Top 5 Beach Campgrounds in California

There are few activities more tranquil than driving to the beach, pitching a tent, and letting the sleepy swell of the ocean lull you into a peaceful slumber. But often just because the campsite has “beach” in the title doesn’t mean you can actually set up camp nearby for the night. So here are my five favorite California coastal campsites that actually offer proximity to the beach.

San Clemente State Beach

Halfway between LA and San Diego is San Clemente State Beach, which features 142 different campsites adjacent to the beach. Just be sure to get a reservation in advance, as camping becomes very popular during the summer.

San Elijo State Beach

On the coast of San Diego is San Eligo. In addition to the standard natural beauty of the Pacific Coast, there is also a reef that snorkelers or snorkelers can explore.

Doheny State Beach

Located at Dana Point, the southern end of Doheny State Beach features campgrounds with sites only steps away from the beach proper. However, if you go during high season, expect a crowd. The beach attracts almost a million visitors a year.

Carpinteria State Beach

Twelve miles south of Santa Barbara, this state beach offers a full mile of sand for swimming, exploring the tide pools, and camping. From December to May, it also offers occasional glimpses of gray whales on their migratory journey.

Leo Carrillo State Park

A weekend warrior favorite in Los Angeles, Leo Carrillo is a short drive from the 1 Freeway and offers 1.5 km of beautiful beach for recreation, as well as a number of campsites use. Again: a reservation is wise.

Sally J. Minick