South California Family Friendly Campgrounds 2020

orange graphic of south california
CA Wildfires & COVID Closures

Many of these campgrounds have been closed or have reduced campsites due to wildfires or Covid-19 concerns. Always call or visit the camp’s website ahead of your trip to ensure they are operating as normal.

Southern California has so many amazing campgrounds and off-the-grid campsites!  If you want to plan a family camping trip in 2020 – we’ve got the list of the best kid-friendly campgrounds that will help you have a memorable vacation.   We’ve researched and sifted through the hundreds of campgrounds, RV parks, State Parks, and tent sites to come up with a no-fail list of the top family friendly campgrounds in Southern California.

Camping in California does not HAVE to mean roughing it (unless you want to!)  The campgrounds we’ve profiled are proven favorites for families with kids of all ages.  Some of them have miles of hiking trails, some have beaches, some have tons of wildlife, some have lakes – and some have all of these amenities!  Whether you are a seasoned camping pro or going on your FIRST camping trip — we promise – you’ll enjoy these campgrounds.

As parents ourselves, we know what’s important for a successful family camping trip.

  1. CLEAN BATHROOMS – so important for tent campers who rely on clean, well-maintained bathrooms and showers! Even if you have a bathroom with your RV, its essential to have nice bathrooms when you are out and about exploring the parks.
  2. KIDS’ AREAS & ACTIVITIES. While it isn’t essential to have organized activities for children, they are nice to have as an option.  In addition – playgrounds and kid-friendly hiking trails are a must. (Click here for tips on camping with toddlers)
  3. CAMPSITE PRIVACY. No one wants to drive a couple hours from home with all their camping gear to just be crammed into a campsite practically on top of their neighbors!  We know we’re back-packing into the wilderness, but bonus points for those campsites who have a measure of privacy so you can at least pretend you are miles away from society.

With these criteria in mind, here is our suggested list of best campgrounds for families in South California.

Azalea Campground

Location:

Grant Grove, CA

Phone: 1-559-565-3341

Website

azalea map

Located near the entrance to Kings Canyon National Park, Azalea campground is among evergreen trees and near the famous General Grant Tree.  General Grant tree is the largest giant sequoia in the park and the second largest tree IN THE WORLD.

Campsites are situated somewhat close to one another, but there are plenty of trees to offer privacy.  You can fish and boat in Kings River or hike on any of the nature trails that wind through the park.  In the spring the Azalea shrubs are alive with rainbows of color!

Amenities Camp store
Equestrian trail
Visitor center
Biking
Fishing
Hiking
Boating
General Grant sequoia grove
General Grant tree
Restaurant
Gift Shop

Tent/Trailer/RV Camping:

Campsites: 110 (first come, first serve)
Site features: Picnic table, fire ring, food locker.  Drinking water and restrooms with flush toilets nearby.
8'x16' RV patio rug with carry case made from recycled plastic

Furnace Creek Campground

Location:

Death Valley, CA

Phone: 1-760-786-3200

Website

furnace creek map

Furnace Creek Campground is central located in Death Valley National Park.  Peak camping season is November through March, when the temperatures are mild with only occasional storms.  Summer months are very hot (it is DEATH VALLEY).

Everyone in the family will enjoy the many interpretive and educational programs offered at the park’s visitor center.  There is also a 1 mile bike path that connects to an interpretive trail leading to Harmony Borax Works – an abandoned borax refinery from the late 1800s.

Amenities Visitor Center
Hiking
Guided interpretive walks
Interpretive programs
Wildlife viewing

Full Hook-up

Campsites: 18
Site features: 30/50 amp, water & sewer.  Drinking water, picnic table, flush toilets and dump station nearby.  Campfire ring/grill.

Tent, Trailer, RV

Campsites: 67
Site features: Drinking water, picnic table, flush toilets and dump station nearby.  Campfire ring/grill.

Tent Only

Campsites: 50
Site features: Drinking water, picnic table, flush toilets and dump station nearby.  Campfire ring/grill.
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Riverside Campground & Cabins

Location:

47020 CA-1
Big Sur, CA 93920

Phone: 1-831-667-2414

Website

riverside map

For families looking for a smaller, private campground should check out Riverside Campground located in Big Sur.  You can tent/RV camp or book one of their cabins to stay in.  Big Sur Road House restaurant is nearby so you don’t even need to do your own cooking!

