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Best Camping Near San Diego

Best For A Desert Oasis: Furnace Tree Campground

Best Camping Spot Around San Diego

Dont let the name fool you. Death Valley might not sound too appealing, but there is an otherworldly charm amid the hottest and one of the largest parks. One of the places to find a mirage is at The Oasis at Death Valleya miraculous desert contrast with date palm trees, gardens, pools and golfing where legends such as Clark Gable, Ronald Regan and George Lucas have stayed and played. When youre ready to turn-in, head to the nearby Furnace Tree Campground with plenty of shady spots, or if youre feeling lucky its only a two-hour drive to Las Vegas.

Camping In Socal: Mesa Campground Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area

Reserving a camp site in the Mesa Campground is one of the best ways of ensuring that you get to enjoy all the recreational activities in the very popular Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area . Your campsite at Mesa Campground is suitable for tents or RVs and includes a picnic table, grill, and fire pit and you can have a hot shower at the nearby restrooms. The recreation area offers a wide range of water activities, including boating, water-skiing, swimming, fishing, hiking, and cycling. From January to March you can join a Bald Eagle Barge Tour, and wildlife watching is a popular activity all year round.

Mesa Campground, 14651 Cedar Circle, Hesperia, CA 92345, Phone: 760-389-2303

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Sequoia National Park Campgrounds

If you like giant trees, this is the place to be. With over one million acres of giant Sequoia trees, this park is a must-visit for trees lovers. Also, Sherman trees are found here.

Sherman tree is said to be the biggest tree that you will ever see on planet earth. There are plenty of camping sites within this park where you can pitch your tent and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of magnificent outdoors.

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All The Best Camping In San Diego

Its true what they say, San Diego has perfect weather almost 365. 70 degrees and sunny every day, thats a groundhog day I can get behind.

But Americas Finest City isnt just sunshine. This major metropolitan area is full of culture, nightlife, and delicious food and drinks. Dont forget the world-class San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, Balboa Park, and the USS Midway Exhibit. Theres enough to fill your itinerary for weeks in San Diego. Thats why its best to put down some roots at one of the nearby campgrounds and start exploring. Here are all the best San Diego camping spots for taking in the city.

Mount Laguna Cleveland National Forest

The Best Camping near San Diego, 7 Spots to Enjoy the Sun

San Diego State has operated its Mount Laguna Observatory in the county’s southeastern mountains since 1968. While it is now temporarily closed, when open to the public, the observatory holds occasional public viewing events coordinated by the Mount Laguna Observatory Associates, in which visitors can look through a 21-inch telescope designated for use by visitors and SDSU undergrads. But as with Caltech’s observatory farther north, you don’t need to wait for one of these events to enjoy Mount Laguna’s astronomical wonders. The U.S. Forest Service’s Laguna Campground, which is open for booking, offers the same dark skies though you’ll have to bring your own magnifying power.

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Glamping In The Orange Grove Tipi/teepee

Location: Escondido

Nestled among orange groves is a Native American style tipi that is a great place to reconnect with nature. You will spot rabbits and squirrels scampering around the glampsite and go to sleep with the sound of coyotes howling.

Gorge on oranges and avocados from the orchards for breakfast before you head off on a hiking trail or to the Safari Park.

In the evening, read a book in the hammock after youve enjoyed a grilled dinner on the outdoor patio.

This is a lovely natural retreat and the best part? Kids 10 and under stay for free, so you can save some money and have an awesome family vacation.

Yaqui Wash Primitive Campground

Image from The Dyrt camper Olivia D.

An hour and a half from sunny San Diego and located in the Anza Borrego State Park, the Yaqui Wash Primitive Campground is a remote, primitive, and free spot to set up your tent or park your RV for the night.

There are no facilities here, just wide open spaces and incredible desert mountain vistas. If you time it right, you can be at this campground for certain celestial events, and with little to no ambient light, it feels as if you can see every star.

As expected it was very hot during the day and windy at night, but the small, one-mile hike was very much worth it. Krisha

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Mission Bay Rv Resort

Just 12 minutes from the heart of San Diego, this family-friendly RV park is open all year long. It has many amenities, including internet access and laundry rooms. Its the perfect place to get away without really getting away. The nearby bay is a great place to swim in the saltwater without being on the crowded beaches of the Pacific ocean.


  • Pavilion and lounge with games and recreational activities
  • Convenience items such as ice and firewood are for sale at the front desk
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Gated entrance and 24/7 security
  • Full hook-ups

Best For Beach Views: Crystal Cove

This is SD Visits Campland on the Bay

Dotted with cozy coves off of Pacific Coast Highway in Orange County, Crystal Cove is a state beach park that lies between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach. As one of the best open spaces on the seashore, this is the spot for beachcombing, scuba and skin diving, along with swimming and surfing. Go inland if you want to try the mountain bike trails with the same stunning ocean views. Camping options are primitive along the hillside canyon but you will also be close the historic Crystal Cove district with cute white cottages and some rentals available.

