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Southern California’s Top 5 Beach Camping Spots

Posted by Dustin Canada on

Summer may be over, but don’t put away your camping gear just yet! Southern California’s perfect weather allows campgrounds to stay open and be enjoyed all year-round. And where better to camp than on the beach? As the crowds begin to dissolve and the weather cools down, camping takes on a mellow vibe in the fall season. Check out our top five spots—one south of the border—to surf, relax and enjoy good times with those we love.

  1. South Carlsbad State Beach – Carlsbad

Located on a large bluff-top, this campground offers amazing views of the ocean, which can be easily accessed through stairs leading from the campground to the beach. Popular activities include swimming, surfing, running and biking. There is also a conveniently located Camp Store, ideal for buying firewood, water and snacks.

  1. San Elijo State Beach – Encinitas

This campground sits on top of a cliff, overlooking the Cardiff-by-the-Sea beaches. A wooden staircase leads to dog-friendly beaches, where many families enjoy picnicking, swimming and surfing. A nearby reef makes it a top spot for snorkelers and divers.

  1. San Mateo Campground – San Onofre

Known for its historical surf breaks nearby, San Onofre is one of the top five most-visited state parks in California. A 1.5-mile trail connects the San Mateo Campgrounds to the famous Trestles Beach. Campgrounds include fire pits, picnic tables, hot indoor showers and restrooms.

  1. Emma Wood State Beach – Ventura

Located in Ventura, Emma Wood State Beach is a popular destination for camping, fishing, swimming and surfing. The park features a wide variety of wildlife including raccoons, great blue herons, songbirds and dolphins. This campsite offers a calm and beautiful beach setting, the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature.

  1. Playa Saldamando – Mexico

This beachfront campsite features more than 20 sites spread out over a mile of coastal property, giving each site a secluded and private feel. Located about an hour south of Tijuana and 10 minutes north of Ensanada, Playa Saldamando is near popular surfing destinations, cool sights and tasty south of the border bites.