Hey Campers! Whether you live in California, or if you’re planning to visit, there are some great beach campsites to discover along the state’s coast – some we’re willing to bet you didn’t know existed. Most of the time you’ll enjoy sunny skies, blue water and a variety of activities like surfing, swimming, sunbathing, diving, kayaking, hiking, beach combing and biking. And although getting a campsite at these 10 popular California beach campgrounds is extremely difficult, you can always try our Campsite Assist to get notified when a site becomes available on the dates you want to camp!
Sunset Beach Campground features pine trees, mountainous sand dunes and picnic spots along the Pacific Ocean. The park is located between the cities of Santa Cruz and Monterey; making this a great getaway for families year-round. The campground has 91 campsites and is located on a bluff above the beach overlooking Monterey Bay. Amenities include water, flush toilets and showers. Firewood is also available for purchase from the camp host.
Sunset State Beach View
Sunset State Beach Campsite #25
Leo Carrillo State Park offers a beautiful 1.5 mile long beach for surfing, wind-surfing, surf fishing and beachcombing; plus tide pools, coastal caves and reefs for exploring back-country hiking. After a fun day in the sun, visitors can retire to 135 sycamore-shaded campsites that accommodate tents, trailers and RVs. Amenities include water, flush toilets, showers and a camp store. Firewood is also available for sale at the store.
Leo Carrillo State Beach
Leo Carrillo State Park – Creek View
Bolsa Chica State Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Southern California. It also has some mellow surf, which is perfect for swimmers and beginning surfers. Huntington Beach is just to the south and Newport Beach is also just 6 miles away. The campground is right next to the beach and has 60 campsites with water & electric hookups. The campground is for “self-contained” trailers and RVs. Tent camping is not allowed. Sites 1-59 are beach front! Amenities include water, flush toilets, showers and an RV dump station.
Bolsa Chica State Beach
Typical Bolsa Chica State Beach Campsite
Known to be one of the last remaining examples of early 20th century Southern California coastal development, Crystal Cove Cottages State Park offers a piece of history in its 46 vintage rustic coastal cottages. There are about 19 available for overnight use, but they are very difficult to reserve. You can also try Campsite Assist to receive alerts if a cottage becomes available. The park and cottages are located just north of Laguna Beach. Crystal Cove State Park also has Moro Campground (59 campsites / 29 with hookups), and three primitive (backcountry) campgrounds including Deer Canyon, Upper Moro and Lower Moro.
Some of the cottages at Crystal Cove State Park
Moro Campsite #9
Doheny State Beach Campground has 121 campsites sites and is located right on the beach in one of the premier Southern California coastal areas. There are 33 premium beachfront sites and all can accommodate tents, trailers or RVs (up to 35 feet). Campground amenities include drinking water, flush toilets, hot showers ($) and a dump station. There’s also an amphitheater, beautiful 5-acre picnic area (with pavilions, tables and BBQs), volleyball court and walking trails. The camp host also sells firewood.
A View of Doheny State Beach Looking North
Doheny State Beach Campground
Campsite #62 at Doheny State Beach
San Clemente State Beach has been one of the most popular beaches in California since 1937 – and for good reason! World-famous surf and sugary sand can be found along this picturesque mile of beach. It is located on the south end of Orange County and the campground has 160 campsites (72 with full hookups). Amenities include water, flush toilets, hot showers and a dump station. Firewood is also available for purchase at the campground.
A View of San Clemente State Beach
San Clemente State Beach View
The Campground at San Clemente State Beach
Swimming, surfing, camping and picnicking are just a few of the activities you can enjoy at San Elijo State Beach in Northern San Diego County. You can also visit shops and restaurants at the nearby Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Encinitas. The campground offers easy access to a large and beautify sandy beach. About 1/3 of the 165 campsites are on the bluff with unobstructed ocean views. There are also 26 campsites with full hookups. Amenities include water, flush toilets, showers, a camp store and a dump station. There’s also a “doggie beach” at the southern end of the campground.
Cardiff Kook – San Elijo State Beach
San Elijo State Beach Campground
San Elijo State Beach Campsite #39
Fantastic beaches with swimming, surfing, fishing and famous evening jogs make South Carlsbad State Beach a very popular San Diego County destination. There are 223 single-family campsites on a bluff above the beach and 138 are “ocean front’. Thirteen of the campsites have full hookups. Campground amenities include water, flush toilets, showers, a camp store and an RV dump station. Group camping is also available.
Sunset at South Carlsbad State Beach
South Carlsbad State Beach Campground
As you can imagine, most beach campgrounds are very busy during peak times (spring through fall). Reserving a campsite through ReserveCalifornia.com is not the easiest thing to do, but it is a must as these campgrounds will sell out quickly. If you don’t get a site, give Campsite Assist a try and get notified when a campsite becomes available for the dates you want to camp.
You can also read more about these campgrounds at https://outdoorish.com/discover/camping-california/
Did we miss your favorite California beach campground? Let us know in the comments!