Learn the Best Beach Campsites in San Diego


Vacationing at beach campsites in San Diego can be a lot of fun! If this is your first time in San Diego and you’re out looking for the best beach spots, then look no further.

Here, we will break down everything you need to know before you venture off. Including how to prepare ahead of time and what to look for before you start that beach vacation trip.

If your looking for that perfect beach campsite there are couple things you should keep in mind when starting out.

Beach Camping in San Diego California

San Diego, located in southern California, is known as one of the most busiest yet nicest cities in all of California. Besides its endless amount of activities, the beautiful weather, and the busy city life, you should definitely make time for a trip to the beach. The beaches account for one of the most visited places in all of California!


Well, because not only is the weather nice, but the beach towns are very hip. 

Your choice of going camping on these beaches is definitely one of the top things to do while visiting San Diego.

Some of the best beach campsites are located north of San Diego, so be sure you do your homework and definitely plan ahead of time. Whether you are a local or a first time tourist, there are some nice campsites to choose from.

With water temperatures warming up in the summer the best time to go would be either in the summer or spring. 

But which beaches are worth visiting?

San Diego is made up of more than 70 miles of coastlines where thousands of people flock to each summer.

What do these beaches offer?

Beautiful ocean views, sweet camping sites, and unbelievable fun with your family. Plan now.

The earlier you plan then the better chance of you getting the sweeter camping spots facing the ocean. You can definitely reserve ahead of time. Most San Diego beach campsites allow you to reserve 6-7 months in advance.

Things to know about beach camping sites in San Diego

Photo by Juan Giraudo

Summer is the busiest of the month. With July being the hottest month of the year. One of the many things you should be aware of is that mosquitoes do enjoy warmer weather. So they may be out in the evenings. Plan accordingly when venturing out. 

Summer weathers can sometimes be perfect, but other times it can be extremely hot depending what part of San Diego you’re at. 

Although, the weather near the beach can be cooler than expected, so it’s best to dress with layers before you venture out. 

Some of the campsites in San Diego only allow RV camping, so if you do go out, make sure the campsite you choose allows you to do some tent camping.

Most of the coastal campsites in San Diego have laundry services so make sure you do your homework and check ahead of time. 

What to bring on your next San Diego Beach camping trip

Camping can be tough if you have never done it before. Yet with a little preparation  you can definitely prepare ahead of time and bring all the necessary things you need.

  • mosquito repellent
  • extra pair of clothes
  • camping chairs to sit down
  • nice camping blanket
  • extra batteries for your electronics 
  • a tent
  • bicycles
  • Healthy snacks

The best voted campgrounds in San Diego beaches


South Carlsbad State Beach

This beach has definitely made one of the top list in many peoples mind. If you are not too familiar with Carlsbad State Beach then be sure to read this article right here. It will explain everything you need to know before you go. 

The beautiful thing about Carlsbad State Beach is that this campsite allows tents and RVs. Unlike some other campsites that only allow RVs, this one will allow you both.

The view is considered one of the most beautiful to see. The 360 panoramic view is breath taking. So if you are a sunset catcher then definitely pick a spot overlooking the ocean. 

One more thing, this is one of the busiest campsites and the spaces are pretty close to your neighbors. There are about 200 camping sites here. Best book ahead of time to get the campsite of your choice.

Get to know ahead of time the beautiful beach of Carlsbad before you visit. Read about it right here.

Location: Carlsbad, California

Type of Camping: Tent and RV

Cost: ~$50

Other: bluff-top campsite, fire pits for you hotdogs and s’mores, camp-store

Distance from San Diego airport: ~32miles

Additional Info

San Elijo State Beach


San Elijo State Beach is also located in San Diego County. It is very popular among many families. Hence, you will see many different children playing.

The reason why this has become one of the most popular campsites in all of San Diego County may be very well because of its 360 panoramic view of the ocean.

If you do book ahead of time, you will most likely get the campsites facing the beach. There are many neat things about this camping site.

There is a taco stand and a camp store located right inside. But if you need any more things you can most definitely walk to the seaside market which is located right across the street.

There are many restaurants within walking distance so plenty of places to eat.

If you want to read more about Cardiff Beach, and what to expect then check out this article right here.

Location: Cardiff Beach, CA

Type of Camping: Tent and RV

Cost: ~$35/night + reservation fee

Other: Seaside Market is located right across the street.

Distance from San Diego Airport: 28 miles

Additional Info

San Onofre Bluff Camping site

One of the more isolated camping sites is located north of Camp Pendleton and very close to the San Clemente area. The drive is more North

County, but definitely worth the drive if you have not been there. The thing that makes this camping special is the fact that the isolation becomes so surreal.

