Best Campgrounds For Beach Camping In California
From The Beach Boys to palm trees and sandy boardwalks, the California coast is one of the most iconic places in the U.S. Every year, millions of people from all over the world visit the Golden State to see its famous landmarks, catch a wave, eat California cuisine, and soak in the sunshine. And with 840 miles of coastline, theres a lot of camping options to choose from.
The Golden States two most popular coastal camping areas are southern California, with its abundant sunshine and dry climate, and northern California, with its moody redwood forests and wild shoreline.
No matter which you choose, youll never tire of the endless views, stunning sunsets, and distinctly California vibes.
About The New Brighton Beach Campground
The New Brighton Beach Campground, located in Aptos, CA is a Campground that offers temporary outdoor living, including overnight stays in Santa Cruz County. The Campground offers facilities for visitors, campsite amenities, and programs for guests.
You may contact a Campground for questions about:
- Aptos Campground facilities
- Information about campsites, tent sites, and cabins
- Campground programs and activities
What You Need To Know Before You Go
- Learn how to make California state park reservations.
- Get ready to reserve by checking the campground map. When choosing a site, think smart. Check whether it might become an informal route for people walking from other sites toward the restrooms.
- Fees include park entry for one vehicle and one legally towed vehicle/trailer. Additional vehicles pay an extra vehicle fee.
- Up to 8 people can stay at one campsite.
- Bring quarters if you plan to use the pay showers.
- Most of the year, New Brighton is a nice beach but sometimes Mother Nature has an impact on that. Visitors sometimes complain about dead vegetation on the beach and the flies that are attracted to it, a problem that is worse in summer.
- Some online reviewers comment: “Kids can party pretty loud at night here.”
- Quiet hours prohibit the use of generators at night.
- The premium campsites can be sunny. You might want to bring a portable canopy.
- Poison oak grows around New Brighton. If you’re allergic, you probably know how to recognize it. If you don’t, ask a ranger to show you.
- Dogs are allowed on a leash no longer than six feet and under human control at all times. They must be confined to a vehicle or tent at night.
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New Brighton Beach Camping
- 9 premium sites overlooking ocean
- 10 sites with RV hook-ups
- 1 bike/hike campsite
- 5 accessible sites
- or call 444-PARK between 8 AM and 6 PM
- Restrooms and pay showers
- Visitors center
- Campground host
- Campfire circle
- Overflow parking
- RV sanitation station
- RV potable water refill station
- Pets must be on leash and attended, in vehicle at night
- 7 days maximum camping
- Quiet hours 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM
- Generators 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
- Alcohol only allowed in campsite
- Vehicles must be parked on pavement
New Brighton State Beach Hiking
If you are interested in hiking, New Brighton sports at least two hiking trails. One of these trails goes from the top of the bluffs at the campground down to the beach.
The other 3-mile trail is across the beach until you reach Seacliff State Beach. If you are interested in fossils, you might be able to see some of the rocks along the way during your walk to Seacliff. Most of them date from the Pliocene area and in geological terms are quite recent only 2.5 5 million years old.
Be sure that you do not take any of the fossils with you, as they are protected by law from being disturbed. Still, its not every day you get a chance to travel millions of years back in time!
If you are interested in the history of more recent vintage, New Brighton Beach was once known as China Beach due to a large number of Chinese fishers that would dock their boats in the bay during the Gold Rush era in California. Unfortunately, the anti-Chinese movement ended the Chinese presence at New Brighton Beach by about 1900.
For birding fans, the various habitats contained in this 93-acre state park present many opportunities to view native birds. If you look closely, you might be rewarded with the sight of Stellars jays or chestnut-backed chickadees, among many other species.
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Key New Brighton State Beach Campground Regulations
New Brighton State Beach Campground Bottom Line
New Brighton State Beach Campground is nice, but it is not an amazing campground. It is adequate for those seeking an easy escape from the San Francisco Bay area it provides you with the feeling of being in the wilderness, all while still being close to the city. However, in reality this campground is sandwiched between train tracks, California Highway One, houses, hotels, and the beach, which is great if you have very limited time available to you, want to stick to the main highways, or otherwise cannot make to other, more remote, but better, campgrounds in the bay area .
New Brighton State Beach Campground is fairly family friendly and offers a good mix of activities, including access to the nearby beach which is locate below the bluffs that the campground sits upon, and is just a short walk away.
Privacy is a luxury at New Brighton many of the campsites are right on top of each other and also tend to cater to RVs definitely not a tent campers paradise. Also, New Brighton is very busy during the spring & summer camping season due to its proximity to the bay area and its access to the beach, and we recommend you plan and book your camping trip well in advance.
