I'd heard great things about Serrano, but had never camped there before. We were really looking forward to our quick escape to the mountains, especially as the weather in the suburbs had been really hot. It was a relatively easy drive. The sites don't really have much privacy, and you can easily see your neighbors, but it's still spacious. Some of the sites seem larger than others. We liked ours, but there were some shrubs. The shrubs helped with the privacy, but it also meant a LOT of squirrels. People must feed the squirrels because as soon as we sat down to have a snack or eat they were everywhere. Oh well, camping life. Aside from that, the site comes with a bear locker and fairly large picnic table. The bathrooms are kept pretty clean and there was easy access to water. I would definitely come back! It's nice to feel far away from home, but you're really not as it's just a two hour drive. You're also walking distance to the lake. You can always drive to pick-up forgotten items, food, ice, etc. if needed.
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.
I've camped here a handful of times. Our friends camp here regularly. It's convenient, easy drive-up and set up tent camping. The campground and the bathrooms are well taken care of and clean. It's also nice that the beach is nearby. Down at the beach, there is an area where the wind is also pretty decent and great for kite flying. Central California is a wonderful area to camp. Sometimes we stay at the campground and enjoy the beach or chill at our site. Other times we've driven and gone wine tasting nearby for a couple hours. Either way we always have a great time! Just wish it was easier to get a weekend reservation in the summer.
It's been awhile since I've camped at Lower Pines Campground, but our experience was GREAT! Our friends were fortunate enough to score a reservation for Memorial weekend. The campground was easy to find, conveniently located within the park, spacious and very clean. I was a little nervous about bears, but there is a bear locker for every site. The sites were pretty spacious and we didn't notice our neighbors, even with it being a busy holiday weekend. The bathrooms were clean and the campground was walking distance to Curry Village, where we were able to pay for a hot shower. It was also nice that we were walking distance to the Vernal Falls trail head. With this being a holiday weekend, there was MORE than enough cars and we didn't have to worry about driving and parking as we could walk and/or use the shuttle to get where we wanted. We were also pretty lucky as our site was along the Merced River! I should say that we left a day early, as the weather started to turn. The rangers were helpful and had hinted it might snow. We weren't prepared for weather that cold and thought it best to cut our trip short. Driving out of the park it started to snow. Either way it's a great campground and you can't beat being in Yosemite National Park! I'd definitely return to this campground!