Swami’s State Beach-Hidden Paradise

Swami’s State Beach-Hidden Paradise

swami's state beach

There is a hidden beach oasis situated toward the northern end of Encinitas, California.  Come and join me for a tour!

Where To Park?

The parking lot for Swami’s State Beach is located at the southern end of downtown Encinitas and north of San Elijo State Beach.

You will find a tiny entrance to the official parking lot just after Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF.)

The parking lot is small, with less than 25 spots, so off-street parking is very common.

Beach Access to Swami’s State Beach

Swami’s State Beach connects several miles of uninterrupted beaches (on low tide), from the San Elijo Lagoon inlet to the South Carlsbad Beach Jetty.

Thus there is also access by way of the adjacent north and south connecting beaches.

I always come here by the beach route, that is to say, starting at Moonlight Beach. The walk to get to Swami’s State Beach, in particular, is just gorgeous and is only about a mile in half away.

Why the Name Swami’s?

Swami’s State beach received its name after the founder of SRF (1920), Swami Paramahansa Yogananda. Surfers would see him walking on the beach all the time and decided it was a perfect nickname to give to the beach.

Fun fact- Paramahansa Yogananda during his lifetime established the nearby Encinitas Ashram Center and Meditation Gardens. Thousands of people pilgrimage here every year from all over the world, to experience this place were their great teacher worked, lived and communed with God.

Swami’s Seaside Park

Adjacent to the parking lot, you will find Swami’s Seaside Park that has a public restroom!

A restroom here is exciting news because they are always in short supply on the coast, especially at the out-of-the-way beaches.

Additionally, a grass lawn with several picnic tables and shade trees are within the park

The view from here is exceptional. On a bright day, you can see so much of the reef under the water.

Access to the beach from the parking lot is a large wooden staircase. Please take this into account when packing for the beach.

The beach also has a seasonal lifeguard on duty as well as a shower to rinse off with at the end of the day.

Fun Fact- Every Sunday, many artistic and yoga minded people gather here at the park to celebrate life; playing musical instruments, singing, dancing and potluck. All are welcome to join in. What an amazing backdrop for such a celebration!

Swami’s State Marine Conservation Area- SMCA

swami's state beach
SMCA covers 12.65 square miles

Swami’s Marine Conservation Area,  is an area of coastal waters, extending three nautical miles offshore of Encinitas,  and became a marine protected area as of 2012. Which in essence means nothing is to be bothered with or removed from this beach or its waters.

There was some controversy with this because there was a long, sustainable fishing history from this spot. The fishermen who would call themselves the Cardiff Dorymen,  would launch small wooden boats from this shore as far back as 1971.

cardiff doreymen
The Cardiff Doreymen National Geographic Picture from 1971

The fishing industry did not see a need for the closure. The fishing industries defense was that no species in the marine protected area were threatened.; therefore, no closure was needed.

 Swami’s Marine Conservation Area has several different habitats present including rocky reef, kelp forest, and surf grass.

There are many California spiny lobsters in the reefs right off Swami’s State Beach and California halibut frequent in the finger-reefs offshore from the San Elijo campground to the south.

You are more than welcome to snorkel, scuba-dive, surf, swim, kayak and paddleboard in the park.  While fishing onshore is allowed, offshore fishing is prohibited.

On a shallow tide, Swami’s beach is an excellent spot to check out the tide-pools.

There are so many creatures to find here:  such as octopus, crabs, sea stars, brittle stars, barnacles, mussels and sea anemones, just to name a few. Please remember not to touch anything.

 Also, keep a lookout for Dolphins! They pass by here with high frequency.

Surfing Swami’s Reef

Due to the reef, there is a consistent break 100 yards offshore that lines up well and holds its shape well during big north facing swells; making this one of the best beaches for surfing in Southern California.

Surfing here is best on a low to mid-tide. It is also important to remember that because of the reef offshore,  there are many sharp points under the water which apparently can be hazardous.

As stated before it is a long way to paddle out to the point break to finally reach the main break.

Because of this, beginners do not surf here.

Fun Fact- The Beach Boys included Swami’s along with other popular surf breaks, in their 1963 song, “Surfin’ USA”.

I found this excellent video on YouTube showcasing the surf. Special thanks to Ho Stevie for allowing me to use it.

Swami’s State Beach-A Photo Tour

swami's state beach
Looking back to where I began at Moonlight State Beach to the north.

swami's state beach

swamis state beach
Swami’s Beach at the Point.
swamis state beach
Looking north to the Point and tide pools.
swami's state beach
Here is the wooden staircase to reach the parking lot.
swami's state beach
The seclusion here makes you feel like you are on a private beach; in other words, a hidden paradise
swami's state beach
Looking toward the San Elijo Campground.
swami's state beach
The surfers have an audience.
Swami's state beach
Tide Pools.
swami's state beach
Many sea anemones, mussels, and barnacles.
swami's state beach
Notice the surfers in the back?
swami's state beach
Surfing Swami’s Reef.

swami's state beach

swami's state beach
Right on the Point.

swami's state beach

swami's state beach
Sunset at Swami’s

swami's state beach

Thank you so much for joining me in paradise! I hope I have inspired you to come and visit Swami’s State beach, as I genuinely believe it is one of the most beautiful beaches in San Diego.

I know that I have inspired myself to climb up those stairs and experience the Meditation Garden the next time I am in the area.

Update- I returned to this site but the gardens where closed, but I did get a couple of good shots from Swami’s Seaside Park!

swami's state beach

swami's state beach

 

swami's state beach

 

swami's state beach

swami's state beach

swami's state beach

swami's state beach
Looking South.

swami's state beach

Please comment below with any questions you might have!

 

6 Replies to “Swami’s State Beach-Hidden Paradise”

  1. Great post! I had no idea this wonderful beach even existed. I’m not a surfer, but could probably spend hours just gazing in the tide pools.

    Thanks for sharing the gorgeous pics, too!

    1. Thank you so much for you comment Terri! I do not surf but I have been wanting to try lately! Yes, the tide pools are so gorgeous here. Thank you so much and I really appreciate you enjoying the photos.

  2. Wow, beautiful beach! I do love beaches, so my first question is….and maybe this is a dumb question…but where is Swami Beach? I see you mention Encinitas, but I don’t know where that is either. This place looks fantastic, a place I would love to visit. Are these pictures that you have taken when there? Absolutely breath taking!

    1. Very good point! Thank you for pointing that out. I will have to explain that more and give an address. Thank you for the comment! Yes they are all my photos…I have many of them 😉

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