Volleyball Courts, Children’s Park, Bonfire Pits and More: Moonlight Beach is a True Family Friendly Beach in San Diego
“The moon was up, painting the world silver, making things look just a little more alive.” -N.D. Wilson
The first time I heard about “Moonlight Beach” was last fall during a midwife visit in Encinitas. (Check out everything there is to do in Encinitas
!) My midwife suggested we check it out with our 4 year old as it has a great play ground and is a wonderful place to have lunch and spend some time before heading back down into the heart of San Diego where we live. Being the beach bums at heart that we naturally are, we punched “Moonlight Beach” into our GPS and headed straight there following our appointment with her.
Come to find out, Moonlight Beach
is actually a State Beach and is located about one fifth of a mile beyond the point where Encinitas Blvd turns into B Street after it crosses HWY 101. There isn’t a major parking lot but we easily found a spot along the street. They do however have a “loading zone” right by the entrance of the beach so if you’re planning to spend the day or have surf boards, picnic supplies etc to unload you can do so easily before finding your parking spot on the street.
The first thing I noted was how clean and modern the beach is. The restroom facilities are spacious and well-kept with high ceilings and lots of natural light coming in. They are located right next to the play ground area which is fully equipped with all the fun of slides, swings and of course monkey bars galore! Our 4 year old had a blast playing there for nearly an hour before we could convince her to come with us out closer to the sea. There were a handful of local mamas there with their babes, chatting, snacking & playing in the beautiful Cali sunshine. It was not overly crowded by any means, but had a nice amount of people to socialize with.
Between the playground and the sea at this incredible San Diego beach is a nice expanse of soft, blonde sand. There are 3 volleyball courts, which are actually quite well-known as a place for doubles to come and enjoy a game of bump, set & spike. (Our friend Ella loves playing volleyball
at this beach!) Along with the volleyball courts, there are some grass umbrella covered tables for a shady spot to enjoy a snack or drink.
We made our way down a cement pathway that leads towards the water and kicked off our shoes as it all turned into sand. The familiar soothing feeling of bare feet sinking into soft sand always instantly soothes my soul. Feeling grounded & refreshed, I inhaled a deep breath with closed eyes and then opened them to really take in the beauty of this place. To my left was an endless strip of beach and crashing waves, to my right (North) the same, except it also had cliffs with lovely homes overlooking the horizon. How can you not wonder when you see them what it must be like to wake up to this view everyday, or catch these sunsets each night!!? GORGEOUS!
We walked for a bit and then plopped down on some sand and enjoyed some snacks we had packed (never leave your house without food and water when you have a 4 year old – they can become ravishingly hungry or thirsty at any moment and patience isn’t a priority for them!) The tide was on it’s way out & the sun was just perfect with the gentle ocean breeze. This was a beach we MUST return to again, I thought to myself.
A few days ago we went again and this time at sunset with my mom who is in town visiting. Now that it’s in the middle of summer and more of a touristy time of year, I noticed the beach was busier but again, we found parking easily and it wasn’t too packed the way some beaches get in these months. This beach is also the normal spot for some great events like the annual Switchfoot Bro-Am Surf Tournament
. When I took my mom the other day, the sunset was AMAAAZING ! Orange, pink, yellow & blue danced together in sky and sea creating such a stunning show for all who stood by watching. It was hard not to be captivated by the beauty & that was apparent because nearly every person on that beach had their smart phone out trying to snap, video, Facebook and Instagram what was unfolding before us! lol 🙂 As that neon orange sun dipped below the horizon, the sky continued to light up in vibrant colors. Behind us, we could see bon fires lighting up
. The smell of grilled meats filled the air & music from a drum circle created a true California summer night ambience.
After enjoying the evening, we grabbed our flip flops and blanket and headed back to the car. Just before stepping off the sand and onto the sidewalk to make our way to the car, I looked up and low and behold what was beaming back at me?.. The moon, so bright, so big, so bold!… ah haaa.. there you are, Moonlight Beach! <3