Neighborhood Spotlight: Encinitas

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San Diego is chock full of premiere beach towns, but one that stands out among the rest is Encinitas. Sporting six-miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, this old-time beach city is located in North County San Diego. Known for having some of the best surf spots in all of California, Encinitas embodies the California beach culture to a tee. The city is also home to a vibrant nightlife scene, with a number of bars and restaurants lining the main street. During the day, people from all over San Diego can be seen enjoying the beautiful beaches and the quality surf spots throughout the city. At night, especially during the weekends, you’ll find college students of North County out in full force enjoying the festivities of the city.


Encinitas is comprised of five areas, each with their own unique qualities. Old Encinitas encompasses the beachside area, along the coastal 101 highway. New Encinitas is a newer region which features a golf course, shopping centers, and newly constructed tract homes. Olivenhain is the more rural region of the city, comprising of single family homes and several private equestrian facilities. Leucadia is another coastal community of the city, featuring tree-lined streets, art galleries, restaurants and single family homes. Cardiff-by-the-Sea is the southernmost oceanfront community of Encinitas, and is also home to the San Elijo campus of Mira Costa College.

If you ask anyone the best part about Encinitas, they’ll most likely respond by mentioning the gorgeous beaches. The terrain on the beaches range from stunning white sand to rocky bluffs that are great for hiking. Encinitas is home to some of the most legendary surf spots in all of San Diego. For those looking for the best all-around beach for a good time in the sun, then you have to check out Moonlight State Beach, located at the end of Encinitas Boulevard. This beach features a large sandy area, recreational playground and even a snack bar. For those looking for an excellent surfing experience, then you have to check out Swami’s, a popular surf break at the southernmost end of Encinitas. The spot is highly loved and respected by the locals, so be sure you treat the area with respect.

The San Diego Botanic Garden is one of the crown jewels of Encinitas, with four miles of grounds offering garden trails, flowering trees, a bamboo collection, and a variety of other exotic plants. The mild climate of Encinitas allows for hundreds of plant species from all around the world to thrive there. During a visit there, you’ll be able to explore desert gardens, a tropical rain forest including a grand waterfall, Mediterranean climate landscapes, succulent gardens, and other stunning exhibits.

The restaurant scene features of some of the freshest seafood dishes while offering unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean. At the Pacific Coast Grill, every single seat has a view of the ocean, with sunsets looking particularly marvelous during your meal. Pannikin Coffee & Tea is an old-time hangout, known for their quality coffee, cafe food, and lack of wireless internet.

As you can tell, Encinitas is a gem among the many places of San Diego. So if you’re looking for your next beach hangout spot, you know where to go.

Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon

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