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“Solana Beach may be mini, but it maximizes its four square miles by the sea. Emerald green polo fields border the southeast side of town, a bustling design district and sprawling San Dieguito Park bolster the east, and surfers rule the big blue Pacific waters to the west.” That is how Solana Beach is described in, and it is all true. This beautiful California beach town is located San Diego County and has a population of about 15,000 people. It is known as the first US city to ban smoking in public places. After the smoking ban was in place many other cities in California followed suit. Solana Beach is mainly a family town. It has excellent schools all the way from elementary school to high school and those seeking higher education can move to nearby cities that have universities.

Solana beach has a long and rich history. It can be traced back to the Holocene era about 11,700 years ago when it was inhabited by the San Dieguitos. Initial settlers came in 1886 and included the family of George H. Jones. Back then the area was known as Lockwood Mesa. Wikipedia explains how the area developed: “When Lake Hodges Dam was built in 1917-18, the area encompassing Solana Beach began to develop rapidly. The creation of the 12,000-acre (49 km2) Santa Fe Irrigation District in 1918 ensured that the area from Rancho Santa Fe through Solana Beach would prosper and expand. The coastline from Solana Beach to Oceanside began to boom in the early 1920s. In 1922 Colonel Ed Fletcher, an early community leader and developer, purchased 140 acres (0.57 km2) at $20 per acre from farmer George H. Jones to develop the town of Solana Beach, with the help of his brother-in-law Eugene Batchelder. To provide access to the beach for the development, hydraulic water pressure was used to erode away tons of earth and create the Fletcher Cove entry and beach. This took one man three months with a fire hose, using water that was coming over the spillway at Lake Hodges Dam. The beach was opened with great fanfare including horse races on the beach on July 4, 1925.”

Once it was established Solana Beach grew steadily, attracting people from around the area who were looking to settle near the beach and raise families. There was a major real estate boom towards the end of the 20th century.

Solana beach is generally safe – you can expect to enjoy the waters without incident, but there is one notable incident as explained by Wikipedia: “On April 25, 2008, retired veterinarian and 38-year resident Dr. David Martin, 66 years old, suffered a fatal injury from an extremely rare great white shark bite while swimming with a group approximately 150 yards (140 m) off shore near Solana Beach’s Fletcher Cove. The group of swimmers reportedly began their swim at Tide Beach Park to the north. Surfers in the area of Fletcher Cover noted harbor seals in the water and a wounded seal on the beach at Fletcher Cove just before the attack, the latter being a typical sign of sharks feeding in the area. Recent increases in the seal population along the Southern California coast – and the seals’ tendency to swim in close proximity to human swimmers – is suspected to be contributing factors in the attack.”

Today Solana Beach has a population that is mainly white, but other races are represented as well. The community believes in strong family values and tolerance and they are very involved in the education of their children. The weather is great – it enjoys temperatures in the 70’s F throughout the year and winters are mild.

Solana Beach is considered one of the most liveable cities in California. It has plenty of local amenities – although it is only a few miles away from San Diego residents say that they rarely have to go there because they have everything that they need right there in their community. The cost of living is 54% higher than the California average, the median income per household is 47% higher than state average while crime rates remain very low. Because the schools in this town are great the rate of graduation from high school is 12% higher than the California average.

The only thing that may dissuade you from moving to Solana beach is the cost of buying a home – it is a whopping 158% higher than the state average. If you want to buy a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom house, for example, you will pay around $860,000 for it, while a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom one will cost you around $2.5 million. If, however, you can afford it the homes in this area are beautiful and they come in all kinds of architectural styles.

There is plenty to do at Solana Beach and the great weather means that you can do it year round. It is the perfect place for all kinds of beach sports, and if you have enough of the waterfront you can also head to the surrounding areas – there are many great places that you can visit, like Annie’s Canyon, the parks and much more. Residents are particularly pleased about the fact that they don’t have to pay for parking! Since it is mainly a family-based town the nightlife is not as vibrant as other cities in California but if you want to hit a club or two you can always drive into San Diego.

To conclude, here is what one resident on has to say about her hometown: “I love it here because it’s so calm and quiet. It has one of the most perfect sunsets. And even if you’re there on a sunny day, the cliffs give you enough shade to relax and enjoy the waves. I love it because you can walk/run along the beach several times and get an amazing work out from it. You can also just go there whenever you need your alone time. Rarely any noise. Just the waves crashing. It’s just tranquil.”