Moonlight Beach in Encinitas Is One of the Best Hidden Gems!

Encinitas, California, should be at the top of your U.S. bucket list if you love spending time in the great outdoors. One of the reasons why is Moonlight Beach in Encinitas! This beautiful seaside spot features everything you need to enjoy an absolutely perfect beach day in North County San Diego. Below, we’ve compiled everything you need to know before planning your trip to Moonlight Beach. Check out our suggestions, then if you’d like more local recommendations, be sure to:

All You Need to Know About Moonlight Beach in Encinitas

Where Is Moonlight Beach?

Also known as Moonlight State Beach, Moonlight Beach is a California State Park located in the heart of Encinitas. Find it at the west end of Encinitas Boulevard (not far from I-5). If you’re driving, look for the spot where Highway 101 becomes B Street. You should see a paid parking lot entrance on C Street with plenty of open spots. There’s also free street parking surrounding the beach, but these spots fill up quickly (especially in the summer). For those staying at The Inn at Moonlight Beach, this is only a 7-minute walk—no driving necessary!

What Can I Do at Moonlight Beach?

If you dream it, you can do it at Moonlight State Beach! In fact, this spot is so popular because of its variety of things to do. As the beach most central to the city of Encinitas, this state park features everything you need for a family-friendly day by the sea. Aside from soaking up the sun from your chair or towel and swimming, here are just a few of the ways you can spend your time here:

  • Enjoying the playground with your little ones
  • Picnicking in the lush grass
  • Playing volleyball at one of the sand courts
  • Playing tennis
  • Roasting s’mores at one of the on-site fire rings
  • Surfing (allowed past the swimming-only zone).

In addition to these fun on-site activities, Moonlight Beach also features the following amenities:

  • Lifeguards on duty
  • Restrooms
  • Showers
  • Picnic tables
  • A snack bar
  • Equipment available for rent.

When Is the Best Time to Visit?

We’ll get straight to the point: There is no “bad time” to visit Moonlight Beach! Southern California is one of the few regions in the world that boasts a relatively constant (and exceedingly comfortable!) temperature range year-round. Even in the doldrums of winter, daytime high temperatures rarely fall below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re looking to avoid the summertime crowds, try to visit in the winter. If you’re yearning for a warmer day at the beach, we recommend visiting in July, August, or September.

Come Back After the Best Beach Day to Serenity and Luxury!

Located in the heart of North County San Diego, the newly renovated Inn at Moonlight Beach is a beachgoer’s dream accommodation. Our high-end, family-owned inn is not only within walking distance of the best family-friendly beaches, surfing destinations, and downtown Encinitas restaurants, but it’s also designed to nourish life from the inside out. Our modern, boutique inn is the first hospitality building in the world undergoing the WELL Building Standard™ certification. Our Sublime Suites’ thoughtful architecture and flourishing gardens make for a truly unique, elegant retreat just blocks from Moonlight Beach. Thanks to the clean air, purified water, circadian lighting, nutritious food, and on-site spiritual wellness activities, discovering your healthiest self begins here.


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