Located along six miles of Pacific coastline in northern San Diego County, Encinitas has an approximate population of 60,000 and is characterized by coastal beaches, cliffs, flat-topped coastal areas, steep mesa bluffs and rolling hills. The city was incorporated in 1986, drawing together the communities of New Encinitas, Old Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Olivenhain and Leucadia. There is a significant flower growing industry in the City and many people claim that Encinitas is the Flower Growing Capital. As the City has developed, it has grown up around the pre-existing flower growers. Quail Botanical Gardens is a beautiful oasis to visit with an Amazon Rainforest and the largest display of bamboo in the world. The gardens of the Self Realization Center are beautiful and sit overlooking the ocean in a serene garden-like setting.
The beaches in Encinitas are outstanding. There are many stretches of beach that lie between Cardiff-by-the-Sea and La Costa. The surfing is unbeatable and many surf contests are held throughout the year in Encinitas. The San Elijo Lagoon Reserve is the largest coastal wetland in San Diego County and is home to nearly 300 different bird species throughout the year.