Refugio State Beach State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Featuring palm trees swaying in the ocean breeze, protected cove waters, and warm sandy beaches, Refugio State Beach State Park is the perfect RV holiday destination. Located 20 miles west of Santa Barbara on Highway 101 at Refugio Road, California, this state offers excellent coastal fishing opportunities for RV campers and provides breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. On clear days, Refugio State Beach State Park campers and visitors enjoy matchless views of four offshore islands— San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, and Anacapa—as they stroll the beach’s craggy coastal bluffs.

Amenities and facilities available at Refugio State Beach State Park include RV premium and standard campsites, group camps, restrooms with flush toilets, picnic tables, fire rings with grills, store, amphitheater, showers, and a store. Activities to enjoy at the park include boating, hiking, biking, fishing, bird viewing, wildlife viewing, swimming, kayaking, geocaching, windsurfing, scuba diving, and picnicking.

At Refugio State Beach State Park, fan and date palms decorate a crescent-shaped curve of sand, making the park’s beach a quiet place to build sand castles, surf, dive, stroll the trails, watch wildlife, pitch a tent, and cast a fishing pole. From the hills above the beach, Refugio Creek makes its way to the ocean. The Santa Ynez Mountains, part of Los Padres National Forest, dominate the scenery.

RV Rentals in Refugio State Beach State Park

Transportation in Refugio State Beach State Park

Driving

Refugio State Beach State Park is located 20 miles west of Santa Barbara on Highway 101 at Refugio Road, California, and is hence is an easily accessible park for RVs, trailers, and other motorized vehicles. Local paved roads within the park connect the different areas in the park. The maximum speed limit in the park is 15 miles per hour.

Parking

There are three parking lots for RVs and trailers in Refugio State Beach State Park. You’ll find these parking lots in the Day Use Areas in the park. Overnight parking is available for RV campers in the park. Vehicles may only be parked in assigned campsites and must remain on the pavement without extending into the roadway beyond the campsite number or limit line. Three vehicles maximum are allowed per campsite. Trailers must be backed into the campsite parking space. RVs may be pulled forward or backed in to campsites.

Public Transport

There are no public transportation facilities available at Refugio State Beach State Park.

Campgrounds and parking in Refugio State Beach State Park

Campsites in Refugio State Beach State Park

Reservations camping

Refugio State Beach Campground

Refugio State Beach Campground features 66 pet-friendly campsites available for RVs, trailers and tents. Nine of the campsites are designated as premium campsites while the rest are standard campsites. Five campsites in the campground are ADA accessible. There are no RV hookups available in the campground. Restrooms with flush toilets, picnic tables, fire rings with grills, store, amphitheater, and showers are available in the campground. Quiet Hours extend from 10 PM to 6 AM. Generators may only be operated from 10 AM to 8 PM. Voices, radios, and other sound-producing devices must not be audible beyond your immediate campsite at any time of day or night. All campers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian past 8:30 PM. Fires are allowed only in established fire rings or camp stoves.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Refugio State Beach State Park

In-Season

Hiking/Biking

A three-mile hiking and biking trail (Ansio Trail) is available at Refugio State Beach State Park where RV campers enjoy the amazing view of the Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands. This trail connects to the nearby El Capitan Beach. The trail has fairly level sections, and parts of it may be usable, and challenging, for strong wheelchair users.

In Refugio State Beach State Park, bicycles are allowed on roadways only. RV campers and visitors under 18 years of age are required to wear a safety helmet for bicycling, skateboarding, and scooter riding in the park.

Fishing

Refugio State Beach State Park offers RV campers amazing fishing experiences on the Refugio State Beach. Fish species that campers catch at the park include Barred Surfperch, Black & Yellow Rockfish, Bocaccio Rockfish, Grass Rockfish, Kelp Rockfish, Pacific Mackerel, Pacific Sanddab, and Vermillion Rockfish. What’s more, fishing baits and tackles are available at the Refugio Beach Store to further enhance the fishing experience of anglers and campers at the park.

Birding/Wildlife Viewing

Beautiful bird species are present at Refugio State Beach State Park and RV campers and bird lovers enjoy the sight of these birds in the park. Example of these bird species include yellow-rumped warblers, black phoebes, and acorn woodpeckers. Birds found among isolated patches of coastal sage scrub in the park include the bushtit, California towhee, and wrentit. Water birds spotted in Refugio State Beach State Park include willets, marbled godwits, whimbrels, killdeer, and occasionally, long-billed curlews feed on the shoreline. The lagoon is home to mallards, coots, blackcrowned night herons, and various gulls and terns. Coast sunflowers lure ceanothus silk moths.

Abundant rodents in the park include the deer mouse and California pocket mouse. Other mammals include California voles and Audubon’s cottontails.

Off-Season

Picnicking

Within Refugio State Beach State Park, four accessible picnic areas are available in the day-use area for RV campers to enjoy meals with family and/or friends. These picnic areas are equipped with picnic tables and facilities to make the outdoor experience memorable. Parking, route, and restrooms within the day-use area are accessible. Along the accessible route are a refurbished basketball court and the Refugio Beach Store, which sells camping supplies, souvenirs, ice, beverages, groceries.

Swimming/Kayaking

Refugio State Beach State Park is a great destination for swimming and kayaking. The beach in the park offers wonderful swimming and kayaking experiences for RV campers. A Lifeguard Tower is available by the beach and lifeguards are on duty all year round. Furthermore, kayak rentals are available in the Refugio Beach Store.

Windsurfing/Scuba diving

RV campers enjoy windsurfing and scuba diving on the Refugio State Beach and get accessories to enhance their windsurfing and scuba diving experiences from the Refugio Beach Store in the park. Thanks to the smooth and shallow depths of the beach, it is a preferred location for students seeking their open-water scuba diving certification.

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