California Beach Camping: Top Spots


California is known for its glamorous lifestyle, beautiful people, and scenic beaches stretching miles and miles. A day at the beach can mean sand, surf, tidepools, bonfires, and other ocean adventures; but what if you want to extend your stay a little longer? There are many California beaches that allow overnight camping whether it's in a tent, RV, or motorhome. Check out this list of the best camping beaches in California.


Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Pismo State Beach (Pismo Beach)
Pismo offers all kinds of attractions ranging from hiking to surf fishing. Don't be afraid to stay in the winter, because you might just catch the annual winter migration of millions of Monarch butterflies from the area.

Cost Per Night: $30+
Nearby Attractions:
Monarch Butterfly Grove
Dinosaur Caves Park
Spyglass Park
Central Coast Aquarium


Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Kirk Creek (Big Sur)
Kirk Creek Campground is an oceanside paradise, and every campsite overlooks the Pacific Ocean. From November-Febuary visitors can view migrating whales without leaving their campsite. ALso nearby is fishing, surfing, swimming, and exploring.

Cost Per Night: $25
Nearby Attractions:
Los Padres National Forest
Sand Dollar Beach
Vicente Flats Trailhead


Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Doheny State Beach (Dana Point)
Dohney State Beach offers both camping in the south area and day use in the north area. A five-acre lawn with picnic facilities and volleyball courts makes for a great place to explore during the day. Doheny is popular with both surfers and groups using the firepits in the north area. Surf fishing is also popular here.

Cost Per Night: $60+
Nearby Attractions:
Dana Point Harbor
The Pilgrim Ship (Inside the Harbor)

Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching


Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Leo Carrillo State Beach (Malibu)
Fresh off a set of renovations, Leo Carrillo has 1.5 miles of beach for swimming, surfing, wind-surfing, fishing, and beachcombing. Also check out the tidepools, coastal caves, and reefs. The small visitor's center offers interactive displays. Worried about the heat? Giant sycamore trees shade the campsites.

Cost Per Night: $60+
Nearby Attractions:
Point Dume State Beach
Adamson House
Solstice Canyon

Wherever you decide to roam, you will find that California has everything to offer from hiking to beautiful beaches.

Author Aimee Engebretson's favorite place to camp is at Doheny State Beach. Her favorite thing to bring along when beach camping is a tiny broom to brush sand off! She is a life-long resident of Orange County, California.

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