If the idea of falling asleep in a tent to the sound of surf and swaying palm trees sounds idyllic, add Refugio Campground to your travel list when visiting Refugio State Beach. This pet-friendly campground just 30 minutes west of Santa Barbara features 66 tent and RV sites with fire rings and picnic tables but no RV hookups or dump stations. The campground also offers restrooms, paid showers, and a small general store. Adventure opportunities are endless, from surf fishing and kayaking to hiking and biking along an immaculate section of Pacific Coast with views of the Channel Islands.

Tips for Snagging a Campsite Reservation

  • All tent and RV campsites at Refugio Campground are reservable 6 months in advance online or by calling 1-800-444-7275.  
  • The campground has hike-and-bike campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis for those arriving on foot or by bicycle.  
  • Reserve your campsite early if planning to visit during the summer or on a weekend, when Refugio Campground frequently fills up.
  • When to Go

    Refugio Campground has good weather for camping year-round. Expect highs in the 90s and lows in the 50s during summer, and slightly cooler fall temperatures. Lows can drop into the 40s in winter and spring, so bring cold-weather gear and rain apparel during these seasons. Also pack your binoculars for winter and spring trips, when gray whales can be spotted migrating past Refugio State Beach.

    Campsite area
    Tent or RV sites
    66 sites
    Up to 8 guests per site
    Up to 6 vehicles
    No wheelchair access
    Campfires allowed
    Toilet available
    Pets allowed
    Potable water available
    Picnic table available


    Offered near the campground.


    Refugio State Beach gives visitors access to some awesome routes, such as the bike-friendly Aniso Trail, which connects Refugio...Read more


    Motorboats are not allowed at Refugio State Beach, but kayaking and canoeing are extremely popular.


    Surf and kayak fishers flock to Refugio to cast for surfperch, rockfish, halibut, and more.


    The 2.5-mile Aniso Trail (a segment of the California Coastal Trail) runs between Refugio and El Capitán State Beach just down ...Read more


    Refugio's protected waters means a great (and relatively calm) place to launch your sea kayak with views of the Channel Islands...Read more


    Refugio is also a popular beginner surf spot with small, reliable waves at all stages of the tide. You can find board rentals o...Read more


    The amber sands and gentle waves of Refugio State Beach make for perfect beach days. Swimming and body surfing are especially n...Read more

    Wildlife watching

    Refugio Campground visitors frequently spot whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions on the water. The state park's palm trees, s...Read more

    Hipcamp makes it easy to find unique camping experiences.
    Discover campsites, ranches, vineyards, farms, glamping, public parks and more.

    9 Reviews

    No one? Bueller? Sharing is caring, y'all.
    Drop some Refugio Campground knowledge on us.
    Hipcamper Judy
    Judy H.
    recommends this listing.
    February 6th, 2019

    Gorgeous beach, area, store, short distance to Santa Barbara!

    Hipcamper cecilia
    Cecilia B.
    recommends this listing.
    January 8th, 2019

    They plane is nice

    Hipcamper Lisa
    Lisa M.
    recommends this listing.
    November 23rd, 2018

    Book in advance.

    Hipcamper Alexis
    Alexis B.
    didn't provide a recommendation.
    July 18th, 2018

    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.

    Hipcamper greg
    Greg L.
    didn't provide a recommendation.
    May 4th, 2018

    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.

    Hipcamper Jennifer
    Jennifer B.
    recommends this listing.
    November 28th, 2017

    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.

    Hipcamper Luis
    Luis B.
    didn't provide a recommendation.
    August 3rd, 2017

    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.

    Hipcamper Susan
    Susan S.
    recommends this listing.
    July 31st, 2017

    Quiet campground. Some spots have an ocean view.

    Hipcamper Bryn
    Bryn K.
    didn't provide a recommendation.
    April 28th, 2015

    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.

    Refugio State Beach
    United States
    Phone Number
    (805) 968-1033
    View on Google Maps
    Official Website
    View Website
    34.464° N, 120.07° W
    Unknown price
    Tent / RV / Trailer - Group: 3 Sites
    (Up to 32 people per site)
    Unknown price
    Tent / RV / Trailer: 63 Sites
    (Up to 8 people per site)