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Beach Camping Near Los Angeles

Refugio State Beach Camping

Mother of four shot and killed on 710 Freeway in Long Beach

If you like to beach camp, Refugio State Beach is a lovely area lined with palm trees that provide a relaxing day at the beach or a fun camping trip. Campsites are located very close to the beach, with some nestled in shady palm trees. Imagine falling asleep to the sounds of crashing waves. Both tent and RV campers can enjoy this scenic coastal location. 10 Refugio Beach Road, Goleta, California.

Point Mugu State Park Malibu

Address: Pacific Coast Hwy., NAS Point Mugu, CA 93042

About Point Mugu State Park:Located just north of downtown Malibu, Point Mugu State Park provides views of the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. This experience of beach camping in California has a little bit of everything. The shoreline has rocky bluffs and sandy beaches. And there are more than 70 miles of hiking trails.

Amenities: The state park has two campgrounds. Sycamore Canyon Campground has 58 sites for RVs and tents. The maximum vehicle length is 31 feet. Bathrooms and showers are located in the campground as well as a dump station.

Thornhill Broome Campground has 69 primitive campsites that line up along the edge of the beach. A water station, picnic tables, fire rings, and portable toilets are available.

Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground

Recommended by Candice of CS Ginger

One of the best places to go beach camping in northern California is at Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground in Big Sur.

This is a beautiful part of California, just minutes away from the beautiful coast and there are plenty of fun things to do in Big Sur.

The campground is surrounded by beautiful redwood and sycamore trees as well and stunning coastal views from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

There is a nearby 80-foot waterfall that makes for a really fun hike. If you want to be close to the Big Sur River, sites 171-189 are the best spots.

There are 189 RV and tent sites in the campground along the Big Sur River as well as one cabin for rent.

This is a very popular place for camping so it is a good idea to make your reservation as early as you can. Reservations can fill up six months ahead of time, even in the colder months.

If you are just passing through for the evening and need a place to stay, there is an en-route overnight parking area. It is for self-contained RVs only and the hours you can stay are from 5:00 pm to 9:00 am.

They also have specified spots for hiking and biking. There are hot showers and a dump station in the park as well as campfire programs offered on the weekends during the busy season.

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What People Are Saying About Los Angeles / Pomona / Fairplex Koa

This place can be a little cramped for bigger rigs. To the plus side, is not difficult to get to, however, there is a small airport to the southwest. The park is right on a flight path. The attendant told us the planes stopped around 6:30 or so. The third night here there was a helicopter that landed after 10:00 pm. Glenn, Google Review


Learn more on the locationswebsite!


  • Daily/Weekly/Monthly Rates: Contact management for rates # of RV Sites: 185 Full Hookups: Yes 30/50 Amp: Both Back-in/Pull-through Sites: Both Pool/Hot tub: Yes Showers: Yes Pets Allowed: Yes Cell Reception: Strong signal on all carriers Wi-Fi Cabins Store

Learn more on the locationswebsite!


  • Daily/Weekly/Monthly Rates: $45-$70/$250-$430/$1
  • 000 # of RV Sites: 198 Full Hookups: Yes 30/50 Amp: Both Back-in/Pull-through Sites: Both Pool/Hot tub: Yes Showers: Yes Pets Allowed: Yes Cell Reception: Strong reception on all carriers Laundry facilities Store

Beachin Ranch Camping With Horses

San Onofre Camping: Cliffside with Ocean Views

Why you should stay: Camp on a ranch just outside Imperial Beach and horseback ride through the sand at sunset.

  • Location: San Diego
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $55/night

D and J Stables is one of the last remaining ranches in the Golden State where you can ride a horse along the beach and camp. Located outside of San Diego, near the CA-Mexico border, this five-site private campground is pet friendly, with toilets, showers, picnic tables, and fire pits available for when you arent soaking up the breezy beach energy.

