Camping near Pacifica

This San Francisco beachfront suburb offers coastal chill, small-town charm, and easy outdoor access.

96% (3595 reviews)
96% (3595 reviews)

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Camping near Pacifica guide

Overview

Along the coast between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay, Pacifica is a laid-back beach town that offers easy access to the highlights of the Bay Area and the northern California coast. Soak up the surf and sand at various beaches around town or go fishing off the Pacifica Municipal Pier. Enjoy hikes with a view to Mori Point or along the California Coastal Trail; head to Oakland or Berkeley for East Bay urban adventures; or cruise up to wine country. Numerous state and county parks are within easy reach, most with trails, lakes, redwoods, and views. Pacifica camping options abound, and range from private RV parks with full hookups and amenities to county and state parks and beaches with tent, RV, and backcountry sites and cabins.

Where to go

Pacifica and San Francisco

For full hookups and ocean views from the bluffs above the town, stay at a private RV park in town. Nearby San Pedro Valley Park offers nature trails, a seasonal waterfall, and youth overnight camping. Park your RV, then play a round of golf or go windsurfing or sailing at Coyote Point Recreation Area. In San Francisco, RV campers can stay near Candlestick Point State Recreation Area while tent campers in groups can stay in the Presidio of San Francisco

North Bay

Head north across the Golden Gate Bridge towards Napa and Sonoma  to explore California wine country. Camp under the redwoods at Samuel P. Taylor State Park and Bothe-Napa Valley State Park or near a lake at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and Lake Sonoma. For hike-in and boat-in options, head to Point Reyes National Seashore and Tomales Bay or stay at a rustic cabin at Mount Tamalpais State Park. The Marin Headlands offers free camping options at their primitive backpacking campgrounds.

East Bay

In the East Bay, soak up the urban jungle atmosphere of Oakland or college vibes at Berkeley. Enjoy panoramic views from the East Bay Skyline National Trail, or more challenging hikes and three campgrounds at Mount Diablo State Park. Roam through the hills and around Lake Chabot at Anthony Chabot Regional Park and enjoy varied recreation at Del Valle State Recreation Area, and choose from tent camping or RV camping.

South Bay and Santa Cruz

Head south along Highway 1 to Half Moon Bay State Beach to enjoy a long and wide beach and camp for the night. Hike and camp at the redwood-filled canyons at Butano State Park. More redwood options can be found at Big Basin, Portola, Henry Cowell redwoods state parks and Sanborn-Skyline County Park. To hike, bike, horseback ride, and camp without the crowds, head to Pescadero Creek County Park. Head to Santa Cruz for surfing and Natural Bridges State Beach Año Nuevo State Park for wildlife.

When to go

Summers are busy at Pacifica and offer the warmest air and water temperatures, though expect to see fog on most days. Weekends and holidays can be especially busy. The town hosts a large Fourth of July celebration, while August brings the World Dog Surfing Championships and September hosts the Pacific Coast Fogfest. Look for whales between April and December, and wildflowers in spring.

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