North County, San Diego

North County
—  Region of the San Diego Metro Area  —
Oceanside Pier in North County
North County Coastal and Inland cities
County San Diego County
Population 821,496

North County is a region in the northern area of San Diego County, California. It is the second most populous region in the county after San Diego, with an estimated population of 826,985. North County is well known for its affluence, especially in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, and Solana Beach where house prices range on average above one millions dollars. [1]



The name dates to at least the 1970s, when many of the communities in the area were yet to become incorporated cities and local community decisions were made 40 miles away at the county seat. The North County section of San Diego County has historically been the most expensive region of San Diego, with such affluent neighborhoods as Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Carlsbad, Carmel Valley, Del Mar, Encinitas, Olivenhain, Rancho Santa Fe, and Solana Beach.[2]

In modern times North County continues to grow as a highly influential region of Greater San Diego. The top twenty-five employers in San Diego County are closer to the North County city of Carlsbad than San Diego proper.[3]


Both coastal and inland North County maintain two types of topography. In North County Coastal the land is generally flat with low rolling hills. The beaches are sandy with occasional tidepools and rocky reefs popping out of the surf. In some cases the coast is dominated by bluff type geography, where the land meeting the ocean sharply drops into the sea with a short beach. In some cases, such as in Encinitas, a whole city can be bisected by a coastal foothill ridge. Mountains soon become imminent as one travels further inland, displaying the rocky peaks of North County Inland. Such peaks included Twin Peaks in Poway, Mount Woodson in Ramona, and Iron Mountain in unincorporated territory between the two cities.

Rivers and creeks flowing west from the mountains farther inland predominantly end up draining into the regions four main lagoons. Throughout their course the way they form many lakes and reservoirs supporting and array of native species.

Definitions vary, but almost always include the communities and cities along Interstate 5 north of Carmel Valley Road and Interstate 15 north of Lake Hodges. For both geographic and political reasons, opinions differ as to whether to include the northern communities within the city limits of San Diego (such as La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo, or Scripps Ranch), or close in communities and cities such as Solana Beach, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Aviara, Del Mar, Carmel Valley, Rancho Santa Fe, etc.

Regardless, North County is commonly divided into coastal and inland regions. The North County Times, which serves the entire region, shows North County Coastal cities being Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, Encinitas, Del Mar, and Solana Beach and North County Inland cities being Escondido, Fallbrook, San Marcos, Poway, Valley Center, Ramona, and Rancho Bernardo.[4]


The region has strong ties to its coast. Its notable efforts are popular for preserving many marine environments including lagoons and tidal wetlands, many being last few on the South Coast.[5] Unlike developments in many Orange County coastal cities, the lagoons and large areas of coast have not been so heavily developed. Major lagoons and inlets lining the coast from north to south include: Oceanside Harbor, Buena Vista Lagoon, Agua Hedionda Lagoon, Batiquitos Lagoon and San Elijo Lagoon.

Flora and fauna

These lagoons provide valuable wetland habitat for many bird, reptile, fish, and plant species. The waters off the coast are also very rich in species diversity; supporting large kelp forests and rocky reefs.

Fish species included the tidewater goby, topsmelt, striped mullet, surfperch and Pacific staghorn sculpin. Leopard sharks forage near the lagoons and pups frequent the shallow rocky reefs off the coast.

Bird species included the Great Blue Heron, Snowy Plover, Clapper Rail and Least tern. The lagoons support various species of shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowl, raptors and diving birds.[5] The number of bird species in the San Dieguito Wetlands have tripled due to restoration projects by Del Mar.[6]


North County Coastal city of Del Mar

North County contains forty golf courses, including Torrey Pines, which hosted the 2008 U.S. Open.[7] North County is home to Southern California’s only five star and five diamond restaurants: Addison at The Grand Del Mar, and El Bizcocho at Rancho Bernardo Inn.[7]

A notable fictional character from North County is Dave Rickards' "Aunt Edna," frequently featured on the popular Dave, Shelly, and Chainsaw radio program, which airs in the San Diego area.


North County is considered wealthier and more socially conservative than other parts of the metropolitan area such as South Bay. It is the second largest region of the San Diego metropolitan area. There are 325,995 people residing in North County San Diego. 49.1% are males versus 51.9% female. White collar jobs beat blue collar jobs 3:1. More people have B.A. Degrees then AS/AA. degrees 2:1. More people are married then single 2:1.Demographs


North County Coastal city of Oceanside
North County Inland city of Escondido

Incorporated cities

Populations listed are from the 2010 United States' Census

Unincorporated CDPs

Populations listed are from the 2010 U.S. Census


Primary and secondary

Colleges and universities

North County is home to several colleges, both traditional four year universities and community colleges. These included California State University, San Marcos (CSUSM) offering undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs;[8] and the community colleges Palomar College and MiraCosta College.



The North County Times is the main newspaper in the region.




Important landmarks in North County include Del Mar Racetrack, Lake San Marcos, Oceanside Pier, Stone Steps, Twin Peaks


Most of North County is located within County Supervisorial District 5, and is represented on the county's Board of Supervisors by Bill Horn. The remainder of North County is in Districts 2 and 3, represented by Dianne Jacob and Pam Slater-Price, respectively.

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • North Park, San Diego — Coordinates: 32°44′26.99″N 117°07′46.99″W / 32.7408306°N 117.1297194°W / 32.7408306; 117.1297194 …   Wikipedia

  • North Park, San Diego, California — North Park is a neighborhood in San Diego, California, USA. It is situated to the northeast of Balboa Park, bounded on the north by El Cajon Boulevard, on the south by Juniper Street and the South Park neighborhood, on the east by Interstate 805… …   Wikipedia

  • Dryden Historic District (North Park, San Diego, California) — Thurston House, North Park, San Diego The North Park Dryden Historic District is a historic district[1] in North Park, San Diego, 92104, along both 28th and Pershing Streets (bordered to the south by Upas Street and to the north by Landis Street) …   Wikipedia

  • San Diego County, California — County of San Diego   County   Seal …   Wikipedia

  • North County (disambiguation) — North County refers to North County, San Diego, the most populous region with this name. It may also refer to: Places North County, another name for Massachusetts Montachusett Region, located in the northern Worcester County North County, the… …   Wikipedia

  • San Diego–Tijuana — This article is about the international metropolitan region. For the cites of San Diego and Tijuana, see San Diego and Tijuana. Coordinates: 32°32′31.87″N 117°01′46.63″W /  …   Wikipedia

  • San Diego — This article is about the city in California. For the metropolitan area, see San Diego metropolitan area. For other meanings of San Diego , see San Diego (disambiguation). San Diego   City   City of San Diego …   Wikipedia

  • San Diego Metropolitan Transit System — Info Locale San Diego County, California Transit type Multi Modal regional transit network consisting of: B …   Wikipedia

  • San Diego Trolley — Current San Diego Trolley LRV Fleet Info …   Wikipedia

  • San Diego (Kalifornien) — San Diego Skyline bei Nacht …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.