True surfing beach community with a trendy dining scene.
Encinitas is a true surfing beach community and a foodie heaven. This coastal city’s vibe is the perfect mix of mellow and trendy. Old Encinitas and New Encinitas are separated from each other by a coastal ridge. The city also contains the charming seaside neighborhoods of Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Leucadia and the pastoral inland community of Olivenhain. Old Encinitas features many well-maintained Cape Cod and Craftsman homes and coastal bungalows, while New Encinitas is characterized by newer single-family homes on spacious plots in a suburban setting. Leucadia and Cardiff-by-the-Sea each offer a mix of classic and contemporary properties with captivating ocean views while Olivenhain offers acreage equestrian ranches and country estates.
True surfing beach community
Trendy dining scene
Encinitas is the quintessential Californian surf town. The city offers a laidback atmosphere with lots of unique local businesses, and Niche.com ranks Encinitas as San Diego’s best suburb for families. Encinitas has also been named among the world’s best surf towns by National Geographic and one of the 10 best surfing destinations in the United States by Surfer Magazine.
Encinitas has an eclectic dining scene with many hip contemporary eateries. Buona Forchetta is an excellent choice for authentic Italian dining. The menu includes traditional wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, homemade pastas, and a wide selection of other Northern Italian entrees, salads, and desserts.
Herb & Sea combines East Coast and West Coast cuisine with a menu drawing on classic New England cooking and contemporary Californian creativity. Cocktails are carefully crafted to compliment the meals. Like Buona Forchetta, Herb & Sea uses a wood-fired oven to fire up perfect pizzas and delicious grilled and roasted meat, seafood, and vegetable dishes.
Juanitas Taco Shop is a deceptively unassuming spot with some of the best Mexican food in San Diego County. Specialties include a signature California burrito stuffed with carne asada, cheddar cheese, French fries, sour cream, and guacamole.
Cozy taproom Modern Times has almost as many beer taps as seats. Accommodating 40 customers and offering an everchanging lineup of 34 draft beers, Modern Times is the perfect place to while away an evening or a sunny afternoon. Modern Times also serves a variety of vegan bar eats and guest beers and wines.
Leucadia Farmers Market is a certified farmers market featuring more than 75 vendors and is held each Sunday at Paul Ecke Central Elementary School. Leucadia Farmers Market offers a plethora of fresh local produce plus freshly caught seafood, honey, and prepared foodstuffs.
Moonlight Beach is the most popular stretch along Encinitas’ gorgeous sandy coastline. This gently sloping beach is very family-friendly, with lifeguards and a grassy park with a children’s play area. Encinitas’ oceanfront is full of fabulous surf spots, including the famous Swami’s surf break mentioned in the Beach Boys song “Surfin’ USA.”
In August, the annual Taste of Encinitas features food from more than 25 top Encinitas restaurants, plus 20 Sip Stops serving local wines and craft beer. LeucadiART Walk is a major cultural celebration held in the Leucadia neighborhood in late August. The festivities include juried art displays, a children’s art pavilion, and live demonstrations of art and dance.
Encinitas is served by Encinitas Union Elementary and San Dieguito Union High School districts. Highlights include:
Flora Vista Elementary, Public, K-6
Diegueno Middle, Public, 7-8
Oak Crest Middle, Public, 7-8
San Dieguito High School Academy, Public, 9-12
The Rhoades School, Private, PK-8
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