San Diego Campgrounds

35 Best San Diego Campgrounds Accessible in California

Mar 07, 2024

San Diego's natural splendor makes it an ideal location for car camping, tent camping, RV parks, and cabin rentals. What makes it even more unusual is that you can enjoy the beautiful outdoors without having to travel more than a few minutes from downtown.

Camping in San Diego, whether on a picture-perfect ocean coastline or in the foothills inside city boundaries, can be a very "city" experience.

So, whether you're pitching a tent or hooking up an RV, these are some of the best campgrounds in the city of San Diego you should check out throughout the county.

1. William Heise County Park Campground

William Heise County Park Campground

First, the route leading to the park is full with breathtaking views. The park is set within 900 acres of highland woodlands. There are plenty of deer, bunnies, and wild turkeys to see. Additionally, the park features 11 kilometers of trails.

This is the go-to spot when people visit Julian (a town famed for anything apple). Aside from eating pie (as much as you can), you may tour a mine, walk, sample wine/beer, visit a museum, and shop in Julian.

There is a picnic area, fire pit, playgrounds, restrooms, showers (including a hot tub), swimming pool, a trash station, and a camp host.

2. Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Hilton San Diego Bayfront

The daily mandatory destination charge includes premium internet and a $15 meal and beverage credit to be used in hotel restaurants and bars.

One-hour bicycle or kayak rental, bike locker rental, and transportation to Coronado Island and beach: Press Reader: everyday bottled water.

Our 30-story waterfront hotel is alluring and inspired by marine culture, and the distinctive coastal impact is evident from the moment you arrive.

Our hotel, which is conveniently located next to the San Diego Convention Center, features recently remodeled guest rooms with original San Diego design elements. We are also located across from the Padres' Petco Park and the vibrant Downtown Gaslamp Quarter.

Enjoy breathtaking views of the bay and city, soothing leisure facilities, ample conference space, and one-of-a-kind eating options.

Our rooms include expansive windows that overlook San Diego Bay and the downtown cityscape, making them a pleasant base for your stay. WiFi, comfy Hilton Serenity mattresses, and HDTVs are among the available amenities.

READ ALSO: Big Bear Campgrounds

3. Splitrock Farm and Retreat

Splitrock Farm and Retreat

Splitrock was part of a 160-acre avocado orchard that thrived from 1970 to 2017, producing more than 1 million pounds of avocados year until the previous owners turned off the water in 2017.

Ben bought 101 acres in 2021, intending to cut the dead avocado trees for firewood and replace with organic, sustainable crops like grapes, citrus trees, and flowers.

Splitrock's appeal stems from its distinctive groves, spectacular granite boulders, and panoramic views.

Among the avocado orchards are other historic groves and lone trees, including 200-foot-tall pines, hundreds of old oaks, and towering palms. Thousands of massive granite boulders dot the hillsides, giving the region an ancient air.

Above all, Splitrock provides unmatched views. Over 40 miles of shoreline offer vistas of Point Loma, the Carlsbad power station, and Pendleton Hospital.

To the northeast, there are vistas of the over 11,000-foot snowy peaks of San Jacinto and San Gorgonio, with undulating hills of De Luz and Fallbrook in the foreground.

4. Kumeyaay Lake Campground

Kumeyaay Lake Campground

This is a "secret" camping location near San Diego. The campground is part of Mission Trails Regional Park and has its own reservation webpage.

Because it is not on a state or county reservation site, availability is excellent (including last minute availability).

The campground is peaceful because it is positioned away from traffic and huge urban areas. However, it is close enough to reputable restaurants and markets. You can take it easy if you wish (no need to carry meals or cook).

Amenities include restrooms, showers, camp hosts, a lake, pathways, a campfire center, a fire ring, free wifi, and a picnic table.

5. San Onofre Bluffs Campground

San Onofre Bluffs Campground

This famous campground is part of San Onofre State Beach. If you enjoy surfing, fishing, sunbathing, cycling, kayaking, or birdwatching, you must add this camping on your bucket list.

If you don't enjoy these activities, you can use the campground as a base to explore the many other exciting attractions in the area. This is also a historic region, therefore there are no restrictions on what you may see.

