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About Moonlight State Beach in Encinitas, California

Moonlight State Beach is a California state park that is operated by the city of Encinitas. It’s a popular place with picnic facilities, concessions, volleyball courts, lifeguards, and decent waves for surfing or boogie boarding.

This is the main central beach of Encinitas. It has a grass park with a play area for kids in addition to a large family-friendly beach. The slope of the beach is gradual which makes playing in the surf more fun and a lot safer. Lifeguards have a significant presence here too.

Many clean picnic tables are provided behind the beach and if you forgot to pack a lunch, there is a concessions stand at the beach during the spring and summer months. Beach Wolf Restaurant as it is known, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has shaved ice and coffee drinks too.

Next to the concessions stand there is a shop with rentals for beach chairs, umbrellas, towels, surfboards, and boogie boards. They even have wet suits since the water here is pretty cold.

This is a popular beach so during the summer the park and the beach will be packed. If you can’t find a space to lay out right at Moonlight Beach, then you can head south to D Street Beach and beyond or just head north toward Stone Steps Beach. The firm sand at Moonlight Beach makes it easy to walk away from the crowds.

Three sand volleyball courts are a big draw here and surfing is allowed outside of the swimming-only zone. Another big draw here are the fire rings for legal bonfires.  If you don’t have your own wood, the rental shop sells firewood and has fire starter.

Moonlight State Beach is located at the west end of Encinitas Boulevard from I-5. After crossing Highway 101, Encinitas Blvd becomes B Street. There is a paid parking lot with an entrance on C Street, but you might want to first look for free street parking in the area. If the lot is full or you plan to park elsewhere, there is a drop-off area next to the sand on B Street.

386 B Street
Encinitas, CA 92024
Park Name
Moonlight State Beach
Pet Details
No dogs allowed on the beach
Fee for parking in the lot, free street parking nearby
Surfing, Sunbathing, Tennis, Volleyball, Bonfires, Beach Walking, Swimming, Beach Biking
Lifeguard, Restrooms, Showers, Playground, Fire Pits, Picnic Tables, Tennis Court, Sand Volleyball Courts, Snack Bar, Grass Park, Rentals, Overlook, ADA Access
Map of Moonlight State Beach
Encinitas, US
6:53 pm, April 23, 2024
temperature icon 60°F
L: 58° H: 62°
Feels like 58.55 °F clear sky
Wind gusts: 3 m/s
UV Index: 0.1
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 6:09 am
Sunset: 7:25 pm
Humidity 72 %
Pressure1016 mb
Wind 3 m/s

Nearby Beaches

D Street Beach

0.2 miles away

D Street Beach is one block south of Moonlight State Beach in Encinitas, CA. As the name suggests the...

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Boneyard Beach

0.4 miles away

Boneyard Beach is located below a very steep cliff between Swami’s Beach and D Street Beach in Encinitas, CA. Boneyards...

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Stone Steps Beach

0.4 miles away

Stonesteps Beach is a neighborhood beach access in Encinitas that is a little off-the-beaten-track and not meant for the...

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Rated 5.0 out of 5
1 review(s)
Very good0%
Rated 5.0 out of 5
May 15, 2023

Awesome beach. Safe, clean restrooms, clean beach, snack bar, parking