I’m fortunate to live in Southern California because if I drive in any direction for an hour, there’s something completely different and cool. Take Encinitas. It’s just a 45-minute drive from my house, but it feels like somewhere really far away. In a nutshell, I find Encinitas to be a funky, laid-back, spiritual kinda town. Love it!

Recently I was invited by Inn at Moonlight Beach to be a guest, so I grabbed one of my gals and headed up for a short but sweet overnight.

Inn at Moonlight Beach: Secluded Paradise Near Everything

inn at moonlight beach

The big deal about the Inn is that it’s WELL certified. Essentially, that means that in addition to using environmentally-friendly building materials, the facility also takes measures to enhance human health and wellbeing. Sounds fancy, right?

In reality, it meant a beautifully-designed building with such wonderful attention to detail throughout the property. Our room was equipped with a sound machine (I liked the rainforest sounds), tea kept warm over a small candle, and a healing stone.

Outside, there was a veritable garden of Eden! Native succulents, which thrive in SoCal, spilled out of every corner. Asian-inspired statues lent an air of calm. And on a tiered hill sat a vegetable garden that was open to guests to harvest from! We even got to make our own succulent boxes to take home.

succulent box

Additionally there were plenty of complimentary healthy snacks (and wine and beer!) available in the lobby. In the morning, a basket of yummy and healthy treats was delivered to our door.

All in all, the experience felt like that of a remote spa, but as you’ll soon see, the Inn was so close to downtown Encinitas that we had the best of both worlds.

PS you can read my full review on Inn at Moonlight Beach on Nancy D. Brown’s blog.

A Quick Jaunt to Moonlight Beach at Sunset

moonlight beach

I can’t speak for what this beach looks like under the moonlight, but the sunset was fabulous. Just down the road is my favorite campsite, San Elijo, where I learned to surf a few years ago. Encinitas is a surfer’s mecca, from what I understand.

We weren’t after much more exercise than meandering down the sunset-pinked sand and watching dogs frolic in the waves. It helped maintain that sense of calm we’d picked up at the Inn.

Downtown Encinitas, Day and Night

owen da frenchie

I adore little downtowns that are filled with funky shops and great eateries. At night, stores were closing up in Encinitas, though we did slip into Soulscape to do a little shopping, since it was open late.

We had a couple of beers at Culture Brewing. (If you love craft beer, Southern California is the place to be. There are more than 150 in San Diego, and even more in outskirts towns like Encinitas.) We met Owen da Frenchie (pictured above), who seems to be a local celebrity. He’s got more followers on Instagram than I do!

After a super sound night of sleep at Inn at Moonlight Beach, we sunned on the beach for an hour, then returned to downtown Encinitas for more shopping and lunch.

A few favorite stores included:

Parking is fairly easy midday, though we parked on a side street a block away.

Dining in Encinitas

chiko encinitas

There are a ton of great restaurant choices in Encinitas. The first night, we ate at Chiko, which I would be more excited about if it hadn’t been so damn hot. It was a hot day and the tiny place is dominated by its open kitchen, so unless you’re lucky enough to snag a table outside, prepare to sweat in the summer.  The food is Chinese and Korean (Chi + Ko. Get it?) and is pretty amazing.

We had lunch at The Bier Garden of Encinitas, which had an extensive menu of both food and beer. I had a veggie burger that was two thumbs up!

bier garden of encinitas

There were lots of other restaurants on the downtown strip that I’d love to try next time.

Encinitas is easy to get to from San Diego and makes for a simple, stress-free getaway, especially if you stay somewhere as soul-enriching as the Inn at Moonlight Beach! I’ll definitely be back for more sweet relaxation.

I was given a comped room at Inn at Moonlight Beach in exchange for a blog review, but opinions are my own.