Encinitas is a fairly large (~20 square miles) but not overly populous (~60,000 residents) city in the north of San Diego County. It borders Solana Beach in the south, Rancho Santa Fe in the east, Carlsbad
in the north, and the Pacific Ocean in the west. Encinitas derives a great deal of character from its coastal location, with beaches and waterfront restaurants and beautifully preserved wetlands abound. San Elijo Lagoon stands out as a particularly stunning patch of nature.
Prospective residents will note that the city is divided into five distinct neighborhoods—Olivenhain, Leucadia, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Old Encinitas, and New Encinitas—each with its own distinct vibe, which allows for a significant degree of personalization within the Encinitas experience. Encinitas is fairly car-dependent, though there are a few patches down by the water that one can successfully explore on foot. The most common way to get around is via the 5 freeway, Route 11, and Encinitas/Olivenhain Blvds.