The views from the pathways above the bluffs are truly stunning. Make sure to enjoy the vibrant sunsets while sipping wine in front of a bonfire.

San Onofre Bluffs Campground offers a variety of amenities, including fire pits, restrooms, showers (cold water), sanitation stations, a group campground, and a first aid facility.

READ ALSO: North Georgia Campgrounds

6. San Elijo State Beach Campground

San Elijo State Beach Campground

San Elijo State Beach is located south of Carlsbad in the town of Encinitas. This park has a huge campground as well as a long stretch of beach for pleasure.

Interstate 5 is roughly a mile away from San Elijo State Beach, and the San Diego Botanic Garden is within walking distance.

Whatever time of year you visit San Elijo State Beach, you will be met by scores of sunbathers and swimmers taking use of the area's natural advantages.

Even though this beach appears remote, it is only approximately 25 minutes from downtown San Diego. San Elijo State Beach is an excellent site to use as a home base while exploring the area's various attractions.

7. Sweetwater County Park

Sweetwater County Park

If you choose to bring your horses on your camping excursion, Sweetwater County Park has an ideal spot about 20 minutes from downtown.

The Summit Site, located on a hill overlooking the Sweetwater Valley, has modern campsites, some of which include corrals for equestrians who want to bring their horses and explore the area's miles of trails.

The sites accommodate campers, trailers, RVs, and tents, and all have water and power. Trailers up to 45 feet long will fit comfortably here.

Hot showers are accessible to all campers. The campground is at 3218 Summit Meadow Road near Bonita.

8. Oceanside RV Park

Oceanside RV Park

Oceanside RV Park is located west of Escondido in the town of Oceanside. This RV park is a short walk from Buccaneer Beach and close to all of Oceanside's amenities. RV pads in this park are divided by privacy fences.

If you're looking forward to hitting the beach, Oceanside RV Park is the place to be. This RV park also has a convenience shop on-site for stocking up on necessities. All of San Diego's attractions are a short drive away on Interstate 5.

READ ALSO: Mammoth Campgrounds

9. Santee Lakes Campground

Santee Lakes Campground

Camping at Santee Lakes is like being in your own backyard. 300 full hook-up campsites are tucked in Santee's foothills, about 30 minutes from downtown San Diego.

The chain of small man-made lakes, as well as the recreation preserve, are well-known examples of water reclamation.

The campground, recognized for its convenient day fishing, has swimming pools, playgrounds, boats, and fishing. The campground is located at 9310 Fanita Parkway in Santee.

10. Ramona Oaks RV Resort

Ramona Oaks RV Resort

Ramona Oaks RV Resort is located northwest of Poway, near the town of Ramona. This medium-sized RV park is located near the Cleveland National Forest border. Lake Sutherland is around ten minutes distant, while San Diego is forty minutes to the southwest.

Ramona Oaks RV Resort's most striking feature is the massive red barn in the center of the property.

The barn has been transformed into a clubhouse, and the entire Ramona Oaks RV Resort has just undergone renovations. In addition, each RV spot in the park is surrounded by shade trees.

11. Magical Harrison Serenity Ranch

Magical Harrison Serenity Ranch

For over a thousand years, this property has served as a communal gathering space for Native ceremonies and healing. Feast your eyes on the Matates and the remnants of the people who gathered here so long ago.

In the mid-1800s, a settler named Nate Harrison discovered this to be the right location, and he established a homestead here and had an excellent rich life.

He was the first African American to acquire land in San Diego County, and his farm is still being investigated by archaeology students today.

Sensitive habitat and magic await us within our gates, and we must treat the mountain with the same reverence as we would any sacred location.

12. Woods Valley Kampground & RV Park

Woods Valley Kampground & RV Park

Woods Valley Kampground & RV Park is a secluded campground located east of Vista. This campground is located near Cleveland National Forest and is a short walk from Hellhole Canyon Preserve. Each RV pad at Woods Valley Kampground & RV Park is covered by thick trees.

Woods Valley Kampground & RV Park appears to be in the middle of nothing, although it is only 20 minutes from Escondido.

This RV park is silent at night, but you may explore the neighboring nature trails all day. This RV park is also among the cheapest in the Vista area.

