Life's a beach

Encinitas Travel Blog

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Encinitas has the whole beach town vibe, right down to the sandy shores.  Each beach has a different vibe though, and it's good to know what you're getting into before you're there.

Moonlight: The most family friendly, Moonlight has the largest parking lot, showers, fire pits, and a snack stand.  The surf is rather small and managable for young kids, and there are always tons of families out on the weekends.  At night, the bonfires are almost always packed with hooligans on the weeknights, and people looking to just hang out on the weekends.  While there are designated areas for surfing, Moonlight is more for frolicking in the water.  This beach also have volleyball courts, and during the summer Junior Lifeguards is held here, so beware during the summer months, as the parking lot will fill to capacity and it'll be hard to be a bonfire pit after ten am.

D Street: Just a block down from Moonlight, D Street beach is rather isolated still, because one has to descend around 100 stairs to get from the cliff to the shore.  More surfers congregate at D Street, and so does "Mick Jagger," the most famous crazy in Encinitas.

Swami's: My personal favorite.  Swami's has some of the best surfing in San Diego, primarly because of the reefs.  When the tide is out, the tide pools are quite fun to explore, and this is when most families are on the beach.  However, to get to Swami's, you must descend the stairs, which is quite a task considering that the tiny parking lot is on top of the 80 cliff.  However, once you're down there, you realize most people don't make the treck and it's virtually tourist free.

Grandview: Hard to find, excellent surf, but when the tide is up, there is no beach.  This is definately a beach for surfers, not for tanners.  But the vistas are amazing, and if you're into photography, you most certainly want to check it out.

While there are a few other main beaches in Encinitas, these are the main four that people might encounter during a trip in Encinitas.  If you venture north to Carlsbad, they have an extensive boardwalk which makes running near the beach easier, even if it does destroy the natural coastline.  Just to the south in Cardiff is Pipes, a rather easy break for beginners.  Personally, I'd just go to Swami's and call it a day, but Moonlight is the best bet if you want easy parking, easy access to food and amenities, and an easy day.
travelman727 says:
Great review! My niece attends Point Loma Nazarene University and loves to surf :-D
Posted on: May 17, 2007
Eric says:
Cool, thanks for the guide! I've been to D-Street a few times and it was pretty fun, and also Cardiff. I'll have to check out some of those other places when I'm down in SD!
Posted on: May 12, 2007
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