Swim or wade in Big Sur River or go fishing November-February (catch and release).  During winter you can view the California Gray whales migrate past the coast.  In the summer you may spot a Blue Whale or Humpbacks.  There are plenty of day hikes through the redwood, up mountains, and along ridges.

Amenities/Activities 10 acre campground
Fishing (seasonal, catch and release)
Hiking
Near beaches
Fully stocked camp store

Tent Camping

Campsites: 27
Site features: Picnic table and fire pit.  Max 5 people

RV Camping

Campsites: 12
Site features: RVs up to 34’.  Picnic table and fire pit.  Max 5 people.  20 amp electric + water hook ups.

Cabins

Cabins: 11
Site features: Outdoor picnic table, fire pit, seating.. Pets OK ($).  Bedding, linens provided.  Shared bathrooms.

waterproof outdoor playmat made from recycled polypropylene

Morro Bay State Park Campground

Location:

Main Street
Morro Bay, CA 93442

Phone: 1-805-772-2560

Website

Park brochure

morro bay map

Situated in Morro Bay State Park, this campground is perfect for families looking for a seaside escape with activities ranging from beach combing to golfing.  One of the popular draws is the Museum of Natural History inside the park which has activities like nature walks, exhibits, lectures, puppet shows, videos, tours, and other special events.

The campsites themselves are rather close together – but there are trees and brush for added privacy.

Amenities/Activities Campfire center
Picnic area
Restrooms with flush toilets + hot showers
Bayside café
Amphitheater
Boat launch/ramp
Boat rentals
Dump station
Gift shop
Nature center
Observatory
Golf course
Museum

Tent/Trailers/RVs Camping

Campsites: 134
Site features: 30 of these sites have water & electric hook-ups).  Paved parking pad, picnic table, fire ring + grate, and food locker.

Group Camping

Campsites: 2
Site features: Chorro Campsite: up to 35 people, 15 vehicles (max 2 RVs)
Osos Campsite: up to 25 people, 10 vehicles (max 2 RVs).
Group campsites have water, picnic tables, fire rings + grates.  No electric.
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Pismo Coast Village RV Resort

palm trees at beach sunset

Location:

165 S Dolliver St
Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Phone: 1-888-782-3224

Website

pismo map

If you are looking for more of a Resort-Style campground, Pismo Coast Village RV Resort is an excellent choice.  Well-maintained and serene, you’ll enjoy the beautiful 26 acre resort and all of its amenities.  From the heated swimming pool to mini golf to the bike rentals – there are activities for every age.  You don’t need a vehicle to walk into Pismo Beach downtown and where you can shop, dine, and visit the Pier.  Camping spots are close together – zero privacy – but that’s typical resort RV camping – so no big deal.  Anyway, you won’t be hanging out in the camper – there are games to play at the arcade and sports competitions at the shuffleboard court and horseshoe pit!

Amenities/Activities Heated swimming pool
Arcade
Laundromat
Bike rentals
Surrey rentals
3 playgrounds
Mini golf ($)
Basketball court, shuffle board, ping-pong, horseshoe pits
Annual children’s’ Christmas party
General store
Walking distance to downtown Pismo Beach shopping, restaurants, and Pismo Pier

Full Hook-Up Sites:

Campsites: 400
Site features: Full hook-up, free WiFi, Cable TV.  Level concrete pad, picnic table.
Mountain Mat Yellow Recycled plastic outdoor rug for picnic, beach, camping, and sports

Lopez Lake Campground

Location:

6800 Lopez Drive
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Phone: 1-805-788-2381

Website

lopez lake map

Lopez Lake Campground offers year-round camping and tons of outdoor activities for everyone in the family.  22 miles of shoreline on Lopez Lake are perfect for picnicking, swimming (the lake temperature in the summer is a comfortable 70 degrees), boating, fishing, hiking and more.  If you enjoy bird watching, there have been over 150 species of local birds spotted in the park – bring your binoculars!

