Camping on the California Coast

Pick your camping spot along some 800 miles of Pacific coastline, from Crescent City to San Diego.

95% (4902 reviews)
95% (4902 reviews)

Popular camping styles for California Coast

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Under $50

12 top campgrounds in California Coast

95%
(462)

DABUDAGE

7 sites · Lodging, Tents10 acres · CA
A place to stay in southern Big Sur with camp sites and accommodations. Before sending an inquiry please read the listings. Also available as a host your own retreat venue starting at 360 per night
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$60
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98%
(80)

Redwood Mountain Retreat

7 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents5 acres · Scotts Valley, CA
This location is a private home, turned retreat center in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We are cradled by Mother Nature, in the middle of a Redwood forest, with fresh air and California sun, work together to create an environment that will insulate you from the chaos of today’s hectic lifestyles. Besides camping or overnight stays, we offer retreats to soothe your weary soul. The rooms for rent are part of the home, where I live. We will be sharing space. I have two dogs that live on the property - a British Labrador and a Goldendoodle. Please do not book if you don't like dogs. They are the sweetest dogs you'll meet. They serve to exuberantly welcome you, as well as guard, protect and warn me about unruly UPS drivers and the very scary turkeys that roam the mountains. This property is proudly woman-owned and operated. I love hosting women travelers and have built my tent sites, rooms, cabins, retreats and experiences to cater to women. That is to say, women want a little more comfort, a little more care, a little more thoughtfulness and little more bougie. If that's what you're looking for, this is it! Of course I welcome men too. In fact, there are quite a few men’s’ retreats hosted here. All will be comforted with the smells of the redwoods outside and the smells of fresh baked bread, inside. Come and join me for a night in the woods. Welcome to your Redwood Mountain Retreat, ~Daisy
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$63
 / night
93%
(290)

Felton Open Space Camp Sites

10 sites · RVs, Tents14 acres · Felton, CA
Next to Historic Winery in the heart of Santa Cruz Mountains in the quaint town of Felton. Located between two state parks, Henry Cowell and Fall Creek. Just 6 miles, up in the mountains, from the Pacific Ocean and the Monterey Bay. Half a mile from the famous Roaring Camp Railway. Wine & Cider tasting next door at Hallcrest Vineyards; Dine in Felton, hiking, biking and local shops to explore. Please note when booking that each of the sites are limited to two adults only. Children are welcome.
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$45
 / night
91%
(154)

Hidden Spring Ranch

6 sites · Lodging, Tents6 acres · Santa Cruz, CA
Magical 6 acre permaculture ranch just a few minutes to town, beaches and restaurants. Take a bath under a clear night sky, enjoy the morning birdsong and take a stroll on or off the property. We have free ranging chickens, a hidden spring surrounded by two creeks and wild plums. Happy Valley is a secret little gem of Santa Cruz. Plenty of space for relaxing, and amazing location for both convenience and adventures. (2 of the 3 sites have the tubs please read individual descriptions to find out if the one you chose has one)
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$55
 / night
92%
(378)

SMR Carmel Camping

34 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents89 acres · Carmel, CA
Welcome to Saddle Mountain Ranch, RV and Campground! We are located on 89 acres of forest land off Carmel Valley Road, just 5 miles from HWY 1. Nestled within oaks, Monterey pines, and redwoods, Saddle Mountain offers a great family friendly getaway for those seeking a break from the bustle of life. PLEASE NOTE, our RV and tent sites are pet friendly but YOU MUST ADD THE PET FEE EXTRA WHEN MAKING YOUR BOOKING. Our glamping stays are NOT pet-friendly aside from one of our luxury tents. We charge $5 per pet and you can bring a maximum of 2 pets. On site seasonally heated pool (Mid May through Oct). ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: *Please continue reviewing/monitoring California Travel guidelines as they may change and affect your reservation* On site seasonally heated pool (seasonally), private hiking trail, playground, Foosball table and more. No refund for inclement weather during the Winter months. We provide complementary Wi-Fi in designated areas of the park. We ask that there is no streaming at the Park so we can share Wi-Fi with all our guests. Thank you!
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$70
 / night
97%
(447)

