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Everything You Need to Know About Living in Encinitas

When looking for paradise-level cities around the world, San Diego is never far down the list.

With nearly perfect weather year-round, beautiful beaches for 70 miles, and a variety of world-class attractions, it's no wonder more and more people find San Diego as the ideal place to live. 

With that said, San Diego has several beautiful neighborhoods to choose from. Encinitas is one of the most popular locales in the area. If you are thinking about moving to San Diego County, then living in Encinitas might be on the top of your list. We take a deep dive into living in this neighborhood.

An Introduction to Living in Encinitas

Encinitas is one of the most diverse, unique, and beautiful San Diego neighborhoods. It houses a population of 62,967 and is often deemed one of the best places you can live in California (which is saying something). 

It offers a suburban feel that is close to pristine beaches. Among its residents, you'll find many families and young professionals. Let's take a look at why Encinitas is such a popular living destination.

Some of the Best Beaches You Can Find in the World

The beaches of Encinitas are some of the best-kept secrets in North Country. The laidback beachside community thrives here — in fact, it's known as one of the best surf towns in the world. 

Moonlight Beach is known as the gem of all of Encinitas's beaches and is the most popular for local families. It was named for the midnight picnics locals used to have in the early 1900s. It is easily accessible, has top-quality facilities, volleyball courts, lifeguards, and of course, a beautiful, sandy beach. 

D Street Beach is a popular spot for the locals. It has a long, wooden staircase that goes all the way down to the bluff and the wide beach. There's lots of parking in the neighboring residential areas.

Swami's Surf Beach is known to be the best surfing destination in the area. You may have heard it immortalized in the song "Surfin' USA" by the Beach Boys. It features a great vantage point to watch surfers. If the tide isn't high, you can walk all the way down to San Elijo State Beach. There are plenty of great cafes and hang-out spots like Swami's Cafe.

Stone Steps Beach is a hidden gem for locals. It might be off the beaten path, but it's worth going to. You'll find a large stone stairway with almost 100 steps that lower you to the beach below.

Looking for a more secluded spot? Check out Encinitas Beach. It has a tall wall that makes it a great place to sunbathe without any prying eyes around. However, make sure to check the tides before you go. It's impossible to access at high tide.

These are some of the more popular beaches in the area, but there are several more, including Beacon's Beach (South Leucadia State Beach), Boneyard Beach, and Cardiff State Beach. 

If you've always dreamed of being a beach local with lots of outdoor living, Encinitas is the place to go. 

Tons of Great Activities

Encinitas might be known as a beach town, but there's plenty more to do than just ride waves. 

The San Diego Botanic Garden has almost 4,000 different kinds of plants from all over the world with over 37 acres of exhibits. It features:

  • Rare bamboo groves (the largest collection in the U.S.)
  • A tropical rainforest
  • Desert gardens
  • An undersea succulent garden
  • Mediterranean climate landscapes
  • A subtropical fruit garden
  • Hamilton Children's Garden: the largest interactive children's garden on the West Coast

It has been voted as one of the top 10 gardens worth traveling for in America.

If you head downtown, you can visit the downtown Encinitas shopping district. It's more than 100 years old and features historic buildings, sidewalk cafes, and boutique shops. If you're someone who loves finding unique, old treasures, this is the spot for you. 

If you're a big hiker, Annie's Canyon Trail runs two miles on a looped route through a beautiful canyon and lake. You can bring your dog along too! 

If you feel like driving, you can head down Historic Highway 101 all the way from Oceanside to La Jolla and enjoy the beautiful and vibrant communities along the way.

The city features La Paloma Theatre, the oldest motion picture theatre in San Diego. They show both classic films and new movies. Artifact Books is a popular bookstore that sells rare editions and signed copies. It also hosts book fairs and has an amazing catalog of books.

Top-Quality Employers

Encinitas is quickly becoming a top destination for young professionals because of its great employers. Some of the biggest ones include:

  • Google (Internet)
  • Illumina (Biotech & Pharmaceuticals)
  • Qualcomm (Computer Hardware and Software)
  • UC San Diego (Colleges and Universities)
  • San Diego State University (Colleges & Universities)
  • General Atomics (Aerospace & Defense)
  • Intuit (Computer Hardware and Software)
  • ServiceNow (Enterprise Software and Network)
  • US Navy (Federal Agency)
  • US Marine Corps (Federal Agency)

Encinitas even features two of the fastest-growing companies in the nation:

  • Trade-Ideas (Software): Growth of 207% from 2015-2018
  • The Perfect Workout (Health): Growth of 53% from 2015-2018

The companies listed only scratch the surface. Encinitas not only attracts people for its beauty and laidback attitude, but it also attracts some of the best companies in the world.

World-Class Restaurants

If you live to eat, Encinitas features some of the best culinary delights around. There are plenty of amazing places to meet up with family and friends and enjoy the perfect weather and salty air.

Sambazon is a popular cafe with a bohemian atmosphere. They have amazing acai bowls that you can make yourself. 

San Diego is arguably one of the best places in America to find Mexican food. Juanita's Taco Shop is a great option to find some of the best tacos around in Encinitas. 

If you are looking for top-quality wine tasting, check out Solterra Winery & Kitchen. They make their own wine, along with delicious Mediterranean food like paella, charcuterie, and flatbreads.

If you're craving Italian, go to Vigilucci's Trattoria Italiana for authentic Italian dishes and a patio that's dog-friendly. If you're a big beer drinker, check out the Bier Garden of Encinitas which features over 20 varieties of beer. 

Cultural Meetings and Events

If you love to cook, make sure you visit Leucadia Farmers' Market. They have over 75 vendors where you can find fruits, vegetables, fresh seafood, and flowers — rain or shine. 

One unique attraction that you can find in Encinitas is the Butterfly Farms. This is a habitat for local butterflies that allows you to get up close and personal with the beautiful insects. 

Other notable events that you can find regularly in Encinitas include:

  • The Encinitas April Street Fair
  • The Encinitas Fall Festival
  • The Classic Car Nights
  • The Arts Alive exhibition

After spending the day checking out the beaches, stores, and cultural events, a great place to relax is the Self-Realization & Meditation Gardens. Here you can find a beautiful view of the ocean surrounded by koi ponds and stunning plants. You'll find meditation nooks that allow you to relax and find your inner peace.


Although Encinitas is an amazing place, be prepared to see some serious price tags when you come looking for housing

Encinitas is an upscale place. Apartment rentals in the city range from around $2,000 for a 1-bedroom to $2,700 for a 3-bedroom. 

As of July 2022, houses were selling in Encinitas for a median home price of $1.6M. On average, these homes sell after about 13 days on the market. The housing market in Encinitas is very competitive, so if you're dead set on living here, you need to be prepared. 


Encinitas has some of the best, top-rated schools in the area. You can find 63 schools in the area. 12 of them are public and 53 are private education centers.

Two of the main public schools — San Dieguito Academy and La Costa Canyon High School — are highly rated, with a 9/10 rating on greatschools.org

There are also several notable universities nearby, including:

  • The University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
  • San Diego State University (SDSU)
  • University of San Diego (USD)

If you're looking to raise a family in an area with top-notch education, this is the place to do it.

Find Your Dream Home in San Diego

That's everything you need to know about living in Encinitas. 

San Diego is one of the most highly coveted areas to live in in the world. If you're looking for a trusted partner to help you find your dream home in San Diego, reach out to us today!

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