Downtown Encinitas

The heart of Encinitas lies along historic Highway 101 which runs parallel to the stunning Pacific coastline through the city’s quaint downtown district. This area is home to delightful restaurants, boutique shops, art galleries, and street fairs where you can find handmade crafts, jewelry, soaps, candles, artwork, and more created by local artisans. Stop for a cold brew at one of the many cafes before heading down to Swami’s Beach to take in the breathtaking ocean views. Don’t miss the Self Realization Fellowship Temple and Hermitage founded by Paramahansa Yogananda which draws yoga enthusiasts from around the world. Downtown Encinitas exudes the laidback surfer town vibe that the city is known for.

Old Encinitas

Just inland from Highway 101 sits Old Encinitas, one of the city’s oldest residential neighborhoods. Meandering down the oak-lined streets reveals charming Craftsman, Spanish, and beach bungalow style homes. The neighborhood is dotted with parks like the new Encinitas Community Park and long-standing Orpheus Park which features the iconic Moonlight Beach Surfing Madonna mosaic. Old Encinitas is a delight to explore by foot or bike offering a unique glimpse into historic Encinitas life with its eclectic architecture and lush gardens.

New Encinitas

In contrast to Old Encinitas, New Encinitas refers to the many master-planned communities that emerged east of Old Encinitas and I-5 in the 1980s and 90s catering to growing families. Sprawling neighborhoods like Encinitas Ranch, Villages of La Costa, and Olivenhain feature homes in Tuscan, Spanish, and traditional suburban architectural styles. New Encinitas offers top-rated schools, verdant parks, and a seemingly endless number of family-friendly amenities from pools to playgrounds. The family vibe here is apparent making New Encinitas an ideal spot for traveling groups with kids.


Just north along Highway 101 from Downtown Encinitas lies the eclectic beach town of Leucadia. Known for its colorful beach landscapes, Leucadia is a relaxed surf community with plenty of tide pools and blufftop trails to explore. Make sure to check out Beacon’s Beach, a popular local surf spot, as well as Restaurant Row which boasts some of the area’s best farm-to-table eateries and sushi spots. Leucadia offers awesome boutique shopping with stores selling beach apparel, home goods, gifts and art by local makers. Leucadia embodies the quintessential laidback beach town character.


South along Highway 101 from Downtown Encinitas you’ll discover the funky community of Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Quirky public art installations dot the landscape while locally owned shops sell handmade jewelry, clothing, and gifts often with ocean or nature themes befitting Cardiff’s coastal location. With miles of family-friendly beaches and renowned surf breaks like Cardiff Reef, it’s no surprise Cardiff boasts an active outdoor lifestyle. Don’t miss the Cardiff Kook public art statue which draws photographers and onlookers daily. The laidback surf scene here is apparent making Cardiff-by-the-Sea a must visit.

Carlsbad Village

Just south beyond Encinitas city limits lies the charming seaside village of Carlsbad Village which features vibrant streets lined with restaurants, shops, galleries and antique stores. Guests adore strolling the pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and admiring the historical architecture. Make sure to stop by the traditional farmer’s market held every Wednesday for fresh, locally grown produce, baked goods, flowers, and artisanal food products. Carlsbad Village comes alive on summer nights with live music, craft fairs, and classic car shows. The small town charm here is undeniable.

La Costa

Inland between Encinitas and Carlsbad lie the master-planned luxury communities of La Costa bracketed by two world-class golf resorts, La Costa Resort & Spa and Omni La Costa Resort & Spa. Beyond the rolling golf courses, La Costa entices with high-end shopping, award-winning spas and restaurants, and family activities. Outdoor enthusiasts will love hiking and biking on the trails at San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Preserve. La Costa offers a taste of luxury living in laidback North County.

4S Ranch

Northeast of Encinitas off Rancho Santa Fe Road you’ll come upon the affluent community of 4S Ranch set among 400 acres of protected open space crisscrossed by hiking and biking trails. Like New Encinitas, 4S Ranch features family-oriented amenities like pools, parks and top schools. Distinguished by quality craftsmanship and thoughtful planning, 4S Ranch homes range from Spanish revival to Tuscan in style. Nature lovers delight in the 60 acres of wetland habitat preserved within 4S Ranch offering glimpses of wildlife from burrowing owls to mule deer.

Encinitas’s Best Kid-Friendly Activities

From playgrounds to tide pools, Encinitas offers awesome family fun. Let kids splash and play at Encinitas’ many swimmable beaches with lifeguards on duty like Moonlight Beach with its marine safety center and interactive splash pad. Head to San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve and take the junior explorer trail quiz while spotting birds, butterflies, and other wildlife along the way. Kids love getting hands-on at the San Diego Botanic Garden learning about habitats from around the world including the rare endangered plants of Madagascar. Giddy up for a ride at Encinitas Ranch’s equestrian center or hit balls at the Lake Hodges Golf Club’s driving range. With awesome parks and playgrounds around every corner, there are endless options to entertain little ones in Encinitas. Call Encinitas Party Bus Company at 442-232-4465 to book transportation to experience Encinitas with your little ones!

Book a Bus With Us

Make the most out of your trip to Encinitas and its lively neighborhoods by booking transportation with Encinitas Party Bus Company. Our charter buses and limo buses provide fun, comfortable transportation allowing your group to stay together while we handle driving and parking. Our vehicles come equipped with luxury amenities like WiFi, entertainment systems, and restrooms. Call 442-232-4465 or book online to reserve your bus and simplify transportation for your Encinitas adventure!