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Encinitas Description

Located just south of Carlsbad and 30 minutes north of Downtown, Encinitas is a true surfer’s town.  With great beaches and great waves, Encinitas has something to offer those that want to enjoy the laid-back California beach lifestyle. 

5 main areas make up Encinitas.  Each area has its own unique personality.

  1. Old Encinitas is located around the Highway 101 area in the central part of the city.  It is highlighted by great shops, a vibrant restaurant scene and easy access to Moonlight Beach and Swami’s.  The area is also home to the yogi retreat and education center at the Self Realization Fellowship.
  2. New Encinitas is the area of new construction, east of the Interstate 5 freeway.  The new construction has allowed a more planned community with easy access to retail shops, parks and public facilities than found in Old Encinitas. 
  3. Olivenhain area is located east of the Interstate 5 and is characterized by larger homes and lots that have easy access to equestrian activities.  While still within easy reach of the beach, Olivenhain retains its heritage to when it was settled in the 1800s.
  4. Leucadia is the laidback beach community within Encinitas.  With streets lined with trees, artists shops and restaurants, Leucadia is an up and coming area that people are flocking to.  The sound of the train is common as it runs through the area.
  5. Cardiff-by-the-Sea is the most southerly area of Encinitas.  Located just north of Batiquitos Lagoon, the area has great shops and restaurants.  The area takes great pride in its San Elijo State Park, where folks can camp at the beach and easily walk to town for dinner.


Encinitas is not filled with large industry, but is home to a variety of small retail companies and boutique consulting firms.  The easy access to the beach encourages folks to surf at lunch when taking time from work.

Health and Fitness:

Home to the Encinitas Marathon and Turkey Trot, Encinitas promotes the California lifestyle.  With easy access to great beaches, the area is great for the aquatics enthusiast.  With wide streets and bike lanes along the Highway 101, the area is favorite for those that want to do a weekend ride.

School Districts:

Encinitas offers some of the areas best schools within the Encinitas Unified School District.    Parents have a variety of excellent options to meet the needs of their children.

Arts and Entertainment:

With a lively and growing downtown area, Encinitas has great shopping and restaurants.  Like all coastal San Diego areas, Encinitas is a short drive to downtown San Diego and Balboa Park where there are a great options (music, museums, professional sports) to choose from.  Additionally, Encinitas is an hour and half drive from the wide array of options in Los Angeles and Orange County.


Located on the coast, Encinitas has easy access to public transportation to either San Diego.  The Coaster (local train) runs daily to downtown for those that do not want to drive.  Additionally, the Interstate 5 freeway runs through the middle of Encinitas and is an easy option for those who prefer to drive.   Recent upgrades to the freeway will reduce traffic for the next years to come.


Encinitas is home to several great dining areas.  Old Encinitas has a variety of classic and new cuisine.  Leucadia has seen wonderful new restaurants opening up.  Cardiff is a local favorite.  New Encinitas has something for everyone.

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