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11 Best Places For BEACH CAMPING In SoCal πŸ–

Are you ready?

City lights and the sound of traffic are OUT ❌

Starry nights and the soothing waves of the Pacific are IN βœ…

Welcome to our ultimate guide to beachfront camping in Southern California!

From the sun-kissed shores of Malibu to the laid-back vibes of San Clemente, we’re diving into the top spots where the sand is your front porch, and the ocean is your backyard.

And we’ve got you covered no matter WHAT kind of camper you are.

RVs, kids, surfers, or even those of you who like your modern luxuries…

Everyone is catered to on this list.

So grab your sunscreen, pack your camping gear, and let’s hit the road – unforgettable beachfront adventures await!

Make sure you stick around to the end where we outline the top picks for different categories!

1. Faria Beach Park, Ventura County

Type of Camping Available

Whether you’re rolling in with your trusty RV or pitching a cozy tent, Faria Beach Park has the perfect spot for you.

It’s all about that oceanfront view here, making every moment truly memorable.

Unique Features or Attractions

Imagine this: Waking up to the soothing sound of waves and a stunning ocean view right from your tent or RV.

Faria Beach Park isn’t just about the views, though.

It’s quieter than nearby Hobson Beach, giving you that peaceful beachside vibe you’ve been craving.

Don’t forget to take those dreamy morning walks along the beach!

Available Amenities

You’ve got the essentials covered here with water and electricity hookups.

And hey, there’s even an on-site cafe for your breakfast and lunch needs.

Talk about convenience!

Recreational Activities

If you’re into surfing or swimming, this beach won’t disappoint.

It’s also a fantastic spot for beachcombing.

And if you’re lucky, you might even spot whales during migration seasons!

Reservations

This gem is super popular in summer, so make sure to book your spot early.

It’s the perfect mix of spontaneous adventure and a planned escape.

More information here.

Exact Address

Faria Beach Park, 4350 Pacific Coast Highway, Ventura, CA 93001


2. Emma Wood State Beach, Ventura

Type of Camping Available

Got an RV?

Great, because Emma Wood State Beach is practically made for you!

The 90-site campground is super close to the ocean, offering you a home away from home but with way better views.

Unique Features or Attractions

This isn’t just a beach; it’s a slice of history!

You’ll find remnants of World War II coastal defenses here, adding a touch of the past to your beach adventure.

And those Pacific Ocean views?

Absolutely unbeatable.

Available Amenities

The basics are all here: water and electricity hookups for a hassle-free stay.

Plus, being close to Ventura means you’re never too far from extra supplies or a quick town trip.

Recreational Activities

Surfers and swimmers, rejoice!

The waves here are just right.

But that’s not all – bird watchers and trail lovers will find plenty to do as well, with excellent hiking and biking trails nearby.

Reservations

Emma Wood is an all-year-round haven, perfect for both impromptu and planned trips.

But remember, it’s a popular spot, especially in peak seasons, so booking ahead is always a smart move.

Note: Emma Wood North Beach Campground will be closed until further notice due to damage sustained during recent high surf eventsΒ (Last updated 14 Jan 2024).

More information here.

Exact Address

Emma Wood State Beach, Highway 101, Ventura, CA 93001


3. Point Mugu State Park – Thornhill Broome Beach (Malibu)

Thornhill Broome Beach

Type of Camping Available

RV lovers, this one’s for you!

At Thornhill Broome Beach, part of Point Mugu State Park, you can park your RV right on the sand.

Think of it as beachfront property on wheels.

Plus, the campsites are super spacious, perfect for groups of up to 8 people.

Unique Features or Attractions

Ever dreamt of sleeping to the sound of waves under a starlit sky?

Here’s your chance!

With nothing but the ocean in front of you and a rocky shore beneath, it’s a beach lover’s paradise.

Plus, the sunsets here are the stuff of Instagram legends.

Available Amenities

We’re talking primitive camping, folks.

It’s all about getting back to nature.

So, pack your essentials and get ready for a truly rustic experience.

Recreational Activities

It’s the perfect spot for beach games, sunbathing, and long, romantic walks along the shore.