If your family enjoys adventure courses, check out Vista Lago Adventure Park – it has zip lines as well as easier courses for the younger adventurers.  Mustang Water Park is located on the lake and offers all sorts of fun for the entire family – from 600-ft waterslides to tot pools and cabana picnic areas.

There are campsites for tent campers, RVers, trailers, group campers, equestrian campers, and even a boat-in campsite.  There are bears in the area along with other wildlife, so it is vital to lock up any food over night!

Amenities/Activities 22 miles of shoreline
Summer water temps at 70 degrees
Boating
Waterskiing
Fishing
Swimming
Hiking
Mountain biking
Horseback riding
Birdwatching (150 species inside park)

Primitive Camping:

Campsites: 128
Site features: Open to tents, trailers, and RVs.  Picnic table, fire pit.

Electric Camping:

Campsites: 65
Site features: Open to tent camping only – no RVs or trailers.  Picnic table and fire pit.

Full Hook-Up Camping:

Campsites: 167
Site features: Open to trailers and RVs only – no tents.  Picnic table and fire pit.

Group Camping:

Campsites: 7
Site features: BBQ pit, serving table, picnic tables, water, electricity.  Restrooms nearby.  Tent camping only (no hook ups)

Boat-In Camping:

Campsites: 1
Site features: Accessible via boat or difficult 4-mile hike on Duna Vista Trail.  First come, first serve.  2 picnic tables, fire pit, chemical toilet.  Bear pole for proper storage of food away from bears.  Bring your own firewood and water.

Equestrian Camping:

Campsites: 1 group site
Site features: 18 pipe horse corrals, water trough, large BBQ pit, tables, drinking water, chemical toilets.
REI tent with yellow Mountain Mat camping mat in front garage

Calico Ghost Town Campground

Location:

Barstow, CA 92311

Phone: 1-800-862-2542

Website

calico ghost map

Calico is an old West mining town that was abandoned in the mid-1890s after silver lost its value.  The buildings were architecturally restored in the 1950s and the town received State Historical Landmark.  The Ghost Town has tours, museums, shops, and restaurants.  You can ride a historic train through the park, pan for gold, and tour an authentic silver mine that has exhibits and displays set up.

Camping reservations includes admission to the Ghost Town for up to 6 people.

Amenities/Activities OHV trails (all ATV’s, dirt bikes, buggies, and UTVs allowed)
Mountain Biking Trails
Hiking
Museum
Maggie Mine (authentic silver mine w/displays)
Gold panning
Restrooms with hot showers
2 Dump stations

Full Hook-Up Camping:

Campsites: 104
Site features: Fire ring & grill.  Picnic table.  Restrooms nearby.

Partial Hook-Up and Primitive Camping:

Campsites: 161
Site features: Fire ring & grill. Picnic table.  Restrooms nearby.

Cabins:

Cabins: 10
Cabin features: Sleeps up to 4.  Heat & A/C.  Linens not provide.  No pets

Mini Bunkhouse:

Mini Bunkhouse features: Sleeps 6.  Heat & A/C.  Private bathroom and kitchenette.  Linens not provided.  No pets.

Main Bunkhouse:

Site features: Sleeps 12, max 20 persons.  Heat & A/C.  Linens not provided.  No pets.  Restrooms are located outside.  Showers located in the campground.

Group Camping:

Campsites: 1
Site features: For groups of 20 or more people.  Tent camping only.

Ocean Mesa RV and Campground

campsite with picnic table

Location:

100 El Capitan Terrace Lane
Santa Barbara, CA 93117

Phone: 1-805-879-5751

Website

ocean mesa map

Camping at Ocean Mesa RV and Campground is especially enjoyable for families in the summer months when there are outdoor movie nights, concerts, and wine tastings scheduled.  Kids enjoy the swimming pool and playground, while parents like the massage and wellness center.

It’s only a 30 minute drive up US 101 to get to Carpinteria State Beach where you can can explore tidal pools, swim, surf, and paddle.  There is 1 mile of beach access and lifeguards on duty from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend.  You can spot seals, sea lions, dolphins, and whales from the shore!  You can also fish and clam for your dinner, or head to one of the nearby local restaurants.