13. Santa Fe Park RV Resort

Santa Fe Park RV Resort

This RV park is medium-sized and easily accessible from Interstate 5. Guests can cool down in the huge guarded pool on site during the summer. The huge number of sites allows you to socialize with many neighbors around the pool.

Santa Fe Park RV Resort offers a variety of amenities to ensure your comfort no matter how long you stay there. The RV pads are big, and you can rent a pull-through pad. This RV park is conveniently located near downtown San Diego.

Off Interstate 5, in picturesque San Diego, you'll find one of Southern California's best RV parks.

Santa Fe Park RV Resort is located in a tranquil and natural location, with a pleasant ambiance and a variety of facilities that keep our guests returning year after year. Santa Fe Park RV Resort is conveniently located near championship golf courses,

Sea World, the world-renowned San Diego Zoo, and miles of beautiful beaches. We provide pet-friendly, full-hookup spots with concrete parking pads, 20 and 30 amp electrical service, a full-size picnic table with barbecue, and satellite TV with HBO.

READ ALSO: North Myrtle Beach RV Campgrounds

14. Fiddler’s Cove Mari & RV Park

Fiddler’s Cove Mari & RV Park

This RV park is reserved for military personnel and their families to camp and enjoy the sun in San Diego. It provides discounted prices to let the troops rest. The park is located on the premises of Val Base Corodo, making it accessible to vy members.

This is the greatest spot to stay in San Diego if you are a member of the military. Veterans and DoD civilian personnel are welcome to stay at Fiddler's Cove Mari & RV Park. Boat rentals are offered for a nominal cost.

15. San Diego Metro KOA

San Diego Metro KOA

My experiences at KOA camping have always been great. This park isn't an exception. It is located in Chula Vista, which is close to all of San Diego's exciting attractions.

That is, if you leave the facility at all. The park's features include a pool, gazebo, playground, kids club, jumping pillows, basketball court, leash-free dog park, bike rentals, showers, restrooms, and laundry.

Additional activities include laser tag, movies under the stars, cooking and decorating, ping-pong, and craft lessons.

16. Mission Bay RV Resort

Mission Bay RV Resort

This big RV park is very near to De Anza Cove Park, allowing you to enjoy the natural landscapes of this picturesque location while you stay.

The RV pads offer views of Mission Bay. There are several grocery stores and eateries within walking distance of Mission Bay RV Resort.

At Mission Bay RV Resort, you can feel the cool breeze of Mission Bay flow through your windows at night. This RV park is kept perfectly clean, and each RV site is well separated from its neighbor.

READ ALSO: Mackinaw City Campgrounds

17. Chula Vista RV Resort

Chula Vista RV Resort

Chula Vista RV Resort is located close on the beach. There is a small park adjacent to the property, and boat access is provided at a port nearby. This location offers activities for the entire family.

When you wake up at Chula Vista RV Resort, you may walk directly into the water. This big RV park has all of the luxuries of home. Every week, live music and contests take place, and children are invited.

18. Admiral Baker RV Campground

Admiral Baker RV Campground

This RV park is a US military campground. Admiral Baker RV Campground, unlike other similar campgrounds, accepts regular civilian reservations. If you are not affiliated with the military, you will have to pay a little higher charge.

Admiral Baker RV Campground is well-managed because it is operated by the United States military.

The amenities are always clean, and the RV park's fees are substantially lower than those found elsewhere in San Diego. Children are welcome on this RV property.

19. Lake Jennings Campground

Lake Jennings Campground

If fishing is an important element of your camping experience, Lake Jennings Campground is great. The campground in Lake Jennings Park offers a range of campsites, including hookups and rustic tent sites. A big group site is also available, with spectacular views of the lake and surrounding area.

The campground is open year-round. Campers in Lake Jennings Park are also close to some of San Diego County's top freshwater fishing spots.

Fishing is permitted from the shore below the campground seven days a week, or by boat during regular operation hours. Fishing permits and licenses are necessary.

20. Bow Willow Campground

Bow Willow Campground

With only 16 campsites, this is a more private retreat in the southern area of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. It is convenient to have picnic tables and ramadas, but keep in mind that there is no running water.

The main attraction is the spectacular stargazing, but the daytime vistas of the vast terrain and mountains are also remarkable.