Redwood Retreat: Camping & Cooking

5 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents16 acres · Watsonville, CA
Located on 16 acres, Redwood Retreat is nestled among majestic redwood trees. It is a a cool relief from hot temperatures elsewhere! We have a cottage, a tent cabin with a queen air mattress, and two camping sites for up to 4. Sites 1 & 2 combine nicely for a group of up to 8 and site 3 can accommodate a group of up to 6 (w/ host approval). Enjoy the owls, doves, hummingbirds, and salamanders. Corralitos is ideal for biking (Demonstation Forest), hiking (Byrne Milliron Forest) - the terrain on our property is NOT hikeable - wine tasting, and the beach is 30 minutes away. We are equi-distant between Monterey and Santa Cruz (also approximately 30 minutes but depends on traffic) for all of your more "touristy" desires. Under 2 hours to San Francisco. We will send a very comprehensive list of recommendations for things to do, places to go, and things to see & do in the Santa Cruz/Monterey area when you book, as well as specific directions to get here. PLUS, Chef Mima has a host of things to offer in terms of culinary temptations like a whole line of SENSATIONAL SKILLETS or the more upscale 3 COURSE DINNER. Menus are sent when you book. Why not line up a COOKING CLASS ($85. per person plus ingredients) for a 3 hour class including DINING ON THE DECK with your new culinary creation? Scroll to bottom of photo gallery for latest photos. Ask for the current list of classes. Mima spent 6 years at reknowned Chez Panisse restaurant before starting a career as a caterer in the food industry. SEE EXTRAS! Imagine a peaceful, serene neck of the woods with NO WIFI. Feel the restorative power of nature building resilience and buffering tomorrow’s stress. Welcome to Redwood Retreat. in the mountains above the sweet town of Corralitos, approximately a half hour to either Santa Cruz or Monterey and 20 minutes to nearest beach. If you are the type of camper that likes to play music or be loud, this is not the camp for you. This is a refuge from that. When multiple sites are reserved, this spot is perfect for family vacations, company retreats, small celebrations etc. It is strongly recommended that you book all three sites if you wish to entertain. No amplified noise. A noise curfew is in effect from 10:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. for anything but talking. Sound carries and we must respect neighbors and other campers.THX!
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$75
 / night
95%
(250)

WindTree

7 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents64 acres · Los Gatos, CA
WindTree is an awesome retreat perched high on top of the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, over looking the entire Monterey Bay and Santa Clara Valley. WindTree is sacred land used by many over the past 30 years for retreat and ceremony. It has also been a working "Wwoof" -ing farm for volunteers from all over the world to come and learn about organic gardening in a fun, beautiful, nurturing community restoring our sense of interrelatedness and encouraging planetary sustainability by our choices and concerns for the wellness of the environment. You can make your experience apart of this community or enjoy a quiet private camp site away from any activities. We are off the grid with solar power and our own well. We have small organic gardens with chickens and goats. You will love it up here under the stars. Note: RV's over 21 feet will have difficulties on our driveway.
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$60
 / night
95%
(187)

Elkhorn Ranch

6 sites · Tents11 acres · CA
Five minutes from the beach, Elkhorn Ranch is home to goats, sheep, wild chickens followed by their baby chicks, and a couple of cows, dogs, and sheep. In addition to the animals there is a greenhouse and an acre of pumpkins, corn, and beans. A small fruit orchard borders the chicken coop. Anybody who enjoys small farm life and activity will find this place enchanting. Norris and Roberta are incredible hosts and inclusive to any guests that want to participate in farm life. Close to restaurants and the cute harbor town of Moss Landing, 30 minutes from Carmel and Santa Cruz, Elkhorn Ranch can be a place to relax or a gateway to explore Big Sur and all the amazing hidden gems of the Central California Coast.
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$75
 / night
100%
(9)

