Standard (tent/RV)
Group
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About San Elijo State Beach

Located on the San Diego Coast, San Elijo Campground offers camping, swimming, surfing, showers and picnicking. The narrow, bluff-backed stretch of sand has a nearby reef popular with snorkelers and divers.

A camp store and snack bar located near the campground entrance operates March through December and provides all the amenities a camper may need including some RV supplies, boogie boards, and firewood.

This San Elijo camping destination requires reservations for its 171 campsites.

Operator
State
Access
Drive In
Walk In
Features
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Market
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Reservable
Sanitary Dump
Sewer Hookups
Showers
Toilets
Trash Available
Water Hookups
Location
San Elijo State Beach is located in California
Latitude
33.022 N
Longitude
-117.284 W
Get Directions
Directions
San Elijo State Beach extends along Coast Highway 101, 3/4 mile north from San Elijo Lagoon's entrance channel, near the community of Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Exit Interstate 5 at Encinitas Blvd., head WEST. Turn LEFT on So. Coast Hwy. Follow the Coast Hwy. south, about 2 miles.
18 Reviews of San Elijo State Beach
Family fun

Great place, family has camped here for 24 years. Upper camp area: on the bluff, less populated and a little more quiet than lower camp area. Lower camp area leveled shoreline and can get very crowded.
Flushing toilets and hot showers. Some sites are: big, medium and small; right next to each and a little distance; and beach side or inland. Keep in mind, train runs by, and while it is across pch, inland sites can hear the train roar!!

Great place to surf as well in both directions!

Great restaurants, across the street and in town. Great gourmet grocery store across the street too!

Surfers Dream

San Elijo is located on a bluff overlooking the beach. There are over 100 sites available that range from hookups to dry. The price is from $55 - $75 a night. The bathrooms and showers are clean. The only downside is the proximity to pacific coast highway and the train tracks. Although I didn't hear the train at all at night.

Cell Coverage: Excellent

Close to pretty much everything

The good. Pick a spot - $75 gets you on the bluff with hookups $50 gets you on the bluff but no hookups $35 gets you on the other side Trash, recycling, and sewage disposal ($10) nearby. Water quality at the hookup sites smell fresh.

The not as good. Although ocean bluff spots cost you the elevation angle of the site lot or vegetation may impede or restrict your view. There’s also a metal fence.

The bathrooms Bring soap. No dispensers near the sinks. Toilets are cleaned but not necessarily clean.

Stuff to know- If you’re towing a vehicle it has to be literally towed onto the property. Don’t disconnect and go get groceries prior to entering or you’ll have to pay $15 a night for the vehicle once you enter (Or take your rig back out back out and tow it in)

Noise and such.

You’re near tracks and you’ll hear trains. Next to US 101 you’ll also hear cars. It’s a busy area so don’t expect to hear just the crickets.

Recommendations There’s an excellent grocery store (Seaside Deli) about 1 mile away. It’s not cheap but the deli uses culinary experts to prepare the cuisine.

Philz Coffee a couple miles north. It’s the best coffee on earth bar none. Get the “Tesora”. Addiction guaranteed.

The Union restaurant a couple miles north also a good spot for Sunday brunch. Wine Wednesday also gets a recommendation.

Also just north in Encinitas- Plumeria Thai has some of the best vegetarian Thai I’ve ever had.

To the south a couple miles in Solana Beach in Cedros is Carruth Cellars winery. It’s dog friendly so bring your good boy/girl! I recommend the “Unicorn”. Tasty red. Drink with one hand while petting a dog with the other…

You won’t regret it

This spot is awesome. Especially if you score some good surf. The facilities are always clean. All types of camping are welcome here. Whether that be RV, tent, bike packing, or out of the back of your truck which is my personal favorite. The sunsets are out of this world and the beach is clean. Tends to be very busy especially in the summer months. My tip is to book way ahead in advance.

Life is good on the beach!

Spent our first night in our van here. Had to make a reservation. Couldn't get a beach side site. There's a north side and a south side to the campground. The south side is busier. There's an amphitheater at the south end. The sites also seemed closer together on that end. On the beach side, there is plenty of space, but not so much shade. The highway side has more trees, but some sites seem smaller and packed in. You really need to look around for a good site because a lot of gems were mixed with OK sites, but I would start on the north side. Being close to the highway, there will be a lot of traffic noise if you are in a tent. Plenty of access to a stairway leading to the beach. Shower and surf rack at one access. Campground is up on a bluff, overlooking the Pacific ocean. Camp store seemed stocked. Plenty of stores nearby if you need anything not there. Plenty of restaurants, coffee shops and quaint stores up the highway in downtown Encinitas.

Beautiful but noisy Beach Camping

This is one of our favorite beaches & near my families fave surf spot, ‘Pipes’! Bring earplugs & a pillow o er your head. Or better, bring an RV & a portable mouse machine. ALSO YOU NEED TOKENS FOR THE SHOWER!

Parking lot for RVs and tent camping

Showers worked decently. We were close to the street where starting at first light people are walking dogs and chatting. You can hear the train go by too. We are good sleepers so it was fine for us and the price and location can’t be beat!

Great campground in the city

If you are looking for wilderness camping, this isn't it. If you are looking for a chill place to camp, walk to restaurants and surf. This is your spot. Very close to your neighbors with not much privacy, can hear traffic noise and squirrels steal your smores. :) Books up fast so plan ahead!

Noisy Location

Campground is situated next to the highway and train tracks.  No shade. Friendly beach crowd. Taco stand. I arrived on a Thursday and the campground was already filling up for the weekend. I was riding a recumbent trike and paid $10 to camp for the night.  If you just need a place to pitch a tent for the night or park an RV while you hit the beach or explore nearby cities, then this is your spot.

Fun but with limited privacy

This is a great campground for those that want to be along the crowded beach with very minimal privacy. It is fun for families and large groups and there are restaurants right across the street as well as an awesome specialty food market in case you forgot any supplies. The view is gorgeous and the beach is awesome but not if you want to be in a desolate spot. The campground is great for kids to ride their bikes and there are multiple paths to the beach. Watch out for the squirrels though!