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Monday, 17 June 2024
Automotive Engineering

10 Best RV Beach Camping Campgrounds in California 2023: Escape to the Shore


2. Bodega Bay RV Park: Coastal Charm Camp

Bodega Bay RV Park Is it pet friendlyMy girlfriend recently stayed at Bodega Bay RV Park and shared her experience with me:

Her stay at Bodega Bay RV Park was pleasant and she appreciated the balance of community vibe and personal space. The amenities and the natural setting made her overnight experience enjoyable.

She loved the community-type camp setting. The staff were attentive and friendly, which made her feel welcomed.

The park offered shaded RV sites, providing a comfortable and cool environment. However, she mentioned that not all sites have full hookups, which is something to consider when planning a visit.

  • Amenities:
    • Group Clubhouses: Two clubhouses were available for group activities, adding to the social aspect of the stay.
    • Connectivity: Free Wi-Fi was a big plus, allowing her to stay connected.
    • Recreation: She enjoyed the fire ring rentals for cozy evening gatherings.
    • Pet-Friendly: The fenced dog run was perfect as she could bring her dog along for the trip.

She noted that reservations can’t be made more than 6 months in advance, so it’s important to plan accordingly.

The park has a capacity of 71 RV sites, which she found to be a good size – not too big, yet spacious enough.

3. Pillar Point RV Park: Pacific Panorama

My colleague found their stay at Pillar Point RV Park quite enjoyable, especially with its close access to local attractions and essential RV amenities. The no-reservation policy added a sense of spontaneity to their trip.

The unique aspect of this park is its no-reservation policy. My colleague found it a bit adventurous as they just showed up with their rig and luckily got a spot. It’s all about timing and availability.

The park’s proximity to San Francisco and Half Moon Bay was a highlight. They enjoyed exploring San Francisco’s attractions and engaging in water-based sports at Half Moon Bay.

  • RV Site Amenities: Each site had electricity, water, and sewer hookups. The free Wi-Fi was a big plus, allowing them to stay connected throughout their stay.
  • Laundry Facilities: One downside was the lack of laundry facilities, which meant planning ahead for laundry needs.
  • Capacity: With 49 RV sites, the park felt cozy and not overly crowded.

Overall, my colleague found their stay at Pillar Point RV Park quite enjoyable, especially with its close access to local attractions and essential RV amenities. The no-reservation policy added a sense of spontaneity to their trip.

4. Golden Shore RV Resort: Beachside Bliss

Best Sites at Golden Shore RV ResortA couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to stay at the Golden Shore RV Resort in Long Beach. Here’s a recap:

The resort was like a front-row seat to the Long Beach experience. I immersed myself in the city’s vibrant lifestyle, exploring attractions like the Aquarium of the Pacific, Catalina Island, and the historic Queen Mary ship. The Carpenter Performing Arts Center was a treat with its variety of entertainment options, including music, dance, and poetry.

  • RV Sites: After busy days of sightseeing, returning to the resort was always relaxing. The shaded RV sites with full hookups were a comfort, and the complimentary Wi-Fi was convenient for planning the next day’s adventures.
  • Capacity: With 80 RV sites, the resort felt spacious yet intimate, providing a great balance for both privacy and community vibes.

5. Malibu Beach RV Park: Majestic Seaside Sanctuary

Does Malibu Beach RV Park Has Free ParkingLast year, my uncle, a self-proclaimed adventurer and wanderer, set off on what he dramatically termed “The Malibu Expedition.” His destination? Malibu Beach RV Park, a gem nestled in the heart of Malibu, renowned for being the city’s only RV park. Here’s an elaborated, quirky tale of his escapade:

He couldn’t stop bragging about staying in Malibu’s only RV park. For him, it was like being a member of an elite club, where the sun kissed the ocean in a special way just for them.

My uncle, with his ever-exaggerated tales, claimed he became one with nature. He talked about whale watching as if he were conversing with the whales, body surfing like a pro (despite his questionable swimming skills), and beachcombing where he fancied himself a treasure hunter. The hiking trails? He called them his “pathways to enlightenment,” winding through the state parks.

When he visited the nearby play area, he wasn’t just supervising – he became the ‘mayor of the playground,’ orchestrating games and fun, much to the delight of the kids (and the amusement of their parents).

