Located in Encinitas, this charming community has a rich history and a rural atmosphere appreciated by visitors and residents alike.
Nestled just a couple of miles inland from Moonlight State Beach along the Encinitas coast, Olivenhain is one of the four close-knit communities that make up Encinitas, along with Leucadia, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and Encinitas proper. Olivenhain offers more of an expansive landscape and peaceful atmosphere than the communities closer to the coast. If you’re looking to retreat to the sleepier side of SoCal, while still remaining close enough to the action, Olivenhain is an excellent choice. It’s still only five miles west of the I-5, and close enough to the coast and the Encinitas food and bar scene to have the best of both worlds!
One of the unique aspects of Olivenhain, especially where Southern California is concerned, is the community’s “dark skies” policy. This reduces light pollution via restrictions on streetlights and outdoor lighting on tennis courts, basketball courts, and other public structures. The result is that Olivenhain has some of the most beautiful, panoramic night skies in all of SoCal! If you’re an astronomy-lover, Olivenhain is the place for you, without a doubt.
Combine that with low-density zoning, a rolling, undulating landscape, and vast swaths of undeveloped countryside, and you have a community that offers a rural feel, all only a few miles from the big city! Olivenhain is chock full of winding two-lane roads, horse trails, hiking paths, and gardens. Many backyards here are home to citrus and avocado orchards. You won’t find paved-up boardwalks here, even sidewalks are a rarity. Enjoy the gardens, horse pastures, and nature trails instead. Of course, you won’t want to miss visiting with all your local friends at the outdoor movie night, held throughout the summer at the Olivenhain Meeting Hall & Grounds.
While not coastally located like La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, and some of the other neighborhoods in San Diego, Olivenhain has a natural splendor all its own. The rolling hills and sprawling countryside are a paradise for equestrians and feature dozens upon dozens of hiking and biking paths. Residents can access a vast network of trails from Taegan Lane, and a swath of the 700-acre San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve is actually inside Olivenhain, including the local favorite San Elijo Lagoon Trail, a three-mile route that welcomes humans and furry friends alike!
Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve is just down the road, and horse-lovers won’t be able to get enough of Little Oaks Equestrian Park, which offers both trail access and a riding arena, as well as trailer parking and picnic tables. Hot air balloons often hover over Olivenhain’s hills in the late afternoon and early evening, and balloon watching is a popular pastime for residents. Other must-visit spots include Wiro Park on 11th Avenue and Sun Vista Park, at the corner of Rancho Santa Fe Road and Avenida La Posta. Of course, the beaches of Encinitas are only a few miles away, and attractions like the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club, the San Diego Botanic Garden, and the Encinitas Ranch Golf Course are all nearby, too.
Unlike Del Mar or La Jolla, Olivenhain is primarily a residential community, so there aren’t many restaurants in Olivenhain proper. However, plenty of the finest dining and shopping in San Diego is only a stone’s throw away, in downtown Encinitas and Carlsbad, with plenty of options in Rancho Santa Fe, as well. Well-regarded local dining options include The Cottage, a bustling brunch locale just north of Encinitas Boulevard, and Mille Fleurs in RSF. Mille Fleurs hosts award-winning pianists each weekend and has won numerous awards, including “Top 25 Restaurants in America” by Food and Wine and “Best Restaurant in San Diego” by The New York Times. Be sure to visit local farmer's markets in Solana Beach and RSF on the weekends for boutique shopping! In short, from Olivenhain, you’re perfectly poised to sample all the dining and shopping the coast has to offer, from Solana to Del Mar to La Jolla, before retiring to a calm, peaceful countryside home as the day winds down!
Olivenhain is part of the top-rated Encinitas Union School District and the San Dieguito Union High School District, some of the best-rated school districts in the state of California. Elementary school children will likely attend Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary, middle school students Diegueño Junior High School, and high school students either La Costa Canyon High or San Dieguito Academy. Other public options include Mission Estancia Elementary School and Flora Vista Elementary School, while there are a plethora of esteemed private institutions, such as the Rhoades School, the Nativity School, and Diegueño Country School.
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