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The best camping near Manresa State Beach

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Manresa adventure.

97% (36 reviews)
97% (36 reviews)

Enjoy ocean views and camp on the bluffs above a scenic stretch of beach popular with surfers.

Popular ways to camp

Community favorites near Manresa State Beach

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

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Public campgrounds in the park
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Stay at a public campground in Manresa State Beach

Top-rated campgrounds near Manresa State Beach

100%
(124)

Fern Ridge Flats - Private Camping

2 sites 路 Tents9 acres 路 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
92%
(313)

SMR Carmel Camping

34 sites 路 Lodging, RVs, Tents89 acres 路 Del Rey Oaks, 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
100%
(86)

Redwood Basin Portal

1 site 路 Lodging10 acres 路 Soquel, CA
Family-owned since the 1960's my parents chose this ridgetop location on 10 acres for its beauty, serenity, bio-diversity, and amazing peaceful healing聽energy. The main house is called Rainbow Ridge where a double rainbow appears across the skyline聽on occasion. We have decided to share this land with conscious folks who want to retreat to the woods聽from the hustle and bustle聽but be close to all the action and have all the creature comforts of home with a camping vibe.We have one private site with a glamorous bell tent and a modern tiny home. The site comes as a single package and is exclusive to you and your group!聽 Nestled on its own private 3-acre redwood and oak forest, leading down to a creek. The site is located just 4 miles (10 min drive ) from Soquel Village and just 5 miles from the beach at Capitola.聽 The site offers:聽 - A 20ft modern container home with one queen sofa bed, large screen with聽Apple TV, kitchen, patio, fridge, microwave, cooktop,聽shower, and toilet. - A custom, outdoor kitchen, and bar for entertaining with gas BBQ, fridge freezer, sink with hot and cold filtered water, Sonos sound system.聽聽 - Large gas fire pit and seating area.聽 - One large glamping bell tent with queen bed and option for one or two singles to be added on request. The tent has electricity, fan聽and heating for colder nights.聽 - Space for 1-2 additional tents. For groups of 8 or more and special聽events please contact us so we can discuss the possibilities.聽 - Onsite you should find all the basic amenities from home聽including all bedding, towels, kitchenware, cooking utensils, dining ware, herbs and spices, cleaning products, gas for the BBQ and fire pit is included etc. There are a few things you should bring: Food, drinks,聽ice and fun!聽 The site looks down into a private and secluded redwood and oak forest with trails for small hikes into the redwood fairy circles or all the way down to the creek. The glamping site is on a sunny flat area surrounded by steep terrain up to a ridgeline and down to the creek. The creek is accessible although the final route requires a rope down so may not be suitable for everyone. Within 15-20 min drive you will find almost all major attractions in the Santa Cruz area including The Mistery Spot, Nisene Marks State Forest, Capitola Pier, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, and many famous surf breaks from Capitola to The Point, The Hook, Steamer Lane and many more., as well as many amazing mountain bike trails.聽There are also several Santa Cruz Mountain wineries to explore in a 3- 5 mile radius. Further afield you will find Monterey Bay Aquarium and the coastal beaches north up to San Francisco Bay ( 1 hour 30 mins north) and down to Big Sur about 1 hour 20 mins south. We ask all our visitors to be respectful of the environment, our wildlife, and our neighbors. Please drive slowly and respect the quiet times: between 9.30 pm and 8.30 am. We check all our guests in and provide a quick tour. We can offer a number of additional amenities and services including shopping, stocking up on your favorite supplies, catering, romantic packages and special picnics on the Rainbow Ridge, and much more, so please just ask about all the possibilities.
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$495
/ night
99%
(76)

Brigadoon Glamp Site

4 sites 路 Lodging, RVs, Tents10 acres 路 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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$85
/ night
95%
(220)

WindTree

7 sites 路 Lodging, RVs, Tents64 acres 路 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
97%
(413)

Redwood Retreat: Camping & Cooking

5 sites 路 Lodging, RVs, Tents16 acres 路 Watsonville, CA
Located on 16 acres, Redwood Retreat is nestled among majestic redwood trees. We have a cottage, a tent cabin with queen bed, 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. Enjoy the owls, doves, hummingbirds, and salamanders. Corralitos is ideal for biking, hiking (unfortunately, 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. Menus are sent when you book. Why not line up a COOKING CLASS ($85. per person plus ingredients) for a 3 hour class and 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 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鈥檚 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
91%
(136)

Hidden Spring Ranch

6 sites 路 Lodging, Tents6 acres 路 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
86%
(2491)

