You can enjoy beach camping at one or more of the many Southern California campgrounds shown on the map below. This may well be the most inexpensive way to wake up near the sound of the ocean waves and cry of the seagulls.
As you'll notice on the map, you'll find most of the beach campgrounds north and south of Los Angeles County.
From Santa Barbara to San Diego, there are many choices in beach camping. Some may have campsites right at ocean level, while others have campsites up on the bluff, or back in a grove of trees.
Some of the campgrounds are private, but many are at California State beaches.
These in particular can book up well in advance. You are allowed to make reservations for the state campgrounds up to 7 months beforehand, starting on the first of the month.
You can reserve sites online, by phone or by post. For phone reservations you can call 1-800-444-7275. If you're calling from out of the country, try 1-916-638-5883. The California State Parks website is at www.parks.ca.gov.
Note that not all California State Parks or State Beaches have camping facilities, but the ones listed on our Southern California Beaches Camping Guide page do.
You can also reserve most sites online through www.reserveamerica.com.
Be aware when booking your site that besides the nightly camping fee, there might be additional charges for showers, RV hookups, parking for extra cars, premium sites and peak season rates.
Below is a picture of a typical beach campsite with ocean view, complete with picnic table, trees and a stretch of warm sand to the waves.
If you would like to see a map of Southern California beaches, this page shows a few.
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