Encinitas : California


What It Is Like to Retire in Encinitas

Encinitas is a small city of just over 60,000 people tucked about 25 miles north of San Diego.  We know several younger people who have moved here to escape the bustle and traffic of LA and San Diego but still enjoy living near the beach. In at least one case, their baby boomer parents spend much of the winter in a rental here to be near the grandkids. The surfing in the area is justifably famous; Swami's is rated in the top 5 surf locations in the world and is mentioned in the Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA. Downtown Encinitas is vibrant and full of thriving local salons, restaurants, shops, bars, and art galleries. Coaster trains going from Oceanside to San Diego stop here several times a day, as do AMTRAK trains to LA. The Magic Carpet Ride, or more affectionately known by Encinitas locals as the Cardiff Kook, is a 16 ft bronze statue spoofing surfing wannabes located in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.


Where to Retire in Encinitas and Home Prices

Encinitas has several neighborhoods to live in including Old Encinitas (an older beach-side community), Cardiff-by-the-Sea, New Encinitas, and Leucadia.  There are also more rural and suburban areas inland to the east. Home prices are very high, reflecting California's desirability, with the Zilllow Home Value Index at $1,110,701 in early 2020.  Homes to the east will be less.


What Is Special about Encinitas

If you want to live the California beach life this is one of your best options. It is low key, beautiful, and believe it or not, somewhat affordable compared to some other places.  There is a lot going on in town, and you can easily take the train or drive to San Diego or Los Angeles for even more. As the song says, "It never rains in Southern California".


What Is Not Special about Encinitas

The only downside we see is how expensive it is. If you range far, you will run into unbelievable California traffic.


Who Will Like Retirement in Encinitas

People who want to live in a lower key California beach town, especially if you like to surf, play golf, or enjoy a 12 month outdoor lifestyle. The average age is 42, about 6 years higher than the Statewide average, so there are many retirees here.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Moonlight Gardens is a local tourist attraction. Many people work in San Diego or nearby.  Tourism is important.


Climate and Physical Environment

Encinitas is 25 miles north of San Diego and 95 miles south of Los Angeles on the Pacfic Ocean. It has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and summers. Average January temp is in the mid-50's and July in the mid 70s.  It does not rain much except in winter.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

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, as well as the gardens which are routinely open to the public, the historic La Paloma Theater, Moonlight Beach. There are many good restaurants.



The crime rate is half the U.S. median.


Medical Facilities

Scripps Memorial Hospital serves the community.  San Diego is a short drive away with many top notch facilities.



Nearby San Diego has a very busy airport.  Coaster trains go south to San Diego, and Amtrak connects with the rest of the U.S. Traffic can get intense on the interstates.


Valuable Links

Wikipedia page for Encinitas


What people are saying about Encinitas

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