This campground has everything and more! My only regret is making this the first campground in my family’s camping experience, the bar was set way high! There is a botanical garden, tide pools, swimming beaches, and very importantly, clean showers and bathrooms! It is so picturesque, it almost looks fake. There is a lighthouse that makes noise at night so I recommend earplugs to sleep. I wish I was closer to visit again.
The best part of this campground is access to the beach. We were there in early July and the water was like ice but absolutely beautiful. The campground itself was ok, it was a bit more primitive than I’m used to, but the sites themselves were nice. Each had a picnic table and fire ring. Most of the sites were nice sized as far as I could tell. There are no showers and only vault toilets so I wouldn’t stay here for more than 2 nights. Another perk is how it feels so far removed from civilization, but it’s really not.
One of the campgrounds at San Onofre State Beach, San Mateo is about a mile inland in San Clemente. I booked two sites next to each other over Easter weekend with my family. The sites were slightly smaller than I’m used to but because we had 2 we didn’t mind the close quarters. The trail to Trestles Beach was very pleasant, although the beach was not quite a swim beach. The park staff was probably the friendliest I had ever encountered and the bathrooms were very clean. The crowd was primarily young families, there was some noise past the quiet hours but nothing too crazy.
Of course this campground is in one of the most beautiful places on earth, so for that alone it deserves five stars! In addition to that, the campground had all the amenities you would need. There are laundry facilities, general store, firewood for sale and alternative lodging facilities if camping isn’t your thing. We visited in August and the weather was perfect. It was warm enough during the day to dip in the streams that run through the camp and cool enough at night to sleep comfortably. The nights are pitch black because of the massive redwoods, it’s pretty amazing! The bathrooms were relatively clean, there were a lot of cobwebs that probably could have been easily cleaned but overall they were clean. There were so many things to do and see nearby, Monterey is about an hour drive and totally worth doing a day trip for. There is zero cell service for T-Mobile, I was completely disconnected from the outside world, it was wonderful.
My family camps here often, it’s one of the closest beach campgrounds to us and the views are amazing. The sites are terraced, so no matter which site you get you’ll have a view of the ocean. It is in a developed area of Laguna Beach, so there is not much solitude or quiet enjoyment of nature. However, it’s super convenient to have stores like Trader Joe’s and restaurants just a few minutes away. There is beach access from the campground and several hiking trails in the park. There are no shade structures or large trees, so definitely bring a canopy in the summer. The bathrooms are pretty clean, some of the showers run pretty hot but I didn’t mind it. This campground fills up fast so book early! I really like how clearly the sites are marked and how often the park rangers patrol. Highly recommend this campground!
I’ve stayed here twice, the first time all the sites were booked the second time it was pretty empty. Both times, neighboring campers were blasting music. Not just a little loud, but so loud I felt the bass two loops away. Park rangers don’t patrol the sites as far as I can tell but if your intent is to party with some friends while camping this is the place for you. There isn’t easy access to the lake, I think you have to either drive down or take a really long walk. Most sites have a lot of shade, all sites have a picnic table and fire pit. If I ever want to have a party camping trip, I’d likely go here. But if you’re camping for peace and quiet, this may not be what you want.
This campground is one of my favorites. My practical side enjoys the clean bathrooms with hot showers and proximity to markets for refills on ice and beer. My adventurous side enjoys the hikes, coyotes singing and clear skies to observe the night sky. This campground has been enjoyable every time I’ve gone. I’ve been to many campgrounds where neighbors keep you up late, but something about this location demands quiet enjoyment. Don’t get me wrong, my friends and I stay up laughing around the campfire well after sunset but everyone seems to respect the quiet hours. The sites are spacious, each with a shade ramada, grill and fire-ring. The visitors center is a must see and there are numerous hiking trails near the campground. As beautiful as the wildflowers are during a super bloom, the crowds are super distracting. March is the best time of year to go, if there is a super bloom you’ll enjoy that, if not, you’ll enjoy the solitude.