Amenities/Activities 15 miles hiking trails
Heated swimming pool & jacuzzi
Playground
Outdoor movie night (seasonal)
Wine tastings (seasonal)
Concert series (seasonal)
Massage ($)
Laundry facilities
Horseshoe pits
Dog run
General store
Dump stations

Full Hook-Up Camping:

Campsites: 80
Site features: Water, sewer, 30/50 amp electric.  Cable TV, WiFi.  Picnic table, fire pit/grill.  Can accommodate slide-outs on both sides of camper/coach.

Tent Camping:

Campsites: 24
Site features: 20’ circular, level tent pad.  Picnic table, grill, firepit.  Parking nearby.
8'x12' RV patio mat made from recycled plastic with carry bag

Wheeler Gorge Campground

empty campsite

Location:

17017 Maricopa Hwy
Ojai, CA 93023

Phone: 1-805-434-1996

Website

wheeler gorge map

Nearly a century ago, the Boy Scouts built Wheeler Gorge campground next to a picturesque stream and rocky mountains.  Families can explore the Los Padres National forest – hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing, or enjoying one of the many ranger-led nature programs.  The Manzanilla Creek runs through the campground – with some campsites situated right next to it.  Almost all the campsites are shaded with tall trees which helps with privacy as well as high summer temperatures.

Small children will especially love the kid-friendly hiking trail where they might be able to spot deer, squirrels, lizards, and birds.

Amenities/Activities Manzanilla Creek access
Hiking trails
Fishing
Mountain biking

Tent/RV/Trailer Camping:

Campsites: 67
Site features: Can accommodate RVs up to 35 ft.  Picnic table, BBQ, fire ring.  Vault toilets, no potable water.
Mountain Mat Blue Recycled plastic outdoor rug for picnic, beach, camping, and sports

Carpinteria State Beach Campgrounds

Location:

205 Palm Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013

Phone: 1-805-684-2811

Website

Park Brochure

carpinteria map

12 miles south of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria State Beach has a mile of coastline where families can explore tidal pools, swim, surf, and paddle.  There are 5 campgrounds in the park – for all kinds of camping – from primitive tent camping to full hook-ups for RVers.

From shore you can spot gray whales, seals, sea lions and dolphins – or get out your paddle boat of choice (kayak, canoe, paddle board) and head out onto the waters to get closer.  Catch dinner by fishing or clamming on the beach – or, if that doesn’t appeal, you can walk into town to dine at a local restaurant.

Amenities/Activities Amphitheater
Dump station
Visitor Center
Beach Access
Lifeguards (Memorial – Labor Day weekend)
Biking
Boating (non-motorized)
Diving
Fishing, Clamming
Mountain Biking
Scuba diving
Surf fish
Surfing
Tide pools
Nature trails
Dolphin, Seal, Whale watching
Interpretive programs
Summer campfire presentations
Junior Ranger and Pre-Junior Ranger programs
NO DOGS allowed at beach

Tent/RV/Trailer Camping – no hook ups:

Campsites: 111
Site features: Picnic table, fire ring, drinking water nearby.  Restrooms nearby, showers coin operated.

Tent/RV/Trailer Camping – water/electric hook ups:

Campsites: 25
Site features: Picnic table, fire ring, drinking water nearby.  Restrooms nearby, showers coin operated.

Tent/RV/Trailer Camping – full hook ups:

Campsites: 80
Site features: Picnic table, fire ring, drinking water nearby.  Restrooms nearby, showers coin operated.
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Lake Casitas Recreation Area Camping

mountain lake in CA

Location:

11311 Santa Ana Road
Ventura, CA 93001

Phone: 1-805-649-1122

Website

lake casitas map

2,500 acre Lake Casitas is the perfect destination for all water-loving camping families.  The lake is stocked with all sorts of fish and they even hold moonlight fishing events during full moons in the summer.  The big hit with kids (of all ages) is the Casitas Water Adventure Park which features a spray park for babies and tots, a multi-level gym with waterfalls for little kids, and a lazy river featuring waterfalls, bridges, and lifeguards for the whole family.

