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Home prices

Lowest: $229,000

Median home price: $2.7 million

Highest: $11.9 million

Home Price/Square Feet

Lowest: $640

Median: $1,000

Highest: $2,530

Average no. of Beds: 3

Average no. of Baths: 3 Median square feet: 1,510

The best of Southern California living awaits you in Encinitas. With an unbeatable location facing the ever-blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, this city of over 60,000 people brims with contemporary beach culture and an air of sophistication. Even famous personalities such as Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder and legendary pro skateboarder Tony Hawk are not immune to Encinitas’ charms.

When you’re strolling the streets with residents and tourists alike, you’ll see that the community is a surf town at heart, blessed with picturesque homes and laidback waterfront attractions. And as you get to know the city more, you’ll uncover over 100 years of history that shaped Encinitas into the city it is today.

Whether you’re a luxury buyer in search of that perfect beach house or you’re looking for a laid-back neighborhood that’s close to all the essentials, Encinitas has all of that and more. 


Encinitas is located along the San Diego County coastline. The city has about six miles of beachfront, where some of the most highly desired properties have picture-perfect views of the ocean. 

The city is bounded by the following main thoroughfares: La Costa Avenue to the north, Manchester Avenue to the south, and Rancho Santa Fe Drive to the east. Pacific Coast Highway (a.k.a. California Route 101), cuts through the city and is lined with must-try cafes, restaurants, and locally owned boutiques. 

A brief history of Encinitas

Once upon a time, Encinitas and the rest of San Diego County was settled by the semi-nomadic Kumeyaay group of Native Americans. With the arrival of the pish in 1542, ranchos were gradually established and the area experienced an unprecedented population boom. 

The city’s name comes from the pish “Encinita Canada,” describing the abundance of Oak trees in the area. Although the number of these trees dwindled as the decades went by, Encinitas continued to grow. An early settler by the name of Jabez Pitcher is credited with founding the once small town in 1881 after successfully pursuing a land claim over 160 acres of land.

By the 1920s, Encinitas’s efforts in building up its agricultural capacity paid off. Local producers became adept at growing a variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. However, it would be the opening of the Del Mar Racetrack in 1937 that would make this part of Southern California famous among the wealthy and famous. Early celebrities like Sammy Davis Jr., Betty Grable and Liberace began settling down in the area to escape winter and colder weather up north. 

In 1986, Encinitas officially incorporated as a city by merging its historic district with other neighboring communities Leucadia, Olivenhain and Cardiff-by-the-Sea



Though Encinitas has a fairly diverse range of residential properties, it’s a city where you should expect to spend top dollar when it comes to real estate. It’s not impossible for budget-conscious buyers to snag some affordable homes in a few planned communities, but several of the best units will be hovering in the millions.

Homes for sale in Encinitas typically range from $400,000 for a well-appointed mobile home to well over $10 million for a vast hillside estate overlooking the ocean. The housing stock is mostly composed of spacious single-family homes, but you’ll also find a good selection of condos, townhomes, and multi-family residences. Some units date back to the 1960s and are sought-after among buyers looking to own a piece of Encinitas history. 

In addition, architectural styles widely vary, reflecting the changing home and design trends throughout the decades. Apart from more contemporary expressions, you’ll discover Mediterranean-style, pish Revival, Ranch, and even Art Deco homes.

Areas that are closer to the shore are always in high demand, but don’t miss out on hidden gems on the eastern section of Encinitas. Further inland, you’ll find sprawling estates and considerably more space to stretch out. In some locations, the views of the ocean and the surrounding landscape are even more spectacular.

