Lifestyle

Best Beach Camping in San Diego

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Nothing says camping like pitching a tent and roasting s’mores by the fire. There are some great camping destinations in and around San Diego from the mountains to the deserts. Find out more about our Top Camping Destinations in San Diego. If you’re looking for the quintessential San Diego camping experience, we can’t forget about the beach.  You can take advantage of the amazing coastal camping areas located throughout San Diego and have a great time with friends and family. Trade the cool mountain air the for the salty ocean breeze, and check out these awesome beach camping sites near you.

San Elijo State Beach

This campground is located 40 miles north of San Diego and has pure, unobstructed views of the Pacific ocean. There is ample room to set up camp for groups of all sizes, but keep in mind it is a fairly heavily trafficked area at some parts of the day. But fear not, as the sun sets, you’ll be rewarded with sweet solitude, where you can enjoy a night time stroll on the beach. With a variety of coffee shops, restaurants, and gift shops in the surrounding cities of Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Cardiff-by-the-Sea, you’ll never be far from whatever you need. On the campgrounds, you will have your essential fire rings, picnic tables, showers, and RV hookups.

 

San Onofre Bluffs Campground

Located near the 5 Freeway and the former San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, this campground will have you thinking you couldn’t be further from civilization – say “hello” to complete isolation. This spot is perfect for a weekend to unwind and get away from it all. At the Bluffs, you will mostly be free from any surfers and casual beach goers. This campground is huge, with 334 sites to choose from, many with fire pits and picnic tables. With such a massive site, the bluffs and vegetation can potentially block views of the ocean in some areas, but there are six quarter-mile long trails that will take you right to the shore.

 

Silver Strand State Beach 

This beach connects Coronado Island to Imperial Beach and has all sorts of excitement within its short reach. This campground is for RV camping only, so don’t try pitching your tents here. Silver Strand is great for those who want to include some hiking and bike riding during their camping trip. There are 135 overnight RV sites, along with 1,000 RV parking spaces. If you’re bringing your dog, be sure to keep them on a leash in the camping areas, as they are not allowed on the beach or the bay. 

 

Photo courtesy of Amanda Bookout

Campland 

Located on the shores of Mission Bay, Campland is a beach campsite resort for tent and RV camping. The property boasts a long list of amenities, including: swimming pools, jacuzzi, bathrooms, showers, watercraft, laundry facilities, WiFi, and even a restaurant. Campland provides you with the best “Glamping” (glamorous camping) experience by immersing you in the great outdoors, while keeping all your luxuries and necessities nearby, allowing for supreme relaxation. Campland is great for beginner camping, or camping with big groups and families. In close proximity to Sea World, you can even enjoy the nighttime fireworks of the park at night.

Photo by Austin Schoonmaker

South Carlsbad State Beach 

This spot is home to unbeatable views, but campers be warned: the spots can be a little cramped. The ocean is just a quick trip down a set of stairs, and is definitely convenient if you have a large amount of supplies. The site has twelve RV hookups, along with 200 sites. Fire rings on site will take care of the hot dogs and s’mores materials you brought along. Heated showers are also on-site, along with WiFi within 150 feet of the campsite office.

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