San Onofre State Beach

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About San Onofre State Beach

San Onofre State Beach has always served as a sort of beacon for surfers. Luckily for you wetsuit aficionados, the beach is still very much here, popular, and continually pumping out surf worthy waves. In the 50s and 60s, San Onofre was one of the beaches that helped define what “California” meant in the eyes of the world. With palm trees in sight, traditional ocean bluffs and 3.5 miles of sandy shoreline...the park certainly didn’t hurt its reputation. Millions of visitors travel to San Onofre each year to bike, hike, swim, camp and of course, surf. The coolest part of San Onofre State beach is that is has three different beach access points. Between Trestles, Old Man’s and Trails, visitors are bound to find a place where they can feel at home. Each beach boasts different types of waves, activities and overall atmosphere.

Campgrounds in San Onofre

San Onofre Bluffs Campground

1. San Onofre Bluffs Campground

80% Recommend (10 Campers)

San Onofre Bluffs Campground has 157 campsites nestled into the park’s scenery. the campground is convenient to trails that lead down to the 3. 5...

Lauren
Lauren : Camping is pretty easy here. You can pull right up to your campsite in your car, there are bathrooms in short walking distance...
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San Mateo Campground

2. San Mateo Campground

100% Recommend (6 Campers)

San Mateo Campground is only a short distance inland from San Onofre’s sandy beaches. Since the San Mateo Creek flows past the campground in the...

Rheanne
Rheanne : The showers run on tokens, you can use the machine to exchange single dollar bills for tokens only. Machine does not accept...
7 Saves

8 Reviews

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Hipcamper A
A

There are train tracks that pass right by the beach – which is worth knowing, so you aren’t fretting an earthquake every hour.

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Hipcamper Lauren

Camping is pretty easy here. You can pull right up to your campsite in your car, there are bathrooms in short walking distance complete an outdoor shower station and sink, picnic tables and a fire ring. It can get pretty noisy being right next to the freeway, but the beaches are uncrowded and the waves are really fun for surfing.

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Hipcamper Alex

There are a >100 camp sites here that line the bluff above the beach, some with better beach access and views than others; overall its a very pretty setting. The site was outfitted with a fire pit, table and plenty of space for a few tents. Although it has great access to the surf and a relatively well hidden beach, cars on the 5 and the train can be heard late into the night and especially in the early morning.

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Hipcamper A
A

Don’t limit your trips to this beach by season. In the fall and winter, wild growing sage makes the beach smell amazing.

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Hipcamper A
A

The beach here can be a little rocky on the bottom. Bring water shoes or surf socks if you’ve got ‘em!

Hipcamper A
A

There is a part of this beach where nudity is allowed...so, read trail signs carefully (or take a gamble).

Hipcamper Rheanne

The showers run on tokens, you can use the machine to exchange single dollar bills for tokens only. Machine does not accept higher denominations!

Hipcamper Rick Kelli

Love this camp site. You can stay in camp or go city style. Sometimes you can watch the activities at the marine base. There is a great dog beach near by , just south of Old Man's surf spot. Also a great place for a last minute trip, lots of grocery shopping spots in town.

History of San Onofre State Beach

This park was once part of Rancho de San Onofrio y Santa Margarita, more than 89,000 acres granted to brothers Pío Pico and Andrés Pico by governor Luis Alvarado in 1841. Three years later, the brothers were granted another 44,000 acres at Rancho Las Flores. California’s largest land grant, at 133,440 acres, became known as Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores. The U.S. Government acquired the land by eminent domain in 1942 for a U.S. Marine Corps training facility. This facility, Camp Joseph H. Pendleton, was dedicated on September 25, 1942, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

San Onofre State Beach was leased to the state by the United States Marine Corps
in 1971. San Onofre—with its surf spots at Trestles and neighboring beaches—has a longtime association with the sport of surfing and the evolution of Southern California’s modern surf culture. San Onofre’s consistent wave breaks have attracted dedicated surfers since 1933. Surfing competitions began in 1938.