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Encinitas Beaches

Running parallel to historic Highway 101, the beaches in Encinitas are some of the best hidden gems in San Diego. The terrain ranges from white sand beaches to rocky bluffs, and legendary surf spots line the coast.

Surf Vibes and Good Times

Running parallel to historic Highway 101, the beaches in Encinitas are some of the best hidden gems in San Diego's North County Coastal region. The terrain ranges from white sand beaches to rocky bluffs, and legendary surf spots line the coast. An eclectic mix of ‘60s-inspired beach culture combined with boutique shopping, contemporary restaurants, new age meditation gardens and yoga studios, Encinitas is a vibrant and authentic beach town where the local surf scene rules, vintage cars take to the streets, and hipsters reside.

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, despite state law.
  • Swami's is the popular surf break at the southernmost end of Encinitas, set 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.
  • 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.


  • Moonlight Beach offers a large, dedicated free parking area.
  • Swami’s offers a free parking lot.
  • Street parking along residential neighborhoods is 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 Lifeguards. 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 is allowed in designated areas.

Directions to Encinitas Beaches

  • Exit Encinitas Boulevard from the I-5 freeway 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.

What to Know

  • Plenty of dining and shopping opportunities are within walking distance of Moonlight Beach on Highway 101.
  • Dogs, portable grills, alcohol, smoking and glass are prohibited on these beaches.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

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