Carlsbad, Encinitas place near top in WalletHub Beach Towns report


An aerial view shows an eastward view of Batiquitos Lagoon. Carlsbad is to the north. Encinitas is to the south. (Photo by Diane Bentley Raymond, iStock Getty Images)

North Coast Current

Carlsbad placed a few spaces ahead of Encinitas in a recent survey naming the Best Beach Towns to Live In, but both cities can claim they made the top 10, based on a WalletHub report released June 18.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, compared 192 cities across the country and looked at 62 metrics to compile its list of the most livable ocean and lake beachside communities. The data cover aspects such as housing costs and the share of for-sale waterfront homes to beach water quality.

Carlsbad placed fourth out of 146 cities in the seaside category, according to WalletHub’s findings. Encinitas placed 8th.

The rankings were based first on six broad aspects, according to WalletHub’s report: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life.

From there, the site’s experts looked at 62 detailed metrics. Those diverse metrics covered items from share of waterfront homes, unemployment rate and median credit score to parks, lifeguards per capita, average work commute, healthcare, and breweries and coffee shops per capita. The metrics were scored on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the most favorable conditions for beach-town living.

The nearest lake community covered in WalletHub’s study was Lake Elsinore in southwest Riverside County, which ranked 41 out of 48 on the list.

According to census figures as of 2018, here is how Encinitas and Carlsbad compare:

  • Population estimate
    Carlsbad: 115,877
    Encinitas: 62,904
  • Median value, owner-occupied housing units, 2013-2017
    Encinitas: $862,300
    Carlsbad: $713,600
  • Median gross rent, 2013-2017
    Carlsbad: $1,918
    Encinitas: $1,837
  • Employment rate, population age 16 and up, 2013-2017
    Encinitas: 65.7 percent
    Carlsbad: 64.2 percent
  • Mean travel time to work, workers age 16 and up, 2013-2017
    Carlsbad: 28.0 minutes
    Encinitas: 25.5 minutes
  • Median household income (in 2017 dollars), 2013-2017
    Encinitas: $103,842
    Carlsbad: $102,722

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