The best campsites at New Brighton State Beach Campground are 73, 75, 76, 78, 79, 82, 87, 88, and 90. These campsites sit right on the bluffs that overlook the ocean, however they are designated as premium campsites, and cost more per night than the other campsites.
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New Brighton State Beach Overview
New Brighton State Beach campground has 111 single family campsites set on a bluff above the beach offering spectacular views of Monterey Bay. The campsites accommodate tents, trailers and RVs up to 36 in length. Each site has a table, fire ring and grate. There are 9 premium campsites with RV hooks. Group and hike/bike campsites are also available.
Firewood is also available for sale from the camp host . Please do not gather firewood at the park. Beach bonfires are also allowed, but only at certain times of the year and in state-provided fire rings.
New Brighton State Beach Area Recreation
New Brighton State Beach Campground has paved roads and parking spurs, an RV dump station and snappy restrooms with flush toilets & hot showers. The popular park also has a group picnic area, day-use parking for 235 cars, and almost one mile of shoreline. Outdoor activities include camping, picnicking, surfing, swimming, beachcomber, sunbathing, surf fishing, hiking, biking and wildlife viewing.
Seacliff State Beach campground is another option in the area. It is about 3 miles from New Brighton State Beach.
- Golden Age & Access Passports accepted
A Campground Among The Pines Overlooking Monterey Bay
Even with Highway 1 and Capitolas main drag a stones throw away, New Brighton feels blissfully broken loose. The beach here is smaller than many of its neighbors, which form an unbroken chain of wave-kissed sand all the way to Moss Landing. But a span of thick coastal scrub and Monterey pine forest on the bluff above offers an unexpected retreat from the local commotion.
New Brightons a fine spot to spend a day lazing in the oceans lap, or a night at one of the many campsites that honeycomb the upland forest, even with the summertime rush. Set deeply in Soquel Cove, the beach doesnt offer much in the way of waves, a pittance even for a boogie boarder. But at low tide, you can explore shell fossils embedded in the sandstone cliff rising out of the surf to the west and poke around tidal pools below in search of sea stars and anemone. Million-dollar homes curve along the shore to the east, heading towards Seacliff State Beach a quarter-mile away. Dolphin pods swim by on occasion, coursing the cobalt in front of fishermen, families and assorted sun-seekers.
AMENITIESBathrooms at the campground have 25-cent showers and are fairly clean. There are a few fire pits on the beach, and a port-a-potty a short walk away. A gorgeous Civilian Conservation Corps-built picnic pavilion sits on the bluffs overlooking the sea, just waiting to be rented for a party .
Theres also a generously sized bike camping area with four sites its first come, first served, and the fee is $5.
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New Brighton Beach Group Campsites
New Brighton Beach has 3 group campsites. The tent-only campsites can each accommodate from 9 to 25 people and up to 4 vehicles. The group sites are on the west side of the campground.Fee: $185 per night
New Brighton is rated as one of the best beach campgrounds in the area.
Some sites have full hook-ups available.
Premium ocean view sites are worth a couple of extra dollars.
New Brighton State Beach Campground
Relax By the Fire
Relax By the Fire
Advice From Previous Campers
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Every effort is made to provide accurate and up to date information, but we cannot be responsible for errors or for changes that may have occurred since publication. Always confirm information with the service provider and check for any recent changes that may have been made. Also, check with lifeguards that conditions at the beach are safe for your planned activities. The map displayed above is for illustrative purposes only. California’s Best Beaches website makes no warranties regarding the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of any of its maps. The information provided on this website is done so without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.
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New Brighton State Beach Camping Day Use
07/04/2020 by DayTrippen
Located in the Monterey Bay area, New Brighton State Beach is a 93-acre park that includes close to one mile of shoreline, a group picnic area, a campground on the bluffs overlooking the beach with campsites and parking spots for day use.
Because the shoreline at New Brighton State Beach is inside a protected cove, the waves are smaller than other areas of Monterey Bay. The gentle waves are one of the attractions at New Brighton because they are light, New Brighton is a better beach to go kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, or even surfing, especially for beginners.
Whether you wish to visit the park for a day or spend a weekend or week camping there, New Brighton Beach State Park is a rewarding destination less than a two-hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Depending on the time of year, you may be able to see migrating whales from the beach or the bluff. Just about any time, you may spot bottlenose dolphins, sea lions, or the ever-playful sea otters. Only one view of any of these creatures would be reason enough to make the trip!