The neighborhoods of Encinitas

  • Old Encinitasis where the city’s roots are carefully preserved and celebrated. This historic neighborhood is where you’ll find many residences and businesses close to the beach. Some of the most expensive homes go up for sale in this part of Encinitas.
  • New Encinitas, as the name suggests, is noticeably different from the original area where the community first sprouted from. With a posh golf course and shopping district nearby, it exudes a more modern and suburban feel.
  • Cardiff-by-the-Sea is a sizable neighborhood along the city’s western section featuring some elegant condos and stunning beachfront villas. Residents frequent the area’s popular surfing spots and campgrounds.
  • Leucadia is another neighborhood where surfing is a way of life. It’s prominent for its amazing beach, old downtown area, and proximity to Batiquitos Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area.
  • Olivenhain is a semi-rural neighborhood that is known for its spacious homes on multi-acre lots and time-honored equestrian tradition. Those seeking a slower-paced life in a luxurious country setting will thrive in this part of the city. 


woman walking

With great weather, a top notch location, and thriving local culture, there’s a variety of ways to pursue your desired lifestyle in Encinitas. Whether it’s hitting the beaches and trails, visiting historical attractions, or chowing down on sumptuous dishes, there’s never a dull moment in this coastal city. Below is a glimpse of what your life might look like in Encinitas.

Getting around

The Pacific Coast Highway and I-5 effectively makes driving to nearby communities easy and convenient. On average, it takes about: 

  • 10 minutes to drive to Del Mar
  • 18 minutes to get to Carlsbad
  • 30 minutes to reach La Jolla and San Bernardo
  • 35 minutes to San Diego

Alternatively, for those who prefer leaving the car behind, there are bus and rail transit options in the area. These are operated by the San Diego County’s Metropolitan Transit System and North County Transit District. In addition, an Amtrak line runs from South San Diego County to Los Angeles and all the way to the northwestern Pacific region. 

What is the local climate like?

Encinitas is blessed with a mild Mediterranean climate. That means pleasant weather and abundant sunshine year-round. Conditions are balmy throughout the year, especially during August and September — these are considered to be the most comfortable months. Summer, however, can get sweltering hot, with temperatures occasionally soaring to 85°F.

In total, the city receives more than 250 days of sunshine on average.

Schools in the area

Family-oriented buyers gravitate towards Encinitas for its proximity to great schools. The city is served by the prestigious Encinitas Union School District, which has all of its nine institutions officially recognized as California Distinguished Schools: 

Students in 7th grade through 12th grade have access to Diegueno Middle School and San Dieguito High School Academy — both of which are run by neighboring San Dieguito Union High School District.   

Parks, beaches, and outdoor recreation

  • The beaches of Encinitas are known for having some of the most dramatic views of the Pacific. For those looking for picnic and spots, San Elijo State Beach is an excellent choice. Moonlight Beach, which was named after moonshine runners during Prohibition, has a wide area perfect for playing volleyball and tennis. It also has several picnic areas, and a playground. Swami’s Beach is a popular surfing spot which has sweeping views of the water, perfect for those gnarly surf photos. For experienced surfers, Cardiff Reef in Cardiff State Beach may offer more of a challenge, but this beach is mostly known for its tide pools where colorful starfish and sea cucumbers are prevalent. 
  • Manchester Preserve features over 120 acres of gently sloping canyon bottoms to steep canyon cliffs and walls. This area is a favorite spot for outdoor enthusiasts to bask in nature’s solace. You can see both the coastline to the west and the rolling landscapes to the east. 
  • The Coastal Rail Trail is a mixed-use path frequented by runners, cyclists, and walkers of all ages. This pedestrian and bike-friendly pathway starts in Tyson Street in Oceanside and currently ends in Via de la Valle in Solana Beach. The long-term plan is to extend the Coastal Rail Trail all the way to the city of San Diego. 
  • The sprawling Encinitas Community Park covers about 44 acres and provides a sizable recreational area for residents and tourists for outdoor recreation and socialization. You’ll find several outdoor facilities, such as softball and baseball fields, playgrounds, picnic areas, a skate park, and an off-leash dog park.
  • Encinitas has quite a few golf courses fit for experienced and beginner players. The Encinitas Ranch Golf Course takes advantage of the city’s unique location on sweeping oceanside bluffs to create a challenging yet unforgettable playing experience. Alternatively, the Morgan Run Club Resort is just a short drive away and offers 27 holes, a 320-yard double-sided driving range, and practice facilities with a professional coaching staff. 
  • In the 37-acre San Diego Botanic Garden, visitors can look back at the city’s pastoral roots. Aside from housing the largest bamboo exhibit in the country, you’ll also find a remarkable selection of plant life that can thrive in desert gardens and simulated rainforest conditions. A playground and treehouse for kids are also available on-site.

