Discover Coastal Dream Towns

After canvassing all coasts for towns with seaside charm, a lively beach culture, and good housing, these are our top spots for planning quick trips or finding a new place to live.

Encinitas, California

Socal's Unsung Paradise

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Dream Towns: Encinitas, California
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Encinitas, California

Encinitas sits in the sweet spot 25 miles north of San Diego and 95 miles south of Los Angeles. But the vibe here is decidedly more San Diego chill.

Peder Norby, the Highway 101 corridor coordinator, traces downtown’s novelty back to its incorporation only 24 years ago. “We didn’t want to see what has happened to a lot of beach towns up and down the West and East coasts where they lose the downtown character,” he says. Encinitas implemented a Main Street program from the beginning so business owners and residents take part in the planning process.

When the town asked where the 60,000 citizens wanted their new library, they voted overwhelmingly for a downtown location. Now two years old, the library overlooks the ocean, and its terrace has become the community living room.


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