Escape the summer heat and head to the beach! Below is a list of some of the most popular Southern California campgrounds we have on the site.
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Silver Strand State Beach is a 7-mile isthmus that connects the city of Coronado and Imperial Beach and sits between the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay. The spot is named for the silvery oyster shells that cover the beach and dunes here and you can also find clams buried in the sand by the water.
Located in Northern San Diego County, San Elijo State Beach (campground) is a great location along the Southern California coast where swimming, surfing, camping and picnicking are just a few of the activities you can enjoy.
South Carlsbad State Beach in San Diego County features fantastic beaches with swimming, surfing, fishing and the famous evening jogs or strolls. The large bluff-top campground is very popular, and is often sold out during summer months. It is also one of the great, warm beach locations enjoyed by tourists who come to feel the sun.
The San Onofre Bluffs portion of San Onofre State Beach features 3.5 miles (5.6 km) of sandy beaches with six access trails cut into the bluff above. The campground is along the old U.S. Route 101 adjacent to the sandstone bluffs. The beach is popular with swimmers and surfers.
Since 1937 San Clemente has been one of the most popular beaches in California. A dramatic setting and invigorating air satisfy its many visitors, whatever their interest, energy level or state of mind. The mile long beach stretches between the curling ocean surf and the foot of a steep bluff. Midway between Los Angeles and San Diego.
San Mateo campground lies a short distance inland from the 3.5-miles of sandy beaches within San Onofre State Beach. A 1.5-mile Nature Trail connects the campground to Trestles Beach, a world class surfing site.
Doheny State Beach is two parks in one – with camping in the southern area (with some campsites only steps away from the beach) and day use in the northern area, where there is a five-acre lawn with picnic facilities and volleyball courts. Surfing is popular, but is restricted to the north end of the beach. Surf fishing is also popular.
California’s newest State Park campground is set on a terraced hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, just north of Laguna Beach on Pacific Coast Highway. Below the campground is a day use area with beach access, just a short, but steep, walk from your campsite. You will enjoy beautiful sunsets but campfires are not allowed.
The Crystal Cove Historic District is a 12.3-acre coastal portion of the 2,791-acre Crystal Cove State Park. The federally listed Historic District is an enclave of 46 vintage rustic coastal cottages originally built in the 1920?s and 1930?s nestled around the mouth of Los Trancos Creek. It is one of the last remaining examples of early 20th century Southern California coastal development.
Bolsa Chica State Beach campground is right on one of the more popular beaches in Southern California. All 60 sites have water and power, with the odd numbered sites (1-59) having beach front, and the other (2-60) even sites off the beach (PCH view). All sites are in a parking lot and are paved.
Leo Carrillo State Park campground is a short walk from the beach and set among giant sycamore trees. This state park is very popular and offers 1.5 miles of beach for swimming, surf fishing, surfing and windsurfing. The park also offers some nice back-country hiking.
Sandwiched between the surf and PCH for nearly two of Point Mugu’s five-mile coastline is Thornhill Broome Beach Campground. Unlike Sycamore Canyon, this chain of 69 campsites is primitive: Amenities are limited.
Moderate ocean temperature at Emma Wood State Beach makes the area a great place for swimming, surfing and fishing. Catches include perch, bass, Cabazon and corbina. A freshwater marsh at the southwest end of the beach attract raccoons, songbirds and red-tailed hawks.
Faria County Beach Park is the furthest south of three parks located between Ventura and Carpinteria. The three parks on Highway 101 between Ventura and Santa Barbara are Hobson R.V. park, Rincon R.V. park, and Faria County Beach Park.
This small campground is triangle-shaped with campsites around the edges. Many of the sites are right next to the ocean. There’s a small beach just below the rocks.
El Capitan State Beach offers day use and overnight camping. Located about a 30 minute drive north of Santa Barbara along Highway 101. El Capitan has lots of shady areas with many oak and sycamore trees throughout the park. Some of the campsites offer beautiful views from the cliff-top.
Refugio State Beach campground is adjacent to the beach with all sites having nice views of the Pacific ocean. This popular beach campground is great for swimming, kayaking, surf fishing and taking long hikes along the shore. Lifeguards patrol the beach year round.
Update May 2014: Thanks to Mike E. on Facebook for also recommending El Capitan as well!
We included it on our list of The Best of California Camping: Beaches, with other campgrounds we think are great too. Check it out!