Guide to Encinitas Communities

In 1986, the city of Encinitas was incorporated from five communities. These neighborhoods still retain much of the old qualities that make each unique and charming—here’s the best that each has to offer:

Old Encinitas

This area, which many characterize as a relaxed beach community, is home to some of the oldest buildings in Encinitas. The historic downtown area hosts a variety of shops and restaurants, and there are quite a few beach bungalow-style homes to be found on the market.

One of the more unique tourist draws of Old Encinitas is the Self Realization Fellowship near Swami’s Beach, which has several serene gardens open to the public as well as a great view of the Pacific.

New Encinitas

This neighborhood, as the name suggests, is a newer area which centers on El Camino Real. New Encinitas features several shopping centers, highly rated schools, condominium communities, and larger tract homes. Although it definitely has a more suburban feel, residents can also experience the conveniences of city living due to its proximity to more fast-paced areas.


Located in eastern Encinitas, this rural neighborhood gets its unique name, which means “olive grove” from its German immigrant founders in the late nineteenth century. It is home to the Olivenhain Meeting Hall, a historically significant building that still houses the town council, which any residents are welcome to join.

Olivenhain has an active equestrian population, and boasts quite a few recreational trails. An interesting fact about this neighborhood is their “Dark Sky Policy”, which restricts outdoor lights to avoid light pollution.


Leucadia is a coastal community of Encinitas that is well-known for its lively surf culture and giant eucalyptus trees. It was said to be founded by English spiritualists who were responsible for many of the Greek mythology-based street names, such as Neptune or Phoebe. Leucadia is made up of many single-family homes, and boasts a variety of art, music, and cultural events throughout the year.


This community is located in southern Encinitas, and was founded in 1910. Cardiff is also a town in Wales, and the streets are appropriately named after British cities and composers. Along the edge of the shore holds one of California’s best restaurant rows, and is also nearby the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve.


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