Encinitas is the quintessential Southern California surf town. A laid-back, beachy, family-friendly town that mixes historic surf culture with top-ranked schools, good casual restaurants, and more yoga studios than stop lights.
Notably, the famous residents in town are nearly all professional surfers, skateboarders, or musicians, which says a lot about the town. Parents appreciate a strong bevy of both public and private schools, including some of the highest ranked public schools in the county. Encinitas means “little oaks” in Spanish, and yet the town is more known for its prolific contribution to the flower growing industry, particularly, the Christmas flower—Pointsettia.
In 1986, Encinitas voters passed to incorporate the communities of historic Encinitas and new Encinitas (Village Park), Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Olivenhain, and Leucadia. The oldest part of Encinitas, west of the 5 freeway surrounds “downtown” and includes a combination of older homes, newer condominiums, and businesses. Swamis surf break, Moonlight Beach, the Self-Realization Fellowship, and the La Palmo Theatre are all located here. New Encinitas, or Village Park, is east of route 5 and consists mostly of larger tract homes built in the 70s and 80s. New Encinitas includes the Botanic Garden, the Encinitas Ranch golf course, and several shopping centers. A more rural neighborhood with larger lots and mainly single-family homes is Olivenhain, known for equestrian facilities, an active 4-H Club, and the historic Olivenhain Meeting Hall. The northern coastal community of Leucadia is a quirky enclave of galleries, small shops and restaurants with single-family homes and the famous Beacons beach.
At the far south of Encinitas lies Cardiff-by-the-Sea, a seaside community with a mix of properties known for the San Elijo State Beach and Campground, the San Elijo Campus of Mira Costa College, and the legendary Cardiff Kook statue.
Many Encinitas residents surf, practice yoga, skateboard, or are otherwise athletic. With six miles of beach, from Cardiff to La Costa, Encinitas is considered one of the Top 20 surf towns in the world according to National Geographic. The Beach Boys even included Swami’s beach of Encinitas in their classic tune, “Surfin’ USA.”