The Best RV Beach Camping in Southern California

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An overhead view of waves crashing on the shore with people sitting on the beach in San Diego which is a great place to beach camp in southern california.

To fully live the dream as a traveling outdoors person, you must go RV beach camping. Southern California is an incredible destination for this event! Pack your surfboard, and get ready to make your beach campfire dreams come true. Here’s what you need to know. 

About Southern California Beaches

Southern California is naturally famous for its beaches. There’s the infamous Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu, and Huntington beaches near Los Angeles. Then there’s Laguna Beach, one of the most breathtaking sights in the region. If you travel a little further south, you’ll find San Diego beaches, including La Jolla Cove, Mission Beach, and Coronado

While RV beach camping in Southern California, take time to enjoy all that nature offers, including feeling the surf wash over your toes as you walk along the sand, searching for seashells and starfish in the tide pools, or observing sea lions in their natural habitat. 

The boardwalks are incredible as well. You can spend hours shopping, dining at the finest seafood and multi-cultural restaurants on the Pacific coast, and even riding a Ferris Wheel as the sun sets. 

Southern California is certainly a must-visit for RV beach camping. 

The sun sets over the ocean and the santa monica pier which has the ferris wheel colorfully lit up.

The Best RV Beach Camping in Southern California

Now that we’ve convinced you RV beach camping is for you, it’s time to decide where you want to park your RV. The benefit of RV beach camping in Southern California is that you can explore numerous beaches on your trip, driving and parking as frequently as you want. 

Not all beaches are primed for the ultimate RV camping experience, however, so we’ve put together a decent list of fine Southern California beaches to visit. 

Silver Strand State Beach, San Diego

5000 CA-75, Coronado, CA 92118

Just 4.5 miles south of Coronado on a sand spot that forms the outer edge of San Diego Bay, you’ll find Silver Strand State Beach. This park has 2.5 miles of ocean beach and a half-mile of sand on the bayside. 

These beaches are the finest recreation destinations in San Diego. Camp, swim, surf, boat, play volleyball, or picnic along the ocean, and enjoy life-changing sunset views over the Pacific. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime camping bucket list destination

There are many large RV parking lots, restrooms with outdoor cold showers, and fire pits. No tent camping is allowed here. All RVs and campers must be fully self-contained and be less than 40 feet long. 

There are 120 dry camping sites for $65/night for beachfront and $50 for inland. Senior rates are $63/$48, disabled rates are $32.5/$25, and Veterans are free with a park pass. 

Reservations open six months ahead of time, and there are plenty of area activities across the bay and in the city if you get tired of the beach.

San Elijo State Beach, Cardiff By The Sea

2050 S Coast Hwy 101, Cardiff, CA 92007

This narrow, bluff-backed park is 40 miles north of San Diego between Encinitas Beach and Solana Beach. San Elijo offers camping, swimming, surfing, picnic areas, and a seasonal snack bar and store. 

RVs and campers are limited to 35 feet. At the base cost, you can camp for $35/night at standard sites or $50 for oceanfront without hookups. For a premier camping experience, you can pay $60/standard with hookups or $75 premium ocean front with hookups. T

This campground is on the ocean and near town, so you can walk to shopping and food. Campers report train and road noise but beautiful views.

South Carlsbad State Beach, Carlsbad

7201 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad, CA 92008

Located on the beach near Carlsbad, this campground is close to town amenities and attractions while still allowing camping oceanside. 

There are 215 sites ranging from $35-$50 for no hookups and $60-$100 for hookup sites. There are restrooms with showers, fire rings, a dump station, and a seasonal store for necessities. The maximum RV length is 35 feet, and you can book six months in advance. 

Gorgeous sunsets await you, and, of course, you can do as many water activities as you like, stroll along the sand, or bike on the boardwalk. 

Paradise By The Sea RV Resort, Oceanside

1537 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054

Located in Oceanside, California, this private RV resort is adjacent to Buccaneer Park and Beach, which reviewers list as one of the top beaches in Southern California. 

Owned for over 30 years by the same family, the resort has excellent customer service and is the closest beach-access RV park in the area. Paradise By The Sea has many amenities, including a pool, laundry, game room, 50 amp pull-through sites, full hookups, free HD satellite, free WiFi, a hot tub, resort-quality restrooms with hot water showers, fire pits, a group area, and a trash service. 

