Camping at the Beach in Southern California

Camping at the Beach in Southern California
Southern California is known for its surfing, movie stars and beach culture. Between San Diego and Ventura, the beaches teem with roiling waves, sun-filled days, volleyball and surfing. The Golden State permits camping at a number of beaches throughout Southern California. Enjoy fishing, swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving, or drop your sea kayak in the waters and tour the Pacific coastline, all while camping on the beach.
 

San Elijo State Beach

San Elijo State Beach is up the coast from metropolitan San Diego in the community of Carlsbad. Camping is allowed at the state beach, and reservations should be made prior to arrival. Make reservations for San Elijo at www.reservationsusa.com. Camping is primitive and RVs should be self contained with grey and black water holding systems. Tent sites are flat and level. Showers and toilets are available. Dogs are not allowed on the beach, but are allowed at the campground. No glass containers may be brought on the beach at any time.

San Elijo State Beach
2680 Carlsbad Blvd.
Carlsbad, CA 92008
760-753-5091
parks.ca.gov

 
 

South Carlsbad State Beach

South Carlsbad State Beach allows camping for RVs and tent campers. RV sites are primitive. Be self contained and respect quiet hours by not running your generator during posted times. Tent sites have picnic tables and fire rings. Check for fire rules, or current bans and restrictions prior to making a fire. The showers are operated by tokens, which may be purchased at vending machines or at the ranger's office. Pets are not allowed on the beach but may stay at the campground if leashed. You can surf, fish, snorkel, kayak and scuba dive at the beach.

South Carlsbad State Beach
7201 Carlsbad Blvd.
Carlsbad, CA 92008
760-438-3143
parks.ca.gov

Leo Carillo State Park

Leo Carillo State Park is located in Malibu along the famous Highway 1, also known as the Pacifc Coast Highway. RV and tent camping is allowed. Token operated showers are available. RV sites are primitive and quiet hours are posted when generators must be turned off. Pets are permitted at the campground but not on the beach. No glass bottles or containers are allowed on the beach. Leo Carillo receives high winds making it a popular spot for kitesurfers and windsurfers. Grey whales are frequently spotted from Leo Carillo during their migration period from mid-January through mid-March.

Leo Carillo State Park
35000 W. Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
818-880-0363
parks.ca.gov

 

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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