Signup Login

Forgot password? Don't have an account? Sign up here Close
Signup Login


Reset my password


Oceanside Neighborhood Guide: Henie Hills

henie hills oceanside

Henie Hills is an upscale Oceanside neighborhood just minutes from the beach and the many attractions and recreational opportunities available throughout Oceanside and Carlsbad. Spacious, single-family homes on large lots are common throughout the neighborhood, and residents feel a strong sense of pride in their community.

There is a mix of higher-end estates and more-affordable, modest homes, which makes this area popular with an array of potential homeowners. However, folks love living here, and the coveted homes in this area are not often on the market.


Sonja Henie

The development of the Oceanside neighborhood of Henie Hills began in the 1930s when movie star, figure skater and art collector Sonja Henie and her brother, Leif, purchased a 1,600-acre parcel along the coast. On this seaside property, Sonja and Leif built a 3,600-square-foot, ranch-style home to serve as a retreat for them, their family and Sonja’s famous friends. Some of these famous friends fell in love with the area and also decided to build second homes here, which is how some of the oldest homes in the neighborhood came to be.

Sonja Henie was born in Norway in 1912 and became known around the world first as an Olympic Champion figure skater, and then as an actress starring in movies and ice skating stage productions. Though her reputation was tarnished by her apparent Nazi connections, she is considered by many to be one of the greatest female figure skaters in history and was one of the highest-paid actresses of her time. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted to both the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Though she divided her time between her international residences, she fell in love with the Oceanside area and was influential in the area’s development, particularly by introducing many of her friends to the area that we now know as Henie Hills. Her initial interest in the area was to provide herself and her friends with a quiet retreat far from the city, but as interest grew in the area, her entrepreneurial spirit led her to begin developing the land and building homes to sell. While the Henies built the first Henie Hills home in 1939, there were several estate homes in the community by the 1950s, after which land developers began purchasing parcels to further develop the area.

The property on which Mira Costa College and the Tri-City Hospital now reside was once part of the Henie’s original land purchase.


It is common to find only a handful of homes for sale at any given time in Henie Hills, where residents take pride in living in this community. Many homes in this family-friendly neighborhood boast four, five or even six bedrooms, and while this is considered one of the nicer neighborhoods in Oceanside, it is actually more affordable than many parts of North County.

Large lots are the norm, and many of the homes in this community have views of the golf course at El Camino Country Club, which is located south of the neighborhood. Most Henie Hills real estate is comprised of detached single-family homes with some attached homes also available.

At the time of this writing, the homes for sale in Henie Hills ranged in price from the low $300,000s to $800,000.

Restaurants, Shopping & Entertainment

Oceanside Coast

While this residential neighborhood does not have shops or eateries within walking distance, residents will find ample shopping, entertainment and dining opportunities within just a short drive. This includes the Carlsbad Plaza South Shopping Center, the shops and cafes along Carlsbad Village Drive and the many businesses located on El Camino Real. With easy access to Highway 78 and El Camino Real, upscale shopping options and dining choices are easily accessible throughout Oceanside and Carlsbad.

Parks & Recreation

Henie Hills residents can enjoy park amenities at nearby Palisades Park off of Rancho del Oro Drive or the many parks found throughout Oceanside. Golf enthusiasts will find this a particularly appealing neighborhood, since El Camino Country Club is located just south of Henie Hills.  This community is also located just minutes from the beach and Buena Vista Lagoon.


Mira Costa College, which is located on part of the Henie’s original land holdings, is just minutes away from the homes of Henie Hills. Nearby Oceanside Unified School District Schools include Palmquist Elementary School, E G Garrison Elementary School, Christa McAuliffe Elementary School, San Luis Rey Elementary School, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, El Camino High School and Pacific View Charter School. Private schools in Oceanside include Oceanside Adventist Elementary School, Beautiful Savior Lutheran School, Montessori Arts and Sciences School, Old Mission Montessori School and Palisades Point Academy.


The entrance to Henie Hills is located on Skyline Drive, and the neighborhood is bordered by Oceanside Boulevard to the north, Highway 78 to the south and El Camino Real to the west.

Additional Information

Oceanside Harbor

If the Henie Hills community sounds like the perfect place to call home, it is best to start looking for homes for sale in this neighborhood long before you plan to buy. Only a few homes are on the market at any given time, so do not wait until the last minute to find your next dream home, and be ready to act fast when it comes on the market.


Photo Credits: The image of Henie Hills is courtesy of The photo of Sonja Henie is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, which was provided the photo by the German Federal Archive. The images of the Oceanside beach and harbor are courtesy of the City of Oceanside website.

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+