Best Beach Campgrounds for Vans
San Onofre State Beach
The iconic San Onofre State Beach is a must visit for all levels of surfers, and a perfect spot for those wanting to learn. It is often referred to as the “Waikiki of California” thanks to its user-friendly waves and diverse crowds. Located in San Clemente off Basilone Road, you can score a session full of smiles here almost every day of the year.
There are two campgrounds within the state park, San Mateo and the Bluffs, that our vans fair extremely well in. Both have trail access to the beautiful 3.5-miles of sandy beaches from Trestles to the northern point at San Onofre. Whether you are on the hunt for crumbling beginner waves or world class tubes, San Mateo and San Onofre Bluffs campgrounds are the ideal spot to load up a Nomadic Escapes van and feel like you`re in a 20th century surf film.
Leo Carrillo State Park
Located in the Santa Monica Mountains, Leo Carrillo State Park Campground is a beachgoer`s paradise less than an hour from the chaos of Los Angeles. There are 135 sycamore-shaded campsites that are a short walking distance from the beach.
The State Park offers a beautiful 1.5-mile beach with great right-pointbreak waves, amazing tide pools, and if you play your cards right, incredible whale watching. There are also biking and walking trails in every direction which make Leo Carrillo a prime spot to do it all. While this is an ideal campground to spend a night before heading north or south, don`t be afraid to devote a long weekend here and take advantage of all that Leo Carrillo has to offer.
Refugio State Beach
Lined with palm trees, Refugio State Beach is a picturesque and quiet delight 20 miles north of Santa Barbara. There are 66 campsites, and all are a short stroll to the beach, with most sites offering ocean views. If you are planning a California coast vancation, Santa Barbara is high on our list of must-visits and Refugio is the perfect campground for a beach day and s’mores at night.
With the right combo of swell in the Winter/Spring time, this break turns into the sort of wave a regular-footed surfer used to sketch in their elementary school notebooks. While the beach area is not as large as our other recommendations, you can always find a spot to relax and take in the central coast`s gorgeous assortment of mountains and ocean.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Pfeiffer State Park is one of the most renowned beaches and campgrounds in the world-famous Big Sur. Due to its beauty and location in the State Park, the campground is often busy with campers trying to experience its magic. Make sure to book far in advance if you wish to stay in this lovely campground!
When it comes to Big Sur, there is only so many adjectives to describe the vast magnificence of the region. You must experience it for yourself, and we recommend pulling over (when allowed) anytime you get a hunch or view from the 1, because it will probably pay off. While there are no hookups at Pfeiffer State Park, our vans are equipped with solar and/or stored power to ensure you are comfortable and ready for anything at your campsite.