Encinitas Beaches

The city of Encinitas California can be found resting on the coast in northern San Diego County, south of Carlsbad and Oceanside. For those who like surfing, it’s a great place to be. The Encinitas beaches have long been known as southern California surfing Meccas, and you’ll get a true taste of surfing culture should you visit them. Because Encinitas California, which is home to some 58,000 residents, is just 25 miles north of downtown San Diego, you can always enjoy trips into the city when you’re not riding waves or soaking up some sun on the sand. Head 95 miles to the north, and you’ll hit Los Angeles, so you can consider including a side trip there as well.

Beach Vacation Rentals
Beach Vacation Rentals

Swimming and fishing are just two of the other recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed in addition to surfing at the Encinitas beaches, and such is the case at Moonlight Beach, which begins where a hill and the residential area atop it end. Just a few blocks to the east is downtown Encinitas if you want to head into town for a bite to eat or a shop to shop at. Long, wide, flat, and sandy, it is an ideal beach for long walks, and starting up a fire in the beach’s fire pits is a good way to usher in the evening. Because lifeguards are prevalent at Moonlight Beach, it is one of the best Encinitas beaches for families. You’ll also find public restrooms and showers here, not to mention a snack bar, a children’s playground, picnic tables, and volleyball courts. In other words, you’ll have everything that you will need to have a full and fun day when hanging out at Moonlight Beach. Parking is available atop the hill overlooking the beach, and since the summertime brings the most visitors, arriving early to get a spot is a good idea. If the lot is full, you can try to find a spot to the near north on either 4th Street or 5th Street.

Encinitas Beaches
Encinitas Beaches

Heading north of Moonlight Beach, you’ll eventually hit Beacons Beach and Grandview Beach, which are two additional Encinitas beaches that you will want to check out when in town. Also known as Leucadia State Beach, Beacons Beach is one of the top surf spots in the area. Unlike Moonlight Beach, Beacons Beach lacks facilities, and there are no lifeguards here. Many locals enjoy this small beach because it is easy to miss and does not often attract tourists. You can park your car at the parking lot on Neptune Avenue and walk down to the small beach, which in addition to lacking lifeguards also lacks public restrooms. Because you have to use stairs and a bit of a precarious trail to get down to Beacons Beach, it is not recommended for those who have mobility issues. This is not the case at Moonlight Beach, which boasts a new walking path and is rather easy to access. While food concessions are not to be had at Beacons Beach, you can always walk to the eateries on Highway 101, which is just a couple of blocks to the east.

Encinitas California
Encinitas California

Grandview Beach is just north of Beacons Beach, and it too is part of the greater Leucadia State Beach, which can be somewhat confusing for visitors. These two beaches were basically grouped together to form Leucadia State Beach, though locals like to call them by their original names. There’s still a sign at Grandview Beach that reads “Grandview,” so it still maintains a bit of its original flavor. Grandview Beach is just south of the Carlsbad beaches, and like Beacons Beach, it lacks the range of facilities that Moonlight Beach offers. Backing Grandview Beach are some bluff-top homes that offer stunning ocean views, and at high tide, you might just have to stay atop the bluffs here to gaze at the ocean yourself. Because Grandview Beach is none too wide, high tide usually sees it lying under water. Because Beacons Beach and Grandview Beach are relatively difficult to access and lacking in facilities, they are less crowded than Moonlight Beach, so if it’s a bit of solitude that you seek when hitting a beach in Encinitas California, they are both an ideal fit.

Cardiff by the Sea
Cardiff by the Sea

To the south of Encinitas and north of Solana Beach lies Cardiff by the Sea, a beautiful and small beach town. Surfing and other water sports are some of the most popular activities. Cardiff Reef is an active spot for surfers of all abilities and is used all throughout the year. Technically a part of the city of Encinitas, Cardiff by the Sea has its own slew of lodging and dining options. Cardiff by the Sea Lodge is one of them, with its incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and putting you within walking distance of a variety of top attractions.

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