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11 Best RV Campgrounds for Beach Camping in California

From beautiful beach views in southern or northern California, I have combed through all of the top picks. The following are my top choices for beach camping in California from San Diego to Humboldt Counties!

The state of California is a popular place, due much in part to the miles of gorgeous coastline. In fact, there are 840 miles of diverse coastline, with both rocky and sandy beaches aplenty.

Many visitors also love California for its amazing national parks and other attractions. (And the weather in most of the state is not bad either!)

There is also no shortage of unique and gorgeous spots to call home for a bit on your next trip! So let’s jump right into the best spots for beach camping in California.

11 Best Beach Camping in California for RVers

Before we go through this list it’s very important to always double-check the state parks and campsite before you head there. Between fires and other considerations, they might be closed. At the time of this publication, only one is, but please always do your own due diligence.

We’re gonna start in the South and work our way up. It’s probably no surprise to you that the first few are in a place known around the world for its beaches: San Diego.

Silver Strand State Beach

Silver Strand State Beach beach camping in california
Silver Strand State Beach

Location: Coronado, San Diego County

Type of Camping: RV camping

Located along a 7-mile isthmus between the cities of Coronado and Imperial Beach in San Diego is this unique campground.

It is named after silver oyster shells that cover the sand. You can also take a short walk to San Diego bay, reached via an under highway bridge from the beachside.

It has 129 campsites that all include water and electric hookups. The campground also offers potable water, flush toilets, a dump station, and showers. They lock the bathroom at night, so you must show proof that you have a self-contained toilet for the nighttime.

Campsites 101-137 are beachfront, with gorgeous ocean views.

South Carlsbad State Beach

South Carlsbad State Beach beach camping in california
South Carlsbad State Beach

Location: Carlsbad, San Diego County

Type of Camping: RV camping

This popular destination has 223 campsites on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean. 138 of those sites are “oceanfront.”

13 sites include full hookups, but other sites have no hookups. Other amenities include a fire pit, picnic table, flush toilets, potable water, camp store, showers, and dump station.

Group sites are also available!

San Elijo State Beach

San Elijo State Beach
San Elijo State Beach

Location: Encinitas, San Diego County

Type of Camping: Drive-in tent camping, RV camping

Swim, surf, picnic, and camp at this gorgeous beach. Then pop over to nearby Cardiff-by-the-Sea or Encinitas to grab a bite to eat.

There are 165 sites on a bluff above the beach, with 26 offering full hookups. About 1/3 offer obstructed ocean views.

If you’re traveling with your dog, bring your pup to the “dog beach” located at the south end of the campground.

Enjoy easy access to the beach below. Other amenities include potable water, flush toilets, a camp store, a dump station, and showers.


Mike and Jennifer’s RV Lifestyle hat collection

11 Best RV Campgrounds for Beach Camping in California 1
Who needs a hat?

Who needs a hat? You do! Dad hats aren’t just for dads. This one’s got a low profile with an adjustable strap and curved visor. Just the thing to wear on your next RV Lifestyle adventure.


San Clemente State Beach

San Clemente State Beach
San Clemente State Beach

Location: San Clemente, Orange County

Type of Camping: RV camping

Located on a picturesque sandy beach, San Clemente State Beach has warm sun and beautiful blue waves in southern Orange County. It is a popular place for its temperate weather and proximity to great hiking and water sports.

There are 160 campsites, 72 with full hookups. Amenities include flush toilets, potable water, dump station, and hot showers. You may also purchase firewood onsite.

Doheny State Beach

Doheny State Beach
Doheny State Beach

Location: Dana Point, Orange County

Type of Camping: Drive-in tent camping, RV camping

With 131 sites in one of California’s premier coastal regions, Doheny State Beach is a very popular spot. There are 33 oceanfront spots, that offer world-class views.

Amenities include flush toilets, hot showers, potable water, and a dump station.

