Best 8 places for beach camping in California

July 13, 2020

Are you looking for the best places for beach camping in California? If so – this list is full of ideas and my top picks.

If you’ve long dreamed of falling asleep under the Californian stars, then you may find yourself looking for the best places for beach camping in California.

top places for beach camping in California

Sometimes, there’s truly nothing better than falling asleep to the sound of the waves whilst breathing in the fresh, ocean air. However, though you might expect California to be teeming with camping spots, finding the best places for beach camping in California is more challenging than you may think. After all, California’s coastline spans 840 miles, so you may find that it takes extensive research to source spots that are right on the beach. 

So, if you’re looking for the best places for beach camping in California, then look no further. We’ve sourced the ones with the best amenities and finest locations so that you can have peace of mind when planning your next outdoor adventure. 


Mendocino Grove

One of California’s best places for beach camping is in Mendocino. Only a short drive from Mendocino’s numerous beaches, Mendocino Grove is a stunning glamping spot that lends luxury to the Great Outdoors. Instead of hauling your equipment around, you can ditch the tent and opt for one of the site’s 60 pre-assembled tents that feature actual beds, linen, and blankets.

If you’d like to have a BBQ, this campsite even has communal gas BBQs that save you the drive into town. Though you’ll need to supply your own cookware and food, you’re otherwise covered! This is such a great option for the best places for beach camping in California, whilst it’s not directly on the sand, it’s close enough to give you the excitement and relaxation of beach camping, without the sand! Mendocino Grove is a perfect choice!

best places for beach camping in California

Point Reyes National Seashore

Next up on my list of the best places for beach camping in California, it’s Point Reyes National Seashore. If you’re travelling near San Francisco, then be sure to check out Point Reyes National Seashore. Known as a hike-in campground, this place has 14 different sites that are accessible via various trails.

With picnic tables, toilets, and various other comforts, you won’t feel too lost in the wilderness if you choose to stay here. If you wish to indulge in some major hiking whilst you’re in the area, then this is the one of the best places for beach camping in California that money can buy. 

best places for beach camping in California

Treebones Resort

If you’re around Big Sur, then be sure to check out Treebones Resort. Deemed one of the best places for beach camping in California on account of its stunning facilities, it’s certainly worth a visit. Located just off Highway 1st, it’s easy to reach and well worth the drive. This place has fantastic reviews too – which is always a bonus to see when booking somewhere new.

Accommodation here mainly consists of yurts, but should you wish to, you can bring your own sleeping bags and try out one of the campground’s “nests”. Built by a local artist, these structures are made of woven driftwood and would make your camping trip one for the books. Be sure to bring a backup tent if you choose this option, as these structures aren’t exactly waterproof…

list of the best places for beach camping in California

Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay is a great place for beach camping in California as it’s pet-friendly! As opposed to some of the other camping areas on our list, this one actively welcomes four-legged friends to join in the fun.

A great feature of Bodega Bay is that campers can use the many fire pits available to roast marshmallows or keep warm. Be aware that the campsites at Bodega Bay tend to fill up extremely fast, so call and book your spot ahead of time to avoid disappointment! Definitely a fantastic place for the best places for beach camping in California and one you’ll want to check out!

An amazing option if you’re looking for more of a ‘glamping’ experience, is actually the Boon Hotel and Spa. They offer amazing little glamping / camping pods, with everything you need already there, and they’re only a short drive from the beach and coastline.

beach hotels in california beach hotels in california

Goleta California

Next up on my list of the best places for beach camping in California is Goleta! Located just outside of Santa Barbara, Goleta California is the perfect spot for camping in Southern California. One of the best places for beach camping in the area due to its stunning scenery, you won’t be disappointed with a trip here.

Visitors say that you get spectacular views of the Channel Islands and the Pacific, so you can wile away the hours soaking up California’s natural beauty. Distinctly private in its setup, it’s also the perfect place to visit for those looking for a more secluded getaway. 

the best places for beach camping in California

Parson’s Landing Campground, Santa Catalina Island

Parson’s Landing Campground is one of the best places for beach camping in California due to its sheer size. A large and spacious campsite that comes with individual fire pits and picnic tables, it’s got great amenities that really elevate a guest’s experience.

Seen as one of the best places around for backcountry camping, it’s well worth booking a place for your next trip. A great option for the best places for beach camping in California, is you like rustic old-fashioned camping!

places to stay on the beach in california

Kirk Creek Campground

Located on 100-foot hills that overlook Big Sur’s coastline, Kirk Creek is certainly one of the best places for beach camping in California. The campground offers access to several of the area’s most popular beaches, with Sand Dollar being only a 10-minute drive away from the site.

If you’re a fan of hiking, then you’re in luck, for the campground is perfectly placed for treks through Los Padres National Forest. As well as offering guests a chance to check out California’s flora and fauna, Kirk Creek Campground is also primed for those that love to engage in physical activity. 

With spots for RV camping and regular tent camping, the area is well-equipped for a variety of guests – so, you needn’t worry about restrictions should you be travelling in an RV! This is definitely one of the best places for beach camping in California and you can check the availability here.


Refugio State Beach

Next on my list of the best places for beach camping in California it’s Refugio State Beach. With stunning sand and endless rows of palm trees, Refugio State beach is one of the best places for beach camping in California. Not only is it a scenic marvel, but you have easy access to the California Coastal Trail that allows visitors access to El Capitan State Beach where experienced surfers love to hit the waves.

A great location for water-sport enthusiasts on account of its excellent kayak tours and swimming spots, this is the perfect place to meld relaxation with a taste of the wild side.


Hopefully this list of the best places for beach camping in California has been helpful!

I hope that this has shed some light on the best places for beach camping in California. As the state is so vast, it can be overwhelming trying to whittle down the options for camping in the Golden State. However, I hope that this has given you a springboard with which to plan your next trip!

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply