Rancho Santa Fe is a small, residential community about 30 minutes north of San Diego, just east of Encinitas and Solana Beach. It’s one of the most sought after living areas along the coast, and primarily attracts wealthy families and professionals looking for resort-style living in California. In this guide, we’ll help you determine if living in Rancho Santa Fe is right for you, with information on everything from the best places to live in Rancho Santa Fe, to the local schools and more.
Rancho Santa Fe Demographics
Rancho Santa Fe is exclusive, which also means the community is small, with a total population of fewer than 3,000 people. The median age of residents here is 49; more than two-thirds of people here are married, and 41% of the population is comprised of families with young children. The community is well-educated overall; 35% of residents have their Bachelor’s Degree, and another 30% also hold a Graduate or Doctoral Degree.
Rancho Santa Fe locals are almost exclusively well-off— they have to be to afford the exponentially high home costs in the area. The average household income in Rancho Santa Fe is $187,966. Even younger residents in the community are doing well; locals between 25-44 years old make an average income of $138,000.
The Cost of Living in Rancho Santa Fe
Rancho Santa Fe is one of the most expensive and exclusive communities along the coast. The most expensive aspect of living here is housing, which costs more than eight times the national average, and four times higher than the average for California. The median property value in Rancho Santa Fe is $2 Million, and less than 10% of all homes here sell for less than $1 Million. Rent prices are also high, but only 20% of Rancho Santa Fe residents choose to rent instead of buying a home.
Aside from housing, the cost of living in Rancho Santa Fe is comparable to the rest of San Diego County. The area is more expensive than the American average on all accounts, with the most expensive costs being groceries and transportation. Property and local tax rates in Rancho Santa Fe are also high and should be taken into consideration before you move here.
Rancho Santa Fe’s Best Neighborhoods
- The Covenant: Covering more than 6,000 acres, the Covenant is the oldest and largest neighborhood in Rancho Santa Fe. Homes here start at about $1 Million, but can prospective buyers may pay upwards of $20 Million for larger estates.
- Fairbanks Ranch: A gated community in Rancho Santa Fe, Fairbanks Ranch is named for the nearby Fairbanks Ranch Country Club. Homes in the neighborhood are a mix of 1980s architecture and new constructions.
- The Bridges: This is the premier neighborhood in Rancho Santa Fe for golf enthusiasts. The estates are set behind the club, and feature the height of luxury resort living, with 24-hour security and an onsite staff that treats residents like royalty.
- The Crosby: Like the Bridges, the Crosby Estates are linked to the Crosby Golf Club, and feature a range of luxury amenities, including a tennis club, workout space, and upscale dining options. Homes here are split between semi-custom new constructions and available villas.
- Del Mar Country Club: Homes in this Golf Club community average 5,000-10,000 square feet in size, and were mostly constructed after 1995. A small estate community, Del Mar Country Club includes just 91 estates, along with amenities like the community clubhouse, pool, and tennis courts.
Rancho Santa Fe Schools
Younger students in Rancho Santa Fe will attend the R. Roger Rowe Schools for elementary and middle school education. Both schools are highly ranked in San Diego, and consistently receive high scores on the Academic Performance Index (API). In addition to the core curriculum, these schools also provide programs in music, the arts, and digital learning.
Since there isn’t a high school within Rancho Santa Fe, older students living in Rancho Santa Fe can attend Torrey Pines High School in nearby Del Mar. Students can choose from a variety of courses like debate, acting, dance, computer science, and can also participate in advanced programs like the AP Capstone Program. Families living in Rancho Santa Fe can also choose from several local private schools, all of which are highly rated.
Rancho Santa Fe Weather
Like many coastal California communities, Rancho Santa Fe benefits from beautiful weather, all year round. Typically, the average temperature in the area fluctuates from 50-80 degrees, rarely dipping below 40 degrees and peaking at about 89 degrees. While summers here are hot, the consistent breezes from the coast help keep the neighborhood from becoming stifling. Plus, Rancho Santa Fe gets 263 sunny days per year, give you plenty of time to hit the beach.
Country Club Life in Rancho Santa Fe
People living in Rancho Santa Fe chose the area for its tranquility, exclusivity, and range of deluxe amenities. Golf is one of the most popular pastimes for Rancho Santa Fe residents, and most locals here belong to at least one club in the area. Some of the most popular golf courses and driving ranges in Rancho Santa Fe can be found at the following Clubs:
- Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club
- The Farms Golf Club
- Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe
- Fairbanks Ranch Country Club
- Morgan Run Club & Resort
In addition to golf, these Clubs offer a range of activities, from Olympic sized swimming pools to private tennis courts, upscale private dining options and spa services. The Clubs also serve as social hubs for Rancho Santa Fe citizens, organizing group activities, parties, and sports tournaments for members to enjoy.
Where to Eat in Rancho Santa Fe
Thyme in the Ranch
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For a casual but delicious breakfast or lunch in Rancho Santa Fe, stop into the Thyme in the Ranch Restaurant. Breakfast includes decadent pastries and three different homemade quiches, while lunch favorites include the thyme salad and the flatbread pizzas.
- Hours: 7AM–3PM Tuesday-Saturday, Closed Sunday-Monday
- Website: http://www.thymeintheranch.com/
- Address: 16905 Avenida De Acacias, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92091
- Phone: (858) 759-0747
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“Mille Fleurs” literally translates to “one thousand flowers,” and commonly references a decadent flower pattern used in tapestries and fine art pieces. At the Mille Fleurs restaurant in Rancho Santa Fe, this concept comes to life in the form of delectable dishes, served in an elegant atmosphere for the perfect night out.
- Hours: 6–9:30PM Sunday-Wednesday, 11:30AM–2PM, 6–9:30PM Thursday-Friday, 5:30–9:30PM Saturday
- Website: http://www.millefleurs.com/
- Address: 6009 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
- Phone: (858) 756-3085
The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe
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The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe is one of the foremost resorts in the community itself and features a fine dining restaurant and a top-shelf whiskey bar, along with options for private dining. The main restaurant, called the Morada, features a new menu each season with fresh seafood, and perfectly charred steaks.
- Hours: 7AM-9:30PM Sunday-Saturday
- Website: https://www.theinnatrsf.com/dining/morada/
- Address: 5951 Linea Del Cielo, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
- Phone: (858) 381-8289
Moving to Rancho Santa Fe
Rancho Santa Fe is the height of luxury living on the west coast. If you can afford the price of entry, the community provides the perfect escape from everyday life, with stunning estates, myriad conveniences, and peaceful surroundings that will make you feel like you’re on vacation every day. While living here isn’t for everyone, for the locals who call Rancho Santa Fe home, it is perfect.
For more information on the Rancho Santa Fe community, or to inquire about our concierge level moving services, you can call (858) 230-8281 to speak with a moving professional today. We can help make your relocation effortless, so you can focus on enjoying your incredible new home.