Crystal Cove State Park: Orange County
Crystal Cove is one of few remaining coastal stretches in Orange County thats mostly undeveloped. In addition to a three-mile beach, the park also spans 2,400 backcountry acres and has an underwater park where campers can scuba dive. All told, Crystal Cove is one of the prettiest state parks in California.
One of the parks coolest features is the collection of vintage cottages available to rent. They date back to the early-to-mid-20th century when Crystal Cove was a small seaside colony. But you can also BYOA that is, bring your own accommodation in the shape of a tent or RV. The parks Moro Campground has 30 tent sites, 27 full hookup sites, and 32 primitive backcountry sites, although the latter are a considerable hike away from the beachfront.
San Onofre State Beach Campgrounds
San Onfore Beach in northern San Diego County is easy to pick out along the coast by the now-defunct nuclear power plant. The state beach includes areas on either side of the power plant. Surfers gather at places like Trestles Beach, Old Man’s and The Point.
San Mateo Campground is situated inland off Christianitos Road. There visitors find exclusive trailer or RV loops along with sites for tents. Electric and water hook-ups are available at some sites. A Group Site is located and the southern end of the campground. A 1½ mile trail leads down to Trestles Beach.
Bluffs Campground is spread along Old Pacific Coast Highway. This campground is only open from mid-May through September. There are no hook-ups. Another Group Site is found here.
|San Onofre State Beach Campground Basics|
|Location:||Off Interstate 5, 3 miles south of San Clemente|
|Campground Open:||San Mateo Campground open year-round, but some sites closed in off-seasonBluffs open in summer|
|Max. People per Site:|
|San Onofre State Beach Information:||492-4872|
|Picnic table, fire ring, some sites with partial hook-ups|
|Campground:||Restrooms with flush toilets, piped water, store, amphitheater|
|Nearby Attractions:||Surfing, Bluff’s Beach Trail, Panhe Nature Trail, fishing,Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, Surfing Heritage Foundation museum in San Clemente|
Arroyo Campground In Oneill Regional Park
In the heart of Orange County, ONeill Regional Park includes 4,000 acres of natural land.
Arroyo Campground, situated within the park, is well-designed for mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, and camping away from traffic and busy streets.
Woodlands, grasslands, and chaparral contribute to the gorgeous native greenery. Photographers enjoy shooting birds and wildlife living amongst the heavily wooded oak and sycamore groves and capturing photos of glimmering stars at night.
With the sky far enough away from city light, stargazing within ONeill Regional Park is astounding.
The camping fee is $20 a night and well worth it, as the campsite consists of nice bathrooms with hot showers, well-kept picnic tables, horseshoe pits, and more visitor accommodations.
The park has two group camping areas and one equestrian camping area, where horseback riders can ride along the trails.
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Jalama Beach: Santa Barbara County
Photo: Robert V Schwemmer/Shutterstock
Greater Santa Barbara has a slew of state parks and beaches to entice campers. But dont overlook this county park about an hour north of the city, especially considering that every single one of Jalama Beachs 107 campsites offers oceanfront views. The space is outfitted for tents, trailers, and RVs, and 31 sites come equipped with electrical hookups. There are also seven cabins for rent that sleep four each. Reservations are allowed up to six months in advance year-round, although 16 sites are designated walk-ups: half for tents, half for RVs.
The surf here can be rough, and the wind sometimes intense, so swimming is not always advised. But definitely bring a surfboard if you know what youre doing. Other activities include beach caving at low tide, whale watching during spring, and hiking to the Point Conception Lighthouse via the 11-mile, out-and-back DeAnza Trail. After a busy day outdoors, the Jalama camp store has all the essentials youll need, from food and firewood to fishing gear.
San Onofre State Beach: San Diego County
Photo: WJ Media Design/Shutterstock
Southern California surfers liken San Onofre to Honolulus Waikiki Beach. But the gentle, longboard-friendly surf beach is just one part of the state park. It also includes the San Onofre Bluffs and San Mateo Campground, both of which have tent sites.
Only the San Mateo Campground has RV hookups, indoor showers, and flush toilets. For surfers whove come a long way to chase San Onofres waves, the biggest reason to choose San Mateo is the 1.5-mile trail connecting the campground to Trestles, the parks most celebrated surf break. The San Onofre Bluffs campground, on the other hand, gives campers front-row seats to the ocean from its perch on the Pacific Coast Highway. The view fully makes up for the need to use an outdoor shower, though youll only be able to camp here between mid-May and September, when the cold water feels pretty refreshing, anyway.
For larger groups, either campground is doable. They both have around 150 sites, including one group site each that can sleep up to 40 people at San Mateo and 50 at Bluffs.
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San Onofre Camping Reservations
To reserve your spot at the San Onofre Bluffs Campground in San Onofre State Beach, head to the Reserve California website. In addition to using the platform to reserve campsites, you can also call the number on this website to ask questions about the campground directly. The people at Reserve California are very helpful!
