If you’re looking to relocate to North San Diego County and you’re not exactly sure where to go, look no further than this guide to the best neighborhoods in North San Diego County, specifically geared toward those living in Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, Encinitas, or anywhere else north of downtown San Diego!
The following are the top 10 best neighborhoods in North San Diego County based on livability, affordability, and proximity to quality amenities. If you’re looking for something that meets one or more of these criteria, click the link below to see what could be your new home!
Home to Legoland, Carlsbad is easily accessible by road, but it’s also home to some of California’s best beaches.
Close enough to downtown San Diego for convenience and far enough away for peace and quiet. Be sure to visit Carlsbad State Beach for a day at the beach. When you get hungry, stop in at Karl Strauss Brewing Company for a delicious meal; if you’re looking for something more casual, take a stroll through Carlsbad Village where you can find everything from gourmet food trucks to hole-in-the-wall joints like Prontos Gourmet Market where you can get some of the most delicious sandwiches you’ve ever had or take home some premade meals for dinner..
Encinitas is an amazing coastal community with a large, pedestrian-friendly downtown area. With close proximity to Carlsbad, Encinitas is one of North County’s best beach towns.
It’s made up mostly of upscale single family homes and has something for everyone – beautiful beaches, great restaurants, shopping, recreation and more. If you are looking for some luxury living that is walkable and near shops and restaurants – then Encinitas may be just what you are looking for!
Oceanside has a wide variety of housing styles and price points, as well as some of North County’s best schools. It’s also one of California’s most historic cities, with several museums and picturesque beaches for residents to enjoy. Oceanside is also close to Camp Pendleton, a sprawling military base that brings over 27,000 active-duty troops—and their families—to town.
As far as housing goes, you can expect to pay between $750K (median price) for a home in Oceanside; remember, there are condos available here too! In terms of shopping and dining, there’s lots to do along North Coast Highway.
The city of Vista is slightly inland, right in between Carlsbad and Oceanside. It’s a smaller neighborhood with great weather and plenty of fun activities, including hiking at nearby Palomar Mountain State Park, strolling through Old Town Vista Village, or enjoying live music at one of its many bars and restaurants.
There are also lots of jobs if you want to work close to home. As a big city near San Diego, it offers all of your typical downtown amenities while still providing that small-town vibe that attracts so many people to North County California.
5) Del Mar
Del Mar is a picturesque beachside town located just north of San Diego’s downtown area. In addition to offering an oceanfront view, Del Mar is known for its charming beach community vibe and vibrant nightlife scene.
Many people choose to live here because it is close enough to enjoy all that downtown has to offer yet far enough away from the hustle and bustle of busy city life. Plus, Del Mar provides easy access to world-class attractions like beaches, golf courses and hiking trails.
For those interested in buying or renting real estate here, keep reading below as we take a look at some of our favorite neighborhoods (plus one bonus recommendation). As always if you have any questions please feel free to contact us directly!
6) Solana Beach
With its high-end restaurants, boutiques and art galleries, Solana Beach is a classic California beach town. And while it’s an older community—the median age of residents here is 41—the neighborhood remains desirable to folks from all walks of life.
Many of its homes were built during World War II (when much of California’s housing stock was built) and feature architectural details like arched windows, vaulted ceilings and fireplaces. The city also boasts gorgeous beaches, fantastic dining and shopping options, parks with trails that lead to neighboring Cardiff by The Sea.
For being such a small town (Solana Beach only spans just under two square miles), it has much to offer locals and visitors alike. Forbes recently named Solana Beach one of America’s most expensive ZIP codes; currently there are 44 homes on the market for sale in Solana Beach ranging from $1 million to $2 million dollars each.
If you’re looking for a beautiful seaside town that has a little bit of everything, Cardiff-by-the-Sea is where you should put down roots.
Located between Encinitas and Del Mar, Cardiff is home to surfers and beach lovers who enjoy views of Crystal Cove State Park, La Jolla Shores, and Northern Pacific Beach. The town itself is small but charming; residents often bike around town, or take walks along Ocean Drive.
With a rich history dating back more than 100 years, Cardiff offers excellent restaurants and bars that offer an escape from neighboring tourist towns. Water activities are very popular here, as well as relaxing evenings watching sunsets on sidewalks overlooking the ocean.
8) Rancho Santa Fe
Nestled slightly east between Encinitas and Carlsbad, Rancho Santa Fe (Rancho) is a suburb of just 1,900 homes. However, many of these homes are one-of-a-kind custom designs by top architects and designers that can sell for $10 million or more.
There’s a certain laid-back feel to Rancho, thanks to its proximity to picturesque beaches and hillsides dotted with olive trees; it’s also home to some excellent golf courses.
This city is home to a wide range of neighborhoods that appeal to many different types of families. For example, if you’re interested in historic architecture, you’ll find plenty of Queen Anne-style homes and Craftsman bungalows throughout Escondido.
With nine elementary schools, five middle schools and six high schools, you’ll also find plenty of options for school-aged children. However, some argue that there isn’t much activity within Escondido itself—many residents prefer commuting elsewhere. Keep in mind: small children will have access to excellent parks and outdoor amenities thanks to acres of green space within most neighborhoods and the Center for the Arts offers live music and theater at reasonable prices for everyone to enjoy.
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