Surf N Turf is basically parking lot camping across the street from the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The campground is only open from Sept thru May when there's no horse racing at the fairgrounds. The rates are $40-$50 per night depending on the length of your vehicle. There's no bathroom or showers and all sites include a 30 amp electricity connection. There's also no sewer connection. This place is perfect if you need a quick and easy place to stay in San Diego for a night. No tents.
If falling asleep to the sound of waves crashing sounds good to you, then El Capitan State Beach is for you. There are around 120 camp spots to choose from. The bathrooms are clean but the showers are not working. There's also a few RV spots but not many. Make sure you reserve a spot of you plan on visiting over the weekend.
There's a nice campground across the Fwy 101 and a small store and restaurant. There's a few hikes that leave from this campground. A fire recently scored the hills but the campground was untouched.
North Pismo State Beach is a good campground right on the beach and next to a Monarch park. The bathrooms are clean and have showers. The showers take tokens which you can get from the machine next to the bathrooms. The sites are all drive thru.
The campground is about a mile from downtown Pismo and is a great place to have lunch or dinner. To the south is Pismo state beach where you can actually drive your car on the beach for $5. Can't beat that deal.
I have to admit, I didn't even know Pinnacles NP exsisted. I'm glad I saw the sign and venture to check it out. It’s a beautiful park and has the largest population of California Condors in the world.
The campground is situated about 2.3 miles from the main trailheads. There's tent and RV campsites. It's a good campground with the NP visitor center located within the campground.
Note: There's only 30Amp service at the RV sites. Bring an adapter if you only have 50 or 20Amps.
The fairgrounds RV park is located as the name suggests on the Monterey Fairgrounds. It's centrally located and allows for easy access to the town via Bus Route Jazz A or B or a local bike path down the street. The RV spacing is tight so you will get to know your neighbors. Beware the park is next to the airport. The staff has been really friendly. I gave it 4 stars because its an interesting place to stay.
There's a Dennys, Sushi and Italian restaurant within walking of the campground.
Being able to sleep under the stars in Yosemite Valley is a dream come true. The campground is crowded but the scenery makes up for it. Everywhere you look is an Ansel Adams portrait. Lots of trails leave from the surrounding area. Bathrooms are clean but its a trek to the showers. Have fun.
Cell Coverage: Verizon (Low)
This KOA is a good stopover for people on there way to Yosemite or Sequoia National Park. There's not much around the campsite except for homes but the place has all you need. There's a pool but it's closed from Oct to May.
Cell Service: Great
Mather Campground is a 15min walk from the south rim trail. There are lots of campsite but they fill up quickly so make a reservation. There’s a store, laundry and shower facility for the campers but it can be a walk from a distant campsite. Make sure you check in when you arrive.
Cell Service: Slow, Roaming, Verizon.
This is a great little campground 2 miles outside of Winslow Arizona. It’s in the middle of a state park that has two areas of ruins. One area is located about a mile from the campground. The campground has all the amenities. There’s good distance between each of the RV sites but there’s no shade since this is grassland. This is a wonderful place to explore.
Cell Coverage: Outstanding
Buckskin is a great campground on the Colorado River. There’s a little swimming area that’s cordon off from all the boaters that you can enjoy. There’s a store that sells ice cream and various camping supplies. There’s also a number of RV spots that are shaded by trees. This is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle and just enjoy a relaxing few days on the river.
Cell Service: Verizon Great, Sprint not great
Black Rock is a wonderful national parks campground in Joshua National Park. It's the easiest park to get to so it can get crowded on the weekend. The camp spots have about 15 years between each one. There's a bench but no hook ups. There're water spigets throughout the campground and an RV dumpsite ($5). The store is open from 8am to 4pm.
Hiking: There are a few hikes that leave from the campground. Take the West Loop Trail to explore the area and hike up to the High View Peak to see the surrounding area. 2-3 hours.
Cell Service: Roaming (3bars)
Indian Cove has served as the annual outing for the Sierra Club Wilderness Travel Course to teach its students land navigation. I took this course in 2016 and recommend it to anyone interested in learning how to backpack the back country or just want to feel more confident in the wilderness. The campground ihas a number of sites to choose from, although they aren't always clearly defined. There's also a few table picnic tables to use. There's no electricity and cell service was limited as I recall. There are also a number of good trails nearby.
Potrero is a good little campground in a big park. There a play park for the kids and an exercise path for the adults. The bathrooms are clean and there is electrical and water hookups. It makes for a quick getaway from the city.
Limited cell service. There's a market 2 miles away.
Vallecito is a great secluded campground. It doesn't get a lot of visitors like Agua Caliente 4 miles down the road. As a result the wildlife is everywhere; bees, coyotes, hawks, rabbits…. This is an old stagecoach stop in the 1800s with lots of history. Around the Stagecoach building there is poster telling you of the history of the area. There's also a small cemetery.
There's water but no power hookups. The bathrooms are clean.
The park volunteer was super friendly and made my stay.
Have good cell service
Agua I was told by a park ranger is the jewel of the San Diego park system. The park is nesseled between two hills which act as a funnel for natural spring water. That spring water is used to feed three pools with one sulfur indoor which is around 106 degrees. It's the perfect place to relax. This is a perfect weekend escape from the city. There is no cell service. To get service you have to go to the cell phone lot 4 miles west at Vallecito campground.
William Heise is one of the hidden camping Gems in San Diego. It's located about 5 miles from the rustic town of Julian. There's over 100 camping spots ranging from RV to tent. There are a number of trails that leave from the campground. Try the Desert View trail that gives you a great view of the surrounding area; its only 2.25miles. There's also a Wolf Sanctuary outside of Julian that's worth a visit. Enjoy!
Cell Service: Roaming
The campground at Lake Morena has around 80+ spots that range from hookups for RV to basic tent camping. There's a indoor entertainment room and multiple bathrooms. The campground is not located right on the lake but a 15min walk away. The cell service is roaming but was decent; around 500kb download. The PCT goes thru the campground and there's an area designated for thru hikers camping. The campground can get crowded during the weekend. The adjacent town has a small store.
Fly Creek is a great campground that's not far from the city. It's about two miles from the Palomar Observatory. There's a nice trail that goes there form the campground and has good views of the little valley. There are plenty of spots and all of them are shaded. There are a few spots in the back that are even more secluded. There's not a lot of parking for extra vehicles though. The restrooms were clean. The only cell service is about two miles away at the local store. This is where you can buy firewood and supplies.
Chino Hills State Park has a campground with a small number of spots. These hills are amazing after a good rain. This year it was a good place to see the wildflowers. Unfortunately the campground has been closed for awhile due to water line construction but should open in December 2019. There's plenty of restrooms and parking. There's also a number of hiking trails that leave from the campground. The only cell service is on top of the closest hill. Its a good spot for a quick getaway from the city.
Alabama Hills is a popular area to see the beauty of natural rock formations. This is BLM land so there's no campground amenities. However you can camp here for free in many dispersed locations. Just look around and look for spots that you can park and camp at. There are plenty of sites back into the rocks. There's cell service where the main road starts but not much after that. This is a great place to view the Milky Way and watch the sunrise. This is a great place to go rock climbing.