Encinitas Neighborhood Guide: New Encinitas

San Diego Botanical Garden

New Encinitas shares the small-town charm of other Encinitas communities, but has more of a suburban feel with many newer homes, homeowners associations, condominium communities and large shopping centers.

The riding and hiking trails of Olivenhain, eclectic shops of Leucadia, and beaches of Old Encinitas and Cardiff-by-the-Sea are just a short drive away, which makes New Encinitas an appealing choice for professionals and families who want to live in a small town near the beach while having city amenities within a few minutes of their home.

Encinitas, as a whole, is known for having highly rated schools, great surfing and lots of fun community events throughout the year. New Encinitas offers the opportunity to enjoy all of this from newer, more uniform neighborhoods just minutes away.

History

After the Mission Era, the area that is now known as New Encinitas became part of Rancho de Los Encinitos. This rancho was later divided into two separate ranchos: Las Encinitas Rancho and Rancho Dieguito. New Encinitas (and the other four neighborhoods that make up present-day Encinitas) was part of Las Encinitas Rancho.

Over the years, many types of produce were grown in this area; however, it is flower fields for which Encinitas is particularly well known. In fact, some call it a flower growing capital. Many of the housing developments we see today were built where flowers were once grown, including the land that was once part of the Ecke Ranch, where the Ecke family helped make poinsettias a household name and a must-have Christmas plant.

La Costa Canyon High School

Housing

The coastal communities of Encinitas feel like eclectic, nostalgic surf towns with tons of small town charm, boutiques, locally owned eateries and the like. When you move east towards New Encinitas, it has more of a suburban feel with newer homes and housing tracts intermixed with shopping centers and office buildings.

This neighborhood will appeal more to those in search of a trendier, suburban lifestyle with well-manicured lawns and well-designed streets to guide commuters effectively to their destinations.

Four- and five-bedroom homes are much more common in this area, sidewalks line the streets, and some homes have ocean views.

At the time of this writing, most of the homes for sale in New Encinitas were priced between about $600,000 and $1,100,000.

Restaurants, Shopping & Entertainment

New Encinitas is home to plenty of restaurants, stores and businesses, particularly along the El Camino Real corridor. Just about anything you might need is sure to be within a quick drive from home, including home improvement supplies, clothing, groceries, home goods, office supplies, sporting goods and more.

One of the primary shopping centers in New Encinitas is Encinitas Ranch Town Center, which is located at North El Camino Real and Leucadia Boulevard, and is home to Target, Best Buy, Ross Dress for Less, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority, Office Depot, Pier 1 Imports and other major retailers. There is also a variety of eateries in the shopping center, including fast food restaurants and family-friendly restaurant chains, such as El Torito and Chili’s.

On the opposite side of North El Camino Real, you will find The Home Depot, and going south on North El Camino Real, you will find lots of additional stores and eateries, including those found at the El Camino Promenade Shopping Center and the Camino Real Shopping Center.

There are some specialty shops and boutiques to be found in New Encinitas, but you will mostly find large, recognizable retailers along North El Camino Real. For surf shops, sidewalk cafés and additional specialty shopping, historic downtown Encinitas and the shopping district along the Highway 101 Coastal Corridor that runs through Leucadia, Old Encinitas and Cardiff are just a short drive for residents living in New Encinitas.

For a bit of arts and culture, the San Dieguito Heritage Museum is located just past the western border of the neighborhood in Old Encinitas, and the Lux Art Institute at 1550 South El Camino Real offers a uniquely interactive museum experience designed to make art more accessible to the masses.

Parks & Recreation

Oakcrest Park, which is located at 1219 Encinitas Boulevard, has a playground, picnic facilities, horseshoe pits, bocce courts and spaces that can be rented for special occasions. Beer and wine are allowed in this park, and there is a parking lot with ADA spaces available.

There is also Leo Mullen Sports Park at 951 Via Cantebria, which has soccer and baseball fields, a playground, basketball courts, picnic tables, and trailheads for walkers, hikers and joggers.

There are plenty of nearby parks and outdoor spaces in the surrounding Encinitas neighborhoods as well, such as the hiking and riding trails in Olivenhain and Paul Ecke Sports Park, Cottonwood Creek Park and Mildred MacPherson Park in Old Encinitas.

Lux Art Institute in Encinitas

For other sorts of outdoor recreation, there is the San Diego Botanic Garden right at the border between Old Encinitas and New Encinitas, as well as the Encinitas Ranch Golf Course just northwest of the neighborhood (some consider it part of New Encinitas). The San Diego Botanic Garden hosts several community events throughout the year, including Thursday Family Fun Nights, the Chocolate Festival, the Fairy Festival and ArtFest.

Of course, the beaches of Encinitas are just a short drive away, which ensures you can always get your fill of surfing, swimming and sunbathing.

Schools

New Encinitas is served by the highly regarded Encinitas Unified Elementary School District and the San Dieguito Union High School District. Elementary school students generally attend Park Dale Lane Elementary School, Flora Vista Elementary School or El Camino Creek Elementary School. Depending on where they live in the neighborhood, they may also attend Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School or Mission Estancia Elementary School.

Middle school students generally attend Oak Crest Middle School or Diegueno Middle School, and high school students most often go to La Costa Canyon High School or San Dieguito Academy.

Private schools in the area include Encinitas Country Day School, Grauer School, Saint John The Evenagelist School, Sanderling Waldorf School, Rancho Encinitas Academy and The Rhoades School.

Dance studios, martial arts studios and surf schools are all within a short drive for families looking for extracurricular activities for their little ones. There are also art classes and camps available through the Lux Art Institute.

San Dieguito Academy Sign

Boundaries

New Encinitas shares its western border with three other Encinitas neighborhoods: Leucadia, Old Encinitas and Cardiff-by-the-Sea. It is also bordered by Cardiff to the south. The Olivenhain neighborhood of Encinitas is to the east, and the La Costa neighborhood of Carlsbad is to the north.

Additional Information

If you are looking for a home that allows you to enjoy both small town living and city conveniences, New Encinitas may be the right neighborhood for you. This community is particularly well positioned for professionals who need to commute to Orange County or San Diego but who want to enjoy a quieter, more laidback lifestyle just minutes from the beach.

 

Photo Attributions: San Diego Botanic Garden, Wikimedia Commons/Bovlb; La Costa Canyon High School, Official La Costa Canyon High School Facebook page; Rancho Encinitas Town Center,  Jeff Dowler CRS on activerain.com ; Lux Art Institute,  Jane LaFazio; San Dieguito Academy, Wikimedia Commons/Bovlb  Real estate price data gathered from trulia.com and point2homes.com.

AJ Davis-Varela: AJ is a freelance writer and blogger at Articles by AJ specializing in travel, real estate, natural wellness and green living. She is a magazine columnist, a former San Diego newspaper columnist, has been published in a variety of print and online publications, and regularly contributes to several websites and blogs. You can connect with AJ on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+