A wintertime treat is the view of migrating monarch butterflies in the courses of their great yearly migration. The best time to see the monarchs is from mid-October through February, and the best place in the park to look for them are in clusters of trees, whether they are Eucalyptus or pine trees.
We Love New Brighton State Beach
It is VERY difficult to get a reservation but luckily we got a site. It was very peaceful and quite most nights. We liked the new metal cabinets to store our food and things. The raccoons and skunks were out at night but not successful in stealing our food. Safeway is close for shopping maybe 1 1/2 miles away and the Boardwalk is about 6-7 miles. Fun!We saw 2 adult deer and a baby deer in the evening before dark.The beach was not too crowded except for the weekend. We think the park people should/could do something about the seaweed. There is a lot on the beach sand.Saturday night they had music at the camp fire area. We hope to return next summer!
This time the beach was dirty! I was disappointed! We didn’t camp here but was there for a day trip. I hope it was fluke!
proximity to Capitola and Santa Cruz, nice beach, not crowded and plenty of sand and fun. Nice views of bay and area
We had a fabulous time camping the last weekend of June! Steps away from the ocean and Only a few exits from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. My girls 3 and 7 had a blast not letting the waves touch them. The restrooms are well kept and the showers were always warm we were RV camping with friends but the sites are perfect for tent camping as well! We will definitely be back for many years to come.
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Visit The Great Outdoors
From the Pit River country in the Cascade Range to the King’s River region in the southern Sierra Nevada, our recreational facilities are ready for you to enjoy. Locations such as Lake Almanor, Lake Spaulding and Lake Britton, are engineered to create clean energy through our hydroelectric system. These sites feature campgrounds and picnic areas. Most of the lakes also offer fishing, swimming and boating.
Camping At New Brighton State Beach
Did you know that California has over 1,100 miles of coastline with over 450 beaches? Within those beaches there are around 63 designated California State Beaches that are managed by the State Parks system . New Brighton is one such California State Beach located in Capitola in Santa Cruz County and is situated right on the Monterey Bay. There is a day-use area, and many people come for the day to enjoy the beach. This is a popular beach, but the campsites with the ocean views are very highly sought after.
First of all, to the people that cancelled their reservations for a premium campsite at the New Brighton Beach campground on Easter weekend, Im sorry that you werent able to use your reservations, but we thank you so, so much for giving us the opportunity to experience such a beautiful ocean view campsite. I happened to come across this lucky find through pure dumb luck while I was looking for campgrounds for the future. I happened to notice a tiny spec of green in a sea of red for the coming weekend in 2 days! After the initial shock, I kicked it into high gear, sweating as I clicked the reserve button, and then almost tripped head first while I was running to get my credit card info. Almost, thankfully. I really was expecting the campsite to be taken before I finished the reservation process, but somehow it all worked out and we had a lovely campsite on such short notice. It really does pay to check around because people do cancel reservations .
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New Brighton State Beach Camping
The campground at New Brighton Beach State Park is very popular during the summertime, so it is a good idea to make reservations if you want to camp there. Best Campsites New Brighton State Beach. Sites 73 -79, 82, 87, 88, and 90 are situated on the bluff and have ocean views. These campsites are considered premium and cost more than regular sites. 47 to 56 are the only sites with hookups.
The campground has electricity and water, but no sewer hookups. There is a dump station, though. The sites can accommodate RVs that are up to 36 feet long. The restrooms at the camp are fully functional and include hot showers, although the hot showers need to be paid for. Campground Reservations
New Brighton State Beach Campground
New Brighton State Beach Campground is located just south of popular Capitola Beach in Santa Cruz County. New Brighton is within walking distance of both Capitola and Seacliff State Beach. The main attraction of New Brighton is its campground. Campsites are spread among the trees on the bluff, with 9 premium sites overlooking the ocean. Trails lead from the campground down to the beach.
In all, New Brighton State Beach Campground has 109 family campsites. Of those, 10 have hook-ups for RVs or trailer. Nine sites are designated for tents only. The rest – including the premium sites – can accommodate RVs, trailers, or tents.
New Brighton State Beach Campground also has 3 Group Campsites as well as a Hike & Bike campsite.
|New Brighton State Beach Campground Basics|
|New Brighton State Beach Campground Location:||New Brighton/Park Ave exit off Highway 1, Aptos|
|Reservations at New Brighton State Beach Campground|
|Reservations available||Reservations are available year-round, up to 6 months in advance of arrival date.|
|Maximum Vehicle Length:|
|#27, 77, 80, 95, and 107 and all restrooms|
|Fees:||Hike & Bike Site $5 per person|
|Online Reservations at ReserveCalifornia:||or call 444-PARK between 8 AM and 6 PM|
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