Did you know that San Diego County encompasses over 4,000 square miles and is the second- most populated county in the Golden State? With so many different neighborhoods and communities, locals make a distinction between North County, the City of San Diego, East County, and the South Bay. North County is known for its miles of gorgeous coastline, beautiful beaches, excellent public schools, and quiet suburbs.
Del Mar is a North County icon, known around the world as a premier vacation destination. Once the playground of many of Hollywood’s silent film stars, Del Mar today retains all the glitz and glamour of that bygone era. With its charming downtown village, abundance of fine dining, luxury boutique shopping, and breathtaking oceanview real estate, it’s no wonder Del Mar properties are some of the most coveted in San Diego. Home to the world-famous Del Mar racetrack, which meets twice a year, Del Mar has no shortage of things to see and do. From the month-long San Diego County Fair to the 4 th of July Fireworks to opening day at the races where San Diegans turn out in their finest, Del Mar is a community that knows how to live the good life.
Known for its laidback beach vibe, Solana Beach sits above Del Mar. One of the smallest coastal cities in North County, Solana Beach is home to the famous Cedros Design District, an avenue that is packed with antique stores, art galleries, boutiques, home furnishing stores, and the famous Belly Up Tavern, an iconic San Diego music venue. The Coaster train stops in Solana Beach, connecting you to Downtown San Diego and up to Oceanside, San Clemente, and Los Angeles.
Sandwiched between Solana Beach and Encinitas, charming Cardiff-By-The-Sea has the honor of being the smallest city in North County. Encompassing just under two square miles, this town is small, but mighty. The gorgeous San Elijo State Beach is located right across the street from downtown Cardiff. You can also catch a glimpse of the famous “Cardiff Kook,” a statue of a surfer that is frequently dressed up by locals in the night. An annual race is even held in celebration of the Kook! If you love to surf, Cardiff should be on your list of prospective communities. Make sure to visit Cardiff Seaside Market to indulge in the famous “Cardiff Crack,” an affectionate local name given to their outstanding tri-tip.
Heading north, you’ll encounter breathtaking Encinitas. Comprised of three main areas, Encinitas has a distinctive flavor that is warm, welcoming, and community focused. Old Encinitas sits along the coast and contains the stretch of shops and restaurants that run along both sides of Historic US 101. Leucadia is quieter and less touristy. While still located along the coast, many artists make their home in Leucadia. Love the Rancho Santa Fe lifestyle, but want to be a bit closer to the ocean? Consider tranquil Olivenhain with its larger estate homes and horse properties. Above all, Encinitas is a vibrant community characterized by its prime coastal climate, lush landscaping, excellent public schools, and involved community. Health and fitness nuts in particular will feel right at home here. From the many vegan and vegetarian restaurants to the natural food stores to the Sunday Leucadia Farmers Market, nourish your body inside and out in your new home. Annual events include the Encinitas Holiday Parade, LeucadiART Walk, the Taste of Encinitas, and classic car Cruise Nights during the summer. If you need more convincing to buy a home here, this area is known for its exceptional surfing and beaches! Swami’s, Beacon’s, and Moonlight Beach are all in Encinitas.
Carlsbad is the largest city in North County, consisting of four separate zip codes and a wide variety of real estate! Like many of its southern neighbors, Carlsbad has a charming downtown, miles of sandy beaches, and a variety of events happening all year long. Have kids? Carlsbad is home to LEGOLAND California and the famous Carlsbad Flower Fields. Love to golf? You’ll find several world-class golf courses here including The Crossings at Carlsbad, Aviara Golf Club, El Camino Country Club, and the course at the Omni La Costa Resort.
North County is also home to several amazing and notable restaurants. If you’re in Del Mar, you must try the Market, an unassuming, yet truly exceptional farm-to-table restaurant. Further up the coast in Cardiff-By-The-Sea you’ll find an outpost of local San Diego chain, Best Pizza & Brew. Don’t forget to grab at donut at V.G. Donut & Bakery which is right next door! Heading north, you’ll find more awesome dining gems along the 101 in Encinitas. Swami’s is the place to grab a smoothie or breakfast with friends, while Betty’s Pie Whole Saloon is a must-visit if you like pie. Local Italian chain, Buona Forchetta, also has an intimate location in Leucadia. Finally, Campfire in Carlsbad is a dining experience unlike any other. You must-try it to understand what all the buzz is about!
Looking to make a move to North County? You’ll find San Diego homes for sale in every price point. The challenge lies in narrowing down your options. Luckily, I’m here to help. Give me a call today to start your North County San Diego home search.[aios_custom_ihomefinder_shortcode_results]
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