The community of Olivenhain is primarily single family custom homes with relatively large lots. Minimum lot sizes range from 0.5 acres (2,000 m2) to 5 acres (20,000 m2). The topography tends to be rolling, and most streets are small and winding through the hills.
Olivenhain has a vast network of recreational trails, used by walkers and equestrians. A common sight in the area during late afternoons and dusk are hot air balloons.
Olivenhain has a darker sky than most coastal San Diego towns due to its "Dark Sky Policy" which restricts lights from street lights, tennis courts, and other forms of light pollution.