The best camping near Seacliff State Beach

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

100% (7 reviews)
100% (7 reviews)

Yeah, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is just up the coast, but you may not want to leave this sandy haven home to a WWI-era tanker.  

Popular ways to camp

Community favorites near Seacliff State Beach

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

Top-rated campgrounds near Seacliff State Beach

86%
(2500)

The Enchanted Forest Retreat

54 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents45 acres · 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
100%
(137)

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%
(424)

Redwood Retreat: Camping & Cooking

5 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents16 acres · Watsonville, CA
Located on 16 acres, Redwood Retreat is nestled among majestic redwood trees. We have a cottage, a tent cabin with 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. 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 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
91%
(143)

Hidden Spring Ranch

6 sites · Lodging, RVs, 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%
(329)

SMR Carmel Camping

34 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents89 acres · 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
94%
(155)

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%
(87)

Redwood Basin

1 site · Lodging10 acres · 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 energy. The main house is called Rainbow Ridge where a double rainbow appears across the skyline on occasion. We have decided to share this land with conscious folks who want to retreat to the woods from the hustle and bustle 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 A Frame cabin and a modern tiny home and a tiny retro trailer. The site comes as one single package and is exclusive to you and your group! 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. The site offers: - A 20ft modern container home with one queen sofa bed, large screen with Apple TV, kitchen, patio, fridge, microwave, cooktop, 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. - Large gas fire pit and seating area. - One A Frame eco cabin with option for one king size day bed OR two singles, A twin mattress can also fit in the cabin when in the two singles configuration. The cabin has electricity, fan and heating for colder nights. - One very cute retro airstream style 1950's trailer with a twin bed for a couple or one person. - Space for 1-2 additional tents. For groups of 8 or more and special events please contact us so we can discuss the possibilities. - Onsite you should find all the basic amenities from home 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, ice and fun! 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. 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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$425
 / night
Booked 6 times

Charcoal Springs Camp & Cabin

4 sites · Lodging, Tents40 acres · Watsonville, CA
Welcome to our serene retreat at Charcoal Springs, overlooking the Monterey Bay! Nestled amidst the picturesque Santa Cruz mountains of California, our property offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday urban life. NEW LISTING! We've spent the last year pouring our love into this mountaintop retreat and we can't wait to share it with you! As you arrive, you'll be greeted by breathtaking views of the ocean, redwood forest, and stunning sunrise/sunsets. Our spacious camping area provides ample room for you to set up your tent or camper van (no RVs, trailers or 5th wheels) ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay. Nature enthusiasts will delight in the abundance of outdoor activities available right at their fingertips. Take a leisurely stroll along our scenic trails and explore the beauty of the surrounding wilderness: we are right next to the north entrance of the Soquel Demonstration Forest for world class mountain biking. Our property is above the redwoods, and more often than not, above the fog line! If you are interested in hosting a larger group, in organizing a retreat, and in booking out all our sites, please get in touch! Grocery shopping: We are 25 minutes from the Summit store, and Corralitos meat market down Eureka Canyon. All sites have access to: -electricity, -hot showers, -composting toilet (Sun-Mar Excel), -industrial sink (also with hot water), -partially equipped kitchen (with mini fridge and electric hot plates in 'The Coop' / propane stove/BBQ at the container camp in covered kitchen area), -Fire places: wood stove in the 'coop', and seasonal fire-pits (bring your own wood - or buy $15 a bundle from us) (Please bring your own LINEN, TOWELS and BIODEGRADABLE soap - Dr. Bronner. If you're camping, for an extra comfy night's sleep, we can provide 2 custom double bed sized camping mattresses - for $25 a mattress per night). After a day of exploration, you can use our designated fire pits (seasonally/weather permitting) and share stories under the stars with your fellow travelers. At Charcoal Springs, you can expect a peaceful retreat far from the city, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature as you traverse the rugged terrain and enjoy the view. Whether you're seeking adventure or simply craving a moment of serenity, our property offers the perfect escape for your next outdoor getaway. We look forward to welcoming you to our slice of paradise! Johnny and Jeanne (Profile pic from artist Pedro Gomes: https://pedrogo.com/)
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$85
 / night
95%
(30)

Peace Mountain Retreat Center

6 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 Peace Mountain, ~Daisy
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$50
 / night
100%
(1)

Brook Camp

1 site · RV, Tent1 acre · Brookdale, CA
Welcome to our one-acre Redwood grove, complete with a seasonal creek. With both level and hilly areas, we offer one platform tent (with more on the way), a spacious Picnic Pavilion, and numerous spots for pitching a tent beneath the majestic Redwoods. Explore the many unspoiled creeks in the area, perfect for hiking enthusiasts. Additionally, the Santa Cruz beach and Boardwalk are just 6 miles south, offering endless seaside entertainment. Please note, our site holds historical significance as it borders the CZU fire burn scar. Big Basin is a mere 4 miles away, while the historic Brookdale Lodge is just 1 mile from our location.
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$25
 / night
95%
(228)

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%
(161)

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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from 
$75
 / night

The best camping near Seacliff State Beach guide

Overview

About

Just outside of Santa Cruz on California's Central Coast, Seacliff State Beach is a popular spot for swimming, fishing, and generally hanging out. The star attraction is the SS Palo Alto, an old tanker that was built toward the end of WWI and never made it to service. It was instead grounded at Seacliff and repurposed as a tourist attraction, and while the ship is no longer safe for visitors to enter, it can be admired from the pier. There’s no tent camping at Seacliff, but the park's RV-only campground features 26 full-hookup and 37 non-hookup sites with direct views out over the ocean.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. Sites at Seacliff State Beach can be reserved up to six months in advance on the California State Parks website or over the phone.
  2. There are no tent sites available at Seacliff State Beach, and only self-contained RVs with their own flushable toilets are allowed here. If you are looking for tent camping, you may want to check availability at the nearby New Brighton State Beach Campground or book a Hipcamp in the area.
  3. The maximum length for RVs in the campground is 45 feet for hookup sites and 35 feet for non-hookup sites.

When to go

Seacliff State Beach is at its busiest and warmest during the dry, warm summer months, though campers are likely to get pleasantly warm weather without much rainfall well into October. Winters can be a bit wet, with an average of eight days of rainfall from December through March. While the weather this time of year is generally cool, temperatures rarely drop below the low 40s, even at night.

Know before you go

  • Seacliff State Beach is right in the town of Aptos, and there are plenty of spots in the immediate area to stock up on groceries and other supplies.
  • There are no fire rings at the campground, but campers are welcome to bring their own. However, fire rings must be raised off the ground to protect the asphalt.
  • There's no dump station at Seacliff State Beach, but there is a fee-based dump station available at New Brighton State Beach next door.
  • Campers can fish off the pier without a license, but you will still need to follow limit guidelines laid out by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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