The park’s amenities, like self-service washers and heated showers, were described as his “modern-day camping luxuries.” The patio area became his ‘throne room’ for evening relaxation, and the propane service, well, that was the ‘elixir’ for his gourmet camping cuisine.

With 142 RV sites, my uncle painted a picture of a bustling village where every RV owner was a character in his grand story. He spoke of evenings filled with stories, laughter, and the aroma of barbecue under the starlit Malibu sky.

6. Pismo Coast Village RV Resort: Vineyard Vistas

How Big is Pismo Coast Village RV ResortThe resort’s accolades in state and national competitions had initially piqued my cousin’s interest. These honors weren’t just for show; they reflected the exceptional quality of the resort, which my cousin experienced firsthand.

With over 20 wineries nearby, my cousin indulged in delightful wine-tasting sessions. Each winery offered a unique taste and ambiance, making every visit a new discovery.

Exploring the Oceano Dunes was a highlight. My cousin described it as stepping into a vast, natural canvas, where the dunes’ beauty was both overwhelming and serene.

  • Resort Facilities:
    • The Swimming Pool: A hub of relaxation and socializing, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploration.
    • Playful Escapades: The playgrounds were a hit among families, adding a joyful buzz to the resort.
    • Biking Adventures: Rental bikes provided a fun way to navigate the expansive resort.
    • RV Convenience: The self-storage RV lots made the stay hassle-free and organized.

Despite its large capacity of 400 RV sites, the resort managed to maintain an intimate atmosphere. My cousin felt a sense of community that enhanced their stay.

7. Paradise by the Sea Beach RV Resort: Sea’s Sun-kissed Shores

Where is Paradise by the Sea Beach RV ResortLast year, I had the pleasure of staying at Paradise by the Sea Beach RV Resort in San Diego, and it was an experience I fondly remember. Here’s what made my stay memorable:

The resort’s location is one of its biggest draws. Being close to Oceanside and Carlsbad meant that I had easy access to some of the best coastal experiences in the area. I particularly enjoyed visiting Solana Beach and Oceanside Harbor. Plus, the fact that SeaWorld was just a 30-minute drive away added an exciting option for a day trip.

As someone who loves water activities, being able to engage in various recreational sports was a highlight. The proximity to the ocean offered endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.

  • Full Hookup Sites: My site at the resort had full hookups, complete with a picnic table, which was perfect for outdoor meals and gatherings.
  • Noteworthy Amenities: The remodeled restrooms were clean and well-maintained, which is always a big plus for me. The on-site grocery store was convenient for picking up essentials, and the 24-hour security surveillance cameras gave an added sense of safety.

With a capacity of 102 RV sites, the resort felt neither too crowded nor too isolated. It struck a perfect balance, providing a sense of community while also allowing for personal space.

8. San Elijo State Beach: Surf & Sand Sojourn

Can I Surf at San Elijo State BeachA friend of mine recently camped at a beach in Encinitas, San Diego County, and shared their experience:

They had a choice between drive-in tent camping and RV camping, which catered to different preferences within their group.

My friend loved the beach activities available. They spent time swimming, surfing, and enjoying picnics on the sandy shores.

The campground had 165 sites perched on a bluff above the beach, providing a stunning view. My friend was at one of the 26 sites with full hookups, and they mentioned that about a third of the sites had partially obstructed views of the ocean.

  • Pet-Friendly Beach: As a dog owner, my friend was thrilled about the “dog beach” at the south end of the campground. It was a perfect spot for their dog to enjoy the beach too.
  • Amenities: They appreciated the campground’s amenities, including potable water, flush toilets, a camp store, a dump station, and showers. These facilities made their stay more comfortable and convenient.
  • Local Flavor: Venturing out to nearby Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Encinitas for meals added to their overall experience, giving them a taste of the local culture and cuisine.

9. San Clemente State Beach: Sunset Splendors

Can I Go Hiking at San Clemente State BeachTwo years ago, I visited San Clemente State Beach in Orange County, and it was an unforgettable experience. Here’s what made my stay special:

San Clemente State Beach, set in picturesque southern Orange County, is a visual delight. The warm sun and beautiful blue waves created the perfect backdrop for my beachside camping.

One of the things I loved most about this place was its temperate weather. It made for pleasant days and cozy nights, perfect for camping.

