Encinitas Flower Capital of the World
We’ll it once was as a growing booming little beach town but no so much anymore. But does it have flower fields, absolutely and when they are blooming and you are on the coast driving up Hwy 101 by the ocean it is simple beautiful. The beautiful rows of of flowers that are all the colors of the rainbow. This image shall never be removed from your mind.
Also Paul Ecke’s poinsettia ranch although much smaller now but it is still an amazing site to visit. Here is what one report writes about the flowers in there.
Where have all the flowers gone?
That’s a question some might ask as Encinitas slowly but surely loses a grip on its longtime claim as the “Flower Capital of the World.”
In part, the city has become a victim of its own success. As one of the more desirable and relatively affordable places to live in San Diego County, housing tracts have been the pre-eminent cash crop over the past two decades. High water prices, restrictions brought on by droughts, and competition from flower farms in Central and South America haven’t helped matters.
“We still have some mom and pop greenhouses, but they’re going by the wayside,” said Bob Gattinella, president and CEO of the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce.
Roughly 12,000 acres in the city are still dedicated farmland, with an unspecified majority of that land devoted to nursery and greenhouse operations, according to the city’s most recent farmland inventory report.
The trend in Encinitas and the rest of the county has seen farmers and growers moving toward smaller acreages for operations, the report said, because of the high cost of land and water.
“This encourages growers to produce commodities with a very high value per acre and/or specialize in nursery and greenhouse crops,” the report stated.
The report points out that small-scale operations are more compatible in and near residential areas because they have fewer impacts: they don’t require a lot of large machinery, don’t spray billowing clouds of pesticides on vast open fields and they create relatively little dust and odor.
“What this means for the future of agriculture in Encinitas is that future conversion of the
remaining agricultural lands (to real estate development) is not necessarily a foregone conclusion,” the report said.
Encinitas has called itself the Flower Capital of the World since the 1920s. The industry probably saw its peak in the 1970s and ‘80s, when the Ecke family was still operating a 945-acre poinsettia ranch. Real estate investors started nibbling away at the ranch over the years, and the approval of the Encinitas Ranch residential and commercial development in 1994 resulted in the loss of 850 acres of flower fields.
In 2012, Paul Ecke III sold the last remaining chunk of ranch property – about 67 acres – to the Leichtag Foundation. The actual flower growing operation itself was sold to the Agribio Group of Holland the same year. Last year, Agribio merged with German poinsettia breeder Dummen, which is leasing 380,000 square feet of greenhouse space from Leichtag for poinsettia research and development under the Ecke brand name.
That means of the 945 acres once in production at the peak, less than 10 percent is still dedicated to poinsettias.
Nevertheless Encinitas is one beautiful place to visit and see the flowers that are show cased all around town on Hwy 101.
Great Hotels in San Diego
- Hilton San Diego Resort and SpaLocated in Mission Bay, one of the most popular areas, the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa is one of the best hotels to stay in during your vacation. The hotel itself has all kinds of amenities for holiday makers – spas, tennis courts, pool and Jacuzzi, beauty salons and great restaurants among others. But even better, you are in one of the greatest beaches and you have access to a boardwalk for strolls as well as a roller coaster for the kids.
- Crowne Plaza San DiegoThis high end hotel comes with one major advantage; it is located near all of San Diego’s main attractions. You can expect to enjoy an added bonus – it is all Hawaii themed complete with palm trees and waterfalls. The great Sushi and PuPu bar is there to give you a culinary tour of Hawaiian cuisine.
- Carlsbad Seapointe ResortAlthough a little out of the way, this is an excellent hotel if you want to get some peace and quiet. You get an ocean view and great breezes as well as well as fine dining. If you plan to go to Legoland, this is the perfect place to stay.
- More affordable accommodationsJust because they are a bit more affordable, the following accommodations are comfortable, clean and they give you the special treatment that all San Diego visitors can expect to get. They all have a rating of more tha 9 points out of 10.
- Hotel VyvantThis one is within 10 minutes of all major attractions in the area and it is also close to the airport. You also get a kitchenette.
- Bay Club Hotel and marinaThis one is only 5 miles from Sea World and they will send out a complimentary shuttle to meet you at the airport – great if you have kids.
- Manchester Grand HyattThey describe themselves as family friendly so you can expect that your kids will feel at home here.
Personal Residence Rentals San Diego’s Excellent Alternative
There is no better way to have a San Diego family vacation than to stay in house rentals, and it can prove to be a cheaper alternative as well. You will get all kinds – condos, beach houses, and more. You also get a more rested vacation – after the tiring day activities, you have the chance to retire and rest in privacy. For those who don’t enjoy hotel food much, they are also a way to vacation and eat whatever they feel is right for them.
San Diego is a Great Place to Vacation
As far as vacation locations go, San Diego is one of the best places to visit in the US; it has more than 700 tourist attractions. If you are looking for a place where your family can have lots and lots of fun, you will not go wrong with a San Diego vacation. Hundreds of thousands of people come here every year because the city has so much to offer. Because of the sheer numbers of places to visit, we understand that it can be confusing to choose where to spend time so we have made a list here of some of the top destinations. Get ready to have lots of fun in these places:
The whale watching boat tours are some of the best in the world. Watching these great mammals migrate the Pacific Ocean is a life time experience you will never forget. Seeing them breach the water, blowing their spouts, and splashing their tales is a once in a life time event. Tours go out of San Diego and Oceanside. Make sure you book your sea going voyage early as they fill up fast. The boat ride alone is worth the trip as you go alongside the California coast. A must for your vacation plans.
With about 70 miles of beaches and year-round mild weather, you will definitely have no shortage of beach destinations to surf, play, read and get some sun. Mission Beach is one of the best; it comes with a boardwalk as well as a great roller coaster where your kids can take a break from the water. If you have the kids and still want to have some time alone with your partner, why not find someone to watch them and then head to little-visited Imperial Beach? It has a wooden pier from where you can see miles around and it will give you the peace and quiet that you need. If your family is serious about surfing, you should take them to Pacific Beach where most of the city’s surfers like to hang out. These are just some of the great beaches you can visit on your San Diego vacation – there are plenty more.
You cannot go to San Diego and not go to Sea World; it is a theme park that is yet to be replicated. At Dolphin Point, your children will be thrilled by the shows that are staged by these great, trained sea animals. And how about a journey to Atlantis or a Bayside Skyride? And that’s not all; you can visit the Sea World Sky Tower, go to the Shipwreck Rapids, Turtle Reef, Wild Arctic and more. In other words, Sea World is not a one day affair. Plan several days for it if you want to enjoy most of what they have to offer.
The world famous San Diego Zoo
Located next to Balboa Park which is also another great tourist attraction, the San Diego Zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals all of which are either rare or endangered. It was in fact set up as a conservation effort so you can be sure that you will enjoy animals that you don’t get to see every day. You can go and see giant pandas swinging between trees, the Absolutely Apes exhibit which houses all kinds of rare apes, and the Monkey Trails Habitat where you will find a huge number of different kinds of endangered animals. The entire zoo is designed with the child visitor in mind so don’t worry that your little ones may lose interest as you go through the zoo. Next door in Balboa Park is the place to rest after your long stroll through the zoo. There are gardens, recreation areas, restaurants, trails to walk off that big lunch and all kinds of amenities made for your comfort.
You cannot leave San Diego without doing a little shopping and the place to go is Seaport Village. There are all kinds of shops, malls and stores where you can get souvenirs to take back home. If you have teenagers, they will really enjoy the Seaport Village experience because they can find the latest trends in all kinds of things.