Nearby, go bird watching at the Tijuana Estuary, relax in the sun at Imperial Beach, or explore the cute downtown area and latticed oceanfront pier at Imperial Beach, a quick drive away.

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Malibu Creek State Park Campground

Why you should camp here: Climbers and hikers alike will fall in love with this mountainside spot thats close to swimming holes, chaparral-covered hills, and craggy rock formations.

  • Location: Malibu Creek State Park
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Campsite type: Tents, RVs, car camping

Only 25 miles from Downtown Los Angeles lies one of the Golden States favorite state parks. Malibu Creek is a well-known haven for rock climbers, urban hikers, and seekers of Hollywood history .

The campground is a great, family-friendly place to get away for the weekend, with picnic tables, fire rings, token-operated hot showers, and miles of moderate hiking trails you can access from right outside your tent.

Crystal Lake Recreation Area Campground

Miles from Downtown L.A: 50 Number of Sites: 36, in addition to cabins that can be rented outIf youre looking for silence and solitude, as well as access to some spectacular hiking, then the Crystal Lake Recreation Area in Azusa is your spot. Its one of the closest local campgrounds, and yet almost never has a crowd. There are just enough amenities to feel plush, but few enough people to feel peaceful.

There are a variety of hikes that start right at the campground, but if youre looking for a challenging day out, head up the Hawkins Trail to the ridge. From there you can bag south and north Mount Hawkins, as well as Mount Islip. To make it a loop, backtrack from the summit of Mount Islip, and head down the Windy Gap trail to the campground. If youre looking for something more mellow, try the Tototngna Nature Trail.

Each site has either a BBQ box or a fire pit, and about half of the sites have both. Each site also has a spigot with potable water, and is within walking distance of lit flush toilets. Sites cost $12 a night without an Adventure Pass, or $10 if you have a pass.

Local Scoop: Dont want to cook, but still want a homemade lunch? Walk down to the Crystal Lake Café near the campgrounds entrance. There youll find the incredibly friendly owner, Adam, serving up fresh made chili and baked goods. The café also stocks any camping essentials you might have forgotten.

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Jalama Beach County Park

If you pine for a hidden beach with amazing sunsets over the Pacific, Jalama is it and some of the best beach camping in Southern California. Since its surrounded by private property and Vanderberg Air Force Base, its secluded. Dont miss the Amtraks Surfliner train chugging up and down the coast on the tracks just outside the park.

Find tent camping sites, RV sites, day-use sites along with one and two-bedroom cabins for rent. Basic sites start at $30 a night and premier sites are $50 a night. The cabins start at $190 a night. Jalama Beach features a bathhouse with hot showers along with flush toilets. You will find a stocked store with camping necessities or grab a bite at the Jalama Beach Grill.

Located at 9999 Jalama Road, about 45 minutes from Lompoc.

TIP: Check out the NASA launch schedule for Vanderburg Air Force Base.

Santa Catalina Island Campground

The BEST RV PARK near Los Angeles?! Camping at Bonelli Bluffs

Catalina Island is a little island with a big selection. Choose from six camping options . The best bet for families is Hermit Gulch. Downtown Avalon is just a mile downhill, and the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden is even closer. This campground also rents out camping equipment and offers tent cabins. Other Catalina camping options include Little Harbor Campground and Two Harbors Campground where you can pitch your own tent, or sleep in one of their tent cabins complete with cots. Be sure to read the camping guidelines before you head out . And consider your ferry ride options, too. Dogs are not allowed at most campgrounds. You can book a campsite online or call 310.510.4205.

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Southern California Beach Attractions

Visitors to Southern California beaches have so many places to explore and enjoy.

