For many, once the sun comes out and summer rolls around, it can be hard to resist the urge to get outside and soak up some fun. If you relate, and you just need to unplug for a minute, Carlsbad offers some of the state’s best camping sites around. When your work has stacked up and you’re overloaded, it’s time to gather your camping gear, and head to Carlsbad State Beach for solitude and relaxation.
This San Diego beach and campground feature camping, swimming, surfing, skin diving, fishing and picnicking. The campground is especially popular in the summer, thanks to its scenic location which overlooks the picturesque Carlsbad Beach below. Even better, the campground offers direct access to the beach via a set of well-kept stairs. As a result of the popularity, the campground is reservation only, so don’t show up without one or you’ll likely be unable to stay.
When you’re done with the beach, check out the nearby California geography and some of the trails within the park. If the ocean isn’t your thing, a number of Campfire Programs, Junior Ranger Programs, and Nature Walks may be offered. That said, program availability changes with the season, so be sure to check signs posted on the restrooms and at the entrance station regarding park information during your visit.
At night, campers are gently caressed to sleep by the nearby ocean tide, lapping upon its secluded shoreline. There is plenty of privacy throughout, thanks to the large selection of flora and fauna throughout the campground. The campsites themselves are also spacious, with roughly half of them featuring electric hookups. Additionally, All restrooms and shower buildings have accessible facilities. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the unit Supervising Ranger.
South Carlsbad State Beach Campground is perfect for campers and individuals who love the ocean and the outdoors. Whether you’re looking surf the rolling waves, or paddle board out and take part in all that the north county coastline has to offer, you’re sure to have fun here.
October, January and February are the best times to camp if you don't want crowds otherwise there never is really a bad time to be at the beach, at least not in my book.
This place is a hot spot and tough to book so make sure you do it far in advance. The area sits up on the Carlsbad cliffs, and there are stairs that run down to the beach about every 1/4 mile or so, some aren’t open though due to damage. Best sites sit on the cliff side where you can over look the ocean, otherwise you’ll be hearing the cars off the road, but any spot is nice as long as you plan on spending your days on the sand.
The spots are separated by large bushes (mostly) but still can get pretty hot in the day so be sure to bring shade. Some spots now have hook ups, and they vary in depth from large enough for a motor home to small enough for a tent.
Where you drive in is the middle, there are washers and dryers there, a store (open in the spring and summer), and rentals for bikes and surf boards. The bathrooms along the campground have showers so be sure to bring cash for tokens.
Other important notes: beach shore can be very rocky in spring time due to tidal patterns, there’s a dump station for RV’s, campsites generally just have fire rings and picnic benches, squirrels can be a bit of a pain, and the ONLY real issue I can find, there is a theft time to time so keep your stuff hidden or locked up. They’ll go for your cooler, generators, and anything they see.
This campground is right above the beach in Carlsbad. Half the campgrounds are on the bluff right above the beach and the other half are just across the street. Outstanding ocean views and easy access to the beach below. Love everything about the place except the showers are just ok. Highly recommend this campground and we love going there for our ocean fix. We had a full hookup site but there are only about a dozen of those so you need to reserve up to 6months in advance.
This is one of our go to campgrounds for our camping trips in SoCal. Beautiful ocean views! Next to Coast Hwy which is busy but not totally annoying. Stores down the road for any necessities. Beach is accessible by stairs--nothing at beach level. Basic and RV hook-up sites.
Disclaimer: When I camp, it's to get away from people.
That being said, this park is clean, there was a small store offering treats, plentiful bathrooms and places to park and camp (with reservations made well in advance). We met friends in Carlsbad who managed to secure a lovely spot with close proximity to the beach. We woke up early each morning to enjoy the few quiet hours (before our late-nate neighbors woke up) to drink our coffee and watch the dolphins swim by.
Plenty of activities to keep kids busy until they drop… if you plan ahead. The breeze can be quite chilly, but there are plenty of sun-covered rocks to warm yourself on.
Downside: people, people, people.
Nice campground overlooking the ocean from a bluff! A few spots have hookups, but most are dry. Short walk to the beach
This campsite fills up fast. My friends had reservations for the weekend and we had a great time. When everyone left on Sunday afternoon the site just about emptied out. I decided to stay since the reservation was through Monday. I was able to back my back my suv up in another empty site and enjoy the sounds of the ocean all night!
This is our favorite place to camp. I wish they had more hookup sites though!
Beautiful view of the ocean with access stairways. The sandy shore is littered with rocks washed out from the hillside. We watched surfers and played in the waves until the kids tired out. Fires are permitted and firewood available onsite. The breeze kept the bugs and beach heat at bay. Bathrooms were fairly clean and non-pottable water spickets also available for rinsing after the beach visit. It was our first time camping beachside and we enjoyed it thoroughly. Only drawback is tents and campers were intertwined so you might hear generators running outside of quiet hours.
Arrive early as this popular campground fills up early for the weekend. Many spots are reserved ahead of time. Campsites are sparse and compact, but this is a good place to park your gear while you spend time at the beach or nearby attractions. There is little shade and you will hear highway and train traffic occasionally. Nice view overlooking the ocean.