Southern California's Best Beach Campgrounds


Debbie Sipe
(530) 885-1624
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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA’S BEST BEACH CAMPGROUNDS identifies top camping locations along
the Southern California coast

LOS ANGELES, Calif., June 2014 — It’s officially summer in Southern California and the beaches are calling.
But instead of driving out for the day, why not spend a few days at a beachfront campground?

“Southern California has some of the best ocean-front campgrounds and RV resorts in the nation,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Resorts and Campgrounds, which hosts the travel planning website.

Here are some of our top picks for campgrounds and RV resorts from Santa Barbara southward to Chula Vista:

— El Capitan Canyon and Ocean Mesa Campground in Santa Barbara: These two campgrounds are in scenic locations virtually side by side next to Route One, roughly 20 mile west of Santa Barbara. El Capitan Canyon is located in a hidden canyon filled with sycamores. It features luxurious park model cabins, furnished safari tents and yurts, which are modern versions of the types of the ancient shelters that were used by Central Asian nomads. Yurts are circular structures with domed roofs. El Capitan Canyon has six fully furnished yurts, each of which can sleep four people. They complement the resort’s 109 park model cabins and 26 furnished safari tents. The resort’s amenities include a small onsite restaurant, evening star talks, a private hiking trail and a summer concert series featuring jazz, blues and bluegrass music. Ocean Mesa Campground is right next store and is perched on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Ocean Mesa caters to RV and tent camping enthusiasts. and 

— Ventura Beach RV Park in Ventura: This 144-site park is close to the beach and has bike rentals, arcade games as well as an outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi, showers and Wi-Fi service. The park also has 36 tent sites with water and electricity hookups as well as 34 additional sites without hookups.

— Malibu Beach RV Park in Malibu: This oceanfront park includes both RV and tent sites. Campsite amenities include picnic tables and charcoal grills. Bathrooms and showers are also available along with a convenience store that sells food and beverages, including beer and wine.

— Dockweiler Beach RV Park in El Segundo: This 117-site beachfront campground near Los Angeles International Airport is located right next to the beach bike path. Campsites are paved and include water, sewer and electrical service. Bathrooms and showers are also available. Phone (310) 322-4951 or

— Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina in Newport Beach: This pet-friendly RV resort is located along a protected bay in the harbor at Newport Beach. RV sites are available next to the beach. The resort also has luxurious park model cottage rentals. Onsite amenities include a restaurant that offers lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Activities include movies on the beach and an inflatable floating climbing structure for the kids. The resort also offers sailboats, pedal boats, kayaks and electric boats for rent. Independence Day entertainment will feature an evening concert by KC and the Sunshine Band. For tickets and other information visit 

— Paradise by the Sea RV Resort in Oceanside: This 91-site park, located 4 minutes on foot from the beach, has picnic tables at each campsite. Surfboard, boogie board and bicycle rentals are also available. Other amenities include a heated pool and spa. 

— Campland by the Bay in San Diego: This park, which recently added a new gymnasium, features RV sites as well as “supersites,” which are luxurious RV sites with private patios, grills and Jacuzzis and a view of a nearby wildlife sanctuary. Campland offers an extensive activity lineup, including regular classes in arts and crafts, yoga, water aerobics as well as scavenger hunts, sand castle building contests, luau presentations, live bands and sporting events, including bocce ball, kick ball, dodge ball, soccer, beach volleyball and flag football. Ping Pong, horseshoes and adult dart competitions are also offered. The campground also has a skateboard park, bicycle and watercraft rentals. 

— Mission Bay RV Resort in San Diego: This big rig and pet friendly park has super sites up to 80 feet long as well as cable TV and Wi-Fi service. Onsite activities include movie nights and sundae socials. A bicycle parade is scheduled for July 4th. 

— Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina in Chula Vista: This park is adjacent to a 552-slip marina. Onsite amenities include a casual dining restaurant, Galley at the Marina, and a fine dining restaurant called South Bay Fish and Grill. Both restaurants have patio decks and both offer live music and dancing. Other amenities include a pool and Jacuzzi and fitness room. 

For more information on places to camp in California, including campgrounds with onsite rental accommodations and activities, please visit