And if you’re into photography, the scenic views here are simply unmatched.

Reservations

Heads up – these sites are super popular and on a first-come, first-served basis.

So, plan ahead and get there early to snag the best spot!

Due to high tides, sea level rise and tidal surges, Thornhill Broome Beach campground is subject to frequent flooding. Please check with the park upon arrival about current tidal concerns.

More information here.

Exact Address

Thornhill Broome Campground, 9000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265


4. Leo Carrillo State Park (Malibu)

Leo Carrillo State Park camping

Type of Camping Available

Nestled in a stunning canyon lined with sycamores, Leo Carrillo State Park offers a more traditional camping experience.

With 135 campsites, including group sites, it’s perfect for families, friends, and solo adventurers.

Whether you’re in a tent or an RV, this park has a spot for you.

Unique Features or Attractions

What makes Leo Carrillo special?

It’s more than just a beach; it’s a nature lover’s retreat.

The park stretches over a mile and a half along the Pacific Coast Highway, offering a beautiful mix of beach and wilderness.

And the beach access?

It’s through a cool tunnel under the highway!

Available Amenities

Expect all the usual comforts like water, flush toilets, and showers.

There’s plenty of space for picnics, and those giant sycamores provide the perfect shade for a lazy afternoon.

Recreational Activities

Get ready for tide pooling, surfing, and exploring coastal caves.

If you’re into hiking or biking, the park’s trails won’t disappoint.

And let’s not forget about the wildlife-watching opportunities.

Reservations

Leo Carrillo is a popular spot, so booking your campsite in advance is a smart move, especially during peak seasons.

It’s easily accessible and offers a great escape from city life.

More information here.

Exact Address

Leo Carrillo State Park Campground, 35000 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

5. Bolsa Chica State Beach (Huntington Beach)

  • Bolsa Chica State Beach
  • Bolsa Chica State Beach

Type of Camping Available

RV camping your style?

Bolsa Chica State Beach is your dream destination.

With 60 campsites right next to the beach, it’s perfect for those who love the sound of waves at night.

Please note: it’s for self-contained trailers and RVs only.

Unique Features or Attractions

Bolsa Chica is more than just a beach; it’s a hub for beach lovers and surf enthusiasts.

Located between Huntington Beach and Seal Beach, it’s got some of the mellowest surf around – ideal for swimmers and newbie surfers.

And the beach? It’s a picturesque stretch perfect for sunbathing and sandcastles.

Available Amenities

All the must-haves are here: water, electric hookups, flush toilets, and showers.

Plus, an RV dump station for your convenience.

It’s all about making your RV stay as comfy as possible.

Recreational Activities

Bring your bikes!

There’s a fantastic beach trail that runs south to Newport Beach and north to Long Beach.

And the beach itself? It’s all yours for swimming, surfing, and soaking up the California sun.

Reservations

Being one of the most popular beaches in SoCal, you’ll want to book your spot well in advance.

The prime location means it’s super accessible and always buzzing with beachgoers.

More information here.

Exact Address

Bolsa Chica State Beach, 17851 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92649

6. Sunset Vista RV Park (Huntington Beach)

huntington beach sunset

Type of Camping Available

For all the RV enthusiasts out there, Sunset Vista RV Park is like hitting the jackpot!

Located right by the beach, this park lets you park your RV a stone’s throw away from the Pacific Ocean.

It’s all about that beachfront RV lifestyle here.

Unique Features or Attractions

You’re just half a mile south of the iconic Huntington Beach Pier.

The location is unbeatable – everything you need, from cool shops to the ocean breeze, is within walking distance.

But heads up, it can get a bit noisy, and the beachside fire rings add to the evening ambiance.

Available Amenities

You’re looking at a pretty basic setup here with essential facilities for a comfortable stay.

The RV park is more about the location and less about the frills.

Recreational Activities

This spot is all about beach life.

Surfing, sunbathing, beach volleyball – you name it.

And with everything so close by, exploring Huntington Beach’s vibrant scene is a must.

Reservations

This place is popular, especially because of its incredible location.

