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California boasts hundreds of miles of beautiful sandy coastline, so it is no surprise that there are plenty of surfing opportunities. The challenge is finding a good place to camp, while spending a few days riding the waves. Here are the best west coast surfing spots with quality camping facilities.

Pismo State Beach
Pismo Coast Village RV Resort

Pismo Coast Village RV Resort

Anyone who remembers Bugs Bunny recalls his frequent references to Pismo Beach. In reality, Pismo State Beach is a beautiful oasis with affordable camping right near the surf. Not too close though because this is the only beach in the state that allows four-wheeling. With RV or tent availability, it is a top spot to visit for longboard surfing, especially in the fall or winter. Stroll down Pismo Pier for a beautiful view of the central coast shore. Also nearby are Avila Beach and Shell Beach.

Anchor Bay
Anchor Bay Campground

Anchor Bay Campground

Further north provides a challenge for even the most daring surfer at Anchor Bay. The often unpredictable rough surf attracts wild eyed surfers who relish the chance to conquer the big waves. This is also a popular diving location. Beachfront camping with two sites available will make staying there a pleasure. Get a spot on the sand with your tent or in the midst of majestic redwood trees in your RV for around $45 a night. It is sometimes cold and foggy up there in Mendocino County so don’t forget the blankets and a flashlight.

Manresa State Beach
Tent-only campsites at Manresa State Beach

Tent-only campsites at Manresa State Beach

If you’re near Santa Cruz and feeling groovy, stay at Manresa State Beach which became famous in the sixties when the hippies used to hang out there. Now a more family oriented atmosphere, it is still peaceful and relaxing with beautiful golden sunsets and sparkling waves for short board surfing. Manresa Uplands has available tent sites and although RVs are not permitted, nearby Sunset Beach has sites for smaller RVs at $35 a night.

San Elijo Beach
Camp Shred at San Elijo Campground

Camp Shred at San Elijo Campground

If you are travelling in the autumn, visit stunning San Elijo Beach near San Elijo State Park just off the Pacific Coast Highway. You can’t miss the park if you look for the statue known as “The Cardiff Kook” which adorns its entrance. The best long-board surfing conditions here are usually mid-morning or late afternoon. Beachfront sites are around $50 a night.

San Onofre State Beach
Eco-Friendly Canyon Park at San Onofre State Beach

Eco-Friendly Canyon Park at San Onofre State Beach

Finally, one of the most frequented summer surf spots on the west coast is San Onofre State Beach near San Clemente. This site brings in both novice and experienced surfers, creating a friendly and supportive atmosphere. Tents and RVs are allowed with rates between $35 and $60.


These are five of the best west coast places to camp and surf. What are you waiting for? Surfs Up!