Wilde Big Sur

4 sites · Lodging, Tents28 acres · Big Sur, CA
In the south coast redwood forests of Big Sur along Plaskett Creek there is a wild land waiting for you to explore it and yourself. Take in the grandeur of the forest canopy, the lush blankets of sorrel and the sound of the creek rippling through the woods. Laze in the grassy meadow, enjoy a bath in the creek or chop wood and enjoy a campfire in our heart-shaped fire ring. Encounter birds, butterflies, squirrels, deer, lizards and many other creatures on your hike to Puma Point with the most spectacular view of Sand Dollar Beach and the rugged Big Sur South Coast. Wilde Big Sur is a pristine hideaway tucked in the Redwood forest along Plaskett Creek. This is a 1/4 mile hike in/hike out property. All gear will be brought by guests up the mountain. Backpacks are highly recommended. All guests must be in good physical condition to hike up the mountain with their belongings. Guests will experience some strenuous activity getting to the property and accessing different areas on the property. Additionally, the property is off grid. Resources here are important and scarce. The water we use is directly from the creek and we filter it twice. We must be very careful with our waste water, so please do not bring soaps, lotions or skin oils. We use solar and generators for power, and conservation of power is important so we can turn on lights at night and make coffee in the morning. There are two composting toilets located 100 yards away from the creek as is required by CA law. It is a significant hike uphill to access the composting toilets. The Lotus skydeck is located another ¼ mile hike up the canyon, and there is a longer loop hike with steep trails to Puma Point with spectacular views of Sand Dollar Beach. Wilde Big Sur is located just across from beautiful Sand Dollar Beach - so we have the coastal influence and canyon shadows at play throughout the day. Layers are best, it can get warm for a short time and by sunset it can get cold and misty. Big Sur is known for the mist, so soak it in! Solitude abounds on this land. We need the land, and the land needs us. Bring your worry, your anger, your fear, your stress, your doubt, your regret - offer it to the land. Mother Gaia can take it. She knows how to process energy. She filters it, recycles it and transmutes it into wind, fire, rain - into beauty. Our tears become the streams and eventually the waves of the ocean. Allow yourself to feel deeply here.
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$75
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99%
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Whiskey Hill Barn and Camp

4 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents10 acres · Watsonville, CA
Stay within minutes of Manresa, Sand Dollar, and Sunset State beaches. There are excellent biking and hiking opportunities on the Watsonville and Elkhorn sloughs, or commune with the redwoods in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. The air is amazing here, between the salt sea and redwood forest. We welcome you to relax and refresh on the Monterey Bay coast.
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$75
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96%
(81)

Peace, Love and Sunset Ranch

10 sites · Lodging, Tents5 acres · Watsonville, CA
Your cooking supplies, stoves, barbeque and dinnerwares are inclusive! Located in a serene oakwood grove area, our private campground offers a peaceful getaway with an abundance of bird varieties and occasional wild turkeys passing through. Take a stroll around our 5-acre property and catch a breathtaking sunset from the hillside. We're only 11 minutes away from Mount Madonna State Park and just 10 minutes from a local healthy grocery store and yoga studio. The beautiful Pajaro Dunes coastal area is just a 15-minute drive away, and the Santa Cruz fairground is only two minutes away. Our location is surrounded by farms and nurseries, hence why it's considered the salad bowl of the United States. The Santa Cruz beaches are only 15-25 minutes away, while Monterey is just 30 minutes away. The wine trail is also nearby. There are plenty of activities to enjoy nearby, including horseback riding at Mount Madonna Stable, a yoga retreat at Mount Madonna, hiking at Mount Madonna State Park, wine tastings at various wineries with stunning views, kayaking at Elkhorn Slough or any beaches, yoga at Watsonville Yoga or onsite, swimming, scuba diving in Monterey, visiting the Hanoman temple at Mount Madonna retreat center, and attending any events at the Santa Cruz Fairground. The property has 3 stalls for hot showers, 1 hand washing sink, 1 flushable toilette, 1 communal outdoor kitchen with supplies of cookwares, dishes, mugs, glasses, utensils, pots and pans, coffee mugs, and 1 sink with hot water, 3 fire pits (2 of them is fire burning and 1 of them is propane), camping stoves, 1 gas barbeque and there is an electricity in the communal kitchen area. Propane for fireplace is included and Firewoods are available for sale. No need to bring your cooking utensils. Salt and pepper are provided. No need to bring your own cooking supplies and dinnerware unless you prefer to do so. Your parking spot is within a very short walking distance and there is a wagon for you to use to haul your belongings to your camp site.
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$69
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100%
(12)

