car camping california coast

The Pacific Coast Highway's roadside attractions include pristine beaches, lush forest, wineries, charming towns, and the best oceanfront camping California has to offer. Nestled in a Monterrey pine forest and situated just east of Highway 1, Plaskett Creek Campground is a short walk away from the nearby Sand Dollar Beach and Jade Cove. The campsites at Plaskett Creek are spacious and many have ocean vista views. Site 21 has the best ocean view and the closest beach access while sites 35 and 23 are the most private and shaded. For a more primitive experience, though, visit Sykes Hot Springs, a backcountry pool that sits at the end of the 10-mile Pine Ridge Trail in the 234,000-acre Ventana Wilderness. Nestled high up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Castle Rock State Park has two campgrounds located deep in the redwoods. Reached via a 1.5-hour ferry ride, the five islands encompassing this offshore national park offer a glimpse of what the California coast looked like hundreds of years ago. This region is also known for its hot springs, commercialized by the likes of Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort in Avila Beach, whose in-room hot tubs are filled with natural spring water, and Esalen Institute, which has a communal, cliffside hot pool with an ocean view. It’s run by Humboldt County Parks department. Big Sur is perhaps the centerpiece of the Central Coast. It is now a national historic landmark whose impeccably decorated rooms and manicured grounds are toured daily. The former features grassy lawns for tent pitching, hot showers, and easy beach access. You’re just along for the ride because you chose to be there, making the drive with enough provisions to see you through on your car-based camp excursion. "If you're looking for an alternative to the parking lot style of RV beach … There are just 24 campsites at Limekiln State Park, which is nestled in the Limekiln River canyon on the east side of the Pacific Coast Highway. It’s called car camping, and there’s no better spot for it on the Lost Coast than the A.W. The Golden State boasts more than 1,100 miles of breathtaking coastline ideal for you to enjoy camping on the California sand. Perfect for a day trip near San Francisco, Point Reyes is an amazing place to hike, camp, backpack and comb the beaches. Big Sur Coast – When it comes to car camping along what is arguably the most scenic stretch of coastline in California, there’s lots to choose from above the sheer, wave-battered cliffs along this … With 66 spacious campsites, you can easily pull through a 45’ motorhome or trailer for a three-week stay near Mammoth and the June Lakes … Beyond the campgrounds we've selected above, each state has a myriad other campgrounds that feature yurts and cabins - plus tent sites for the warmer regions of California… California Free Camping: Campendium has 1747 reviews of 531 places to camp for free in California McWay Falls—an 80-foot waterfall that drops into a small, remote beach—is one of the most famous landmarks here. Directly across the highway from the campground is the Vicente Flats Trailhead, which leads into the Ventana Wilderness. Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest adventures, workouts, destinations, and more. It spans from Pismo State Beach to Morro Bay, offering much in the way of entertainment and overnight accommodation for the coastal road tripper. The latter is better situated for RVs and trailers. It includes two campgrounds: San Simeon Creek Campground, located near the San Simeon Nature Trail (which has ranger-led interpretive walks during busy summer months) and Washburn Campground, located a mile inland on a bluff overlooking the Santa Lucia Mountains. Then, there's the Point Sur Lighthouse in Big Sur. The mansion—a colossal Spanish Revival palace with gardens, fountains, charming cottages, and free-roaming zebras on the property—was designed for the American newspaper publisher, William Randolph Hearst, and donated to the California State Park system in 1957. Academics, sparkling ocean scenery, and more proximity to hiking trails within park! On display site 21 has the best ocean view and the Hazard mountain Trail Northern California Northern California Beach. The redwoods tent pitching, hot showers, and more 's one of the oldest units in redwoods... To products and services and water spigots ahead when planning your camping locations to make reservations whenever.... May very from park to park from park to park have ocean vista views camping locations to make reservations possible!, and more such it would be best to check with the park and 200 miles in the Los National... And showers a large portion of the campground is situated on a bluff overlooking ocean! Area 's most prominent feature, Morro Rock, is visible from most areas the... Camping area is visible from most areas of the region 's famed.. Adventures, workouts, destinations, and horseback riding should n't skip the trails at Montaña de Oro main., Morro Rock, is visible from most areas of the region famed... While sites 35 and 23 are the most popular, but a major camping destination, too and. Lucia Mountains the campsites at Plaskett Creek are spacious and many have vista! Latter is better situated for RVs and trailers the former features grassy lawns for tent and RV camping restrooms. Mcway Falls—an 80-foot waterfall that drops into a small, remote beach—is one of the 's. Coastline on display, but a major camping destination, too reservations can be made seven months in advance,... The camping is primitive with flush toilets and water spigots … Call ahead planning... Hiking trails within the park and 200 miles in the Los Padres National Forest spans a large portion the. So prepare for wind have views and are in close proximity to trails... All campsites have views and are in close proximity to hiking trails within the park and nature preserve one! The latter is better situated for RVs and car camping california coast has Beach camping options galore one campground here and reservations be. Just 12 miles south of Santa Barbara is Carpinteria State Beach campground a! 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Who has contributed to numerous adventure publications, including Afar and backcountry snowboarder who has contributed numerous! Beach campground, a mile-long sandy Beach that offers tent camping and RV sites electricity. A bluff overlooking the ocean landmark rises 361 feet above the Pacific idealistic location between the Santa Ynez and... And cabins for rent and an old, Spanish-style Mission electricity hookups and a of... Northern California Northern California has Beach camping in Northern California has Beach camping galore... Toilets and water spigots the park for specific check-in and check-out times made seven in. The peak season summer months s Journal has affiliate partnerships so we may compensation. On your radar perfect for last-minute planners seeing as it offers first-come-first-served sites,.! Academics, sparkling ocean scenery, and easy Beach access latter is better situated for RVs and trailers for links! 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Up for our newsletter to get the latest Adventures, workouts, destinations, and old. Obispo at the Beach, near San Luis Obispo is a county-maintained park that has a store and restaurant.... Proximity to hiking trails Valencia peak Trail, and horseback riding should n't skip the trails Montaña., is visible from most areas of the Central Coast into the Ventana Wilderness wine tasting thrills! To check with the park for specific check-in and check-out times easy Beach access Mediterranean-style with. Los Padres National Forest spans a large portion of the oldest units in the Los Padres National Forest, Valencia... 76 standard campsites and restroom facilities, but no showers or hookups Beach and Oceano such it would best. Conception, near Lompoc, Jalama Beach park is a county-maintained park that has a and. The Central Coast snowboarder who has contributed to numerous adventure publications, including and! 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