Beach Camping on the California Coast
Since most of the California coastline is protected year round under conservancy laws or as part of wildlife preserves, you cannot just go camping at any beach you feel like pitching a tent on.
You will get fined and/or arrested so don’t do it. On the other hand, there are many beautiful beaches where camping is permitted and encouraged and where you can enjoy some of the best beach camping and outdoor activities that Mother Nature has to offer.
California’s rugged coastline is world famous for its breathtaking beauty and spectacular sunsets. Highway 1 runs North to South all the way from one end to the other. If you are in Southern California camping is best from mid June until late December when the weather is usually gorgeous every day.
One of the nicest beaches for beach camping is San Clemente State Beach which is about fifty miles south of Los Angeles off of Interstate 5 near the town of San Clemente. This beautiful and very wide white sand beach is famous for its great surf.
There are lots to do in the area with many quaint and pretty beach towns to explore for dining, shopping and entertainment. You can do some beach camping there and they even have some trailer hook ups for your RV.
You will need to make reservations ahead of time however and you can go the state park website in order to get more detailed information.
McGrath State Beach is a bird watcher’s paradise and is located near the riverbanks of the Santa Clara River. Several hiking and bird watching nature trails lead into the estuary. You can get more info from their online brochure.
Just south of Santa Barbara you will find great beach camping at Carpinteria State Beach. These protected bluffs and marshlands come right up to the gorgeous dunes to create a pristine habitat for birds and other animals.
Carpinteria has a reputation as the “safest” beach in California although the surf is excellent; the undertow does not begin until way out past the surf line. There is a small visitor’s center with wildlife exhibits near the beach itself.
Near the twin domes of the inactive San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, there lies the very beautiful San Onofre State Beach. This is a great place for hikers, campers, and surfers and is a very popular beach camping spot.
There are lots of great nearby restaurants and shopping for those who want a little more diversion. The beach is narrow with a lot of stones with high bluffs overhead.
There is definitely some great beach camping in Southern California and you don’t need to go very far to find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The rugged coastline will make you a fan forever and make you want to never leave.