Moonlight Beach State Beach Pictures and Information | Encinitas, California

Moonlight State Beach is situated in a residential neighborhood at the bottom of a hill which gently slopes to the Pacific Ocean.  A wide, sandy beach offers swimming, surfing and fishing. Facilities include volleyball and tennis courts,  recreational equipment rentals and a snack bar. The "moonlight" in the name of the beach comes from the fact that residents used to come to the area for  midnight picnics in the early 1900s.  Moonlight Beach is located on the West end of B Street at 4th and B Streets, Encinitas, California


 Another spin on the name, Moonlight Beach, says that Chinese immigrants building the railroad system gave way to  smuggling of liquor during the prohibition of the early 20th century. A boat came to the shore of Moonlight beach with cans of illegal alcoholic beverage.


Gazing toward a landmark palm which stands alone, you might see "peace" and "love" signs planted way up on the tree. Sometimes the signs are changed, lights are added or whatever is in season. 


A wheelchair access ramp which extends  toward the ocean, allows the disabled to enjoy the beach and waves.  Residents and tourists  can now "stroll" along the sand, thanks to a $7,00 polyethylene walkway installed by the City of Encinitas. Parents with strollers enjoy the ramp, too. Moonlight Beach is located west of I-5 on Encinitas Boulevard in Encinitas.  San Diego Coast State Parks Management District operates this facility which includes picnic tables, fire pits, view point benches, grass thatched awnings to watch volleyball played on sand courts and rest rooms.


Popular for classic car shows such as an annual gathering of Woodies, the parking lot for the beach sits back high atop the bluff. It is large but fills up in the summer months. Try parking on 4th and  5th streets to the north or take Coaster and walk from Encinitas train station five blocks away.


Restrooms: Moonlight Beach has both showers and restrooms.

Moonlight beach from hilltop view
birds fly over ocean
beach volleyball moonlight

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