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Encinitas Beaches

399 C Street
Encinitas, CA 92024

Region: North County Coastal

An eclectic mix of 60’s inspired beach culture combined with boutique shopping, contemporary restaurants, new age meditation gardens and yoga studios, Encinitas, Ca. is a vibrant and authentic beach town where the local surf scene rules, vintage cars take to the streets, and hip locals reside. The beaches in Encinitas are coveted by locals as hidden gems, where the terrain ranges from white sand beaches to rocky bluffs, and legendary surf spots line the coast.

Where to go

  • Moonlight State Beach at the end of Encinitas Boulevard is where the shore drops down nearer to sea level, and is the easiest of Encinitas' beaches to find and use. With a large sandy area, a recreational playground, snack bar, bathrooms, showers, fire pits, volleyball courts and ample parking, this is a popular beach for families and vacationers looking to spend the whole day at the beach.
  • D Street is the access point to the mile-long beach also known as Boneyards that runs below the bluffs from Moonlight Beach south to Swami's point. D Street is a rocky cobblestone-encumbered spot better suited to surfing than sunbathing, although some of those dedicated enough to make the pilgrimage are also devoted enough to bare it all.
  • Swami's is the name ascribed to the popular surf break at the southernmost end of Encinitas below bluffs where the golden-spired Self-Realization Center is located- an enduring symbol of Encinitas' positive and spiritual vibe. A great surf break, this spot is highly coveted by local surfers. If you’re a surfing devotee, definitely paddle out and join the line. For those who worship neither surf nor sun, Sea Cliff - the small park adjacent to the Swami's parking lot - offers an idyllic setting of shade trees, picnic tables, barbecues and clean bathrooms. Divers occasionally visit the reef here, but far better sites are to be found in La Jolla and Point Loma.


  • Moonlight offers a large dedicated free parking area
  • Swami’s offers a free parking lot
  • Street parking along residential neighborhoods are also free

Bathrooms & Showers

  • Restrooms and shower facilities are available at Moonlight Beach and Swami’s. Showers at Swami’s are at the bottom of the stairs at beach level.


  • The Lifeguard station at Moonlight Beach serves as the main outpost for Encinitas Life Guards. The stand at Moonlight Beach is staffed year-around
  • Lifeguard stands at other Encinitas beaches are staffed seasonally depending on weather conditions and the number of beach patrons. During spring and summer months, lifeguards are active and available.

Popular Activities

  • Surfing, paddle boarding, boogie boarding
  • Sunbathing and beach volleyball at Moonlight Beach
  • Body surfing and swimming allowed in designated areas

Directions to Encinitas Beaches

  • Exit Encinitas Boulevard from the 5 FWY and head west. Encinitas Boulevard becomes B Street as soon as you cross Pacific Coast Highway, and B Street leads directly to the parking lot at Moonlight Beach. Simply head south two blocks to find D Street, or continue south on Coast Highway to Swami's (look for the sign just south of the golden towers).

What to Love

  • Tide pools during extreme low tides at Swamis.
  • Bonfires after dark at Moonlight Beach.
  • Beach Volleyball at Moonlight Beach.
  • Little fingers can dig in the sand here to find sand crabs - but please throw them back after you've had a look.

What to Know

  • Plenty of dining and shopping opportunities are within walking distance of Moonlight Beach on HWY 101.
  • There are no dogs, portable grills, alcohol, smoking for glass allowed on the beaches here.

Browse the articles and listings below to read more about the white sandy beaches, rocky bluffs, and legendary surf spots in Encinitas!

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