Amenities/Activities Water Adventure Park
Disc golf
Bird watching
Picnic areas
Biking
Boating
Boat rentals
Bait & tackle shop
Fishing (lake stocked with largemouth bass, rainbow trout, crappie, red-ear sunfish, bluegill, and channel catfish)
Full moon night fishing

Tent/RV/Trailer Camping – basic sites:

Campsites: 247
Site features: Dirt pads, no hook-ups.  Water located nearby. Picnic table & fire ring.

Tent/RV/Trailer Camping – water/electric hook ups:

Campsites: 113+
Site features: Dirt pads, water & electric hookups.  Picnic table and fire ring.

Tent/RV/Trailer Camping – deluxe hook ups:

Campsites: 10+
Site features: 40’ concrete pad.  Water & electric hookups. Picnic table and fire ring.

Tent/RV/Trailer Camping – executive hook ups:

Campsites: 7+
Site features: 40’ concrete pad.  Water, electric & sewer hookups. Picnic table and fire ring.

Ventura Ranch KOA Holiday

peacock by a picnic table

Location:

7400 Pine Grove Road
Santa Paula, CA 93060

Phone: 1-805-933-3200

Website

ventura ranch map

If you are looking for a campground close to home where you can just get away for a few days, Ventura Ranch KOA has something for everyone.  The facilities are clean and well maintained and there is a definite family-feel about the place.  Kids can ride bikes along the roads and paths and meet other camping kids around the park.

The campground organizes family activities like the Bigfoot Adventure walk, Tie-Dying, and movie nights.  In addition there is a climbing wall, swimming pool, jumping pillow, and a couple of playgrounds.  Kids won’t be bored!

Amenities/Activities Swimming pool (Memorial Day to Labor Day)
Dog park
Pavilion
Playground
Nature trails
Climbing Rock
Jumping pillow
Bocce ball & corn hole courts
Meeting hall
General store
Dump station
WiFi
RV storage
Laundry

Tent sites:

Campsites: 38
Site features: Gravel or grass pad, no hook-ups.  Pets OK.  Picnic table, fire grill.

RV sites (full and partial hook-ups):

Campsites: 68
Site features: Picnic table, fire grill.  Some pull-thru sites, some back in.  Pets OK.

Teepees

Teepees: 14
Site features: Sleeps between 4-8 people.  Linens available ($).  No bathroom or kitchen.  No pets.

Safari Tents:

Tents: 4
Site features: Linens provided.  Sleeps up to 4.  No bathroom or kitchen.  NO pets.

Cabins:

Cabins: 16
Site features: Deluxe and Camping style cabins.  Sleeps between 4 and 6 people.  Linens provided.  No pets.

Leo Carrillo State Park Campground

35000 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265

1-310-457-8143

Website

Park Brochure

Leo Carrillo map

Situated along the Pacific Coast Highway in the Santa Monica Mountains is the Leo Carrillo State Park.  Campers have easy access via a walking path from the campground to the 1.5 miles of beach- where you can explore tide pools, kelp forests, whale watching, surfing, and swimming.  Lifeguards are posted during the summer months for the safety of swimmers.

The more private campsites are along the exterior of the campground loop, while the interior campsites are closer together (making them ideal group camping spots).  There is also a 50 person group campground with its own bathrooms and showers.

Amenities/Activities Beach access
Tide pools
Surf fishing
Swimming
Camp store
Concession stand
Visitor center
Kayaking
Whale watching
Nature trails
Scuba diving, snorkeling
Lifeguards
Interpretive programs (summer months)
RV dump station

Tent/Trailer/RV sites:

Campsites: 135
Site features: Max length trailer/RV: 31’
Max height trailer: 13’6”
Picnic table, fire ring.  Bathrooms and ($) showers located nearby.

Group Camping:

Campsites: 1
Site features: Accommodates up to 50 people.  Picnic tables, 2 BBQ pits, and restrooms w/($) showers.
8'x20' RV Rug made from recycled plastic with sturdy carry bag

Camp Williams Resort

lake by a dam

Location:

24210 E Fork Rd
Azusa, CA 91702

Phone: 1-626-910-1126

Website

camp williams map

Locate in the San Gabriel Mountains (near Los Angeles) – Camp Williams Resort sits right on the San Gabriel East Fork.  Every camping site is riverside, so you will fall asleep each night listening to the soothing sound of river water.