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Best For Romance: Point Reyes National Seashore

Located in ritzy Marin County , Point Reyes National Seashore is where you will spot elephant seals rolling on the beach. Something about the salty air, crashing breaking waves and shoreline pastel sunsets also makes this a perfect romantic park to visit with someone special. If you decide to make a night of it, cozy Coast Campground is a perfect place to pitch a tent nestled in a grassy hillside.

Rubens Camp And Kikis Rv Camping And Motel

These two sites are right next to each other on the Sea of Cortez in San Felipe, Baja, and provide a range of accommodation choices. Kikis has both motel rooms and RV sites, while Rubens Camp has car camping sites, each with its own palapa. The location cant be beat: Since San Felipe is on the east coast of Baja, you can see the sun rise over the ocean from your tent.

Distance from downtown San Diego: 245 miles

Fees: About $16 a night for Rubens, $60 for Kikis

Best campsites: Look for spots at the very east end of the camp, facing the ocean.

How early to book: Plenty of campsites are availablecheck no need to make reservations.

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Anza Borrego Desert State Park Campground

This huge park has mountains, canyons, dry lakes, badlands, palm groves, and flower fields . It is recommended to research attractions before arriving or asking questions to the rangers stationed at the visitor center. You are not going to see everything the park has to offer on a day or weekend.

With respect to camping, there are several disperse campgrounds catering to hikers and bikers. Developed campgrounds include the Borrego Palm Canyon and Tamarisk Grove campgrounds.

These campgrounds offer drinking water, restrooms, token-operated showers, picnic tables, and campground host.

Distance from San Diego: 85 Miles

Camping Region: Desert

Type of Camping: Tents, RVs, Trailers

Number of Sites: Borrego Palm Canyon 117, Tamarisk Grove 27, tents are not allowed on hook-up sites

Reservations: Yes, check availability here

Notes: I do not recommend camping here during the summer. Even though the campground offers potable water, you should bring your own water

Camping In San Diego Guajome Regional Park

Best Camping Spot Around San Diego

All the campgrounds previously mentioned are operated by the California State Parks. This campground is administered by San Diego County. This is my go-to place when I cannot find a campsite on the beach since it is located only 9 miles from the coast and offers easy access to Oceanside and Carlsbad.

The woodlands, lake and ponds in the park offer a serene landscape. The grasslands and bodies of water attract several bird species. Plus, fishing and fish feeding is allowed.

Amenities include restrooms, basketball court, dump station, fitness area, pavilion, picnic tables, playgrounds, coin-operated showers, soccer fields, and trails.

Distance from San Diego: 46 Miles

Camping Region: Inland but close to the beach

Type of Camping: Tents, RVs, Trailers

Number of Sites: 32

Reservations: Yes, check availability here

Notes: You can bike to Oceanside through a designated trail.

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Out Of Africa Glamping

Location: Fallbrook

This glamping experience is a touch of African luxury combined with American boho chic. The bell tent is perched on a deck amid towering trees creating a safari-like atmosphere.

You can enjoy a romantic dinner on the deck under the softly glowing lights of a chandelier. And then flop into your plush bed, surrounded by luxurious furnishings in typical African style.

Of course, no camping experience would be complete without the option of barbecuing your own dinner. And for post-dinner freshening up, expect a stylish outdoor bathhouse complete with yet another solar-powered chandelier.

The Best Rv And Tent Camping Around San Diego

San Diego is a densely populated city. Between all the sunseekers and navy sailors, the areas close to town have all been utilized. Finding the best camping experience here means looking a bit outside of town. The good news is that within a 30-minute drive, there are plenty of campgrounds that offer some of the comforts of home without breaking the bank.

Up the hill from town, Sweetwater Summit Regional Park offers a lookout view of the ocean and Coronado Beach. The park boasts 112 sites. Campendium users report that the best RV sites are in the upper loop, where youll find full hookups and level pads.

After eating your way through town and sampling beers at any of the over 150 breweries in San Diego County, youll be looking for a little exercise. Sweetwater Summit Regional Park has 15 miles of trails open to hikers and bikers, plus a 13 station exercise course for some calisthenics.

If you are car camping and looking for great tent sites, try out Lake Jennings Park. Youll get find well-spaced sites with trees and brush offering a natural barrier between you and your neighbors. A walk around the park offers up some fantastic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Even with all its mountain escape feel, Lake Jennings Park is only a 30-minute drive to downtown.

