San Elijo State Beach

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About San Elijo State Beach

You know that mental image you’ve always had of California beaches? The ones where everyone was constantly in the water, and when they weren’t catching a wave or soaking up the sun, they were on their way somewhere awesome to do just that? Welcome to the sunsoaked San Diego coastline, where SoCal weather meets crystal blue Pacific waters to create the ultimate beach experience. San Elijo State Beach delivers the goods, with semi-private beach (essentially limited only to campers), an amazing reef for snorkeling and scuba diving, and some of the best surfing in the area. It is absolutely worth a trip, and we think that there is no time like the present.

Campgrounds in San Elijo

San Elijo Campground

1. San Elijo Campground

91% Recommend (23 Responses)

San Elijo is a fairly large campground, with 171 sites stretched along the beach. Sites aren’t know for their privacy, but the amazing views and...

Leeann
Leeann: Great surf, close to good coffee and groceries. Fills up fast! You can hear the train and highway if you're not on beachfront...
59 Saves

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San Elijo
hipcamper
March 29th, 2015
San Elijo
hipcamper
March 29th, 2015
San Elijo
hipcamper
March 29th, 2015
San Elijo
hipcamper
March 29th, 2015
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12 Reviews

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Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

Depending on where your site is, the hike down to the beach can be a long one (involving stairs). We recommend bringing everything you need the first trip, so you don’t have to lug things back on multiple trips.

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Hipcamper LEEANN

Great surf, close to good coffee and groceries. Fills up fast! You can hear the train and highway if you're not on beachfront campsite.

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Hipcamper Daniel

This campground is in an urban area, built on a strip of land between Highway 101 and the Ocean. There is a high amount of noise here from the surf, traffic or the train cruising by. That being said all the amenities of town are right outside the gate. Coffee shops, many eateries and a market are within walking distance. The bus line stops outside the gate and 2 miles away in Solana Beach is a train station for the Coaster Line that provides transportation to and from San Diego.
The campground itself is well laid out and although showing signs of wear is clean and maintained. Beach access is easy and the scene there is always active. You’re on the beach in CA, and that is a good thing.

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Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

Nearby Bull Taco is THE spot for breakfast tacos

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We sleep through everything, but if you don’t want trains in your dreams, ear plugs could be a good idea. There are tracks nearby, and the sound sometimes travels.

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We encourage always being prepared, but if you do happen to forget something (that all-important chocolate bar or ketchup bottle, for example), no sweat. There are several stores nearby that will get you out of a food-related jam.

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Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

If you can, get a spot on the bluff side. Word on the street is it is the best!

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Hipcamper

So maybe you remembered all of your supplies, but burned dinner in the fire (hey, it happens). No fear: local pizza joint Leucadia will deliver to your site (this may, technically, count as glamping).

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Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

Ask about phosphorescents in the water: it makes for pretty spectacular nighttime show.

Hipcamper Natalia

Easy access, but not for those that want to get away from it all! Great starter camping spot for kids or folks who need amenities nearby.

Hipcamper Kristi

overlooks the ocean from a bluff, you need to be able to descend a large flight of stairs to get to the beach. campsites are pretty close together.

Hipcamper Adam

very crowded, not much privacy between camps, tons of children. good surf.

History of San Elijo State Beach

Part of the San Diego Coastline, the beach and surrounding area is rich with history. To get a real feel for old-world California, head over to nearby Old Town San Diego State Park, which features unique museum exhibits and shops in historic adobe buildings. While it is now a bustling town, it still remains one of the state’s oldest settlements. On May 15, 1769,
an overland party of Spanish soldiers, priests and explorers led by Captain Gaspar de Portolá and Franciscan Father Junípero Serra, arrived in what is today San Diego. They built a
chapel dedicated to Saint Diego and a fort on what is now Presidio Hill just to the east of present-day Old Town. As time passed, the town built up around a typical Spanish plaza, and the first San Diego community was born. Since 1769 it has known the rule of Spain, Mexico and the United States. Today the historic park reflects the cultural elements of its exciting and
romantic past.