You can also utilize the amphitheater, gorgeous picnic area with pavilion, tables, and BBQ, walking trails volleyball court, and onsite firewood.

Moro Campground, Crystal Cove State Park

Moro Campground, Crystal Cove State Park
Moro Campground, Crystal Cove State Park

Location: Laguna Beach, Orange County

Type of Camping: Primitive and bluff-top tent camping, RV camping

This unique spot rents out cottages, with primitive camping located nearby. There are restaurants and a store located in the main part of Crystal Cove State Park.

Enjoy gorgeous views from your picnic table before grabbing ice cream from the restaurant below.

Bolsa Chica State Beach

Bolsa Chica State Beach
Bolsa Chica State Beach

Location: Near Huntington Beach, Orange County

Type of Camping: RV camping

Located on one of the most popular beaches on the California coast, between Huntington Beach and Newport Beach.

Bolsa Chica also offers a mellow surf. This is perfect for beginner surfers or unconfident swimmers.

Amenities include running water, showers, a flush toilet, and a dump station.

Leo Carillo State Park

Leo Carillo State Park
Leo Carillo State Park

Location: Los Angeles County

Type of Camping: Drive-in tent camping, RV camping

This 1.5-mile-long beach is known for windsurfing, surf fishing, and beachcombing. There are also tide pools and coastal caves for those with an adventurous spirit. Of course, you can enjoy building sandcastles and views of the ocean if that is more your speed.

There are 135 sites. Amenities include potable water, flush toilets, a camp store, and showers. The store also offers onsite firewood.

Definitely double-check this state park, as currently, it shows as closed.

Refugio State Beach

Refugio State Beach
Refugio State Beach

Location: Near Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County

Type of Camping: RV camping

Located in central California, about 20 miles from Santa Barbara, this beach has no shortage of breathtaking ocean views.

Most of the RV sites have ocean views and are a short walk to the beach. Amenities include potable water, flush toilets, a camp store, as well as hot showers.

Thornhill Broome Campground

Thornhill Broome Campground
Thornhill Broome Campground

Location: Point Mugu State Park, Ventura County

Type of Camping: Drive-in tent camping, RV camping

Sleep under the stars and on the sand at this unique, campground north of Malibu!

Each site has a picnic table, fire pit, and grill. You can only have a fire when fire danger is low.

Enjoy Point Mugu’s 70 miles of hiking trails. Or build sandcastles before swimming in this relatively calm spot.

Kirk Creek Campground

Kirk Creek Campground
Kirk Creek Campground

Location: Big Sur, Monterey County

Type of Camping: Drive-in tent camping, RV camping

Check out this Big Sur campground overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

It features 40 sites that can accommodate up to eight people, as well as two cars. Each also comes complete with a fire ring and a picnic table.

Many people like campsites 8-22 since they are closest to the ocean while also furthest from Highway 1.

The campground is a dry campground and has vault toilets. You will need to pack your own drinking water.

Beach camping in California not for you?


What About the Florida Keys?

Do you want to hit Key West, the Everglades National Park, and all the other great things the Keys have to offer? Well, we have just the thing for you. Jennifer and I love traveling to the Keys, so we’ve created a complete 7-Day RV Adventure Guide: Florida Keys. This downloadable guide includes a suggested itinerary and a list of the best RV parks along the way.

We also have a 7-Day RV Adventure Guide to Florida’s Atlantic Coast and Florida’s Gulf Coast. If you’re interested in all three, you should check out our Florida RV Travel Guide Bundle. Or get all of our travel guides for one great price…



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One Response to “11 Best RV Campgrounds for Beach Camping in California”

January 10, 2022at3:20 pm, Julie B said:

The title of your blog says “The following are my top choices for beach camping in California from San Diego to Humboldt Counties!”
Huh!
All of the campgrounds you’ve featured are in southern CA except one, Kirk Creek, which is in central CA. What about northern CA?
Disappointed.

Reply

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