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Solana Beach, California
The Pacific Ocean as seen from Fletcher Cove Beach Park, photographed in October 2013
The Pacific Ocean as seen from Fletcher Cove Beach Park, photographed in October 2013
Flag of Solana Beach, California
Official seal of Solana Beach, California
Location of Solana Beach within San Diego County, California
Location of Solana Beach within San Diego County, California
Solana Beach, California is located in the United States
Solana Beach, California
Solana Beach, California
Location in the United States
Country  United States of America
State  California
County San Diego
Incorporated July 1, 1986
 • City 3.52 sq mi (9.11 km2)
 • Land 3.41 sq mi (8.84 km2)
 • Water 0.10 sq mi (0.27 km2)  2.88%
72 ft (22 m)
 • City 12,941
 • Density 3,676/sq mi (1,420.5/km2)
 • Metro
SD-TJ: 5,105,768
Time zone UTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 858
FIPS code 06-72506
GNIS feature IDs 1656633, 2411923

Solana Beach (Solana, Spanish for "warm wind") is a coastal city in San Diego County, California. The population was at 12,941 at the 2020 U.S. Census, up from 12,867 at the 2010 U.S. Census.


Solana Beach is located at 32°59′43″N 117°15′37″W / 32.99528°N 117.26028°W / 32.99528; -117.26028 (32.992937,-117.271135).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2). 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (2.88%) is water.

Over 12,000 residents call this small beach community their home. The Pacific Ocean is to the west; the community of Cardiff-by-the-Sea to the north, and the City of Del Mar to the south. The unincorporated village of Rancho Santa Fe is located on the east side.


The area was first settled by the San Dieguitos, early Holocene inhabitants of the area. During the Spanish colonial era, trails heading north near Solana Beach crossed inland to avoid the marshes and inlets of the area. The George H. Jones family were the first settlers in the area now known as Solana Beach, arriving in 1886. Until 1923, the main area known as Solana Beach had been called Lockwood Mesa. 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.

The community grew slowly, but steadily throughout the rest of the century, with particular booms occurring in the decade after World War II and a real estate boom in the last quarter of the 20th century. In 1986 the community officially incorporated as the city of Solana Beach. That year, the city hosted the final funeral services for Desi Arnaz, who had died in Del Mar. Arnaz's funeral was held at St. James Roman Catholic Church, one of two Catholic churches in the city and part of the Diocese of San Diego.

The city received national news in 2003 upon becoming the first city in the Continental United States to enact a smoking ban on its public beaches, a trend which has continued as many other coastal Californian towns have followed suit in banning smoking on their beaches. Solana Beach was the last coastal community in North San Diego County to ban alcohol on the beach, doing so for at least a year in an action unanimously approved by the City Council.

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.

Eden Gardens

The neighborhood of La Colonia de Eden Gardens, also known as La Colonia and Eden Gardens, is one of the oldest residential areas of Solana Beach. It is a community formed in the 1920s by Mexican farmers who were hired by the owners of large ranches in adjacent Rancho Santa Fe. These farmers wanted their families nearby, hence the formation of La Colonia (the colony). The name Eden Gardens came later from a land developer as a marketing tool. Many residents still refer to the area as La Colonia. Famous residents include Chicano rapper Lil Rob and comedian Rene Sandoval, who were born and raised in the community.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 5,023
1980 13,047 159.7%
1990 12,962 −0.7%
2000 12,979 0.1%
2010 12,867 −0.9%
2020 12,941 0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census


At the 2010 census Solana Beach had a population of 12,867. The population density was 3,550.7 people per square mile (1,370.9/km2). The racial makeup of Solana Beach was 11,039 (85.8%) White, 60 (0.5%) African American, 62 (0.5%) Native American, 513 (4.0%) Asian, 19 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 738 (5.7%) from other races, and 436 (3.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2,048 persons (15.9%).

The whole population lived in households, no one lived in non-institutionalized group quarters and no one was institutionalized.

There were 5,650 households, 1,323 (23.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 2,730 (48.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 360 (6.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 193 (3.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 325 (5.8%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 42 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,745 households (30.9%) were one person and 647 (11.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.28. There were 3,283 families (58.1% of households); the average family size was 2.85.

The age distribution was 2,378 people (18.5%) under the age of 18, 738 people (5.7%) aged 18 to 24, 3,518 people (27.3%) aged 25 to 44, 3,829 people (29.8%) aged 45 to 64, and 2,404 people (18.7%) who were 65 or older. The median age was 43.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.

There were 6,540 housing units at an average density of 1,804.7 per square mile, of the occupied units 3,401 (60.2%) were owner-occupied and 2,249 (39.8%) were rented. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.4%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.3%. 7,919 people (61.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 4,948 people (38.5%) lived in rental housing units.


At the 2000 census there were 12,979 people in 5,754 households, including 3,279 families, in the city. The population density was 3,678.7 inhabitants per square mile (1,419.6/km2). There were 6,456 housing units at an average density of 1,829.9 per square mile (706.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.01% White, 0.50% African American, 0.42% Native American, 3.46% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 5.59% from other races, and 2.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.81%.

Of the 5,754 households 20.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.3% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female head of household, and 43.0% were non-families. 31.5% of households were one person and 10.4% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.83.

The age distribution was 17.9% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 27.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% 65 or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.5 males.

The median household income was $71,774 and the median family income was $96,652. Males had a median income of $72,028 versus $41,186 for females. The per capita income for the city was $48,547. About 3.4% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.5% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.

Current estimates

According to estimates by the San Diego Association of Governments, the median household income of Solana Beach in 2005 was $101,122 (not adjusted for inflation). When adjusted for inflation (1999 dollars; comparable to Census data above), the median household income was $82,114.


The Cedros Design District is located in Solana Beach, and consists of more than 85 art galleries, import and antique stores, boutiques and cafes. The Design District is also home to the Solana Beach Farmers Market, which operates every Sunday from 12pm to 4pm and offers locally grown fresh cut flowers, baked goods, organic produce and veggies. Another prominent venue on Cedros Avenue is the Belly Up, a live music space operating since 1974.

The headquarters of Nisus Software, developers of the Nisus Writer word processor for the Apple Macintosh, are located in Solana Beach.


Solana Beach is served by the Solana Beach School District and the San Dieguito Union High School District.

High schools

Public high schools serving the area are Canyon Crest Academy, San Dieguito Academy, and Torrey Pines High School. Santa Fe Christian Schools is a private school serving ages K-12.

Middle school

  • Earl Warren Middle School

Elementary schools

  • Skyline Elementary School
  • Solana Vista Elementary School


Solana Beach is served by Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner and Coaster commuter rail at Solana Beach station. Interstate 5 is a major freeway bisecting the community.

Notable people

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Solana Beach para niños

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