During the days, kids can try their hand at fly fishing, or just swim and splash in the river.  The campground is quiet and secure and there is a café and general store located on premises.

Amenities/Activities River Access
Convenience store
Dump station
Fly fishing
Hiking
Biking
Pets welcome

Snack bar, Cafe
Pool

Tent:

Campsites: 12
Site features: No hook-ups.  All sites are riverfront. Picnic table.  Water faucets nearby.

Full Hook-Up RV/Trailer Camping:

Campsites: 3
Site features: Water/Sewer/50 amp Electric.  Every site overlooks the river.  Picnic tables.  Plenty of room for slide-outs and large RVs.

Cabin Camping:

Cabins: 1
Site features: Sleeps up to 4.  Deck chairs. No Linens provided.

San Bernardino National Forest – Serrano Campground

Location:

Big Bear, CA 92314

Website

san bernardino map

Situated on the north shore of Big Bear Lake in San Bernardino National Forest, Serrano Family Campground is the perfect destination for families who love spending time in nature and on the water!  Big Bear Lake is only a short walk away from the campground, where you can swim, fish, boat, waterski, and watch the wildlife.

A family favorite is the Big Bear Discovery Center where you can easily spend a half a day or more checking out their exhibits, programs, eco-tours, outdoor concerts, theater productions, and nighttime interpretive programs.

Amenities/Activities Big Bear Lake
Fishing – rainbow trout, large & smallmouth Bass, Blue and Channel Catfish, Carp, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, and Black Crappie.
Hiking
Swimming
Boating
Pets OK
Dump station
Big Bear Discovery Center

Tent/RV/Trailer:

Campsites: 93 Single; 16 Double
Site features: Picnic table, fire ring, restrooms with hot showers and flush toilets nearby.  Max RV length is 55 ft, height 12 ft.

Full Hook-Up RV/Trailer Camping:

Campsites: 29
Site features: Water, sewer, 30 amp electric.  Max RV length is 55ft, height is 12 ft. Picnic table, fire ring, restrooms with hot showers, flush toilets nearby.

Indian Cove Campground (Joshua Tree National Park)

Location: Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

Website

indian cove map

Campsites are located in between towering boulders on a flat, sandy surface in the desert landscape. Rock climbers are drawn to the area because of the steep rock formations and rock climbing routes nearby.  There are plenty of boulders and rocks for amateurs to climb as well. If you aren’t into rock climbing, you’ll still enjoy the incredible landscapes, wild life viewing, and natural tranquility of the desert.

Amenities/Activities Amphitheater
Picnic areas
Pets OK
Rock climbing
Bouldering
Wildlife
Equestrian trail
Cultural sites
Walking trails
Mountain biking trails
Vault toilets
No water

Tent/RV/Trailer:

Campsites: 101
Site features: No hook-ups or drinking water (water & emergency phones located 2 miles away).  Picnic table, fire ring & grate.

Group (Tent Only):

Campsites: 13
Site features: No hook-ups or drinking water (water & emergency phones located 2 miles away) Picnic table, fire ring & grate.
Group Sites can accommodate between 15- 60 people (check website for site specific details).
3 little kids sitting on a beach mat

Lake Hemet Campground

Location:

56570 Highway 74
Mountain Center, CA 92561

Phone: 1-951-659-2680

Website

lake hemet map

Lake Hemet is one of the most popular spots in Southern California for camping and fishing.  With over 600 campsites, glamping tents, and cabins – there is plenty of opportunity to make a reservation.

Families who like waterparks can spend the day at Splashing Eagle Waterpark which features a Giant Action Tower XXL climbing wall, giant water trampoline, inflatable teeter totter, as well as splash zones, swimming areas, and spots to relax

Amenities/Activities Fishing
Picnic areas
Boat ramp
Swimming beach
Playground
Basketball, volleyball grouts
Horseshoes
Dump station
Waterpark

Tent/RV/Trailer:

Campsites: 600+
Features: Picnic table + fire pit.  Some sites just for dry camping, some partial RV hook-up, some full hook-up.  Some for mixed use.  Call for availability of type of site you need.

