Introduction to Encinitas, California
The California coastal city of Encinitas is located in northern San Diego County, about 26 miles north of San Diego and about 95 miles south of Los Angeles. Interstate I-5 services the city and connects it to all points north and south. Coastal Highway 101, which goes through the city, is an older and more interesting north-south route. Encinitas is situated along six miles of Pacific coastline characterized by cliffs, coastal beaches, flat-topped coastal areas, rolling hills and steep mesa bluffs. It is embraced by two lagoons: the Batiquitos Lagoon to the north and the San Elijo Lagoon to the south.
Founded over 100 years ago, Encinitas originally consisted of five separate communities which were joined together at the time of the city's incorporation in 1986. Although now one city, Encinitas retains the personalities of these communities, which are now five distinct city districts: "Historic Encinitas" is a small beach side area with a variety of businesses and housing styles; "New Encinitas" is a more recently developed district which features upscale homes, a golf course and a shopping center; "Cardiff-by-the-Sea" is an oceanfront community made up of quaint single-family homes dotting the hillsides; "Leucadia" has an older downtown area and is famous for its giant eucalyptus trees; and "Olivenhain" (translated as "olive grove" in German) is a semi-rural region in eastern Encinitas with acres of open horse country and pastures. The largest single industry in Encinitas today is the growing of ornamental flowers, in particular poinsettias.
Encinitas Points of Interest
Home to a significant flower-growing industry, Encinitas boasts attractions which highlight its main industry. San Diego Botanical Gardens (formerly known as Quail Botanical Gardens), is the only one of its kind in the county and features over 35 acres of exhibits, including rare bamboo groves, desert gardens, a tropical rainforest, California native plants, a subtropical fruit garden and the West Coast's first interactive children's garden, the Seeds of Wonder. The San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, the largest coastal wetland in San Diego County, is a haven for more than 300 species of plants and over 295 species of birds. The reserve also offers over 5 miles of hiking trails open to the public. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy the Encinitas Ranch Golf Course, a championship 18-hole par-72 course with panoramic ocean views. Lovers of the performing arts will appreciate La Paloma Theatre. Built in 1928, the theatre was one of the first to show "talkies" (talking pictures) and has become a big part of Encinitas, hosting many community and city functions as well as music concerts, theatrical performances and movies. Those who wish to experience the beach environment in quiet, peaceful way may want to spend time at the beautiful and peaceful Self-Realization Fellowship Mediation Gardens.