Park or pitch a tent close against the rocky mountainside to take in the breathtaking views. Spring comes wildflower season, but avoid going in the summer, when it's extremely hot.

21. La Pacifica RV Park

La Pacifica RV Park

This spacious RV park is largely occupied by permanent residents, so you'll rent a spot surrounded by nice neighbors who can tell you about the greatest attractions in the region to explore.

There are shade trees across the grounds. There is a security gate at the complex's main entrance, so you can be confident that your RV will remain safe while you explore San Diego.

La Pacifica RV Park is one of the cheapest RV parks in the San Diego, California area. Guests can use the park's Wi-Fi for free. There is a bus stop right outside the park, making it convenient to travel into San Diego.

READ ALSO: Lake Barkley Campgrounds in Kentucky

22. Silver Strand State Beach

Silver Strand State Beach

Silver Strand State Beach is a nice campground located just outside San Diego. There is a medium-sized RV campground on this government-owned beach with immediate ocean access. All of San Diego's amenities are approximately a 10-minute drive away.

Nothing beats beachfront access. At Silver Strand State Beach, you can jump in the surf whenever you feel like it. Furthermore, no matter which direction you turn in this RV park, you will be greeted with ocean vistas.

23. Surf & Turf RV Park

Surf & Turf RV Park

Surf & Turf RV Park is a great place located to the south of Carlsbad. It is conveniently accessible from Interstate 5, and a horse racing arena is within walking distance.

The beautiful sandy beach is close, and the San Diego County Fair takes place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds just down the street.

Surf & Turf RV Park is in an ideal location. Full hookups are not available, although a sewer truck travels through the park three times each week. Whole Foods and Denny's are within walking distance, and this RV park has reasonable rates.

24. Rancho Los Coches RV Park

Rancho Los Coches RV Park

Rancho Los Coches RV Park lies south of Poway in the community of Lakeside. It is one of the most elegant RV parks in Poway, and it is relatively spacious. Rancho Los Coches RV Park is adjacent to Interstate 8 and has a nearby Italian restaurant.

Rancho Los Coches RV Park offers tons of amenities. It is next to Flinn County Community Park and features a huge pool. To top it off, the RV park is only around 20 minutes from San Diego.

25. Palomar Mountain State Park Campground

Palomar Mountain State Park Campground

Are you looking to camp while avoiding the summer heat? Palomar Mountain is located in Cleveland National Forest and has an average elevation of 5,000 feet. Temperatures are 20 to 25 degrees lower here than on the seaside. Furthermore, it is a crowd-free zone.

I recommend entering the area via CA-76 to see the Mission San Luis Rey and the Pala Asistencia.

Once in the park, you can climb, fish at the Doane Pond, drive to the Boucher Lookout Tower, and visit the Palomar Observatory (which is fantastic!).

Restrooms, showers, water, and a camp host are among the campground amenities.

26. Thousand Trails Pio Pico

Thousand Trails Pio Pico

Pio Pico RV Resort & Campground is situated east of Chula Vista, near the town of Delzura. This RV park is adjacent to the Otay County Open Space Reserve and is a short walk from Lower Otay Lake. Thousand Trails operates the Pio Pico RV Resort & Campground, which is relatively large.

Pio Pico RV facility & Campground is a Thousand Trails facility, so you can expect outstanding service.

This RV park feels like it's in the middle of nowhere, although it's only 20 minutes from Chula Vista. Sunsets over San Diego Bay are magnificent.

READ ALSO: South Haven Campgrounds

27. Oak Creek RV Resort

Oak Creek RV Resort

Oak Creek RV Resort is a great campground located southeast of Escondido on Interstate 8. This RV park is reasonably close to San Diego and only around 10 miles from El Cajon Reservoir.

Tall, mature palm trees dot the park, and each RV pad offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

If you want to be as close as possible to all of San Diego's attractions, Oak Creek RV Resort is the place to stay.

The weather at this RV park is wonderful all year, and you may enjoy staring at the mountains while relaxing in the pool. Lake Cuyamaca is a short distance away for a refreshing swim. If you desire to have that great experience, then you have to visit with your whole family.

