Best Beaches for Camping on the Central Californian Coastline

After getting back from a camping vacation on California’s amazing central coastline, I really wanted to share my experiences. If you’re Planning a trip to California check out what are, in my opinion, some of the best beaches for camping.

We started our trip in the Big Sur region to the north of the central California coast, having pre-booked a site at the Andrew Molera State Park which is around 2km from the sea. There are plenty of coastal paths to explore here – including some strenuous hikes for serious walkers, but we stuck to gentle morning strolls, with a beachside picnic lunch as our reward at the end. The site had showers and a fire pit, as well as a water supply – basic but perfectly adequate. We stayed for three nights which was the maximum we were allowed –then packed up and headed down the coast to our next camping site. 

Our next stop was the San Luis Obispo region of central California and we tented up at Pismo Beach – a classic California surfing town. We set up camp at Pismo Coast Village RV Resort where the facilities were excellent, even including Satellite TV - and the sites were grassy and tree-lined which made camping here a very pleasant experience. There’s also mini-golf and a heated swimming pool on the campgrounds which is convenient for days when you don’t feel like wandering far. Nearby, however, the glorious white sandy beaches provided lots of activities – try riding the dunes in a four wheel ATV or a spot of fishing from Pismo pier. The boardwalk is ideal for an after-dinner stroll. 

Our next campsite was in Santa Barbara where we finally understood why it is known as the ‘American Riviera’. We camped on El Capitan State Beach for a few nights, and loved the sheltered sandy beach and rock pools. Swimming is good here too, and it’s possible to climb to the top of the surrounding cliffs via a stairway. The beach is located around 25km from Santa Barbara off Highway 101.

If you’re prepared to get back to basics on your Californian holiday there are some excellent beaches which offer great camping facilities – hope you’ve found the above information useful if you considering Planning a trip to California.