Gaspar de Portola, the governor of Baja California, led an expedition here in 1669. He called the area Los Encinos, for the oak forest along El Camino Real. Two centuries later, the now considered founding father of Encinitas, Jabez Pitcher, settled in the town in 1881. The railroad was routed through the region, and the local economy prospered. Shortly after, a big English family chose to live alongside the lagoon, and began building. The surrounding area would eventually be named Cardiff-by-the-Sea to pay homage to Cardiff, Wales.
By the 1920s, Moonlight Beach became a popular spot for locals to picnic and race horses. Around this same time, the beach was also used by bootleggers as a dropping off point for illegal liquor during the Prohibition Era.
Encinitas is all about amazing weather, good surf, and great restaurants. Considered quite a small town, downtown is one main strip of great coffee shops, kitschy diners, pubs, fine dining, retail, and thrift stores. Street fairs are a regular occurrence throughout the year, bringing together art, food, and culture. One of the best perks of this seaside town is the variety of outdoor activities you can enjoy, from surfing, to hiking, cycling to paddleboarding, it's endless in Encinitas!
There is a variety of residential real estate in Encinitas, from water-view mansions around $5 million, to affordable 1980s ranch-style homes, and to newer modern builds which often feature gourmet kitchens, home theaters, multi-car garages and energy-efficient systems, there is something to match anyone's taste!
Swami's and Moonlight beach are a major attraction for all to swim, sunbath, and surf. Fishing, beach volleyball and tennis are also popular pastimes.
Those seeking tranquility and relaxation may want to venture over to the San Diego Botanical Garden, located in Encinitas. Dozens of themed gardens feature plant species gathered from around the planet. This is a great place for leaving all of the hustle and bustle of daily life behind.
Encinitas hosts a series of important festivals every year. Artisans display their best creations, and food vendors offer a widely varied cuisine. Live music adds to the festive flair of this very family-oriented event.
The Encinitas Union School District serves the city of Encinitas and the Rancho La Costa area of south Carlsbad in North San Diego County.
• Public • Grades K-6
• 451 students • 24:1 student/teacher
• Public • Grades 7-8
• 937 students • 24:1 student/teacher
• Public • Grades 9-12
• 1,850 students • 25:1 student/teacher
• Public • Grades K-6
• 676 students • 22:1 student/teacher