Living in Encinitas 

Forget everything you know about coastal living—Encinitas ups the ante.

This surf town hides secrets that will sweep you off your feet and quickly make you feel like a local.

Jaw-dropping beaches stretch as far as the eye can see, but that alone hardly scratches the surface of what makes Encinitas truly exceptional.

Discover hidden charms tucked away on sleepy side streets and sun-kissed hilltops. Stumble upon charming communities filled with characters straight out of a storybook. Get lost on hiking trails that lead to limitless ocean views.

If you're ready to join the beachside celebration, start your Encinitas journey here. But be warned, once you experience this kind of coastal living, you may never want to leave. For an insider's perspective on calling Encinitas home, contact us today.

Key Takeaways

1. There are five distinct neighborhoods in Encinitas, each with its charm. Leucadia, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and Olivenhain are among these neighborhoods.

2. A variety of attractions is located in Encinitas, including the San Diego Botanic Garden, Meditation Gardens, and golf courses.

3. A vibrant arts and culture scene is also available in the city.

4. Encinitas is known for its excellent schools, both public and private.

5. A strong sense of community abounds in the city. Festivals like the Encinitas Street Fair and the Foodie Fest are popular.

6. Beachfront condos, townhouses, and single-family homes abound in Encinitas.

7. A high quality of life and a range of amenities make Encinitas a desirable place to live.

The Great Outdoors Beckons

Encinitas' balmy weather, golden beaches, and laidback attitude attract people from far and wide. It's no wonder Travel + Leisure ranks this beach city #9 on their list of America's Best Beach Towns.

The outdoor lifestyle here reigns supreme. Surf's up all year, with waves breaking over soft, powdery sand. Thrill seekers can have an adrenaline rush by engaging in kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and scuba diving.

Out and About

Take a peaceful hike through chaparral-cloaked canyons. Mountain bikers whip down switchbacks cut into seaside bluffs. Meanwhile, golfers whack balls at Encinitas Ranch Golf Course perched on a hill overlooking the Pacific.

Sunset Celebration

The day's final act belongs to residents strolling the strand as the sun sinks into the sea in a blazing glow of red and orange. Neighborhood cafes and wine bars fill with those lingering over a glass of pinot noir or hoppy IPA craft beer. A deep calm settles over Encinitas, as another day melds into the memory of this coastal gem, a place where the great outdoors truly beckons the soul.

Safety in Paradise

With over 60,000 residents calling Encinitas home, you might expect a higher crime rate. But NeighborhoodScout says Encinitas is safer than two-thirds of U.S. cities—earning it the nickname 'Safety by the Sea.' True, 1,242 crimes were reported in 2021. But that translates to a paltry 15 crimes per 1,000 residents - a crime rate way below the national average.

How do they do it?

Living in Harmony

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department keeps a watchful eye from their station on Santa Fe Ave. Neighborhood watch groups report suspicious activity, and traffic safety measures like speed bumps and crosswalks help protect pedestrians of all ages.

Encinitas also has a disaster preparedness plan in place. Partnering with organizations like the Red Cross and the fire department, city officials want residents to be ready for earthquakes, fires, or even tsunamis.

Coastal Serenity Intact

Through community events and non-profits, Encinitas fosters strong bonds that build resilience. Even as the population grows, residents work hard to maintain the easygoing vibe and coastal serenity that first drew them here.

Life at a Premium

Coastal living doesn't come cheap—and Encinitas is no exception. With a median home price of $1.9 million, housing costs here are eye-watering. Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment runs a steep $2,500-$3,500.

Finding your dream Encinitas home requires local expertise. Work with a local VIP Realty real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of this competitive market. They can negotiate on your behalf and alert you to off-market listings.

Creative Budgeting

Public transit is limited, so plan on higher gas and car insurance costs. Utilities and groceries also cost more—so look for opportunities to save. Consider energy-efficient appliances, shop sales at Vons, and make meals at home often.

So why do residents pay so much to live here?

Despite sticker shock, residents agree Encinitas' high quality of life more than compensates for higher bills. After all, not many towns offer surf breaks right outside your front door, stunning views from every hillside, and an entire community dedicated to living the beach lifestyle - year-round.

Cost of living summary


Encinitas, CA

National Average

Median home price

$1.8 million


Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment


 $ 1,320 


Gasoline: $4.05/gallon

Gasoline: $3.10/gallon


Electricity: $0.18/kWh

Electricity: $0.13/kWh


The average cost of a doctor's visit: $150

The average cost of a doctor's visit: $100

Note: These are approximate figures based on the latest data and statistics available.

Sun, Surf, and Sunshine

In Encinitas, the laidback lifestyle starts with the weather. With a Mediterranean climate, you get mild winters with occasional rain and long, balmy summers. But what truly defines Encinitas' weather is its direct link to the Pacific Ocean.

Every day starts the same - with a blanket of fog rolling in from the sea, cloaking the coast in cool mist. But by mid-morning, the clouds give way to sunshine as the marine layer burns off.

Average temperatures range from the mid-60s to mid-70s nearly year-round, making Encinitas an outdoor aficionado’s paradise. Summers feel downright dreamy, with sunny skies stretching as far as the eye can see.

But it's not just the perfect temp and endless sunshine that make Encinitas such a beach lover's haven. Refreshing coastal breezes keep you comfortable from dawn to dusk. And come nightfall, the sound of waves crashing soothes you to sleep.

Educational Opportunities

Parents flock to Encinitas for one reason above all others, the schools. Two districts serve the city's education needs —and both are renowned for dedicated teachers, rigorous academics, and high student achievement. Elementary schools like Ocean Knoll and Paul Ecke Central consistently rank among the best in the region.

At the high school level, campuses like Encinitas Ranch Academy offer AP courses, honors programs, and a wide array of extracurricular activities. Besides outstanding public options, Encinitas is also home to private and charter schools that cater to different learning styles and family budgets.

A Foodie's Coastal Dream

When it comes to dining, Encinitas delivers big time. Foodies flock here for delectable dishes served alongside stunning ocean views. From fresh seafood to farm-fresh California cuisine, Encinitas' eateries cater to every palate.

Between farm-fresh cuisine, award-winning chefs, and an unbeatable coastal backdrop—it's no wonder a PureWow article described Encinitas as one of SoCal's most charming beach towns. Celebrity chef Brian Malarkey's Herb & Sea restaurant makes it one of the top dining destinations today.

Enjoy Luxury at a Cost

Encinitas charms with its tranquil coastal lifestyle tucked perfectly between Malibu and San Diego. World-class surfing, hiking trails that trace seaside cliffs, and award-winning schools all add up to an unrivaled SoCal dream life. True, costs are high. But in Encinitas, you pay for the privileges.

Contact us today to make this coastal enclave your home. Our local experts will guide you through Encinitas' complex real estate market with personalized service and honest advice. With our help, you'll discover your perfect ocean view, walkable neighborhood, and laidback coastal vibe.

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