The site catered mainly to RV camping, which was great for me as I had brought my RV along. It felt like bringing a piece of home to the beach.

  • Outdoor Activities: The beach’s proximity to hiking trails and water sports was a major plus. I spent my days exploring the trails and trying out different water sports, adding adventure to my trip.
  • Campsite Features: The campground had 160 campsites, and I stayed at one of the 72 sites with full hookups. The availability of modern amenities like flush toilets, potable water, a dump station, and hot showers made the stay comfortable.

 Being able to purchase firewood onsite was convenient for those campfire nights under the stars.

10. Doheny State Beach: Dreamy Beachside Haven

I’ve been hearing a lot about Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, Orange County, and it’s definitely on my list of must-visit camping spots. From what I’ve gathered, here’s why I’m excited to plan a trip there:

Set in one of California’s premier coastal regions, Doheny State Beach promises a picturesque and serene environment. Its location in Dana Point makes it an appealing destination for beach lovers.

 The beach offers both drive-in tent camping and RV camping, which is great as it gives me the flexibility to choose my preferred camping style.

Of the 131 available sites, 33 are oceanfront spots with world-class views. I’m particularly looking forward to waking up to the sound of waves and having the ocean just a few steps away.

The availability of flush toilets, hot showers, potable water, and a dump station means I won’t have to sacrifice comfort. These amenities are crucial for a comfortable camping experience.

The beach seems to have plenty of activities. I’m interested in using the amphitheater, exploring the picnic area with pavilion, tables, and BBQ facilities, and perhaps trying out volleyball. The walking trails also sound perfect for leisurely strolls.

The convenience of purchasing firewood onsite is a big plus, especially for enjoying evening campfires.


What should I pack for RV camping along the California coast?

Essentials include camping gear (if not in an RV), suitable clothing for varied weather, beach gear, a first-aid kit, cooking supplies, and food storage containers. Don’t forget chargers for electronic devices and any specific items needed for planned activities like hiking or water sports.

Are there restrictions on campfires at these beachside RV parks?

Campfire policies vary by location. Some parks allow them in designated areas or provide fire rings, while others may have restrictions due to weather or environmental concerns. It’s best to check the specific park’s rules before your trip.

Can I bring my pet to these RV parks?

Many RV parks are pet-friendly, but policies differ. Some might have designated pet areas or restrictions on where pets can go. Always confirm the pet policy at the specific RV park you plan to visit.

Is it necessary to book RV spots in advance?

Booking in advance is generally recommended, especially during peak seasons. Some parks may allow walk-ins, but to ensure a spot and avoid disappointment, reservations are advisable.

What kind of hookups can I expect at these RV sites?

Most RV sites offer basic hookups including electricity, water, and sewer. However, amenities vary, so check the specific details of each park for information on hookups and other facilities.

Are there RV size restrictions at these parks?

Size restrictions can apply in some parks due to space limitations. It’s important to check the maximum RV size allowed at the park you’re interested in and ensure your vehicle complies.

What activities are commonly available near these RV parks?

Activities vary by location but often include swimming, surfing, hiking, wildlife viewing, and beachcombing. Many parks are also close to local attractions and towns for additional exploration and dining options.

Final Words

Embarking on an RV adventure along the California coast offers a unique blend of natural beauty, adventure, and comfort. From the bustling Oceanside RV Resort to the serene settings of Malibu Beach and Doheny State Beach, each location offers its own distinct charm and array of amenities. Whether you’re seeking a family-friendly environment, a pet-friendly spot, or simply a place to relax and connect with nature, these RV parks cater to a variety of preferences and needs.

Remember to plan ahead, especially during peak seasons, and consider the specifics of each park, like pet policies, campfire regulations, and hookup facilities. Embrace the diverse activities available, from beach lounging and hiking to exploring local attractions.


The above text represents a compilation of personal experiences, second-hand accounts, and aspirations regarding various camping and RV sites along the California coast. These descriptions are based on individual perspectives and are intended to provide an informal overview of the mentioned locations.

The details about each site, including amenities, capacity, and nearby attractions, are subject to change and should be verified through official sources or direct contact with the sites for the most current information. This text is not an exhaustive guide and should be used as a starting point for further exploration and planning of your own adventures. For detailed information and reservations, please refer to the official websites or contact the respective campgrounds directly.


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