28. Carlsbad State Beach Campgrounds

Carlsbad State Beach Campgrounds

South Carlsbad State Beach is a lengthy stretch of beach in Carlsbad, California. This beach not only provides an excellent swimming site, but it also has a large campground. This campground has minimal hookups and is located near Interstate 5.

You'll enjoy camping directly on the beach. The sound of the crashing surf will put you to sleep. Benihana and Ralphs are conveniently located across the street.

29. Flying Cloud Airstream Adventure

Flying Cloud Airstream Adventure

This remarkable location is everything but ordinary. If you're eager to experience a one-of-a-kind vacation, look no further!

This famous 2021 Flying Cloud Airstream is nestled off I5 in the gated Santa Fe resort area, where local activities, attractions, hiking and bike trails await!

The Flying Cloud offers a fully equipped space that prioritizes comfort and functionality! In coastal sunny San Diego, California, encounters and adventures fill your days with limitless possibilities! Luxury in one!

30. Paradise Point Resort & Spa

Paradise Point Resort & Spa

Paradise Point Resort & Spa, is a beautiful place located on peaceful Mission Bay in the center of San Diego, offers comfortable bungalow-style suites surrounded by lush tropical gardens, tranquil lagoons, and a mile of sandy beach.

You'll have plenty of room to explore and relax on our 44-acre island, which includes five swimming pools, beach bonfire pits, a marina, five dining outlets, an award-winning spa, and limitless recreation opportunities.

31. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Sleep 5,000 feet above sea level in an oak forest surrounded by verdant meadows and gushing creeks in this mountain park 15 miles northeast of Alpine.

There are several decent hiking trails that exit directly from the Paso Picacho campground, and neighboring Lake Cuyamaca offers fishing and boating.

Campsites include fire rings, flush toilets, and paid showers; however, if you do not have a tent, you can reserve one of the park's cottages. The 12' x 12' cabins have full-size bunk beds, a wood stove, picnic table, barbecue, and fire ring.

READ ALSO: Osakis Campgrounds and RV Parks

32. Idyllwild Park

Idyllwild Park

The campground at Idyllwild Park is within walking distance of the beautiful mountain town, allowing you to camp at night and explore its stores and restaurants during the day.

The town is popular among tourists, but it is not as crowded as Julian on weekends. Mile High Cafe is a popular carbo-loading site before exploring the nearby hiking routes, which include the hard Mount San Jacinto and the simpler Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail.

If you're traveling from San Diego, make sure to wait a day or two before doing these high-altitude hikes, or you'll be out of breath more frequently.

33. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Campground

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Campground

This mountain park contains two campgrounds, Paso Picacho and Green Valley. Two of the park's most notorious trails, Cuyamaca Peak and Stonewall Peak, begin from the Paso Picacho campground.

A creek runs through the Green Valley Campground, making it ideal for visitors looking to cool off on hot days.

Cuyamaca Lake is located a few miles from the park. The California Wolf Center and Julian, the apple pie center of Southern California, are also nearby.

The campground features restrooms, showers, a campfire area, and picnic tables. Group and horse camping can also be reserved.

READ ALSO: Washington County Campgrounds

34. Anza Borrego Desert State Park Campground

Anza Borrego Desert State Park Campground

This massive park (California's largest state park) includes mountains, canyons, dry lakes, badlands, palm groves, and flower fields (spring).

You should investigate attractions before visiting or ask the rangers stationed at the tourist center. A single day or weekend will not allow you to see everything the park has to offer.

Camping options include various dispersed campgrounds (no facilities) that cater to hikers and motorcyclists. Borrego Palm Canyon and Tamarisk Grove are examples of developed campgrounds.

These campgrounds have drinking water, bathrooms, token-operated showers, picnic tables, and a campground host.

35. Guajome Regional Park

Guajome Regional Park

California State Parks operate all of the campgrounds mentioned above. San Diego County manages this campground.

This is my go-to location when I can't find a camper on the beach because it's only 9 miles from the coast and has easy access to Oceanside and Carlsbad.

The park's trees, lake, and ponds provide a tranquil scene. A variety of bird species are drawn to grasslands and sources of water. Additionally, fishing and fish feeding are permitted.

The amenities include restrooms, a basketball court, a dump station, a workout center, a pavilion, picnic tables, playgrounds, coin-operated showers, soccer fields, and pathways.

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