Sacred Earth Retreat (SER)

1 site · Tent50 acres · Boulder Creek, CA
For over 40 years, Sacred Earth has been cherished by many as an example of sustainable off-grid living immersed in nature. While it is just 12 minutes drive from the village of Ben Lomond, 30 from Santa Cruz beaches, and 90 minutes to Berkeley, this valley feels as though you are deep in the wilds, complete with old growth Redwoods you can stand inside and far- reaching majestic Madrones. The land is home to the headwaters of Love Creek, with springs to be found in fern gullies and gentle babbling brooks. The breathtaking ridgetop has expansive views down the San Lorenzo Valley southeast and westerly views to Ben Lomond Mountain, the final hill between this place and the Pacific. Don’t miss the sunrise with meandering mist rising off the valley. Large sites allow for family and group gatherings/activities, while small tucked in tent sites provide hidden nooks. Hiking trails (open in dry season only) encircle the land and allow for moderate walks throughout its mostly vertical terrain. What is truly dynamic about Sacred Earth is the sheer diversity of plant and animal species combined with its proximity to world-class surfing, sailing, scuba, mountain biking, hiking, birdwatching, etc. Make your stay in Santa Cruz Mountains at SER.
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$65
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Camping on the California Coast guide

Overview

From top to bottom, you’ll find varied terrain along the vast Pacific Coast Highway, which offers campers just about everything under the sun (or fog). Whether you prefer the far northern reaches of Redwood National Park or the southern surf beaches, there’s no shortage of camping destinations on the California coast. Campgrounds do fill up, especially in summer months, so it’s best to book well ahead of the season. Marine life includes migrating gray and humpback whales, California sea lions, and myriad bird life. It’s no wonder visitors from all over the world seek out coastal California.

Where to go

North Coast

The counties of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Sonoma encompass the northern reaches of California’s coastline. Here is where you’ll find rugged bluffs descending to pristine coves, ancient groves of coastal redwoods, historic lighthouses, and cozy towns. The Lost Coast, Sue-meg State Park (formerly Patrick’s Point), and Trinidad State Beach all lie north of Eureka’s Old Town. It’s possible to spot migrating whales and harbor seals at MacKerricher State Park or the nearby Mendocino Headlands. Sonoma Coast State Park begins at Bodega Head with 17 miles of beaches to explore.        

San Francisco Bay Area

Surrounding this urban center is a surprising array of options for outdoor lovers. Cross the Golden Gate to the North Bay’s Marin Headlands, Muir Beach, and Muir Woods, all of which fill with campers on weekends. Hike the Tomales Point Trail to see herds of Tule elk, or kayak on Tomales Bay. If you want to camp on the bay near San Francisco, consider Rob Hill Campground above Baker Beach, ferry to Angel Island State Park, or check out a variety of Hipcamps. Follow Highway 1 south for the nearby beach towns of Pacifica and Half Moon Bay.   

Stretching between Monterey Bay and Santa Barbara, this lengthy portion of the Pacific coastline includes the coveted regions of Big Sur, Morro Bay, and Pismo Beach—where you may camp among the beach dunes. Start off in the surf mecca of Santa Cruz, which includes a campground at Manresa State Beach. At the southern end, catch a ferry to Channel Islands National Park for walk-in campgrounds and sea kayaking. Be sure to bring binoculars for bird watching and whale watching offshore.

The southern shores between Los Angeles and San Diego are the stuff of California dreamin’. Beachfront campsites claim the most desirable real estate, with surfing, windsurfing, and beachcombing on your doorstep. Heading south from Newport Beach, check out these coastal camping options: Crystal Cove State Park, Doheny State Beach, San Clemente State Beach, South Carlsbad State Beach, and San Elijo State Beach.

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