The Enchanted Forest Retreat

54 sites 路 Lodging, RVs, Tents45 acres 路 Los Gatos, CA
Welcome to the Enchanted Forest Retreat! We are a meditation retreat center with 45 acres of some of the most gorgeous redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains to enjoy hiking, creeks and small water fall exploration, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, star gazing, relaxation, meditation and more. Our campground has running water from a natural spring, Men and Women's Restrooms each with 2 toilets and 1 hot water shower, laundry shed with sink and hot water, and an outdoor amphitheater, (the kitchen and washer/dryer is Staff Only not for campers). We have meditation teaching at the amphitheater and campers are welcomed to attend for free. 4-6 guests maximum with 1 car included in the nightly rate. Each additional vehicle is $15 per day and will be added at checkout once you add the correct number of vehicles you will be bringing. You can bring a maximum of 2 cars. PLEASE NOTE, we do not have a trash service on site, we require all campers to PACK OUT THEIR GARBAGE with them! Pets are $10 per day, 1 pet per group ONLY. Please add this as an extra at the time of booking, you will see the option to add extras once you begin the checkout process. Dogs must be on leash at all times! Quiet hours are 10pm-8am. No drugs of any kind including marijuana allowed. No loud music allowed. This is a private property so no visitors are allowed, only paid guests. Our onsite staff will go around and enforce the rules. NOTICE REGARDING RVs and TRAILERS: While we can not offer hookups, theoretically we have no problem with RVs, the road is steep in a couple of places getting down to the campground and VERY narrow in one spot (10ft). If you feel you're willing to take this risk (we won't be held liable), you're welcome to reach out to us and we can see if the site is good for RV/trailers. Only sites 8, 12 and 5 are good for trailers. No vehicle can drive into Site 7, 9, 10 and 11 (the parking area is separate). Other sites may be ok with small trailers. Check with the host. Any trailer larger than 20ft, take your own risk, there is a narrow point only 9ft wide.
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$80
/ night
95%
(160)

Elkhorn Ranch

6 sites 路 RVs, Tents11 acres 路 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
96%
(13)

Peace Mountain Retreat Center

4 sites 路 Lodging, Tents5 acres 路 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鈥檚 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鈥檚鈥 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 Peace Mountain, ~Daisy
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$55
/ night
97%
(18)

Skyview

9 sites 路 Lodging, Tents23 acres 路 Boulder Creek, CA
With 23 gorgeous acres, Skyview is the perfect place to enjoy nature and the elements. You can hike our ridge trail for spectacular views of the Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz mountains. You can relax in one of our Skypods and take a nap or read a book beneath a 200 year old oak tree. Go swimming in our huge pond and do yoga/meditate/journal on the adjoining beach. There's a grandmother (old-growth) redwood tree to visit plus a wonderful diversity of wildflowers and native plants to study and appreciate. Birds soar in the skies above (hawks, ravens, vultures) while the calls of morning doves and owls gently fill the air at dawn and dusk. And our sunsets...wow!!
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$65
/ night
92%
(264)

Felton Open Space Camp Sites

10 sites 路 RVs, Tents14 acres 路 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

The best camping near Manresa State Beach guide

Overview

About

Located along the Monterey coast, Manresa State Beach features a long and wide stretch of beach backed by bluffs, with sweeping views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Monterey Bay Peninsula. Surfing, fishing, beach fun, and wildlife spotting are popular, though the beach is typically less crowded than others in the area. Look for dolphins, whales, and sea otters frolicking in the waves, or sea birds in the skies—or, with a sportfishing license, campers can catch starry flounder, California halibut, or barred surfperch. The bluffs above the beach offer picnic tables and a seasonal campground (mid-May to September) at Manresa Upland, with more than 60 walk-in, pet-friendly, tent-only campsites with fire pits, picnic tables, food storage lockers, restrooms, and showers.

Notable campgrounds

  • Best for space: Campsites at the Willow Camps are the most spread out of all campsites at Manresa.
  • Best for privacy and views: The Lupine Camps offer ocean views, with trees that provide privacy and shade for campers.
  • Best for beach access: The Bay Camps campsites are situated closest to the trail down to the beach.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. Reserve a campsite as soon as you know your dates, especially over the summer. Sites can be reserved at least two days in advance and up to six months in advance.
  2. If plans are flexible, try to visit early or late in the season, or during the week.
  3. If you don鈥檛 have reservations, plan to show up early to see if any unreserved sites are available.

When to go

Summers are popular at Manresa, as the campground is only open from mid-May to October. Junior Lifeguard programs are typically offered in June and July. In summer, expect morning fog to burn off by the afternoon. Look for migrating gray whales from December through May, when you're also likely to see the biggest surf. In early spring, snowy plovers hatch on the beach and should not be disturbed.

Know before you go

  • This stretch of ocean is known for its frigid water temperatures, dangerous rip currents, and deep offshore dropoffs. Only experienced surfers should be in the water.
  • Fires are only permitted in fire rings. Do not collect firewood, which is instead available for purchase.
  • Beach wheelchairs are available and should be reserved at least five days in advance.
  • Alcohol is permitted in the Manresa campground, but not the beach or in day-use areas.
  • Dogs are permitted in the campground and on the beach, but must be leashed, attended to, and kept inside at night.
  • Fishing licenses are required for anglers 16 and older.

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