Make sure to book in advance to secure your spot in this beachside haven.

More information here.

Exact Address

Huntington Beach RV Campground, 103 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648


7. Newport Dunes Resort (Newport Beach)

Type of Camping Available

Newport Dunes Resort is not just for RVs; it’s a versatile paradise.

You can pitch a tent, rent a cottage, or park your RV.

It’s a luxurious camping experience with a range of options to suit all styles.

Unique Features or Attractions

Picture this: a resort-style beachfront camping experience.

Newport Dunes isn’t just about camping; it’s about glamping with style.

With a backdrop of the scenic Newport Beach, it’s a slice of paradise.

Available Amenities

We’re talking top-notch amenities here – think resort-style.

From water sports rentals to on-site dining options, it’s all about comfort and convenience.

Recreational Activities

Get ready for an action-packed stay!

Water sports, swimming, and exploring the local area are just the start.

And if you’re in the mood for a leisurely day, there’s plenty to do right on-site.

Plus, the resort offers fun activities and events throughout the year.

Reservations

Newport Dunes is a popular spot, and for good reason!

Its luxury and wide range of options mean spots fill up fast.

Book early to enjoy this unique blend of camping and resort luxury.

More information here.

Exact Address

Newport Dunes Resort, 1131 Back Bay Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660

8. Crystal Cove State Park – Moro Campground (Laguna Beach)

Type of Camping Available

Moro Campground at Crystal Cove State Park is a true gem for campers.

Whether you’re bringing an RV or setting up a tent, this place has got you covered.

With its well-maintained sites and fantastic facilities, it’s perfect for families, couples, or solo adventurers looking for a memorable camping experience.

Unique Features or Attractions

Get this – every campsite here offers a spectacular ocean view.

There’s no such thing as a bad spot at Moro Campground.

Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, it’s like waking up in a postcard every day.

And the beach? It’s just a short trek down from the campground.

Available Amenities

While you’re soaking in those ocean views, you’ll have access to clean and modern amenities.

This includes water, showers, and restrooms, ensuring a comfortable stay amidst nature.

Recreational Activities

Moro Campground is more than just a place to stay; it’s a gateway to outdoor adventures.

Hiking trails wind through the park, offering breathtaking views and encounters with local wildlife.

And the beach below is perfect for swimming, tide pooling, and sometimes even spotting dolphins!

Reservations

This popular spot can get quite busy, especially in the summer and on weekends, so booking your campsite well in advance is highly recommended.

But trust me, the extra planning is totally worth it for this slice of paradise.

More information here.

Exact Address

Moro Campground Entrance, 8471 N. Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

9. Doheny State Beach (Dana Point)

Type of Camping Available

Doheny State Beach in Dana Point is a camper’s paradise, especially for those who love to camp right by the ocean.

Offering 121 campsites, it accommodates tents, trailers, and RVs up to 35 feet.

This beachfront campground is a fantastic mix of nature and convenience.

Unique Features or Attractions

What sets Doheny apart?

Well, it’s located right on one of the most picturesque stretches of the Southern California coast.

33 of these campsites are premium beachfront spots – it’s like having the beach as your front yard!

The gentle surf here makes it perfect for all kinds of beach activities.

Available Amenities

Doheny’s got all the essentials covered: drinking water, flush toilets, hot showers (for a small fee), and a dump station.

There’s also a great picnic area with pavilions, tables, and BBQs, plus a volleyball court and walking trails.

And if you need firewood, the camp host’s got you covered.

Recreational Activities

Whether you’re into lounging on the beach, swimming, or surfing, Doheny is the place to be.

It also has a beautiful 5-acre picnic area and walking trails for those who prefer a leisurely day outdoors.

And let’s not forget about the volleyball court for some fun group activities!

Reservations

Doheny is one of the premier beach camping spots in Southern California, so it’s always in high demand.

Make sure to book your campsite well in advance, especially if you’re eyeing one of those beachfront spots.

More information here.

Exact Address

Doheny State Beach, 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629

10. San Clemente State Beach (San Clemente)

  • San Clemente State Beach (1)
  • San Clemente State Beach 2
  • San Clemente State Beach 3

Type of Camping Available

San Clemente State Beach is a haven for campers who adore the blend of sun, surf, and sand.

