The vibe at Oceano Campground
Drop some Oceano Campground knowledge on us.
The quintessential California camping experience: check!
At Oceano Dunes SP, you can camp directly between the dunes and the ocean on the sprawling, beautiful Pismo Beach. This area is really recreational for ATV, 4-wheelers, etc... so on Saturdays and Sundays it's LOUD from ~10a to sunset. Fortunately, they're fun to enjoy and easy with rental places all over the beach.
Camping here is $10 and you get okay bathrooms at every post, but no fresh water. Since you camp with your car, it's quite easy to go in and out to grab extra supplies. You're allowed to cook and especially to build awesome bonfires here at night!
Be wary: decrease the pressure in your tires so you don't get stuck in the sand + bring WARM WARM WARM sleeping bags!
30 seconds into driving on the sand our Highlander got stuck in the fine, dry sand. Apparently, this happens often enough that somebody immediately helped get us out and deflate our tires to increase surface pressure for free. Just drive toward the sites on the wet sand and you'll find a spot to park in and enjoy listening to the waves while you camp!
Great place to come with a group of friends! You can rent ATV's or drive your 4x4 vehicles on the sand dunes. They usually have a stand where they will inflate your tires when you leave for a few dollars. Bring caution tape and stakes or poles (We bought some at Home Depot in the garden section). A lot of people will rope off their campsites using the yellow tape. It also helps so ATV's stay a safe distance from your camp. Come prepared it can get quite cold and windy at night!
This is a public campground for sure. Feels more like camping in a parking lot with a bit of grass versus a peaceful camping experience out in nature. It is just a stone's throw from the beach though.
If you're into driving your car on the beach, this may be the spot for you. If you prefer peaceful walks on the beach, you'll be disappointed, you have to look both ways as you cross the beach to avoid traffic from trucks in either direction. Was a surreal experience.