Camping on the California Coast

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

95% (4949 reviews)
95% (4949 reviews)

Popular camping styles for California Coast

Under $50

Dog-friendly getaways

12 top campgrounds in California Coast

95%
(478)

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
 / night
92%
(389)

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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$98
 / night
96%
(202)

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
93%
(308)

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
Booked 23 times

Shiima koh

3 sites · Tents3 acres · Aptos Hills Larkin Valley, CA
Shííma koh is a beautiful space nestled in the aptos hills. We are 15 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from town, all whilst being surrounded by redwoods. It’s a quiet place with a beautiful view of the valley and natural spring water. We are a family with a few dogs and livestock who live here. And welcome you to our shííma koh château (cabin). Includes your own parking space, kitchenette, bathroom and WiFi.
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$50
 / night
91%
(165)

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
96%
(91)

Peace, Love and Sunset Ranch

11 sites · Lodging5 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 family friendly farms such as Gizdich ranch 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 Bay Aquarium is just 30 minutes away and Gilroy Gardens is about 25 minutes away. The wine trail is also nearby. There are plenty of activities to enjoy nearby, including horseback riding at Mount Madonna Stable, Mount Madonna Retreat Center, 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. Julie, our campground manager offers horse lessons for anyone starting at age 8 + but not heavier than 180 lbs. The property has 3 stalls for hot showers, 1 hand washing sink, 3 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. Board games as well as drawing paper and easel are provided as well. 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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$95
 / night
97%
(466)

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 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 6 (w/ host approval). Enjoy the owls, ravens, doves, hummingbirds, and salamanders and NO WIFI. Our common area includes bbq's, propane burners, picnic tables, dish-washing area and all cooking must be done here during fire season which is NOW. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO USE ANYTHING THAT HAS AN OPEN FLAME IT WILL NEED TO BE DONE HERE where there is less danger and plenty of fire extinguishers. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO HALT ALL ACTIVITIES THAT INVOLVE FLAMES AT ABSOLUTELY ANY TIME. The terrain on our property is NOT hikeable but we provide you with links to many trails as well as recommendations for lots to see and do in the area. 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. 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 3 hour COOKING WORKSHOP that includes DINING ON THE DECK with your new culinary creation? Mima spent 6 years at renowned 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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$85
 / night
98%
(167)

Terra Cultura

5 sites · Lodging, Tents5 acres · Aromas, CA
Our farm is nestled in the scenic hills of Aromas, CA, just 15 minutes away from the ocean. Whether you’re passing through on a road trip along California’s majestic coast, or looking to spend some time getting to know the lush landscape of the Central Coast, we welcome you with open arms! We are a nonprofit educational eco-arts farm and your booking supports environmental stewardship and arts education for underserved communities. Thank you for your support! We place the highest value on respect--for the land, and for the people, plants, and animals that call this area home. While you are here, please consider yourself a partner in stewarding this place.
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$89
 / night
95%
(173)

Silicon Valley View

4 sites · RVs, Tents20 acres · Day Valley, CA
We created this space for everyone to enjoy.
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$60
 / night
100%
(167)

Fern Ridge Flats - Private Camping

2 sites · Tents9 acres · Aptos, CA
Nestled in a canopy of redwoods, less than 10 miles from the beach sits a private and cozy campground. Fern Ridge Flats combines the best of Santa Cruz county. Abundant trees and misty mornings await you at our property in Aptos. Equipped with electricity, water, and a picnic table for your convenience. There are trails on the land for you to explore, animals, and nature to dive into. *************** Smoking and the use of drugs are strictly prohibited. This is a safe and quiet neighborhood with many families including my own. Please do not request to book if you have the intention of partying or using illegal substances. If these rules are violated, local authorities will be called and you will be removed from the campsite. *************** The campsite is less than a 5 minute walk from the parking spot but is relatively steep. Although it is paved it is not recommended for anyone with mobility issues. *************** As an added precaution to protect the lush landscape, the firepit at the campsite utilizes clean burning propane. We chose a burner that closely replicates the size and heat of a wood to enhance our campers' experience.
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$65
 / night
97%
(999)

Song of the Ancients

15 sites · RVs, Tents40 acres · Paicines, CA
Song of the Ancients is a program of wildfarmers, a 501c3 not for profit woman led organization. Bringing people back in touch with the ancient woods of California for over fourteen years. Our main focus is restoring and saving the Blue Oak Ecosystem for the future. The Blue Oaks are hard at work at the job they have held for 3 million years; shading and cooling California. Summer is a coming in! Come and cool off under the Blue Oaks during the warm days and cool dark skies of summer. The annual grasses are turning gold and now you can see the green of the native grasses and plants with stars of color amid the gold. The days are bright and sunny and comfortably warm. The nights are cool and crisp and filled with the song of coyote and their frog chorus'. Bring your family and friends outside and laze around in the hammock or put your feet up on the side of the campfire, throw your head back and lose yourself in the galaxies above. You can pitch any where from 1 to 15 or more tents at each campsite. Our campsites are RV friendly but remember we are off grid so we do not have blackwater facilities or electricity for RVs. We do have garden hoses to fill up the RV water tanks. We are the same latitude of Carmel (but a world away), Between Hollister and the Monterey - Salinas metro area and Los Banos and the San Joaquin Valley, close to the vast San Francisco Bay Area; which includes Berkeley, Oakland, Walnut Creek and all the East, North, and South Bay to Pinnacles National Monument and the town of Paicines. You can spend the day in San Juan Bautista at the Mission and Shops or breakfast or lunch at Flapjacks in Tres Pinos, Monterey at the Aquarium, walk on the beach at Moss Landing, hike at Pinnacles, Fremont Peak, Griswold Mountains, or Panoche Hills. Then back home to sit in a quiet world under the stars. You can also...do nothing. Read a book doze in the shade drift off in a hammock or walk and discover the land and recover your place in this world. Pitch your tent or park your camper amid the ancient Blue Oaks of California. Warm yourself by your campfire as you drink in the dark skies. Shake the dust off your work worn spirit. Let the celebration begin. Dance to the music in your heart sing along with the songs of the ancients. Regenerate. A place to breathe and to hear yourself breathe. A sacred place in the shade of the blue oaks. It's time to take time. Time to play and enjoy with friends and family. A place to bask in opulent starlight and absorb the sounds of darkness. A quiet place to clear your soul and revive your spirit. As the air softens and relaxes listen closely to the ancients singing in the oaks. Lend your voice to the Song of the Ancients and let Coyote sing you to sleep. What we provide is: outdoor hot shower, flush toilet, clean clear water from faucets, and at your campsite a fire pit and grill to cook on, picnic table with benches, and the blue oak savanna. Firewood for $15/bundle, fire starters -first two free in the winter then $0.50/each. Our firewood is sustainably harvested from downed trees and branches. We sell it for a neighbor. No healthy live trees are harmed in order to produce firewood. No native trees are felled in order to plant fast growing hardwood for fire or anything else!
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$60
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Star Hosts in California Coast

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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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