Cultural spots

  • Located within a 1.5 acre property within city limits, the San Dieguito Heritage Museum aims to continually preserve records, photos, artifacts and various culturally significant items pertaining to the San Dieguito region. The museum also organizes seasonal activities, from pit BBQ events to flower and farm produce exhibits.
  • The Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego is a collaboration between LUX Art Institute and the San Diego Art Institute. Here, you’ll find the works of budding contemporary artists that are elevating their craft to new heights — The Sculpture Trail, is an example. 
  • Delve deeper into the city’s history at the Encinitas Historical Society. The main structure, which is a preserved old schoolhouse, dates back to 1883. 

    It houses collections of photos and various documents from the city’s past, including the writings and local contributions of Ida Lou Conley. She is widely credited for spearheading the preservation of Encinitas history during the mid 80s.

  • The six-foot bronze statue called Cardiff Kook is a popular landmark thanks to its unrealistic and hilarious portrayal of surfing form. When it was unveiled in 2007 as “Magic Carpet Ride,”  the surfing community wasted no time in ridiculing the statue’s impractical posture. They dubbed it “Cardiff Kook,” which is local slang for a wannabe surfer. But since its debut, people have developed a soft spot for this goofy surfer statue. Pranksters dress it up in all kinds of props and costumes — from wearing pink garments to raise awareness for breast cancer to adding a paper mâché shark that appears to devour the figure .

Restaurants to try

The Pacific Coast Highway has an array of restaurants that is sure to satisfy most of your cravings. Some highly recommended spots include:

  • Trattoria i Trulli, one of the local go-tos for Italian food. From the fresh and well-balanced salads to the Ravioli Classici, each dish is served with perfection in mind. 
  • Lobster West has some of the best seafood in town — a tough recognition to earn in a coastal city known for its fresh catch. There’s three branches in the area, one in Encinitas and the other two are in La Jolla and Coronado.
  • For a fancy date or a relaxed dinner with friends directly facing the ocean, book a table at Charthouse. This high-end waterfront restaurant serves up some savory main courses and appetizers. 
  • Catch the latest buzz in town or keep tabs on your favorite sports team at Bier Garden Encinitas. This always-busy restaurant sits on a historical spot in the heart of the city and is great for brunch, lunch, and dinner. 
  • At Pacific Coast Grill, admire the sunset while chowing down on their popular Cardiff Reef roll.

Retail therapy

Whether it’s along the 101 or El Camino Real, there’s plenty of retail therapy to be had in Encinitas. Here’s where to head out and shop:

  • Encinitas Village Shopping Center is where you’ll find big chain stores like CVS, Trader Joe’s, and Sephora.
  • El Camino Square is where residents pick up some breakfast, run a few errands, or pick up some fresh home supplies.
  • TheMoonlight Plaza Shopping Center is a great spot to pick up a few things for your beach excursion. 
  • Drop by theLeucadia Farmers Market for some fresh produce and baked goods every Sunday.
  • Cardiff Town Center has a variety of local boutiques and restaurants in store for you. 
  • There’s a Patagonia branch along San Elijo Avenue in Cardiff where you can refresh your outdoor and sports gear. 


There’s so much more to Encinitas than meets the eye. With an experienced Realtor, you’ll be in the best position to find your dream luxury home in Southern California. 

Consider getting in touch with me, Sean Caddell. I’ve been dealing in luxury coastal properties in San Diego for the past 20 years. I’m supported by a team of excellent real estate professionals, and together, we can help you find a home you love among the many homes for sale in Encinitas, CA. 

Ready to dive into Encinitas’ exciting real estate market? Get in touch with us. You may call us at 858.472.1074 or send us an email


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