It has 160 campsites, accommodating a range of camping styles from tents to RVs.

If you’re looking for a beachside camping experience with all the trimmings, this is the place for you.

Unique Features or Attractions

What makes San Clemente State Beach special is its historical charm mixed with natural beauty.

It’s been a beloved camping spot since 1937, boasting a picturesque mile of beach.

The campsites, set atop a bluff, offer a fantastic vantage point over the Pacific.

Available Amenities

This beach comes equipped with modern conveniences including water, flush toilets, and hot showers.

There’s also a dump station for RVs, ensuring your stay is as comfortable as it is scenic.

Recreational Activities

San Clemente is perfect for a range of activities.

Its world-famous surf attracts surfers from all over, while the sugary sands are ideal for those looking to relax and soak up the California sun.

Plus, the hiking trails and volleyball courts offer something for everyone.

Reservations

Given its popularity, it’s wise to book your spot well in advance, especially if you’re aiming for a site with full hookups.

Its location in south Orange County makes it easily accessible for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation.

More information here.

Exact Address

San Clemente State Beach, 225 Avenida Calafia, San Clemente, CA 92672

11. San Onofre State Beach (San Clemente)

  • San Onofre State Beach sunset
  • San Onofre State Beach

Type of Camping Available

San Onofre State Beach is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, offering a diverse camping experience.

With its sprawling 3,000 acres, it features areas like San Onofre Bluffs and San Mateo Campground, accommodating a wide range of camping styles from RVs to tents.

To be specific:

  • San Onofre Bluffs does not have RV hookups but does have an RV dump-station.
  • San Onofre – San Mateo Campground does have RV hookups with electricity and water.

Unique Features or Attractions

San Onofre is renowned for its surfing heritage.

The beach stretches along Old Highway 101, providing easy access to some of the best surfing spots in California.

It’s not just about the waves, though; the park’s natural beauty and scenic views are a major draw.

Available Amenities

The campgrounds here provide essential amenities, ensuring a comfortable stay amidst the natural surroundings.

You’ll find standard facilities like restrooms and showers, making it ideal for a more traditional camping experience.

Recreational Activities

It’s a paradise for surfers, with spots like Trestles Beach attracting wave riders from around the globe.

But surfing isn’t the only draw; hiking trails connect the campground to the beach, offering a perfect mix of land and sea activities.

Reservations

Given its popularity among surfers and nature lovers, securing a spot at San Onofre can be competitive.

Booking well in advance is recommended, especially if you’re planning to visit during the peak surfing season.

More information here at the parks department.

Exact Address

San Onofre Bluggs and San Onofre Surf Beach – Basilone Road exit off I-5, San Clemente, CA

San Mateo Campground – 1 mile inland from I-5 (Exit Cristianitos)


Now as promised, here are the top picks for different categories.

Do you agree?

Top Picks

Best for FAMILY Camping: Leo Carrillo State Park πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦

Offers a range of family-friendly activities like tide pooling, hiking, and biking, along with educational nature programs, making it ideal for families.

Best for BEACHFRONT Camping: Doheny State Beach πŸ–

Known for its premium beachfront campsites, allowing campers to set up right next to the sand and surf, perfect for a classic beach camping experience.

Best for SURFING: San Onofre State Beach πŸ„πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

A surfer’s paradise with renowned waves and a rich surfing culture, ideal for those looking to combine camping with surfing.

Best for AMENITIES: Newport Dunes Resort πŸ›Œ

Offers luxurious amenities, including water sports rentals, dining options, and modern facilities, catering to campers who prefer comfort and convenience.

Best for SCENIC VIEWS: Moro Campground Crystal Cove πŸ“Έ

Known for its breathtaking ocean views from every campsite, providing a stunning natural backdrop for campers.

Megan Jones is a travel expert and founder of Traveller's Elixir who has been travelling the world full time since 2021. Megan's travel tips been featured in numerous media outlets including Metro, Timeout, Thrillist and more.

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