Ninety sites are available from $59-$99 per night in winter and $75-$190 during the high season. Prices vary based on what kind of spot you choose, considering things like back-in or pull-through, hookup amps, and location. Monthly rates are available. 

This park has dog breed restrictions and doesn’t allow wood fires.

San Clemente State Beach, San Clemente

225 Avenida Calafia, San Clemente, CA 92672

Midway between San Diego and Los Angeles, you’ll find San Clemente State Beach, an oasis that has officially been a refuge for nature lovers since 1931. 

In 1933, the Civilian Conservations Corps built the infrastructure for the park. The parks’ sandstone bluffs are geologically interesting as well as visually so. They’ve served as backdrops for many movies. 

Visitors make the best use of the two trails leading through the cliffs to access the ocean activities, including surfing, swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. Fishing is a popular leisure activity at the park and anglers catching corbina, bass, and perch. 

The campground has 72 RV spots with electricity and water, picnic tables, and fire rings available, starting at $35/night. 

Crystal Cove State Park, Laguna Beach

8471 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

With 3.2 miles of ocean beach, bluffs, canyons, and historical areas to explore, Crystal Cove State Park has plenty to entertain the entire family. This historic and beautiful area is located between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach and encompasses over a thousand acres, not including a thousand acres of underwater park. 

Obviously, surfing, swimming, and hiking are easy to enjoy at this beautiful park, but this location also has opportunities for horseback riding, scuba diving, skin diving, and mountain biking. 

This historic site has been the backdrop for numerous movies. The buildings on site have great significance in Southern California history, making for a unique educational journey alongside the recreation. 

Hike-in primitive sites are available for dry camping with pack-in pack-out rules, or Moro Campground has 57 RV campsites. Twenty-seven are for campers or RVs under 38 feet, and 30 are for tents or low impact soft-sided trailers under 25 feet. Sites are $50-$75 per night. 

Restrooms with token showers are on-site, and if you want a night off from the RV, there are cottages for rent in the historic district.

Emma Wood Beach State Park, Ventura

Pacific Coast Hwy, Ventura, CA 93001

Located near Ventura, California, Emma Wood State Park is 112 acres of pure nature escape. 

Most of the campsites here are back-ins with a limit of 40-foot rigs, and they must be self-contained. There are 86 sites in the North Beach area with no facilities, and the Ventura site has group dry camping sites with chemical toilet restrooms. 

Surfing and playing in the ocean are the big draws here, but wind in this location makes kite surfing a unique activity to participate in or watch. Sunbathing and picnicking are common, and fishing is especially fruitful at this park. 

Sites are $30/night in the off-season and $40/night in prime season. Campers remark that this is a bare-bones campground without frills, and it’s a tight squeeze for maneuvering, although the sites are reasonably long. 

There are no amenities besides some dumpsters and sometimes outhouses, depending on where you are. You must bring your own water and power sources.

Faria Beach Park, Ventura

4350 Pacific Coast Hwy, Ventura, CA 93001

This county-run park has oceanside camping in a gorgeous setting at the Santa Ynez mountains base with amazing views of the Channel Islands. 

You’ll find 42 highly sought-after sites, 15 of which have full hookups, including sewer. The prices are $37-$39/weekend for non-hookup sites and $50-$530weekend for hookups with 20, 30, or 50 amps. There are WiFi, fire rings, picnic tables, showers, and concession stands on site.

There’s nothing more awe-inspiring than camping, just steps from crashing ocean waves backdropped by a glittering sunset over the Pacific ocean. While reservations at these breathtaking Southern California parks go fast, be sure to add them to your camping bucket list.

1 comment
  1. We’re deciding between 375RES and the new 346FLS. 375 is over 42 ft and the 346 is under 38ft( same basic layout) In your experience is it worth losing the availablity of the 375 to fit in certain sites in comparison to the 346 being able to access more sites? I would rather have the bigger rig but I’d hate to lose the availability to camp at some of the most desired areas. PS we are planning extended ( near full time ) RV ing.

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