Welcome to Encinitas

The birthplace of the “Surfin’ USA” lifestyle.
When you close their eyes and imagine the perfect, picturesque Southern California neighborhood, Encinitas is often what comes to mind. The inspiration behind The Beach Boys’ hit “Surfin’ USA,” Encinitas is a beachside haven and more relaxed take on the SoCal lifestyle. Quaint shops, botanical gardens, and restaurants with Pacific views are abundant. Scenic trails line the cliffs in this yet-to-be-discovered gem of The Golden State. 
Located along the northern coast of San Diego County, this region was first inhabited by the Kumeyaay tribe hundreds of years ago. The area was then visited by the governor of Baja California in 1769 and named The Valley of Los Encinos for the oak forest on the edge of the El Camino Real. The town of Old Encinitas was later formed in 1881. Nowadays, Encinitas is a bustling community with high-performing schools, a beloved Main Street district, and incredible beaches.

What to Love

  • Encinitas residents enjoy a sunny, temperate climate year-round
  • Festivals and concerts are held every month of the year
  • Plenty of hiking trails, parks, and opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors

Local Lifestyle

It's difficult to find a more picturesque surfer town than Encinitas. Highway 101 is speckled with family-owned and operated coffee shops, eateries, and surf shops. The 101 leads to San Diego, which is only 25 miles due south. 
While newer establishments have been added over the years, the laid-back attitude and culture here remain. While newly planned communities have led to quick growth, the old-school vibe is still at the heart of Encinitas. The only movie theater in town, La Paloma, is over 100 years old and is one of the most-loved destinations in town. Festivals, fairs, and farmers’ markets are popular with residents of all ages throughout the year and add to the small-town charm.

Dining, Entertainment, and Shopping

Light, fresh California fare is the name of the game in Encinitas. Local eateries take advantage of fresh-grown Southern California produce from their own backyards and create healthy, flavorful dishes for any appetite. GOODONYA Organic is a top choice among locals for their homemade bone broth and kombucha, salads, and hearty burritos. 
If you’re looking for a heartier option, Piña is a local favorite for Southern California-style Mexican cuisine. Shrimp tacos and chicken mole are top picks among guests, but the pastor split takes the cake. Juicy al pastor meat is cooked on a towering spit and served sandwiched between juicy grilled pineapple with endless ways to enjoy. Sandwiched between fresh tortillas, in a salad, or on its own — there is no wrong way to indulge. 
A beloved Encinitas shopping spot is Salt Culture. Consistently voted as San Diego’s best boutique, this is the spot in Encinitas for accessories, the latest fashions, and trendy home decor. Located in a 1930s bungalow along the 101, the shop is owned by professional surfer Rob Machado and his wife, Sophie.

Things To Do

Encinitas is a tight-knit community with many opportunities to celebrate the smaller events of everyday life. Parks are frequented by the locals throughout the week. Encinitas Community Park is a favorite, coming in at 44 acres. This also includes the famous Poods Skatepark, considered to be the best in all of Southern California. 
Other outdoor events everyone looks forward to including Encinitas Oktoberfest and Music By The Sea. Music By The Sea is held once a month for nine months out of the year at the Encinitas Library, featuring talented musicians from all over Southern California. When the weather cools down, locals look forward to Encinitas Oktoberfest. Free and fun for the whole family, the festival features authentic German music, dancing, rides, games, and over 200 different vendors.


Many excellent education opportunities are available in Encinitas. One top choice is:
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