Beach to Brew Times 2

Beach Hiking Between Breweries in North San Diego County

Nothing represents North County San Diego better than a walk on the beach and a stop at a local brewery—or two. For a classic brewery-to-beach-to-beach-to-brewery trek, we’ve brewed up a 5-mile round-trip that highlights the best of funky NoCo seaside towns Leucadia and Encinitas, so you can wet your whistle and your feet along the way.

Park on the street at the Saint Archer Brewing Co. taproom in Leucadia, appropriately located next to a “Welcome to Leucadia” mural. Maybe start with something refreshing, such as the famous blonde ale, a gose, or a Tropical IPA, before heading west on Jasper St. Turn left at Neptune Ave., which lands you at the cliffs of Beacon Beach. Switchback your way down the picturesque path to the shore, kick off your shoes, and head south.

It will be 2 miles before you reach the final beach. Enjoy the serenity of the beautiful coastal stroll, passing by scurrying sandpipers, sandstone bluffs, alluring private staircases (avoid eye contact if allergic to envy), and surfers searching for the best break. At the halfway point, you’ll pass by Stonesteps, the second of three public entryways to this pristine stretch of sand. Finally you reach Moonlight State Beach, an amenity-filled shoreline power center, with plenty of volleyball courts, palm umbrellas, restrooms, concession stands, and a spanking new marine safety center.

Head to the Moonlight Overlook and continue south on Moonlight Lane for more coastal vistas at D Street Viewpoint Park. (To the south is famous Swami’s Beach, inaccessible by sand from here.) You are now in Encinitas; to reach the next brewery, go east on D Street to the Coast Highway. Culture Brewing Co. will be across the street on your right. If you’re hungry, nearby Taco Stand serves up fantastic fish tacos. Culture Brewing has plenty of great options (we love Keyhole IPA, a hoppy, grapefruity masterpiece), but the free pretzels and natural, marine-inspired setting seal the deal for a perfect post-beach stop.

You can take the Coast Highway all the way back to your car, but we recommend turning left on B Street and stopping at Dave’s Rock Garden, with its hundreds of individually painted rocks set among bright succulents. From here, walk down to Moonlight and take the beach route back to your car, or stay for sunset. Gnarly, dude!

To get to Saint Archer Brewing Co, take the I-5 to the Leucadia Blvd. exit, heading west. After 0.3 mile, turn right onto Coast Hwy. 101 and find street parking near the intersection of Jasper St. (the brewery is on your left). No dogs on the beach or in breweries.

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Excellent Point

    Point Reyes National Seashore has several mountain bike–friendly trails that are itching to be explored. For a fantastic ride with sweeping views of Drakes Estero and southern Point Reyes, make the 4.3-mile (one-way) ride out to Drakes Head.

    View
  2. Sponsored

    Anchor Yourself in Anchorage

    When it comes to the ultimate adventure basecamp, set your anchor in Anchorage. Located at the base of the Chugach Mountains, Anchorage gets you easy access to 60 glaciers to see, paddle up to, hike, fly over, or climb.

    View
  3. Secret Beach

    A hidden beach and a killer view? Those are hard to come by, but that’s exactly what you’ll get at Perles Beach on Angel Island. Bike or hike to this beautiful pocket cove.

    View
  4. Marshall Mellow

    Tucked away in the northern part of Point Reyes National Sea Shore, Marshall Beach is a sandy hidden haven set along the warm waters of Tomales Bay. And you can’t get to it by car!

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Bear and Beer Necessities

    The Bear Canyon Trail to Bear Flats at Mount Baldy is a 3.4-mile (round-trip) hike with big mountain views. It also leaves you with enough time to grab a beer and quench your post-hike thirst.

    View
  2. Beach to Brew Times 2

    Nothing represents North County San Diego better than a walk on the beach and a stop at a local brewery—or two.

    View
  3. Big Dalton Views and Brews!

    The Keiser Trail in Big Dalton Canyon Wilderness Park might not be big in mileage, but it’s definitely big on beautiful views of the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains.

    View
  4. Earnest in Ernest

    Finding peace of mind in the middle of Los Angeles? Hey, it does happen every now and zen. Northeast of downtown is the 300-acre oasis of Ernest E. Debs Regional Park and a 5-mile

    View