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.
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.
This was my first California camping experience. South Carlsbad State Beach makes camping easy. The beach is close by and the facilities are clean. It's been a few years since I've been, but I don't remember a lot of trees. It's very convenient and easy to camp with your family, especially if you enjoy the beach. A lot of people around us had campers. We were tent camping, so although it was easy to set up the ground was a little hard when putting in the tent stakes. We were there during the summer, so the day time can get a little hot. But when it gets hot, head to the beach to cool off! Aside from the hard ground and minimal trees, it's still a great place to camp and quite a popular one as well.
Gorgeous oceanview campground! Clean restrooms and showers. Nearby grocery store. Beautiful visit to California coast!
If you’re headed to San Diego, be sure to stop and check out Carlsbad just off of the 5. this awesome beach town is quintessential Southern California beach awesomeness and it is absolutely gorgeous. Camp right off of the beach as well as have access to local shopping and restaurants. While you camp, you’ve got to check out Carlsbad cliffs for some stellar views. There are also loads of beach activities like whale watching, kayaking, surfing, fishing, and paddle boarding! My secret spot for the best fish and chips EVER is close by in Oceanside called “Harbor Fish n’ Chips.” Be sure to check this place out!
Best spots are on the South end if you are tent camping, there are only cliff side. camping spots and none on the bluff side all it's way less busy and crowded. You can look through the pictures of the camping spots to find ones with more bushee separating the spots if you want more privacy. The ocean is so loud it covers up most conversations and traffic so even though the spots are close together it's still a very relaxing place! The camping store is decent. Highly recommend bringing bikes, it's nice to ride around the campground and even bike up to of the local bars if you feel like it.
South Carlsbad State Beach is extremely crowded (like many coastal campsites in Southern California), but has very easy access to your own space on the beach below the cliffs.
We scored a last minute site because the weather was cold and windy on a Saturday in February, otherwise BOOK IN ADVANCE.
There are lots of RVs, kids riding their bikes, and dogs galore, all of which are fun, but if you’re looking for a private site, look elsewhere!
Fire Pits and a picnic table at each campsite and plenty of area to park your car and set up a table/easy up/etc.
If you book on the West or Ocean side, only a chain link fence separates you from the beautiful sunsets the Pacific Ocean has to offer!