Note that these campsites fill up quite fast, so make sure to book early in the year! There is also a Bluffs Group Campground, accommodating anywhere from 9-50 people and 12 vehicles.
At the Ground Campground, you’ll find large, open spaces for large tents, cold outdoor showers, and gorgeous ocean views.
If the San Onofre Bluffs campground books up, you could take a look at San Mateo Campground, which lies right across the road from San Onofre State Beach. This campground is excellent for surfers, as it is only 1.5 miles from Trestles Surf Beach!
San Mateo Campground Address – 830 Cristianitos, San Clemente, CA, 92672
San Diego Beach Camping Guide
Camping in San Diego is a fun and easy way to enjoy the best of San Diegos weather, beaches, and outdoor attractions all at one time. San Diego has various state parks and one private campground that include beach camping sites from North San Diego County all the way down to Imperial Beach on the US-Mexico border.
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San Onofre State Beach Nude Area
The clothing-optional area of San Onofre State Beach is located south of the main state park beaches. Its not on state park property, but the only way to get there is from the state park. There are six numbered hiking trails that lead down to beaches in this state park. The nude beach is south from the bottom of Trail 6. See Bluffs Beach for more information.
To get there, take Exit 71 off I-5 and head south on Old Pacific Highway and continue to the end of the road. Pay the fee to enter the park and drive to the very end of the park road. This road is a continuous linear parking lot with bluff top RV campground areas mixed in. Near the roads end, look for the gate and trailhead marker for Trail 6.
Hike this trail down to the beach, then walk south on the beach away from the lifeguard tower to reach the designated clothing optional zone. Eventually youll find a fence that divides the state park from federal land in Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. It is claimed that the beach on the other side of the fence is where gay nudists recreate. Just know that rangers for the state park and the military base could visit and they have issued citations in the past. See a map of the other clothing optional beaches in California.
Greater Area Rv Campgrounds
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina
1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, CA949) 729-3863Newport Dunes Waterfront ResortRV Sites: 382 RV sites, tent sitesAmenities: Back Bay Bistro, banquet facilities, market place, pool and spa, watersports and beach rentals, playground, fitness center, laundry, restrooms, marina, boat launch Rates: $$$$
RV Sites: Full hook-ups, 30 amp, cable TV, tent sitesAmenities: Propane, laundry, bathrooms with showers, meeting room, spa, pool, walk to the beachRates: $$
Paradise by the Sea RV Resort
1537 South Coast Highway, Oceanside, CARV Sites: 91 sites with Cable TV, WiFi, full hook-ups, 30 amp or 50 ampAmenities: Pool, hot tub, restrooms, laundry, small grocery/RV store, recreation room, beach rentals, walk to beachRates: $$
California State Parks and Recreation cautions that “large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly.“Learn more about ocean safety at CA State Parks: Ocean Safety
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San Clemente Beach Campgrounds
San Clemente State Beach, just north of San Onofre, provides excellent camping areas for large groups of people including essential amenities spots are available for a standard rate of $40 per night.
Right on the bluffs, this is an optimal location for watching the Pacific Oceans waves roll in and participating in water sports, the most popular being surfing due to the areas impeccable surf conditions.
Downtown San Clemente, considered the halfway point between San Diego and Los Angeles, epitomizes a small beach town vibe. It is filled with iconic surf shops and locally owned brands.
The town is designed with Spanish Colonial-style architecture, explaining the red roofs and large archways.
The campground is situated on the southern end of the greater San Clemente region, but the area is close enough together that you will get a chance to explore all the town has to offer.
Distinct from the city, the accessible outdoor recreational activities are enough to intrigue visitors. Coastal bluffs and steep mountains create excellent hiking and mountain biking trails.
Trestles Beach, a hot spot for professional surfers, is located an 8-minute drive from the camping area. Whether you surf or enjoy watching the waves, remember to be considerate of locals, as the zone tends to draw in large crowds.
Point Mugu State Park: Ventura County
Photo: Sean Higby/Shutterstock
Midway between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, Point Mugu State Park is a year-round destination for California beach camping. There are two campgrounds Sycamore Canyon and Thornhill Broome as well as the La Jolla group campsite just across the Pacific Coast Highway from Thornhill Broomes 62 primitive beachfront tent sites. Sycamore Canyon is smaller with only 31 sites, but its outfitted for RVs and trailers as well as tents. When youre not at your campground, you can take advantage of Point Mugus 70 miles of hiking trails or hop a boat at Channel Islands Harbor to check out Channel Islands National Park.
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San Onofre State Beach San Mateo Overview
San Onofre State Beach San Mateo campground has 157 single-family campsites and is a little over a mile inland from the sandy beaches within San Onofre State Beach. Campsites can accommodate tents, trailers and RVs . Campsites 1-67 have water & electric hookups. Accessible campsites include 1, 65, 78, 139 and 156. Each campsite also has a table, fire ring and grate. Check in time is 2pm and check out time is 12pm. Group camping is also available.
