7 Things Every Family Should Know About Moonlight State Beach in San Diego

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Moonlight State Beach in San Diego has become a favorite for many people traveling in or around San Diego.

Why? Well, for one, it is one of the most family-oriented state beaches out there.

Due to its convenience and commodities, there really is no reason why you shouldn’t put Moonlight State Beach at the top of your list to visit.

Many people have noted that Moonlight State Beach carries that 60’s beach culture vibe with its smaller town and still upbringing look.

The beach town of moonlight beach has a number of your favorite mom and pop shops such as boutiques and restaurants.

The most beautiful thing about Moonlight State Beach itself is the incredible erosion of rocky bluffs that make up the beach alone.

It’s crazy to think how erosion accounts for these rocky bluffs, that look so cool. 

Why vacation at Moonlight State Beach in San Diego

Moonlight State Beach is located in San Diego California and found 27.4 miles from the International Airport.

So you’re probably expecting about a 37 min drive, give or take with the traffic. Either way, it isn’t too far as to reap the benefits of this cool vibrate beach town. 

The beach is and should be your number one destination to hit since the beach scene is perfect for families, tourists, and local BBQ users that need that relaxing weekend. 

Local surf is also very popular at Moonlight State Beach. So if you are an avid surfer or it’s your first time trying to surf, then why wait.

You won’t be disappointed in choosing this beach as your go-to place. 

After checking out the beach, you can drive around the vibrant beach town to find the many boutiques or yoga studios that line the streets.

There is even a meditation garden to check out where you can find that peace and balance. 

Furthermore, what gives this edgy beach town its feel is also the abundant vintage cars that take on the streets of Encinitas. 

While you driving around, don’t forget to check out the yummy restaurants and eateries around here. 

7 things every family should know about Moonlight State Beach

Moonlight State Beach is a family beach

This means you will definitely find lifeguards on duty here. You will definitely feel a sense of assurance knowing that your little ones are under supervision.

But of course, you should still always keep your eyes on your children. There are several lifeguard towers throughout the area.

Children’s Playground Area

The cool thing about this beach is that there is a playground right at the entrance of this beach.

You can let your little ones make friends since the area is always busy with children playing. It is the perfect place to let your kids run wild. 

Volleyball Courts

At the main entrance of Moonlight State Beach, where the playground is located, you can also find volleyball courts on the sand.

So bring a volleyball with you and make sure to get there early to play. Some summer days will be filled with people playing volleyball early.

A Snack Shop

Have you ever been to a beach where there is an actual snack shop? Probably not. Moonlight State Beach entrance has everything you could possibly need.

From showers, bathrooms to a legit snack shop where you can buy ice cream.

Beach Rentals

Did you forget to bring something such as beach chairs or any other beach-related item?

Then fret not, cut right next to that snack shop and you can find beach rentals for the day. 

Free Parking

Yes, parking is limited. But it is also free. And if you want to snag those free parking spots that means you have to wake up early and get to them.

The most convenient parking is on D Street which means it is right in front of the children’s playground area.

So it is a quick walk. The cool thing is that it is also found very close to the parking lot. So if you are carrying a lot of things with you then it is a short walk to the car.

Fire Pits for a Bonfire

Staying for the night? If you answered yes, then definitely bring your marshmallows and graham crackers with you.

There are bonfire rings in Moonlight State Beach. But of course in order to snag one you need to get there early!

As they all say: the early bird gets the worm.

Moonlight State Beach rules to follow

Nobody likes rules, but you still need to be sure you keep these in mind when visiting. 

You can definitely know what to expect when you arrive. First things first.

  • No fire on the beach– You do have fire pits, so of course you can’t make a fire on the sand itself. But if you would like to make a bonfire then arrive early and secure one of these. 
  • No skateboardingMoonlight State Beach does not have a boardwalk so you cannot skateboard around. There is no paved boardwalk for you to even do so. 


Moonlight State Beach San Diego is one of those beaches that families just love and enjoy because of the amenities offered to children and travelers alike. 

One of the many reasons why you should visit this beach is because of the 60’s beach culture vibe you probably couldn’t find anywhere else. 

Not only is the beach spectacular, but the beach town is as well. 

You will run into many mom-and-pop shops such as boutiques and even delicious restaurants.

The town is lined with yoga studios and even a meditation garden guests can enjoy. 

The vintage vibe here is very real since you can find cars from the 80s driving around the area. 

As with every beach, Moonlight beach offers everything you need. If you need beach rentals then you have that here.

Need a quick snack such as ice cream. Check. Need volleyball nets to play a game. Check.

Looking to make a bonfire for the night then get here early and you can secure one of these as well. 

Since this beach is very popular with families one of the cool amenities you have is a children’s play area.

It is here, where you can find showers, bathrooms, a snack shop, a beach rental location, a medical emergency location, and even picnic tables and BBQ grills. 

This area is made to be your lifesaver place. The place is meant to be your secret haven.

The cool thing is that the parking lot is found very close to this area. If you want FREE parking then you have to come early to get these spots.

Or else you’ll have to vulture around the streets looking for parking.

And yes, it is limited here. 

All in all, Moonlight Beach in San Diego is gorgeous

So tell me…have you visited Moonlight State Beach?

Looking for beaches in San Diego with gorgeous pier views? Then click here to read where you can find them.

Looking for a future beach vacations, then look no further than Florida. Some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches are found there. Click to read more. 

Jess and Jeanette are two sisters who were inspired by their family beach vacations while growing up. Their passion lies in guiding you toward the most remarkable beach destinations across the United States! Cheers! ❤️

5 BEACH MUST-HAVES: Gear up for a sun-soaked adventure! Do you have yours?

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