All Encinitas beaches are operated by the city, including Moonlight State Beach.
Parks and Recreation: (760) 633-2740
Beach Hours: 4 AM - 2 AM
Parking Hours: 5 AM - 10 PM
Caution: Check with rangers or lifeguards that conditions are safe for your planned activities.
Moonlight Beach is the gem of Encinitas' beaches. With easy access, free parking, great facilities, lifeguards, and wonderful sand and surf, the beach attracts visitors from around the area. Recent upgrades to the restrooms and snack shop have helped Moonlight Beach stand out as the best family destination along this section of the coast.
Restrooms with showers, picnic areas, a playground, lifeguard headquarters, and fire rings are some of the features that visitors enjoy here.
Considered by many the premier surfing destination along the Encinitas coast, Swami's Beach is located at the south end of the city at a crook in the shoreline that helps to generate the popular waves. Access the beach off South Coast Highway 101 at Swami's Seaside Park. A parking lot (with spaces for about 30 cars), picnic area, and restrooms are located there. More parking can be found along the highway shoulder. A ramp and stairs lead down to the beach.
Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months. Many people enjoy Swami's as a place to start their walk along the beach, heading north or south. Joggers are often seen here, too. Some tide pools can be explored during low tides.
Boneyard Beach is accessible by walking north from Swami's Beach. The stretch of sand between J and E streets has no facilities, but it is popular for those seeking a more secluded patch of sand and with surfers. Rising tides can cover the sand, so visitors should be wary.
Reach the beach via steps leading down from a viewpoint at the foot of D Street. Parking is along surface streets. While there are no facilities here, it is close enough to Moonlight Beach to trot up there for restrooms and food. Lifeguards are on duty here during the summer months.
North of Moonlight Beach, Stone Steps Beach is found at the foot of N. El Portal Street where it crosses Neptune Avenue. Parking is found along neighborhood streets. Nearly 100 stepping stones lead down to the beach. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer.
You can reach Encinitas Beach by walking north from Stone Steps Beach. Surfers, swimmers, and sunbathers like the area, away from the busier stretches of beach in Encinitas. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer, but there are no other facilities.
Visitors to Beacon's Beach will find a small parking lot along Neptune Avenue near Leucadia Boulevard. A trail zig-zags down to the beach. Once again, lifeguards are on duty during the summer, but there are no other facilities here. It is a favorite destination for surfers and can often be crowded out on the water.
A small parking lot off Neptune Avenue marks the entrance to Grandview Beach. Stairs lead down to the beach. It is a popular spot for surfing, swimming, scuba diving, and sun bathing.
The Coaster commuter train runs along the Pacific coast in San Diego County, with stops at 8 stations between San Diego and Oceanside. Every weekday more than 20 trains make the scenic journey, with more trains on weekends. The entire Coaster route only takes about an hour.
California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs,
pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as
playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly."
Learn more about ocean safety at
CA State Parks: Ocean Safety