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The best camping near Zmudowski State Beach

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

Highlights include fishing and birding at this secluded beach.

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Community favorites near Zmudowski State Beach

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

Top-rated campgrounds near Zmudowski State Beach

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%
(125)

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
100%
(41)

Strawberry Fields Forever

3 sites 路 RVs5 acres 路 Watsonville, CA
Walk to the Beach! Campsites for RVs and trailers with water and electric hook ups. No size constraints on RVs or trailers. Sorry, no on the ground tent camping. We are located in La Selva Beach, a five minute walk to Manresa State Beach. The entire property backs up to 300 acres of strawberry fields. We have vegetable and flower gardens, lots of great walks and hiking from the house and nearby. Surfing is excellent at Manresa beach. The camp sites include a fire pit and wood. Surf boards available for rent from the surf shop on site. There is a porta-potty on site. We are 15 minutes from the village of Capitola, 30 minutes from downtown Santa Cruz and 45 minutes to Monterey. There is a Dump station 5 minutes down the road at the KOA. These sites are appropriate for a couple or small family. If you show up with more guests than you registered for, you may be turned away. Please be respectful of our property. We will try to work with you to accommodate your needs.
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$85
/ 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
100%
(583)

Windsor Family Farm

2 sites 路 Lodging1 acre 路 San Martin, CA
We are a small farm in Silicon Valley. We are basically a petting zoo and kid-friendly destination! You can stay in our "Flying Pig" cabin (sleeps up to 5), or our "Room with a view of a Ewe" (sleeps 3)....or bring friends 'n' family - and reserve both :-) We provide a continental breakfast for free or you can add on a hot breakfast. Wake up to sheep and goats outside your door with a view of the pasture. Please PLEASE read further for more information! and read again just before you come :-) ** To assure you of our cleanliness standards, I clean and air out the cabin, clean the restroom thoroughly, wash bedding and towels and sanitize surfaces. The guest restroom (outside entry in the main house) is shared with other guests. I clean it every day, between every group or guest. One mile away is Harvey Bear County Park, with trails for bikes, horses or walking. We are 5 minutes from the Gilroy Outlets, yet a world away from the hustle and bustle! Come, relax and enjoy nature! Enjoy Gilroy Gardens (seasonally) or go hiking at a nearby State or County Park. Or just relax at the Farm. We will make this a special day for you! Let us know if you are celebrating an event :-). Currently we only have one listing so you get VIP treatment! **Starting Jan 2024, we will have the "Room with a view of a Ewe" as a separate listing. CHECK-IN is after 4:00pm and please give us a 30 min heads-up before your arrival. CHECK OUT is 10am, unless previous arrangements have been made. Please be as specific as you can regarding your arrival time (so I can make the temp in there as comfortable as possible, turn on lights as needed, etc.) ** We are a "Bed and Breakfast"; most days we have other day-guests and events here, so please respect the arrival and check-out times. If you stay 2 nights, please be aware that you most likely won't have the whole farm to yourselves during the day. This is an animal farm. If you love new animal experiences, this is the place for you! If you are scared of or allergic to cats or dogs, this might not be the place for you! If you can't handle new smells and sounds, this might not be the place for you. You will feed and enjoy the animals; please respect their space, no chasing and no going into their enclosures. There is dirt, dust and various country critters. If you are adventurous and love animals and want a unique experience, come check us out! Restroom available in the main house (short walk from the cabin). Small fridge and microwave next to the restroom. There is no kitchen/oven/stove available. Gas Fire pit available ; there is no BBQ. We are exceptionally cautious with camp fires. If it is particularly hot and windy, there will be no fires. We now have a gas fire pit where you can create smores or just enjoy the campfire ambiance. Price is $175 for the Flying Pig (up to 5 total). And $99 for the Room with a view of a Ewe :-) (up to 3 total). Another option (as an add-on): you can pitch a tent for $50. "The Flying Pig" has a queen bed, bunk beds twin size, and a loft with a twin mattress, all bedding included. You are not just paying for a place to sleep; you are paying for an experience and the enjoyment of our property :-). We serve a continental breakfast (free) or hot breakfast ($25/cabin) between 8-9am. (we can accommodate vegetarian and dairy free diets; let us know before you come). We provide bedding and towels. There is A/C and a plug-in heater in The Flying Pig. Please do not bring additional things to plug in except for chargers for phone/electronic devices. We are approximately 1 1/2 hours south of San Francisco, 30 min south of San Jose (without traffic). Gilroy Gardens is 15 min away; Harvey Bear County park is 1 mile away; Monterey and Santa Cruz and the Pinnacles National Park are approximately 1 hour away. We recommend bringing dinner or eating before arrival to maximize your evening. In the area: Amazing experience available at the Royal T Ranch nearby, but must book well in advance. They have a camel, ostriches, emus, a cow, mini horses, etc. Also Gilroy Gardens is just 15 minutes away. Contact us for more info. If you want to celebrate a birthday and bring friends for the evening, there is an additional fee for parties. (Please contact us about this). If you want to bring a few friends just to enjoy the evening, we now have that as an add-on. SPECIAL PACKAGES :-). Must be PRE-ordered and paid thru Hipcamp or upon arrival ~ *smore's kit (Everything -- including use of our gas fire pit -- that you will need to create amazing roasted marshmallows and smores sandwiches!) $20 *Child Birthday package: small gift and special treat $10 *use of fire pit (propane expense) $10
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$99
/ night

The best camping near Zmudowski State Beach guide

Overview

About

Sloping dunes and scenic wetlands tempt wildlife watchers to this quiet Monterey Bay beach. The northernmost of the bay鈥檚 six state beaches, Zmudowski is also its most secluded, where visitors can get back to nature. Fish for kingfish and salmon, then perch around the Pajaro River estuary; go kayaking or canoeing on the river; or enjoy birding along the sandy shores. Horseback riding is also allowed on the beach, and although there鈥檚 no camping in the park, you鈥檒l find private campgrounds and accommodation nearby.

When to go

Coastal fogs and winds are common at Zmudowski State Beach, where weather can change quickly. Dress in layers and bring something warm, even in summer. Western snowy plovers nest right on the beach each spring, but some of the best birding opportunities are in winter. Check the tides if horseback riding, as horses are limited to wet sand..聽

Know before you go

  • Zmudowski State Beach is set along the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1), five miles north of Moss Landing or an about 15-minute drive away.聽
  • There is no admission fee to visit Zmudowski State Beach.
  • Zmudowski State Beach offers restrooms.Dogs are not permitted.
  • Surfing and swimming are not recommended due to strong rip currents. Kayaking and canoeing are possible along the river, but the closest access point is at Watsonville Park, just east of the beach.聽

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