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Best For Family Adventure: Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Park

For larger-than-life trees, and a rugged adventure near the soaring redwoods of the Sierra Nevada foothills, Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Park, is a great spot for whitewater rafting, cave exploration, and waterfall hikes. You can also go rock climbing, horseback ride and cross-country ski in the winter. Campsites are available but when youve had enough roughing it be sure to stop by the little town of Three Rivers for artisanal shops, cafes and craft brew.

Glamping Tent On 170 Acre Ranch

Pala Casino RV Resort San Diego CA | Good Sam Club RV Park

Location: Potrero


To fall asleep under a blanket of stars is a truly incredible experience. This eco ranch is camping in all its pure simplicity with the added bonus of a comfy queen-sized bed.

Only 40 minutes from San Diego, youll find a serene spot to hike, relax and stargaze. There are also a ton of activities if youre up for something a little more fast-paced. Race around the ranch on ATVs or try your hand at Native American Arrowhead Hunting.

After a day of fun, admire the burning sunsets while you grill some dinner on the open fire pit. Then collapse into your homey open-spaced tent. Dont forget your passport because in just 7 minutes you can be in Tecate, Mexico!

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North Shores Campground San Bernardino National Forest

Located just 3 miles from Lake Arrowhead Village and 20 minutes from Lake Gregory in the San Bernardino National Forest, the North Shores Campground offers campers 28 sites where you can set up camp and get back to nature. The campsites are mainly suitable for tents and do not provide hook-up for RVs. Facilities include a picnic table and fire ring for each site, and drinking water, firewood, and flush toilets are available on site. Twenty-two of the sites may be booked in advance, while six are available on a first-come first-served basis. The campground is surrounded by forest and you can easily access several hiking trails or go boating and swimming on the lake.

North Shores Campground, 29102 Hospital Rd, San Bernardino, CA 92402, Phone: 909-382-2790

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Escape The Heat Retro Rv 3 Blocks To The Beach

Location: San Diego

Meet Miss Bettie Blue, a deluxe vintage trailer only 3 blocks from the beach that serves as the perfect getaway destination. Itâs ideal for two people but a third can squeeze in on the dining room table that converts into another bed.

There is no stovetop in the RV but who needs that when there are a bunch of fantastic restaurants on your retro doorstep? Hang out by the beach, explore the buzzing area or chill in your cozy bed watching Netflix.

You cant help but feel that youre in a movie when hanging out in the turquoise 1930s style camper.

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Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

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What are people saying about campgrounds in San Diego, CA?

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“I absolutely LOVED camping here! It was so easy to book and set up. It did feel a bit awkward being the only dark skinned people on the campground, but everyone made us feel at home. The people in front of our site even helped us with setting up our tents. I loved the fact that we could simply walk down to the beach at whatever time we wanted. The views from uptop is wonderful and it is absolutely gorgeous. It was cold in September when we went, but wasn’t anything a blanket and jacket couldn’t handle. There’s a small store that sells essentials and there’s a Walmart not too far from the campground itself. We will be back here!”

Joshua Tree National Park

The 30 best campgrounds near San Diego, California

Distance from SD: 164 miles There are a couple of ways to experience Joshua Tree. One way is to book a room at a hotel in town, then drive through the park to ooh and aah at the scenery from the comfort of your air-conditioned car. The other way is to camp out in the desert to experience the total darkness of a starry desert night or a glorious J-Tree sunrise first-hand. There are nine campgrounds throughout the park where you can do just that. During the scorching summer months they are mostly first come, first served, but in the busier fall-spring season youre better off making a reservation. If everything fills up, there is always the alternative to pitch your tent on the BLM land outside the park.

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Fiddlers Cove Marina & Rv Park

Fiddlers Cove Marina and RV park in San Diego, CA, is probably the Navys finest overlooking the glimmering waters. The park offers stunning views of San Diego Bay, the bridge, and the downtown skyline. The RV park also includes all the amenities one could ask for from the best RV campgrounds in San Diego, CA.

The park has laundry services, hiking and biking trails, grills, concrete patios, picnic tables, boat rentals, restrooms and showers, fire rings, and a ship store. If you are a sailing enthusiast or love fishing or just want to relax near the water, this RV campground is a perfect place to consider.

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Fiddlers Cove Marina & RV Park is also located at a convenient location, making it easier for you to explore all the nearby attractions. Moreover, if you are a military member, you will love this place. The park offers so many activities for everyone to make sure you enjoy your stay to its fullest.

Fiddlers Cove Marina and RV Park Facilities

  • Free high-speed Wifi.
  • Fitness center with a gym.
  • Boat rentals.

Fiddlers Cove Marina and RV Park Reviews

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