Camping near Carmel-by-the-Sea

Feel the sea breeze with a camping trip to this artsy town on Carmel Bay.

95% (5027 reviews)
95% (5027 reviews)

Popular camping styles for Carmel-by-the-Sea

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12 top campgrounds near Carmel-by-the-Sea

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
96%
(210)

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
91%
(391)

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
93%
(312)

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%
(170)

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
98%
(81)

Up Shit Creek

7 sites · Lodging, Tents12 acres · Boulder Creek, CA
12 Acres in the Redwoods. Creekside. We have a private driveway with lots of secluded Space. lots of chickens usually an endless supply of eggs for breakfast. Small campfires available. Cabin renters have access to Hot showers, wood-burning stove, kitchen amenities and running water. Porta potty only The cabins are located Away from our living area. Main cabin is overlooking the creek and the tent sites, creekside cabin is down near the swimming hole and tent sites. Tent sites are located next to the creek or up near the community fire pit. This is our home, it is private, eclectic and filled with natural beauty. That being said, it is by no means pristine. We have the occasional junk pile like most off grid homesteaders do. We do not throw out some things that others would. We try to find a use for old and weathered equipment and materials. Our cabin is built completely with recycled and reclaimed materials. Like I said, we do not like to waste anything, so you may notice a few parts and pieces laying around.
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$65
 / night
79%
(7)

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
97%
(470)

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
95%
(176)

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
95%
(96)

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
98%
(170)

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
93%
(189)

Redwood Paradise Camping

15 sites · Lodging, Tents5 acres · CA
PLEASE READ Hello all! If you're looking for some glamping with creature comforts, while just being 10 minutes away from restaurants. This is the place for you. We are a 5 acre property and home surrounded by tall redwood and oak trees. Very green and lots of shade. These are the amenities/facilities you will have free access to: Pool, Pool chairs and umbrellas, Deck area with sunset view, Trampolines, and hammocks. There is not cooking allowed by or at any of the common areas, due to flies and critters. Cooking and eating is only allowed by your sites and not in any common areas: Hammocks, Trampolines, Pool Area, tables, sink, and deck please follow this rule because we want to prevent our shared areas to be fly and bug infested. We are still working on ridding the flies and cleaning. (please try to bring prepackaged food or something easy. If anything you can drive 10 minutes to nearby food and grocery). In the past we let people cook and eat around the pool but now our whole property is fly infested and I find scattered leftovers on the ground. Thanks for understanding. THERE IS A 1-2 MINUTE HIKE TO THE CAMPSITES 1-5! Poolside campsites are closer to the parking and are bigger. FOR ALL CAMPSITES Free coffee in the mornings on the deck! If you have pets make sure to include the extra fee per pet please! We are very near the Lost Empire Hiking trail less than a mile away! We ask you to please let us know your ETA 30 minutes before coming as there is spotty connection. FOR CHILDREN WHO ARE NOT POTTY TRAINED POOL DIAPERS ARE REQUIRED. WE DO NOT SHARE ELECTRICITY! CHECK OUT OUR NEW LODGING: This property is my home that I live in with my 2 kids. It is a rustic and homey vibe, definitely not a hotel. We want you to come knowing what to expect. Our property offers a pool, and trampolines for the kids. We have a deck patio area that overlooks an amazing view of the redwood forest. Most of our guests are those that come from foreign countries and they all LOVE the property. I love leaving a great impression of our area. RULES: Pack your trash. Rinse your feet before entering the pool. No floaties and pool toys of any type allowed. Do not leave children unsupervised. Do not sit on the edge of the reclinable chairs. Do not sit along the edge of the pool or on the pool cover box. All tables are solely for drinking, cooking is only available on the stumps or on tables brought by the camper. Be mindful of the area, do not litter or toss food anywhere except your trash bag. No dogs by the pool area. Dogs must be on leash at all times and clean up after them. No eating inside rooms or the cabin. Come to the deck to check-out. No smoking. (With exception of vapes, do not smoke in common areas) No campfires or any grills with a large open flame PROPANE ONLY!:) Thank you!:)
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$90
 / night

Dog-friendly getaways

Star Hosts in Carmel-by-the-Sea

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Camping near Carmel-by-the-Sea guide

Overview

South of Monterey on the California coast, Carmel-by-the-Sea—usually simply shortened to Carmel—has long been celebrated for its coastal scenery, architecture, and thriving arts community. One of the pet-friendly city’s biggest draws is the 18th-century Mission San Carlos de Borromeo, but the area is equally great for taking hikes and strolls, particularly at nearby Carmel River State Beach and at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. While camping in area state parks is limited, you'll find loads of fantastic options in the surrounds, both at waterside campgrounds along the Carmel River and on privately owned land.

Where to go

The Monterey Peninsula

Just north of Carmel, the Monterey Peninsula is ideal for taking in coastal scenery, with numerous viewpoints that look out over the sea—not to mention a ton of golf courses. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium to learn about (and view) coastal creatures ranging from sea otters to sharks.

Big Sur

South of Carmel, Big Sur has a reputation for having some of the prettiest coastline in California, if not the United States. Tent sites are available at many area parks, including Andrew Molera State Park and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, but reservations usually fill up well in advance.

Santa Cruz Mountains

If you want to do some serious hiking or backcountry camping, head north up Highway 1 to the Santa Cruz Mountains. Here you'll find a mix of county parks and wilderness areas, plus plenty of high-elevation viewpoints.

When to go

The weather in Carmel is mild throughout the year, with cool, somewhat rainy winters and mild, dry summers. The months of June through August see the most crowds, but weather in early fall is usually just as warm, with little chance of rainfall. If you hope to see migrating whales, your best bet is to come from January through March, when pods of gray and killer whales pass through the area.

Nearby attractions

Adventure calls at Fort Ord National Monument, a spectacular destination for camping enthusiasts. With its rolling hills, diverse flora and fauna, and an array of hiking and biking trails, it promises an unforgettable outdoor experience.

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