You can go surfing, whale-watching, beach caving, and camping all from Jalama Beach, a beautiful area near Lompoc, California.
Tourists usually think about Santa Monica, Malibu, and Santa Cruz when they think about California beaches, but Jalama Beach is a hidden gem. Let’s learn more.
Where Is Jalama Beach?
Take a journey up the coast about an hour north of Santa Barbara, and you’ll find beautiful Jalama Beach. Here you can access outdoor activities such as surfing, bird watching, fishing, and camping. You can also visit the Jalama Beach Grill, home of the famous Jalama Burger.
For $10 a day, you get day use at Jalama Beach County Park. Dogs are welcome for $3 a day. Explore the beach caves and hiking trails in the area. You can also get campsites starting at $30 per night.
What You Need to Know About Jalama Beach Camping
You can make reservations online or by phone up to six months in advance. The campsites and cabins offer beautiful views of the ocean. They have twelve beachfront locations. Jalama Beach County Park also offers group camping.
Weekend bookings require a two-night minimum stay, and holiday weekends require a three-night minimum stay. You can bring dogs to the campsites but not inside cabins.
Jalama Beach County Park offers twelve walk-in sites on a first-come, first-served basis only. The gate opens every day at 6:00 a.m. for guests to attempt to check-in to a walk-in site.
There Is Only One Campground: Jalama Beach County Park
If you want to camp at Jalama Beach, you have one option located at 9999 Jalama Road in Lompoc, California. It has 107 campsites with full or partial hookups and seven cabins. You can find other campgrounds at River Park and Gaviota State Park, about 30-45 minutes away.
Facilities at Jalama Beach County Park
At Jalama Beach County Park, you have access to bathhouses, picnic areas, dump stations, a horseshoe pit, and a playground. It also has a general store and grill. All of the sites have an ocean view, a BBQ pit, and a picnic table.
Can You Tent Camp at Jalama Beach County Park?
Yes, you can. You can get tent sites, spots with hook-ups, and cabins for rent. RVers wanting to boondock without hook-ups or campers who want to tent camp can book basic sites.
Surfers who like to rise early in the morning to catch the first waves may especially love the tent camping option.
Cabin Rental at Jalama Beach
You can rent one or two-bedroom cabins, but dogs are not permitted inside. The one-bedroom ones provide a queen and sofa bed.
The two-bedroom cabins provide a queen bed in one room and bunk beds in the other. Both options sleep up to four people.
What to Do While Camping at Jalama Beach
Other than Jalama Beach camping or enjoying the beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, you can find lots of different activities. Let’s take a closer look.
Check Out the Beach Caves
Beach caves form by the continual erosion of waves pounding against the sandstone. As a result, the saltwater wears down the rock creating caverns. Visitors can access them at low tide. They add to the beautiful landscape here.
Hike to the Point Conception Lighthouse
The Jalama Beach, Point Conception: De Anza Trail is less than 11 miles of moderate hiking. It is a beach trail, so don’t expect a paved or gravel path like you might find elsewhere. You will have to hike in the sand.
The California coastline takes a sharp turn here. Because of this abrupt transition, they added a lighthouse to aid mariners. Although you can’t access it since it’s on private property, you can view it high on the sandstone cliffs.
Whale and Bird Watching
While you go Jalama Beach camping, take some time for whale and bird watching. You can sit back in your beach chair and observe a variety of wildlife. You can also venture out on one of the hiking trails in the area in search of different animals.
The grey whale migration occurs from February to April and again from September to November. You have a good chance of seeing a whale or dolphin during this time.
Due to the northwest winds at Jalama Beach, it’s a prime surfing location. During the early morning hours of summer and the beginning of fall, beachgoers will see surfers catching waves.
It’s best to have some experience when surfing here due to the size of the swells. You can check out the surfing guide before you go.
The park has three recognized surfing spots: the Beachbreak, Cracks, and Tarantulas. The Beachbreak is in front of the campground area and usually has the largest waves.
With beachfront campsites and reasonable daily rates, you can add Jalama Beach camping to your list of things to do in California. Especially if you enjoy surfing, you can’t get a much better location. And who doesn’t want to catch a glimpse of a whale?
The next time you visit Santa Barbara, Long Beach, or another city along the West Coast, take a few days to relax at Jalama Beach. So when will you go?