Glamping Tents:

Tents: 9
Features: Sleeps up to 4 guests.  Two full sized beds. Linens provided.  Lanterns, indoor and outdoor seating, fire pit.  Bathrooms located nearby.  No Pets.

Lakeview Cabins:

Cabins: 10
Features: Sleeps up to 6 guests.  Double bed bunkbeds, double sofa sleeper.  TV w/DVD player.  Mini fridge, microwave, coffee pot. Linens provided.   Bathrooms located nearby.  Pets OK.
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Moro Campground at Crystal Cove State Park

Location:

8471 N Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Website

Park Brochure

moro map

Located in Orange County, Moro Campground is the perfect family destination because it has both extensive beaches as well as hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.  Crystal Cove State Park offers an underwater park popular with snorkelers and scuba divers, miles of beaches and coves perfect for relaxing in the sun or building a sand castle, and ridges and canyons for hikers.

The rangers conduct interpretive programs throughout the year which include guided hikes, tidepool explorations, and geology talks. If you want to step back in time, check out the Crystal Cove Historic District – with 46 vintage rustic coastal cottages originally built as a 1930’s & 40’s seaside colony.

Amenities/Activities Amphitheater
Ranger station
Beach – 3.2 miles
Beach coves
Backcountry trails in 2,400 wilderness acres
Biking
Historic sites
Kayaking
Visitor center
Water sports – surf, snorkel, scuba, paddle
Dump station

Tent/Pop-Up Trailer:

Campsites: 29
Features: No hook-ups.  Picnic table.  Restrooms with showers and flush toilets located nearby.

RV/Trailers:

Campsites: 30
Features: Electric hook-ups. Picnic table.  Restrooms with showers and flush toilets located nearby.

Backcountry Primitive Camping

Campgrounds: 3
Features: 2-3 mile hike in.  Reservations required.  Bring own water.
family sitting outside their RV with an outdoor rug under the RV awning

Hermit Gulch Campground

Location:

Avalon Cyn Rd
Avalon, CA 90704

Phone: 1-877-778-1487

Website

Hermit gulch map

Hermit Gulch Campground is the only campground located within the Avalon city limits on Catalina Island.  It’s only a 30 minute walk/5 minute bus ride to downtown – where you’ll find grocery stores, shops, and restaurants.  A must-see while visiting is Wrigley Botanical Gardens which is only a half mile away.

On the island there are endless activities to partake in such as land and ocean expeditions, golfing, zip lines, and more.  If you want a complete list of activities – check out their activities brochure here.

Unlike most campgrounds, Hermit Gulch charges a per camper fee.  If you don’t have all your camping equipment, you can rent sleeping bags, stoves, and tents at the campground store.  To access the campground, take the ferry 22 miles across the pacific to the city of Avalon.  From the ferry launch, it is a 1.5 mile walk to the campground or you can take a taxi or shuttle.

Amenities/Activities Potable water
Campground office (with rentals of gear, sales of some camping necessities)
Central community firepit
Coin lockers
Restrooms with coin operated showers

Tent:

Campsites: 40
Features: Picnic table & BBQ stand. No wood fires permitted.  Flush toilets and showers ($) nearby.

Tent Cabins:

Cabins: 6 six-person cabins; 3 three-person cabins.
Features: Picnic table & BBQ stand.  Cots, lantern, propane stove w/propane included.

Borrego Palm Canyon Campground (Anza Borrego Desert State Park)

Location:

200 Palm Canyon Drive
Borrego Springs, CA 92004

Phone: 1-760-767-7238

Website

Park Brochure

borrego palm map

If hiking is an activity your family enjoys, check out the Borrego Palm Canyon Campground in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.  The campground is near the access points for several hiking trails including the popular Borrego Palm Canyon Trail (best time to hike this trail is October – May).