  • Surfing on some of the best waves in California at places like San Onofre, Black’s Beach, and Tourmaline
  • Excellent pier fishing for a wide variety of fish at spots like Imperial Beach, Ocean Beach, and San Clemente
  • Enjoying strolling along glistening sand and watching the sunset at beaches like Coronado, Del Mar, Laguna Beach, and Zuma
  • Watch top-rated beach volleyball competition at venues such as Manhattan Beach and Hermosa
  • Immerse yourself in the fun and excitement of destination beaches like Venice, Redondo, and Santa Monica
  • Watch surfing competitions at Huntington Beach, Salt Creek, Oceanside, and Coronado
  • Attend the San Clemente Ocean Festival and the Carlsbad Beach Fest held in July

Northern California Beach Camping Near San Francisco

The greater San Francisco area gives guests from all over an incredible experience enjoying the coast, the mild climate, and the peacefulness of the mountains and all that is in it. Camper van and RV camping is an inexpensive way to escape the city and have a great place to come home to after a long day of exploring. With the beach at hand and many trails to discover, beach camping near San Francisco is an exquisite experience.

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Paradise By The Sea Rv Resort Oceanside

Located in Oceanside, California, this private RV resort is adjacent to Buccaneer Park and Beach, which reviewers list as one of the top beaches in Southern California.

Owned for over 30 years by the same family, the resort has excellent customer service and is the closest beach-access RV park in the area. Paradise By The Sea has many amenities, including a pool, laundry, game room, 50 amp pull-through sites, full hookups, free HD satellite, free WiFi, a hot tub, resort-quality restrooms with hot water showers, fire pits, a group area, and a trash service.

Ninety sites are available from $59-$99 per night in winter and $75-$190 during the high season. Prices vary based on what kind of spot you choose, considering things like back-in or pull-through, hookup amps, and location. Monthly rates are available.

This park has dog breed restrictions and doesnt allow wood fires.

Midway between San Diego and Los Angeles, youll find San Clemente State Beach, an oasis that has officially been a refuge for nature lovers since 1931.

In 1933, the Civilian Conservations Corps built the infrastructure for the park. The parks sandstone bluffs are geologically interesting as well as visually so. Theyve served as backdrops for many movies.

The campground has 72 RV spots with electricity and water, picnic tables, and fire rings available, starting at $35/night.

San Mateo Campground At San Onofre State Beach

Heisler Park, Laguna Beach, CA

1hr 15mins by car, dog friendly If youve lived in Southern California for a while, youve probably heard about a surf spot called Trestles, or youve heard about the boob-shaped nuclear power plant just south of San Clemente near Camp Pendleton. Thats the site of San Onofre State Beach, one of the most popular beaches for surfers around. There are 380 tent and group campsites available year-round at San Mateo Campground, which is set back from the beach. A trail leads down to the surf from the campsites. If the surf is good, it will be difficult to score a tent site, but online reservations are available. Its best to camp here if youre a surfer or looking for a chill weekend at the beach with great people watchingotherwise theres not much hiking to do since the beach is fairly close to the 5 Freeway and the base. As for noise, drills or activity on Camp Pendleton can drown out the sound of the crashing waves.

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Free Camping On The Beach

If there’s anything better than camping for free along the breathtaking Pacific Ocean, we haven’t found it. These primitive campgrounds are amenity-free or low.

You’ll find at least a dump station nearby. Anyway, nature’s beauty is best enjoyed without distractions.

Free California Beach Camping

For the best beach camping on a budget, these are the places to go:

  • Sequoia National Forest, north in the Golden State. It’s first-come, first-served. Plan ahead before you go.

  • San Diego County hosts Blair Valley, a primitive camping ground well off the beaten path. It’s an excellent choice for tenters heading to or from Joshua Tree National Park.

  • Abbott Creek Camping Area, also near the Sequoia National Forest, is the place to go if you want to drive your OHV without restrictions.

Because so many off-roaders use this California beach for fun, it’s not for those looking for a quiet getaway.

Free Lakeside Camping

  • Southern California has the highest-rated free camping site, Alabama Hills Recreation Area. Tucked between the desert and the mountains, the views are impossible to beat.

