North County Coastal
A historical community dating back to the 1920’s, Solana Beach has always been a tranquil coastal destination. The charming seaside town of Solana Beach is nestled along the northern coast of San Diego County, approximately a 30 minute drive from downtown San Diego. The main access routes through Solana Beach include Interstate 5, Highway 101, Lomas Santa Fe Drive, and Via de la Valle. Solana Beach is home to a vibrant train station that serves both Amtrak and the Coaster, one of only three in San Diego County, rendering Los Angeles, Orange County and the rest of California easily accessible.
Solana Beach is a favorite destination for those looking to enjoy the beach, eclectic shops, great dining, golfing, nightlife, and nearby hiking. The Cedros Design District, on North Cedros Avenue near Highway 101, is a popular locale filled with interesting shops, wonderful restaurants, and a collection of businesses providing a variety of design services. The Belly Up Tavern, also located on North Cedros in Solana Beach, is one of San Diego’s most popular concert venues. Solana Beach lives up to its name with 1.7 miles of coastline for swimming and surfing. Most days you will see locals drop by to watch the sun set at the award winning Fletcher Cove Park.
In addition to the many other golf courses surrounding Solana Beach, golfers of all levels will love the serene Lomas Santa Fe Golf Course, repeatedly voted one of the “Top Short Courses” by Golf Range Magazine. The public 18-hole, par 56 course is beautiful and peaceful, sporting breathtaking views and ocean breezes.
Located along six miles of Pacific coastline in northern San Diego County, Encinitas is characterized by beaches, cliffs, flat-topped coastal mesas, steep bluffs and rolling hills. Encinitas was incorporated in 1986, drawing together several different communities. From the rural feel of Olivenhain to the laid-back surfing town of Old Encinitas, the individual characters of these communities remain distinct to this day. The main thoroughfares of Encinitas include Interstate 5, El Camino Real, Highway 101, Encinitas Boulevard and Leucadia Boulevard.
There is a significant flower growing industry in Encinitas, and many people claim that Encinitas is the Flower Growing Capital; as Encinitas has developed, it has grown up around flower growers who have operated in the area for decades. In fact, the most popular variety of American poinsettia, now enjoyed across the nation around the holidays, was originally developed right here in Encinitas. Quail Botanical Gardens, newly renamed the San Diego Botanic Gardens, is a beautiful oasis to visit, featuring among other exhibits an Amazon rainforest and the largest display of bamboo in the world. The grounds and gardens of the Self Realization Center on Highway 101 are gorgeous and sit overlooking the ocean in a serene setting.
Golf enthusiasts will enjoy the Encinitas Ranch Golf Course, a championship 18 hole par 72 course with panoramic ocean views. This public facility has five tees available and can be enjoyed by golfers of all abilities.
Downtown 101 is a coastal shopping district over 100 years old featuring historic architecture, quaint shops, sidewalk cafes, and excellent restaurants framed by beautiful flower baskets and palm trees. Popular with locals and visitors alike, the relaxed shopping and dining area retains the surf-side feel and mentality that has always distinguished it.
The beaches in Encinitas are outstanding. Although the stretches of beach in Encinitas are all accessible, trails to the beach are often tucked away and known only by locals. The surfing in Encinitas is unbeatable, and many surf contests are held throughout the year. The San Elijo Lagoon Reserve is the largest coastal wetland in San Diego County and is home to nearly 300 different bird species throughout the year.
The natural beauty and fun of these communities, along with San Diego’s year-round temperate climate, make Encinitas a spectacular place to live.
The hilly seaside community of La Jolla is a hub of culture and natural beauty in San Diego, occupying several miles of curving coastline in northern San Diego County. La Jolla is located 12 miles north of Downtown San Diego, and its main roads include Interstate 5, La Jolla Village Drive, and Prospect Street. One of California’ s most popular resort towns, La Jolla is known for its stunning natural beauty, cultural offerings, renowned shopping, popular nightlife and fantastic restaurants as well as booming businesses in technology, software, medicine and scientific research. Deriving its name from the Spanish word for “jewel,” La Jolla is certainly a gem in Southern California!
