Set on the Santa Barbara Channel, Emma Wood State Beach lures sunseekers with golden sand, rolling waves, and stunning views of the Channel Islands. Spend the day soaking up the Golden State sunshine or throw on your hiking boots and hit one of the coastal trails. Dolphins splashing offshore and great blue herons soaring overhead add to the postcard-perfect atmosphere.
Planning a spell in Southern California? Rent a camper in Ventura County and you can stay the night at Emma Wood State Beach, as well as other local gems like Crystal Cove, Leo Carillo, Thornhill Broome, and Point Mugu. The City of Angels is an hour and a half away, which makes Emma Wood State Beach a great place to camp in an RV near Los Angeles.
The long stretch of sand is the main draw at Emma Wood State Beach. Mild temperatures throughout the year make it a favorite with summer sunseekers, as well as vacationers visiting in fall, winter and spring. Cast a line from the beach and you could reel in perch, bass, cabezon, and corbina – perfect for a fish fry back at your RV rental.
Rolling waves make Emma Wood State Beach a favorite with local surfers. J-Bowls, the righthand beach break at the northern end of the beach is a great option for beginners. The Ventura Overhead reef break lures experienced surfers and is one of the best waves in Ventura County. Bring your own board or rent gear from one of the surf shops in Ventura.
At the southeast end of the park, the Ventura River estuary is a haven for songbirds and great blue herons. If you're lucky, you could also spot dolphins. The Ocean's Edge Trail starts at the mouth of the river and passes through an abandoned railway tunnel. Along the way, informative signs offer information on local flora and fauna. History buffs will jump at the chance to visit the ruins of a World War II coastal artillery site.
Camping at Emma Wood State Beach
The family-friendly campground at Emma Wood State Beach offers a unique chance to sleep by the Pacific Ocean. Ninety campsites cater exclusively to fully self-contained vehicles, which means you'll need to provide your own electricity, water, and restrooms. This makes Emma Wood a great option for motorhome campers in search of a primitive, off-the-grid experience. Most sites feature makeshift campfire circle built with rocks, so don't forget your hot dogs and s'mores ingredients.
Small turnaround areas mean there's a maximum vehicle length of 40 feet. Pets are welcome; just be sure to keep your dog leashed and off the beach. If you're planning a group getaway, consider reserving sites at the nearby Ventura River Group Camp. Reservations are available during the busy summer season, with a first-come, first-served policy for the rest of the year.
Prefer a more built-up motorhome camping experience? In nearby Foster Park, you'll find serviced RV sites. You can also try Ventura Beach RV Resort, Ventura Oaks RV Park, Evergreen RV Park, and Ocean Mesa at El Capitan for full-hookup sites. Alternatively, head 15 miles south to McGrath State Beach for access to a dump station and potable water.
Exploring the Area
Ventura, a laid-back coastal city set just off Highway 101, is your closest major urban hub when camping at Emma Wood State Beach. Stop by for gas and groceries, or stay a while and stroll along the historic pier, pick up organic produce at the city's farmers' market, and browse a treasure trove of antique stores, art galleries, and cozy cafes. A handful of breweries and wine tasting rooms make Ventura a great stop for R&R.
Ventura is also a jumping point for boat trips to Channel Islands National Park. Anacapa is the park's signature island, set 11 miles off the mainland. Well-marked hiking trails take you to scenic lookouts and a historic lighthouse. Anacapa is also home to the largest breeding colony of western gulls in the world. On Santa Cruz Island, guided kayaking tours take you to hidden sea caves. Watch for sea lions basking on the rocks and playing in the kelp forests.
A 30-minute drive up the coast, Santa Barbara is another popular hub to rent a camper near Emma Wood State Beach. Check out the beautiful Old Mission Santa Barbara or entertain the kids with family-friendly attractions like the MOXI science museum, Santa Barbara Zoo, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center. For a dose of freshwater, head 20 minutes inland to the Lake Casitas Recreation Area, where you can swim, sunbathe, or launch a kayak.
Emma Wood State Beach, CA is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Emma Wood State Beach. Outdoorsy's Emma Wood State Beach RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.