Amenities include drinking water, hot showers, flush toilet and a dump station. Theres also a campfire center, overflow parking and firewood available for sale. Campers can stay up to 7 consecutive nights. You can have up to 2 vehicles in the RV hookups sites and all others can accommodate 3 vehicles . The maximum occupancy is 8 people per campsite. There is also an overflow parking area at the campground.
San Mateos group campsite is for tent camping only and can accommodate up to 40 people . Sleeping is not allowed in the vehicles. There is limited shade in the camping area, but there are 2 shade Ramadas and a few trees that help. The group site has 2 fire pits, 1 large BBQ , 6 picnic tables and potable water. Overnight parking is not allowed in the day-use parking lot.
San Onofre State Beach San Mateo Campground Area Recreation
San Onofre Bluffs campground is another option at San Onofre State Beach. It is has 175 campsites and is located on sandstone bluffs a short walk from the beach.
Moro Campground Crystal Cove State Park
Located in Crystal Cove State Park, Moro Campground includes spots for tent and RV camping, with beach access.
The campsite consists of an upper camping area used for tent camping and a lower area that allows drive-in camping.
Both spots are family-friendly and allow leashed pets. With to die for ocean views, this Orange County campgrounds is a must for visitors and locals alike.
The famous Crystal Cove State Park consists of the Historic District featuring an enclave of 46 vintage beachside cottages, flourishing tide pools, and fascinating sea caves, a change in scenery from Orange Countys cities.
The area features one of the largest expanses of open land in OC, with 2,400 acres of backcountry to explore.
Adventure seekers and nature lovers can run and hike in Crystal Cove State Park while staying at Moro Campground and take a dip in the stunning ocean.
With cell service limited in the park, camping in Moro Canyon offers a much-needed chance to unwind and disconnect.
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Carpinteria State Beach: Santa Barbara County
Photo: David M. Schrader/Shutterstock
With more than 200 campsites split between four campground loops Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel Carpinteria State Beach has some of the most varied beach camping in California. Santa Rosa is just for RVs and trailers, complete with full hookups, while the other three loops welcome tent campers. Santa Cruz is particularly desirable with 12 premium beachfront sites. Both Santa Cruz and Anacapa also have group sites for up to 25 people Anacapas Raccoon site is the largest with room for up to 40 people.
Camping with a group that large can be hard to coordinate, but Carpinteria State Beach is particularly well-suited for a trip with the whole extended family. Minimal rip tides and waves that break far from shore make it one of the safest swimming beaches in California for all ages. Just warn the little ones not to panic if they hear loud, guttural barking in the distance Carpinterias harbor seal sanctuary is just a couple of miles down the beach.
Campgrounds In Orange County
There are many campgrounds in Orange County for outdoor enthusiasts looking to find a place to pitch a tent and relax in the great outdoors.
From bluff tops overlooking the beach to hidden backcountry gems, Orange County has something for everyone even the glampers. Heres a list of campgrounds in Orange County for you to explore.
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San Onofre State Beach
San Onofre State Beach’s San Mateo Campground offers 157 campsites for tents and RVs or trailers. RV or trailer only sites are #1 – #67. These sites have electric and water hook-ups. Other sites are for tents, trailers, or RVs. Trailer sizes for all sites range from 24 feet to 40 feet.
The 1½-mile Nature/Beach Trail leads to Trestles Beach, an area popular with surfers. To visit San Onofre’s main Surf Beach, campers must drive to the main parking lot north of the nuclear power station.
Camp frees cover one vehicle and 8 persons per site. As many as two additional vehicles may be at your campsite if they fit on the pavement. Trailers and RVs are considered vehicles. There is a fee for additional vehicles. Generators may be operated between 10 AM and 8 PM. Dogs must be kept on leash and confined to a tent or vehicle at night. The showers take quarters.
Campfires are only allowed in the established fire rings. Alcohol is permitted in the campground. The campground fills quickly, so make your reservations early.
Huntington Beach Rv Parks
Visiting Orange County, you will not want to pass up on staying at one of the three beachfront RV campgrounds in Huntington Beach!
Waterfront, Sunset Vista, and Bolsa Chica State Beach RV Parks line the coast of Huntington Beach, nicknamed Surf City, USA.
Unfortunately, tent camping is not allowed in these areas. Nonetheless, if you are lucky enough to have an RV, the sites are designed with RV electric and water hookups, bathrooms, and fire rings.
The spots are steps away from the beach, and you can walk or bike down the bike path to reach downtown Huntingtons dining and shopping centers.
Bolsa Chica State Beach is an upbeat area with prime surfing conditions, volleyball courts, and an ecological reserve with a thriving ecosystem. Walk on the trails or down the pier to stay active and entertained on your visit.
The beaches are prime locations for summer bonfires and launching kayaks. Because of its popularity, reservations for summer months go quickly, so make sure to book your sites early.
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