Welcome to Encinitas

Hip surf town with great beaches and relaxed atmosphere.

Spanish for “little oaks,” Encinitas is a hip surf town with a relaxed beach culture. This city boasts some of California’s best beaches and surf spots, including the famous Moonlight Beach and Swami surf break. The city is divided into Old and New Encinitas by a coastal ridge. 

New Encinitas features tract-style single-family housing, while Old Encinitas has well-preserved historic homes in Cape Cod, California bungalow, and American Craftsman styles. This eclectic community has a charming downtown with cool beach bars and craft beer breweries, trendy restaurants, laidback surf shops, and boutiques. It even earned the title of “Flower Capital of the World” because of its breathtaking gardens.

What to Love

  • Unparalleled beach culture 

  • Perfect blend of old and new

  • Hip bars and restaurants

  • Stunning gardens and nurseries

  • Several verdant golf courses

  • Outdoor activities like kitesurfing, windsurfing, and surfing

People & Lifestyle

Encinitas residents are known for their laid-back and outdoorsy nature, as the beach town vibe gives it a relaxed yet quirky feel. Encinitas is an excellent place to raise a family due to its number of parks, activities, and top-notch school system. However, people of all ages call Encinitas home, from young professionals to retirees.

Living in Encinitas grants you access to an abundance of incredible festivities, events, and the glorious surf culture. From community 5ks to food festivals to dog festivals, life in Encinitas is always booming and teeming with activity. If you’ve always wanted to live in a friendly, tight-knit community, then Encinitas is the perfect fit for you. 

And that’s not even touching on the endless variety of waterfront homes available on the Encinitas real estate market! Whether you’re interested in living in a cozy beachside bungalow, a condo, or an oceanfront estate, the options are virtually limitless. Houses in Encinitas are on the higher end of the price range, but you genuinely get what you pay for.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

The area surrounding the parallel roads of Pacific Coast Highway 101 and North and South Coast Highway 101 forms the lively downtown area of Encinitas 101. Businesses in Encinitas 101 include more than 80 shops and an abundance of great places to grab something to eat. GoodOnYa Organic is a sleek modern eatery with a nutrition-focused menu of non-GMO pizzas, rice bowls, and tasty sugar-free drinks. 

Fish 101 offers delicious coastal Californian fare carefully prepared by a husband and wife team using sustainably-sourced and locally-caught fish. Swami’s Café has grown from its original 101 location into a mini-empire of 11 restaurants. Swami’s success has been built on its exquisite coastal cuisine, encompassing everything from açai bowls to lobster benedict. Death by Tequila is the best place in Encinitas to sample the coastal Mexican cuisine of Baja California. Flavorful tacos and seafood can be enjoyed with handcrafted cocktails, margaritas, and over 40 varieties of tequila. 

Just blocks from the ocean, Encinitas 101 has plenty of stores geared toward the beach. Hansen Surfboards has everything you’ll need to tackle Encinitas’ famous Swami surf break. You can also pick up fresh produce and other quality foodstuffs from over 75 vendors at Leucadia Farmers’ Market every Sunday between 10 AM and 2 PM. 

The Lumberyard is a premier Encinitas 101 shopping center with an eclectic selection of fashion boutiques, quirky specialty stores, brand-name stores such as Birkenstock, and bistros, taverns, and juice bars. Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza is a popular Lumberyard spot for mouthwatering wood-fired pies and Italian-style appetizers served in an inviting rustic space.

Things to Do

Encinitas’ diverse attractions include the 37-acre San Diego Botanic Garden. The varied habitats of this beautifully-landscaped space include groves of rare bamboo trees, a subtropical fruit garden, a desert area, and a tropical rainforest. 

Encinitas’ best-known attractions can be found along the stunning Pacific Ocean coastline. Swami’s Beach has long been one of California’s most famous surf spots, while Moonlight Beach is the city’s largest beach. There is also a unique realization space in the gorgeous gardens and temple of the Self Realization Fellowship.

Encinitas has several popular annual events. Every April, the Encinitas Spring Festival invites more than 450 unique food and crafts vendors alongside multiple entertainment stages, a beer garden, and children’s activities. Come August, there is the annual Taste of Encinitas event that allows residents and tourists alike to comb the historic streets downtown and sample more than 30 restaurants while enjoying live music. You can also indulge in beer and wine from local breweries and wineries at the Encinitas Rotary Wine & Food Festival. Every fall, the Encinitas Oktoberfest offers dozens of German brews as well as kid-friendly games and activities.


Encinitas is zoned in the Encinitas Union Elementary School District and San Dieguito Union High School District.

  • Pacific Academy, Private, K-12
  • The Grauer School, Private, 7-12
  • The Rhoades School, Private, K-8
  • Encinitas Country Day School, K-8

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