The Flower Growing Capital
The beach city of Encinitas can be found in San Diego County and is about 95 miles south, or an hour and a half drive from Los Angeles (of course depending on traffic). It is characterized by coastal beaches, steep mesa bluffs and rolling hills, and is comprised of five distinct areas, namely Old Encinitas, New Encinitas, Olivenhain, Leucadia and Cardiff-by-the-Sea. The city is also served by four school districts, and is also home to two schools that are dedicated to the visual arts.
Encinitas is informally known as the Flower Growing Capital where one can find and enjoy ornamental flowers such as poinsettias throughout the year, and it is also home to the beautiful Quail Botanical Gardens as well as the Self Realization Center. It also boasts of the Encinitas Ranch Golf Course, which is an 18-hole championship course that has a panoramic view of the ocean. Nature lovers might also want to visit the San Elijo Lagoon Reserve which is San Diego County’s largest coastal wetland, and is residence to almost 300 species of birds.
Homes offered in the area come in a variety of styles, sizes and prices. You can easily find properties ranging from charming beach cottages to well-preserved bluff-top homes with fabulous ocean views. Expansive custom-built home can be seen in Encinitas Ranch while Leucadia offers an eclectic mix of offbeat architectural designs with contemporary homes. Lastly, larger properties with spacious lots can be found in Olivenhain, along with numerous condos and townhomes.
The city is also home to a thriving downtown area, primarily south of Encinitas Boulevard along the Coastal Highway (Route 101). Here you’ll find upscale shopping, fine dining, quaint coffee shops, varied entertainment as well as a wide range of services catering to residents, surfers, vacationers and others.
And then, of course, there are the beaches. With its mild climate and laid back atmosphere, Encinitas is known for its waves and sand, and is a very popular spot among surfers as the city also hosts a number of surfing contests throughout the year. In fact, the city it has even garnered a mention in the classic song by The Beach Boys, "Surfin' USA".
On top of these, the city also has a thriving art community which tends to revolve around the Lux Art Institute and the San Dieguito Heritage Museum, as well as the historic La Paloma Theater. As for shopping and retail, residents have the coastal shopping district of Downtown 101 which features historic buildings, sidewalk cafes, and restaurants amidst beautiful, locally-grown flower baskets.