About Moonlight

One of North San Diego County’s more dependable, user-friendly beachbreaks, Moonlight Beach is a consistent stretch of coast that enjoys exposure to swells from both the NW and SW, thus having waves pretty much year-round. Gentle and forgiving when it’s small, Moonlight Beach can be an ideal spot for beginners to start to figure things out. As the swell increases, the beachbreak becomes mores challenging with more powerful surf and stronger currents. The best time of year at Moonlight Beach is during the autumn months, when a combination of swells can provide crossed-up, peaky surf and offshore winds or glassy conditions are common.

Source: Moonlight Surf Guide

Ability Level

All Abilities

Beg Int Adv

On small days, Moonlight Beach is an ideal spot for beginners to learn at. As the swell rises, things get more challenging, and when it’s shoulder-high to overhead, it can be plenty challenging.

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

A user-friendly break that accommodates beginner and experienced surfers alike, Moonlight can get pretty good on its day and when it is, the talented local crew know it. There’s plenty of room to spread out, so find a lightly attended peak and have some fun.

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

Gets busy on a warm summer day with small to moderate surf. Conversely, cold winter days can be relatively empty. The crowds are generally mellow and not too much to stress over.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

A dependable, fairly soft beachbreak that is average most of the time, Moonlight can offer moments of bliss when combo swells cross things up and provide more juice to make the wave break top-to-bottom.

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

On small days, the paddle at Moonlight Beach is a relatively easy one, but when it’s pumping on a good NW or SW, you’ll definitely be feeling the burn on the way out.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty

Most of the time it’s clean, but like most Southern California surf spots, caution should be exercised after periods of heavy rain.

Additional Information


The same hazards that apply to most San Diego beachbreaks apply here — rip currents, stingrays and other humans.


Paid parking lot at C Street with free street parking.

Bring Your

Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard


Shifting sandbars make for scattered peaks up and down the beach.

Best Season

Picking up a wide range of swells, it’s surfable most of the year. Autumn is especially nice as combo swells can sync up with offshore Santa Ana conditions.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos