If the idea of falling asleep in a tent to the sound of surf and swaying palm trees sounds idyllic, add Refugio State Beach camping to your travel list. Choose among 66 campsites at Refugio Campground, just twenty miles west of Santa Barbara. The family-friendly campground is lined with tropical palm trees and offers amenities such as fire rings, picnic tables, restrooms, pay showers and a small general store. Adventure opportunities are endless here, from surf fishing and kayaking to hiking and biking along immaculate coastal trails. The campground is close to the highway, but count on the symphony of crashing waves lulling you to sleep over the sound of passing cars.
The vibe at Refugio Campground
Drop some Refugio Campground knowledge on us.
We used to come to this beach for field trips all the time when I was in elementary school. It's an awesome family-friendly beach area - not over-luxurious, but a great location. And lots of coastal space for games and picnics. But look out for the June fog.
I stayed here for 3 days to celebrate my birthday in March. The beach adjacent campground is well kept with working bathrooms and showers. Each site has a fire ring with BBQ grate, and some areas are shaded with trees during the day. There are sites for both reservation and first-come, first-serve. Scuba Diving is popular here because of a reef nearby, and Kayaking here gives you a great chance to dolphins.
You should be warned that, when the breeze blows from onshore, you hear the freeway noise a LOT. And trains pass RIGHT by the campground. If you REALLY don't like truck, car and train noise, you probably shouldn't camp here.
My favorite beach camp in Southern California. Far enough away from the riffraft, close enough to civilization to run off to for dinner if weather gets bad.
Not that it makes a difference but the rear campsites are fairly close to railroad tracks.
Wander out to the point and look for shells in the rocks at base of hill at low tide.
Front spots have a view to die for. Expect to pay a premium. Stay away from the west side of campground as it’s behind the day use area and will not only get more crowded but much longer walk to beach area.
Refugio is a perfect campground for families, everyone here is welcoming and out there to have a great time! There is a small shop down by the beach so make sure you bring bikes and quarters. Bikes to get around quicker or venture to El Captian and quarters for your showers and ice cream. It is difficult to get a campsite here so make sure you book well advance.