La Jolla’s inherent beauty resides in its rocky coastline flanked by verdant hills, beautiful beaches with crystal-clear water, sea caves, marine preserve and abundant wildlife. Visitors and residents alike can be seen taking advantage of opportunities for surfing, sunbathing, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, kayaking and hiking. The quaint La Jolla Village provides world-class boutique shopping, art galleries, restaurants and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, while the downtown Business District is home to a number of important industries as well as the large, upscale UTC Mall. The La Jolla Playhouse, founded by Hollywood stars, is one of San Diego’s most popular cultural attractions. Located on a bluff overlooking the ocean, Torrey Pines Golf Course – the only public course on the PGA circuit – offers two challenging 18-hole courses and spectacular views of the surrounding natural splendor.
Homes in this area are all exquisitely designed, and many offer breathtaking views of the ocean, beaches, bluffs and hills.
Del Mar is a small, seaside hideaway approximately 20 minutes north of downtown San Diego. Bookended by calm salt water estuaries on each end, this charming, laid back town is best known for its world famous thoroughbred racetrack, the county fair, fabulous beaches, haute cuisine and unique shopping.
Del Mar is an oasis of civilized, unhurried living. The quaint, walkable downtown dates back to the 1880’s, and is today
lined with over 60 shops offering everything from high-end apparel to one-of-a-kind specialty shops. The village of Del Mar’s numerous cafes and restaurants specialize in the experience of dining – providing not only wonderful food and drink but also outside patios, sidewalk seating, and balconies overlooking the ocean. Visitors can take advantage of a variety of award-winning hotel accommodations.
With two miles of largely gentle, flat coastline , Del Mar’s famous beaches are an ideal destination for beachgoers, surf combers and surfers seeking the legendary California surf. The unique Dog Beach even offers a haven where man’s best friend can run wild and free in the waves! Del Mar’s primary beach also offers wheel chair access, the only such beach in the county, with special wheelchairs designed for the sand. Whales, porpoises, sea lions and a myriad of birdlife populate the shimmering coastal waters and lagoons.
Residents can choose from any number of amusements, right in their backyard. Seagrove Park and adjoining Powerhouse Park are ideal grassy locations for a lunch or a wedding, walking a dog, enjoying a romantic sunset, or for simply admiring the majestic Pacific. Throughout the summer Powerhouse Park offers free concerts that residents enjoy with picnics, beach chairs, wine and dancing. A delightful children’s playground borders the park, affectionately referred to as the Tot Lot. Also during the summer months, the Del Mar Racetrack and San Diego County Fair draw crowds of locals and visitors alike.
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, a small community 25 miles north of downtown San Diego, is a classic Southern California beach town – relaxed, unhurried, and informal. Cardiff boasts breathtaking views, over two miles of Pacific coastline, a 900-acre ecological reserve, world-class surfing and a wonderful collection of residents who take pride in their community.
It would be impossible not to enjoy this charming, beautiful, friendly beach town with its small village hospitality. It boasts quaint shops, delicious cuisine, an arts community, yoga studios, ocean sports, parks, a walkable downtown area complete with a linear organic community park and plenty of biking opportunities. Cardiff-by-the-Sea thrives year-round, and it’s not unusual to find people sunbathing on the beach in January. Relaxed beachside restaurants, bars and nightlife in Cardiff offer something for everyone, ranging from great local holes-in-the-wall to world-class high-end dining.
The outdoors call to many Cardiff residents, who enjoy not only year-round beach trips and biking but also the gorgeous San Elijo State Park and Campground, with 171 campsites right next to the water. A campfire where you can hear the waves is perfect in any season!
Carlsbad, one of the most northerly of San Diego’s coastal towns, was originally a whistle stop on the California Southern Railroad in the 1800’s. When one of the town’s original founders dug a well that produced mineral water, the town was named Carlsbad after Karlsbad, Bohemia, an area with similar mineral water and one of the most popular health spas in Europe at the time. 35 miles north of downtown San Diego, Carlsbad covers nearly seven miles of winding coastline.
To this day, Carlsbad remains a popular destination for relaxing recreation, famed for its beautiful beaches, picturesque lagoons, golfing, shopping, and spas. Historically a farming community, many of these small farms still survive, providing fresh produce for farmer’s markets as well as fun activities like pick-your-own strawberries and strolling through the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch.
Carlsbad inhabitants are able to enjoy many fun local outings, from sculpture gardens and art galleries to an extensive trail system, historic sites, beaches and parks. Community events and activities include free concerts, youth and adult recreational sports leagues, and even the Carlsbad Triathlon.