You may hardly see people on the beach or surfers. Summer may be busier than usual but overall it is one of the quietest campsites of all the ones listed in San Diego County.  Because of how beautiful this beach is, there really is no other campsite like it.

There are 334 camping sites with fire pits and even picnic tables. Booking can be done in advance as well.

Location: North of Camp Pendleton 

Type of Camping: Tent and RV

Cost: ~$40/night

Other: there are some pretty neat trails that will take you right to the shore

Distance from San Diego Airport: ~60miles

Additional info

Campland on the Bay

Located in Mission Bay San Diego

Located in Mission Bay, one of the most popular parts of San Diego County. Not only has Mission Bay increased in popularity over time, it has become one of the hottest spots to do some camping.

Though this camping site is not located on the beach per say, it is on a bay, but that does not kill the illusion of camping by the water and enjoying the perfect scenery. 

This camping site is close to Mission Beach, but the bay area has been seen as one of the most updated camping sites there is. With the accommodation of swimming pools, a hot tub, showers, laundry facilities and even WIFI there is no reason to be bored. 

Bicycle rentals are located not too far away, making it easier to really soak in the outdoors.

Location: Mission Bay

Type of camping: Tent and RV

Cost: ~$60+

Other: Located on the bay, and very close distance to Seaworld San Diego

Distance from San Diego Airport: 10miles

Additional Info

Silver Strand State Beach

Located in the gorgeous beach area of Coronado. Though considered one of the most gorgeous beaches in all of San Diego, the camping site does have some limitations. For one tents are NOT allowed. ONLY RVs, Motorhomes, and trailers.

So if you do have a tent. It is probably best you check out other beach campgrounds. But for those that do have an RV hook up then this may be your type of beach campsite to check out.

This place has also become very popular with hiking and biking. There is a very known trail called the Bayshore bikeway which includes 24 miles of flat riding ground.

You can also walk or jog the path, but it has become popular with mostly riding. On the campsite there are 135 sites and over 1000 parking spots.

Location: Coronado, CA

Type of Camping: RV, Trailer, Motorhome ONLY

Cost: $50/night

Other:  cool 24 mile biking trail

Distance from SD Airport:15-20 miles

Additional Info


Photo by Mikela Garza

San Diego is famous for sweet weather and beaches making the beach camping sites more popular over the years.  Who doesn’t want to sleep under the stars next to the ocean? I’m sure everyone would like to try it if they haven’t already. 

One of the coolest things about camping at the beaches if that you get to unplug and relax in nature. Sure, some of the camping sites are more updated than others but depending on what type of camping you are looking at, they can all be different. 

One word of suggestion: if you do decide to go camping, then it is best to book ahead of time. Once you know the dates then do not hesitate to make an effort for booking.

If you do plan on heading out during summertime, those spots tend to fill up fast. 

Of course, there are things to note before you start your beach camping adventure in San Diego. Not all campsites are alike, they all differ in location and popularity.

San Diego weather can fluctuate, especially in the summer. Do prepare accordingly. There are some very hot summers so make sure you are bring the right clothes and gear.

One tip would be dress in layers. That way if you do forget something or it either gets too cold or hot, you can layer on and off. Some nights will be really chilly so just be prepared in case you do have a chilly night.  

Also beware of mosquitoes. They do come out at night. I have not been the luckiest person avoiding these. Make sure you bring a bug spray that will allow you to avoid these little blood-sucking guys.

Things to bring with you on your next camping trip.  Do not forget to bring the essential camping site things. It can make all difference between a not-so-fun camping time to having an amazing time. Bring an extra pair of clothes, and extra battery chargers for your phones. 

Remember to have fun and enjoy your time camping. Get out there and enjoy the outdoors! It can definitely make a difference in how you feel.

Tell me… have you tried any of these camping places? Which one is your favorite.?

 If you would like to check out other cool beaches, then check out this popular beach here.

Plastic has become very devastating for our oceans. Read this article to learn more, and how you can help.

Jess and Jeanette
About Jess and Jeanette

Jess and Jeanette are two sisters who created Unseen Beaches. This beach travel site was inspired by their family beach vacations while growing up. Helping you discover the best U.S. beach destinations worth visiting, staying, and eating.

unseenbeaches about us pic

Hi! This is Jess and Jeanette. Two sisters & beach travelers. We built this blog to share our travels in hopes of helping you plan your next beach vacation. Cheers! ❤️



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