Campers must be 100% self-contained in this primitive spot. The reason it makes it to the list here is the inclusion of Cottonwood Lakes.

You might not get to see the Pacific, but the rest of the views are totally worth the stay.

Soledad Canyon Rv And Camping Resort

Image from The Dyrt camper Keisha M.

The Soledad Canyon RV and Camping Resort is situated at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains about 54 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. This resort-style park features loads of amenities including miniature golf, a game room, kids activities, and an adult-only swimming pool. Sites can accommodate any size RV and a variety of hookups are available. Theres also cabin rentals and tent sites.

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Silver Strand State Beach San Diego

Just 4.5 miles south of Coronado on a sand spot that forms the outer edge of San Diego Bay, youll find Silver Strand State Beach. This park has 2.5 miles of ocean beach and a half-mile of sand on the bayside.

These beaches are the finest recreation destinations in San Diego. Camp, swim, surf, boat, play volleyball, or picnic along the ocean, and enjoy life-changing sunset views over the Pacific. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime camping bucket list destination.

There are many large RV parking lots, restrooms with outdoor cold showers, and fire pits. No tent camping is allowed here. All RVs and campers must be fully self-contained and be less than 40 feet long.

There are 120 dry camping sites for $65/night for beachfront and $50 for inland. Senior rates are $63/$48, disabled rates are $32.5/$25, and Veterans are free with a park pass.

Reservations open six months ahead of time, and there are plenty of area activities across the bay and in the city if you get tired of the beach.

Doheny State Beach Campground Orange County California

Parents call for encampment ban near LA schools

Doheny State Beach Campgrounds incredible location, lying on the southern end of Doheny State Beach, has a history of being named Orange Countys best camping site. With over a mile of sandy beach and warm water, ocean activities near this campsite do not disappoint. Campers often are found sunbathing, surfing, paddle boarding, fishing, and swimming throughout the day. And if theyre not in the water, theyre exploring Sycamore Trail at Dana Point via hiking, biking, or walking. The campground boasts 33 beachfront campsites rounding out its total of 113 campsites, and the views beachfront are unparalleled in all of Southern California. Doheny is extremely popular, and thus often booked for advance. Make sure you book early to ensure you experience the beauty of Doheny State Beach.

Amenities: restrooms, showers, fire rings, picnic tables, potable water, RV dump station near the visitor center

Pro Tip: Try and reserve a campsite closer to the beach. The campsites in the back are near the Amtrak tracks so that you will hear a bit of noise. There are no hookups at Doheny State Beach Campground, so plan to book a campervan with solar power or tent camp.

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Places Where You Can Legally Beach Camp In California

We may receive commissions when you buy through links on our site.

I love camping by the beach, but it can be hard to find places where you can do so legally.

Is camping on the beach legal in California?

Generally speaking, camping on the beach is not allowed in California. Youâll see âno overnight parkingâ and âno campingâ signs at the vast majority of Californiaâs beaches. This is pretty strictly enforced in the more touristy areas.

But there are exceptions!

Itâs legal to camp at several gorgeous beaches in California, either with a backcountry permit or by booking into a campground right by the sand. You might have to organize your booking many months in advance to avoid disappointment, but the effort will be worth it!

This article suggests eight stunning places where you can pitch your tent by the golden beaches of California. Most of the sites are on public land, so they arenât too expensive, either!

Sunset Vista Rv Park Huntington Beach

Sunset Vista RV Park is half a mile south of the Huntington Beach Pier. This campground is a parking lot adjacent to the beach where you can park your RV. The location is excellent. Everything you could ever want is within walking distance, including the Pacific Ocean.

The downside is it can get very noisy, and there are a ton of fire rings on the beach, and depending on the wind, you will get a lot of smoke in the evenings. 103 Pacific Coast Hwy Huntington Beach, CA 92648. website. Their website is in dire need of an upgrade.

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