Beach retirement destinations, in general, have a laid-back feel, but Encinitas takes it to new heights. Largely due to its huge surfing community, everyone here is so relaxed and easygoing that it almost feels like the entire city is on a never-ending vacation. It’s the perfect place to retire if you prefer a slower pace of life. No rushing, just chillin’. The laid-back vibe also makes everyone very welcoming and friendly—it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your background is. This makes it really easy to meet new people and make new friends.
Despite its population of over 62,000, Encinitas enjoys a small-town vibe. It doesn’t feel like a city even though there’s so much to do here and it has everything you could possibly need. The downtown shopping district, which is more than a century old, has maintained its small-town feel thanks to the cooperation of the city’s business owners and residents. The city does its best to keep the small businesses open and keep the big chains out. Apart from restaurants, bars and funky shops, you’ll also find record stores and art studios in the shopping district.
It’s almost pointless to retire in a beach town with a less-than-ideal climate. Good thing Encinitas has beautiful weather all year long. The average high in the summer is 73°F, and while the winter low is 44°F, the average daytime temperature in the winter is around 65°F. The mild climate makes it possible to enjoy outdoor activities no matter the time of year. The city also only gets about 12 inches of rain per year. It’s a lot lower compared to the national average of 38 inches.
Encinitas has a very physically active community, which should help motivate you to reach your fitness goals in retirement. Here, you’ll see runners and cyclists as early as 6 in the morning on a Saturday. Many of the residents also prefer to bike instead of driving. If running is more your style, you can run along the coast or the San Elijo Lagoon trails—both have stunning views that’ll make your run more fun and exciting.
One of the best beach retirement towns in California, Encinitas has numerous beaches, each with its own charm and characteristics. The most popular one is the Moonlight State Beach, a family-friendly beach that has volleyball and tennis courts as well as recreational equipment rentals. Unlike most beaches, Moonlight State Beach has fire rings that make barbecues and bonfires possible. Another popular beach is the San Elijo State Beach, which features great waves for surfing and has an adjacent campsite.
There’s always something fun going on in Encinitas even though it’s not a major city. With regular events and annual festivals happening throughout the year, you’ll always have a busy schedule if you retire here. Among the most notable ones are the annual two-day April Street Fair, the Deep Pit BBQ in May, the Encinitas Environment Day in June, and the annual free surf competition and festival, Switchfoot Bro-Am, in July. September also has some really exciting events, including Oktoberfest, Lima Bean Faire and Battle of the Beans Cook-off, and The Wavecrest Woodie Meet, which hosts the largest gathering of wooden cars in the world.
Living an active retirement is so easy in Encinitas, but it’s even easier to practice healthy eating in this little city. It has a superb organic and natural food scene, and the Leucadia Farmers’ Market, which is held every Sunday, features over 40 vendors selling local fresh, high-quality produce. If you want to sample what the city has to offer in terms of healthy eating, the best spots are The Naked Cafe, Good On Ya Organic Cafe and Lotus Cafe and Juice Bar.
Sandy beaches, the outdoors lifestyle and the large number of events and happenings are all good reasons to retire in Encinitas. But if you need more reasons to retire in this beach community, maybe the fact that San Diego is just a 28-minute drive away will finally convince you. This opens a new door of opportunities for meeting new people, finding new and fun things to do, and more. If that’s still not enough, Los Angeles is an hour and 45 minutes away by car—perfect for weekend trips and long day trips.
One of the main benefits of retiring in Encinitas is the availability of health care facilities in and around the city. Served mainly by Scripps Memorial Hospital, the city has several urgent care facilities, health centers and other care facilities that will take care of your health care needs should they arise. As previously mentioned, San Diego is only 28 minutes away by car, so you could always drive there if you want to take advantage of the top-notch medical facilities in that area.
Wholesome Activities and Attractions
There are plenty of things to see and do in Encinitas. It doesn’t matter what your interests are, you’re bound to find something you’ll enjoy. If you’re the adventurous type, you should definitely learn how to surf. Encinitas is one of the best places to learn the sport. After all, it’s been named as one of the 20 Best Surf Towns by National Geographic. If you enjoy taking a long stroll, check out the San Diego Botanic Garden. 37 acres of natural landscapes await you here. If you prefer museums, there’s the San Dieguito Heritage Museum, the Lux Art Institute and the Encinitas Historical Society. Other activities include touring the Self-Realization Fellowship temple, bird-watching at the San Elijo Lagoon, and golfing at Encinitas Ranch Golf Course.