Encinitas is a beach city in the North County area of San Diego County, California. Located within Southern California, it is approximately 25 miles (40 km) north of San Diego and about 95 miles (153 km) south of Los Angeles.
Encinitas can be divided into five areas:
- Old Encinitas: a small beachside area featuring a mix of businesses and housing styles. Sitting along Coast Highway 101 (Historic US 101), the Encinitas welcome arch, the famous surf break Swamis, and the early 20th century La Paloma Theater are located here. Old Encinitas is divided from New Encinitas by a low coastal ridge.
- New Encinitas: a newer region which features a golf course, many shopping centers, and is composed of larger tract homes.
- Olivenhain: a semi-rural region in eastern Encinitas, composed of mostly single family homes, an active 4-H Club, and several private equestrian facilities. Olivenhain connects to Rancho Santa Fe via Encinitas Boulevard.
- Leucadia: a coastal community of the city. Leucadia features tree-lined streets and boulevards. The community features art galleries, unusual stores, and restaurants, along with single family homes. This also contains beaches such as Beacons and Grandview.
- Cardiff-by-the-Sea: Encinitas' southernmost oceanfront community, which features streets named after British cities and classical composers, the Lux Art Institute, and the San Elijo Campus of Mira Costa College.
Encinitas lies on rugged coastal terrace. The city is bisected by a low-lying coastal ridge that separates New and Old Encinitas. In the north of the city, the coast rises in elevation and the land is raised up in the form of many coastal bluffs. These cliffs are subject to collapsing on the narrow beach. The city is surrounded by Batiquitos Lagoon and San Elijo Lagoon to the north and south, respectively.
Encinitas is located at 33°2′40″N 117°16′18″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.0 square miles (52 km2). 18.8 square miles (49 km2) of it is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) of it (5.89%) is water. The city's elevation ranges between sea level and 180 feet (55 m) above sea level.