There is so much to see and do all along our Southern California beaches that I could build a site just on this topic. I spent my youth here... growing up in the 1950s and '60s. That was a long time ago, and much has changed since I joined the Navy and moved away. However, a lot has stayed the same, and some things have even improved!
Are Open To The Public
Our beaches have remained open to the public, and there are many to choose from. Southern California beaches cover an area from Jalama Beach in Santa Barbara County to the various beaches in the San Diego area, and you will find that they have maintained their original appeal to the beach goer. Basically, if you are looking to simply walk in the warm sand or sharpen your surfing skills, there are beaches here that will suit your needs.
Stretching along this sunny coast you will find many small towns that offer quaint shops ranging from upscale art galleries to simple ice cream parlors... each with a distinct personality.
View California Beach Camping in a larger map
There are miles of bike trails connecting these various small beach communities. Whether you bike or hike along these interconnecting avenues, you will experience a fresh ocean breeze and enjoy the variety of ocean smells ranging from the open fire pits with hot dogs being grilled to the simple smell of salt air coming off of the surf. Beach camping in southern California will offer an experience that will last a lifetime!
Beach camping California style offers warm sand and sun along with cool water to splash and swim in. After a long drive in the ol' motorhome, the sound of waves breaking against the sandy shore of our many Southern California Beaches will simply melt stress and put a smile on your face.
Jalama Beach holds the honor of being the farthermost campground away from State Route 1 (Approximately 16 miles). Most of our California coastal campgrounds are located just off of the Pacific Coast Highway... sometimes you even have to cross this highway on foot to get to the ocean.
So having this county park located miles to the west of this state route is very good... if you like a more remote location.
It is just off of Highway 1, so it is a good place to park for an overnight stay, or maybe just a couple of days. Like most campgrounds along our Southern California Beaches, wind can be an issue, so this would probably not be a very good place for tents. However, those of us who use Class C Motorhomes should be snug enough.
A good reason to stick around this site is to observe a good low tide condition... low tides will expose great tide pools that need exploring. You will find them at the base of the cliffs just to the right or left of the beach. You can see crabs, mussels, and sea anemones doing their thing in the rock pools. If you want to get your feet wet, there is a life guard on duty.
just beyond the surf!
There is a small pier on the west end of the beach used by fishermen, scuba divers, etc. A boat hoist is available on this pier that allows access to fishing and other adventures in the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel.
This is one of the beaches where you will have oil seeping up through the ocean floor, and this results in a tar-like substance sticking to the bottoms of your feet... baby oil is supposed to be the product of choice for removal of this stuff. Bottom line, I wouldn't want to spend two weeks here; but for a quick stop-over, this beach works just fine.
For us Class C Motorhome folks, we can look forward to campgrounds that bump up right against the beach... with plenty of sand and surf to wiggle our toes in! This is also a good beach for diving and snorkeling... with plenty of trails ready for biking and hiking.
Where Refugio SB has its small palm trees, El Capitan is noted for its live oaks and chaparral. To make the area a little more interesting and convenient, there is a paved bike trail connecting El Capitan to Refugio SB.
Point Mugu State Park
What makes this park a bit unique are the more than 70 miles of various hiking trails exploring the inland grass valleys. These valleys are dotted with native plants, such as sycamore and oak trees. The 13,300 acre park includes the jagged pinnacles of the Boney Mountains State Wilderness area.
Overlook Trail is also a popular trail route that offers a spectacular vista of the park and the Pacific Ocean from up in the Santa Monica Mountains.
So, if you've brought your hiking shoes or like to mountain bike, this is a great destination that allows you to explore a part of California untouched by development.
East Of The Campground
There are two campgrounds at Point Mugu State Park that can accept RVs:
Leo Carrillo State Park is just a bit farther south on Hwy 1 and is sort of a sister park to Pt. Mugu. This California State Park has 1.5 miles of beach available for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, surf fishing and beach-combing.
This is a good Southern California beach for exploring tidal pools and coastal headwater caves. Like Pt. Mugu, giant sycamores shade the main campgrounds and back country hiking is also accessible. It also includes access to the 13,300 acre Boney Mountains State Wilderness area.
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