Set aside some time to stop by the visitor’s center where you can meet the knowledgeable staff who can suggest hiking routes suitable to your family’s interests and abilities.  You’ll also be able to see the exhibits on Anza Borrego’s natural and cultural history as well as short films on the park.

Amenities/Activities Picnic areas
Biking/Hiking trails
Off-road trails (OHV)
Dump station
Amphitheater
Potable water
Wildlife viewing
Archeological sites

Tent/Trailer/RV:

Campsites: 69
Features: Picnic table, fire ring & grill. Restrooms with flush toilets, potable water, and showers ($) located nearby.

Electric hook-up sites:

Campsites: 51
Features: Electric hook ups.  Picnic table, fire ring & grill. Restrooms with flush toilets, potable water, and showers ($) located nearby.

Group Camping Primitive Sites:

Campsites: 5
Features: For groups only.  Tents only.  Each site can accommodate from 9-25 people, 6 vehicles.  No RVs or trailers.
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Oakzanita Springs RV Campground

brown camping cabin

Location:

11053 CA-79
Descanso, CA 91916

Phone: 1-619-445-2835

Website

oakzanita map

East of San Diego in the Cuyamaca Mountains you’ll find the Oakzanita Springs RV campground.  This is a year-round campground, but you’ll find more activities open during the summer months.  Large rigs up to 36 ft can fit here, but some of the turns are sharp and challenging.  This resort is part of the Thousand Trails group.

20 minute drive away is the Viejas Casino and shopping at an Outlet Center.

Amenities/Activities Clubhouse
WiFi
Nature/hiking trails
Playground
Bocce ball
Biking trails
Mini golf
Swimming pool (seasonal)
Pets OK
Spa/hot tub
Picnic areas
Volleyball/basketball courts
Weekly potlucks
Children’s programs
Kid’s activities
Arts & crafts

Tent/Trailer/RV:

Campsites: 118
Features: Water & 30/50 amp electric.  Max 36 ft.  Picnic Table & Fire ring.
little boy standing on a bright yellow beach mat

Campland on the Bay

crowded beach in San Diego

Location:

2211 Pacific Beach Dr
San Diego, CA 92109

Phone: 1-800-422-9386

Website

campland on the bay map

If you are looking for a resort-style camping experience, you can’t go wrong with Campland on the Bay.  Make no mistake – this is not camping in the traditional sense – visitors are here for the plentiful recreation activities and kids’ activities.  There are kids everywhere – they are racing their bikes around, riding scooters, swimming, running, and playing.  Let your kids loose and they’ll be active from sun up to sun down.

Family activities include swimming, boating, arcades, mini golf, biking and more.  There is nightly live entertainment and organized kids’ activities.  Kids are never bored.

Amenities/Activities Arcade/Game room
BBQ grills
Boat rentals
Club room
Convenience store
Pavillion
Exercise facilities
Fenced pet area
Golf cart rentals
Laundry facilities
Internet access
Marina
Playground
Pools, hot tubs
Restaurant/snack bar
Water skiing
Mini golf
Paddleboats
Biking trails
Fishing
Golfing
Live entertainment
Kids’ activities
Sandy beach

Dry/No-Hook-Ups:

Campsites: 18
Features: Picnic table, fire pit.  Restrooms nearby. Max RV length is 45 ft.

Water & Electric Hook-Ups:

Campsites: 150
Features: Picnic table, fire pit.  Restrooms nearby. Max length RV: 45 ft.

Full Hook-Ups:

Campsites: 411
Features: Picnic table, fire pit.  Restrooms nearby. Max length RV: 45 ft.

Glamping at the SuperSite:

Campsites: 1
Features: Large gated site.  Hot tub, fire pit, outdoor BBQ & sink. Shower, bathroom, and laundry.  Lounge chairs & picnic area.  Located along waterfront overlooking Kendall Frost Wildlife Preserve.

Jennifer Hillberg is the Founder and Creator of Mountain Mat, LLC, the USA’s first 100% recycled polypropylene, reversible outdoor recreation mat.

Jennifer and her family have a passion for travel, hiking, exploring and spending time outdoors.  They’ve camped and hiked throughout the USA as well as Nepal, Greece, and the British Isles.

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