In case you aren’t familiar with the area – Encinitas is a coastal community in North County San Diego. It’s about 23 miles from downtown San Diego. That equates to a 25 minute drive without traffic, but try getting your friends from downtown to visit you and they act like you live in Northern California.
Despite the fact that people from actual San Diego rarely want to make the trek to see you, I can still find a million reasons why living here is AMAZING. It’s totally dreamy and here’s why you should ditch downtown and make the voyage up north.
1.) The proximity to beautiful beaches is unreal.
Swami’s, Pipes, Cardiff, Beacon’s, Grandview… the list goes on. The beaches are gorgeously encapsulated by jutting cliffs and jagged rock formations. It’s easy to find a spot in the sand that feels completely private, unlike the crowded chaos of San Diego beaches.
2. ) It’s a super active community.
At 6 a.m. on a Saturday you will see TONS of runners and cyclists along the 101 doing their thing, whereas people have only just recently passed out after a night of bar hopping in other places. It’s not uncommon to see more bikes parked outside of coffee shops and cafes than cars.
3. ) Encinitas residents are ridiculously good looking.
There must be something in the water because people here are just gorgeous. It’s like hot mom and dad central. It’s probably not the easiest place to meet a mate since 99% of people seem to be coupled up, but it’s pleasing to the eyeballs, nonetheless.
4. ) Healthy food options abound.
The organic and natural food scene is top notch for a “small town.” Some great spots include Good On Ya Organic Cafe, Lazy Acres Natural Market (like Whole Foods on crack with a build-your-own poke bowl bar OMG), Lotus Cafe and Juice Bar, Naked Cafe, and Eve Encinitas.
5. ) Good coffee is plentiful.
I was sorely disappointed in San Diego’s coffee scene when I first moved here from Chicago, but it has gotten much better over the past few years. Encinitas has especially upped their game with some trendy coffee shops and killer cappuccinos. Lofty Coffee makes their own almond milk, Ironsmith roasts their own beans, Better Buzz offers insta-worthy decor to photograph with your latte, and Good On Ya even throws grass-fed butter into their brew. Your options for caffeinating are pretty extensive.
6. ) The vibe is rad, brahhh.
Encinitas has a huge surfing community which lends itself to a super laid back atmosphere. We have yellow “Surfer Crossing” caution signs on the road and a multitude of surf shops up and down the 101. People around here are super friendly and relaxed and they know how to stop and take in a sunset. It’s like everyone’s on a perma-vacation. No rush. Just chillin’.
7. ) It’s a runner’s paradise.
The two main spots to run are along the coast and the San Elijo Lagoon trails. Whichever you choose, the views are gorgeous and there are some rolling hills, so you’ll never get bored. You’ll almost always have company along the way as there is a huge endurance community in Encinitas but it’s never crowded. After a long run, you can hop right into the ocean for a refreshing ice bath.
8. ) It’s off the beaten path, but not too far.
Encinitas is only a quick drive from the rest of San Diego yet it has a “locals only” feel about it. It’s inconvenient enough to deter tourists from staying but close enough to make working downtown totally manageable. It has a small town vibe but with everything you could possibly need.
9.) It’s a great place to raise a family.
I wouldn’t know this personally, but the public school system is great and the community is incredibly family friendly. Kids grow up surfing and eating poke bowls around here – it’s a pretty sweet life.
10. ) There’s something magical going on here.
Maybe it’s the majestic looking Self Realization Temple that exudes magic or maybe it’s the power of the ocean. Either way, there is something special and almost divine going on up in Encinitas. You have to experience it to know what I’m talking about, but I felt it on my first visit and I still feel it today.