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Golden sand, crashing waves, and towering bluffs await on your next RV camping getaway to South Carlsbad State Beach. An oceanfront campground means you can live the SoCal dream and sleep just steps from the sand. Spend sun-drenched days on the local beach or venture further afield to discover laid-back surf towns, pristine nature preserves, and historic missions. You're also within striking distance of big-ticket attractions like Legoland California Resort and San Diego Zoo.
Book an RV in San Diego County and you can camp by the ocean at South Carlsbad State Beach, or check out nearby stretches of sand like Oceanside, Encinitas, and San Clemente. At just 40 minutes from the county seat, South Carlsbad State Beach is popular with urbanites wanting to camp in an RV near San Diego. You're also less than two hours from Los Angeles, another popular hub to pick up an RV rental and kick off a West Coast road trip.
The beach is the main draw at South Carlsbad, stretching for almost five miles along the Pacific Coast. Spend the day basking on the sand or take a stroll and peer into tide pools filled with colorful sea stars and anemones. For a glimpse of the underwater ecosystem, bring a snorkel set or scuba gear.
Southern California is one of the world's premier surf destinations, so why not rent a board and test your skills? To the south of the campground, the Ponto Day-Use Area is a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch and watch the waves roll in. As well as surfers, you could spot dolphins, sea lions, and whales splashing offshore. The whale watching is best in the winter, when hundreds of grey whales migrate up the coast from warm calving lagoons in Mexico to bountiful Arctic summer feeding grounds.
Kids love taking part in the Junior Ranger Program offered at more than 70 California state parks, including South Carlsbad. Pick up a logbook and badge, then encourage your little campers to earn stamps, track wildlife, hike family-friendly trails, and, most importantly, make new friends. Check the entrance station for updates on guided nature walks and campfire programs.
RV camping at South Carlsbad State Beach means you can fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves and wake up to fresh Pacific Ocean breezes. Choose from more than 220 sites, with around one third set on the edge of the bluffs and commanding stunning ocean views. Inland sites are a great option if you prefer more shelter from the wind. Coastal shrubs dot the sites and offer plenty of privacy from your neighbors. Well-marked trails and staircases wind down the bluffs to the beach and make it easy to access the sand. After dark, return to your RV rental site to roast hot dogs and s'mores around the fire pit.
You'll enjoy full hookups as well as water stations throughout the campground. Like most California state park RV campgrounds, South Carlsbad offers modern bathrooms with flush toilets and showers. There's also a pair of dump stations for RV rentals. You're welcome to use a generator; just be sure to respect the campground's quiet times. The South Carlsbad State Beach Campground is pet-friendly, so feel free to bring along Fido.
Thanks to the warm, temperate climate, peak season runs from March to November, when you're allowed to stay for a maximum of seven consecutive nights. From December to February, motorhome camping stays of up to 14 nights are allowed. If you're traveling with a larger party, consider booking the Pelican Point group campsite, which can host up to 40 people and two on-site vehicles or RVs.
RV camping at South Carlsbad State Beach makes it easy to discover San Diego County. Legoland California Resort is one of the area's signature attractions, luring families with colorful rides and entertainment. From March to May, nature lovers, photographers, and wedding parties descend on Carlsbad Ranch Flower Field, where you can wander around 50 acres of rainbow-colored ranunculus blooms.
Sandwiched between Carlsbad and Encinitas, Batiquitos Lagoon is one of California's last remaining tidal wetlands. It's a great place to spot birds such as snowy egrets, great herons, and endangered plovers, as well as admire prickly pear cacti, eucalyptus, coastal sage, and other unique flora. Carlsbad Village is a great place to browse boutique shops, check out trendy cafes, and admire the lavish Queen Anne-style hotel built by local businessman John Frazier in the 1880s. You'll also find a good selection of gas stations and grocery stores. For more choice, head 20 minutes south to Encinitas, another great place to rent an RV near South Carlsbad State Beach.