The fun-loving beach community of Encinitas takes you back to old California with its rolling hills rising from the Pacific loaded with beautiful, ocean view homes. Encinitas has a strong community feel and is loaded with families who love the beach lifestyle of surf and sun. The quaint village has kept its original California bungalow style reminiscent of the 50’s and 60’s but has just enough hip boutiques and chic restaurants to satisfy any shopaholic and foodie.
Encinitas can be divided into five areas:
- Old Encinitas: a small beachside area featuring a mix of businesses and housing styles. The Encinitas welcome arch is located here. Old Encinitas is split from New Encinitas by a low coastal ridge.
- New Encinitas: a newer region which features golf courses, many shopping centers, and composed of larger tract homes.
- Olivenhain: a semi-rural region in eastern Encinitas, composed of mostly single family homes and an active 4-H Club.
- Leucadia: an older community of the city. Leucadia features tree lined streets and boulevards. The community features art galleries, unusual stores, and restaurants, along with single family homes.
- Cardiff-by-the-Sea: Encinitas’ southernmost oceanfront community, which features streets named after British cities and classical composers, the Lux Art Institute, famous surf break Swamis and the San Elijo Campus of Mira Costa College.
Encinitas lies of rugged coastal terrain. The city is bisected by a low lying coastal ridge that separates new and old Encinitas. In the north of the city the coast rises in elevation and the land is raised up in the form of many coastal bluffs. The city is surrounded by Batiquitos Lagoon and San Elijo Lagoon to the north and south respectively.
Arts and culture
The Annual Fall Festival, formerly known as the Poinsettia Festival, is held each November in downtown Encinitas.
The Wavecrest Woodie Meet takes place once a year on the third Saturday of September at Moonlight State Beach. It is the largest rally of wooden bodied vehicles in the world and it is free to the public and to participants.
The Annual OktoberFest is held the third Sunday in September to coincide with the start of the Oktoberfest celebrations in Germany. This is the only community event in Encinitas that takes place in “new Encinitas.”
Surfing Madonna: In 2011 a group of clandestine artists illegally installed a 10 by 10 foot (3 by 3 m) mosaic of the Virgin de Guadalupe surfing on a concrete pylon in the city leading to a battle over whether it should be removed or preserved. It was christened the Surfing Madonna by the media and public.
Museums and other points of interest
The Lux Art Institute and San Dieguito Heritage Museum are located in Encinitas. Other points of interest include the San Diego Botanic Garden, Self-Realization Fellowship temple and Hermitage, historic La Paloma Theater, Moonlight Beach, and one of California’s classic downtowns along historic Coast Highway 101. Surfing is a popular activity in Encinitas, particularly at Swami’s, which is rated in the top 5 surf locations in the world and is mentioned in a verse of The Beach Boys’ song “Surfin’ USA.”