program.
Olivenhain serves as a transition from the more crowded Encinitas to the rural, and expensive, community of Rancho Santa Fe. Because of the lot sizes and its locations, Olivenhain homes, on average, are more expensive than in Encinitas proper (see recent market report), and you won't find much for sale under $1 million.
As of this writing, there are 14 Olivenhain homes for sale with only 1 under $1 million. Prices range from $995,000 to $2.795 million, with living areas of 1951 SF up to 7200 SF. There are both attached and detached homes (more of the latter) and a wide range of home styles, including Spanish, Mediterranean, traditional and contemporary; some new construction is available.
Olivenhain lots tend to be larger than in Encinitas in general, and many homes offer ½ acre up to 2 acres of property, much of which is zoned for horses. The average price of an Olivenhain home sold in the last 6 months is $1,467,000.
Wildflower Estates is a popular, and expensive, gated community where you can still buy a lot for building (over $1 million) with custom estate homes on lots ranging up to about 5 acres Wildflower Ranch is a popular equestrian center in town.
Some other well-known communities include Olivenhain Estates and Windsor Estates, which are not gated. Other Olivenhain new home construction tends to be limited to small enclaves of homes, such as 10 custom homes on 25 acres at Copper Creek Estates, and in Monte Verde (a group of 5 custom homes ranging from $1.8 to around $2.4 million).
The rural atmosphere, rolling hills, relaxed lifestyle and wonderful climate year round in Olivenhain just 5 miles inland from the ocean make this a must-see community. For those seeking an equestrian property, Olivenhain may be the best opportunity outside of Rancho Santa Fe, and less expensive.
All content copyright © 2007 Jeff Dowler Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits