North County San Diego Explained

So many people love living in North County Coastal San Diego. With great beaches, restaurants, and schools, there’s so much to love about these neighborhoods. In today’s video, we’re going to highlight what we think the best things are about living in Coastal North County.

First on our tour is Oceanside. Oceanside is the northernmost coastal city in San Diego County. It butts right up against Camp Pendleton, which makes it a good option for military families. It’s also a great choice for people who work in Orange County or even Los Angeles. There’s also a train station in Oceanside that allows you to catch the Coaster and go north.

The median home price is $689,000, but that won’t necessarily get you a home by the beach. Ocean-view and beach-close properties are still much cheaper in Oceanside than in other parts of the county, but the median price is more for a home that’s a little bit inland. That said, you can often find condos near the beach with ocean views for under $1,000,000! We have a client right now that’s buying one of those.  

Just south of Oceanside is Carlsbad. The median home price in Carlsbad is about $1,200,000. Carlsbad is one of my favorite spots in all of San Diego. It has a great downtown village right on the ocean with shopping and restaurants. They even have an old-timey bookstore. Carlsbad is also home to LEGOLand, world-class golf courses, Palomar Airport, and the Carlsbad Outlets

I think it goes without saying that the North County Coastal cities all have nice beaches and they’re all kind of different. You might be looking for a great surfing beach, a dog beach, a place to take your kids, or just a beach with really convenient parking. No matter what kind of beach you’re looking for, Coastal North County has something for everyone.  

South of Carlsbad is Encinitas, which is a little more expensive. The downtown is very walkable with lots of restaurants and coffee shops, tasting rooms for breweries, and little boutiques. Moonlight Beach is one of my favorite beaches there. They also have an old movie theatre that was built in the 1920s, La PalomaBroad Street Dough Co. is a newer doughnut shop that is absolutely delicious. If you haven’t seen it, we have a video of us checking out this spot on our Encinitas tour video

Just south of there is a little neighborhood called Cardiff-By-The-Sea that’s technically still part of Encinitas. Seaside Market, the grocery store, sells the famous Cardiff Crack which you have to try. It’s a super delicious tri-tip. Cardiff State Beach has really great surf spots and is very family friendly. You can also use your California Explorer pass here. Just south of that is Seaside Reef, which is our go-to summer beach spot. You might even spot Rob Machado catching a wave. Cardiff also has the San Elijo Campground which is a really popular spot for RV and tent camping. You get to stay right on the beach so it’s really difficult to book. 

Next on our list is Solana Beach. The median home price here is $1,800,000, but that’s not going to get you a beachfront property. An ocean-view home is going to be more like $3-3.5 million. Solana Beach is a great little beach town, but I think the one negative is you only have access to one beach which is Fletcher Cove. Overall, Solana Beach has a very walkable coastal downtown area with good restaurants and coffee shops. There’s also a big music scene here thanks to the famous Belly Up. It’s a small venue, but a very fun place to watch a band. Solana Beach also has the Cedros Avenue Design District, which is the arts district that’s full of boutiques and great shopping. There’s also a train station in town. 

That brings us to Del Mar, which is the closest to the 56 freeway. It’s also the last stop on our North County Coastal neighborhoods tour. It’s not a huge town, which really brings the home prices up. The median home price here is $2,362,000. The beaches in Del Mar are great and there’s even a Dog Beach area. Del Mar is a bit more touristy than some of the other towns. There are great hotels here and the Del Mar Racetrack. During race season, you get a chance to see the horses up close which is great for kids. And of course, they hold the annual San Diego Fair at the track. Hope you guys found this neighborhood tour helpful! If you’re ever planning on moving to San Diego, we’d love to help you find your next home. Just reach out to us here to get started!