Moonlight Beach, San Diego, California

Moonlight Beach

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Ensinitas Beach, San Diego
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Highlights | Logistics | Getting There | Insider Tips


Moonlight State Beach, a few blocks west of downtown Encinitas, offers all the fine beach perks that make for a nice day on the beautiful Pacific Ocean, including picnic areas with tables, lifeguards, restrooms, fire rings, volleyball courts, and public parking.

Moonlight State Beach is a family / locals kind of beach that is flat, sandy, and perfect for a picnic and a day of sunning. The athletically inclined will find some serious volleyball at the three beach courts. Encinitas has a flea market each weekend. Pick up snacks and picnic items from downtown or grab a bite to eat at the Encinitas Café (531 South Highway 101), which serves American-style food and breakfast all day.


There’s a public parking lot above Moonlight State Beach that usually has ample spaces. However, during the summer, it can fill up. Arrive early or you may end up parking on the street.

Getting There

Take I-5 to Encinitas Boulevard and go west. Encinitas Boulevard turns into “B” Street, where the beach is located, after crossing Highway 101. Street. Those with time on their hands can take the Amtrak “Coaster” train up the coast to Encinitas. The station is about five blocks from the beach.

For loading and unloading beach gear, the parking lots have convenient loading zones — great for families with children.

Insider Tips

Moonlight State Beach is one of our favorites for families with children. The beach is well monitored by lifeguards and has a nice playground, clean plentiful restrooms, and outdoor showers. It also has a snack bar, which comes in handy when the kids need a treat like soda or ice cream. If you want a little more privacy, simply walk north or south along the beach.

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