There is no better way to explore beautiful San Diego than by spending time outdoors. I have put together an introduction to some amazing camping spots in San Diego county. From the beach to the mountains, SD has it all. So whether you’re looking for an on-the-beach camping location or you want to get a little bit more into the greenery, we have a spot for you!
So grab your best friends, your s’mores, your favorite hiking shoes and let’s go camping!
1. South Carlsbad State Beach
This spot is the perfect beachfront campground with the most beautiful views! Located in North County San Diego in the city of Carlsbad, the campground sits on top of the bluffs of Carlsbad State Beach and offers direct beach access via stairs. This San Diego beach features camping, swimming, surfing, skin diving, fishing and picnicking, so there is something for everyone. Additionally, they offer traditional tent camping spots, as well as an option to rent an RV or bring your own. Prices start at $35 a night. This spot is a must see for those who love beach camping!
7201 Carlsbad Blvd.
Carlsbad, CA 92008
2. Mission Trails Regional Park- The Kumeyaay Lake Campground
This camping spot is only about eight miles from downtown San Diego, making it a quick easy trip for locals. It is surrounded by hills and valleys with beautiful scenery. This park has some history too, making the experience educational and adventurous. The region was originally the home to the Kumeyaay people and the park is located at the site of their original dam that stored their water. This camp site has about 60 miles of trails throughout it, a couple lakes, and an informative visitor center to learn more about the historical aspects of the park. You can camp on the weekends, bring your boat out onto the lake, go shore fishing, or hike either on your own or led by a guide. Campsites start at $23 a night.
Two Father Junipero Serra Trail
San Diego, CA 92119
3. Lake Jennings Park
Lake Jennings Park is a beautiful place to get away without having to go too far. This camp site is located just 25 miles out of downtown San Diego. The campground offers beautiful scenic views of the outdoors surrounded by the mountains and Lake Jennings. Plus, it is available for your use year round! They offer large sites for bigger parties, as well as tent camping and RV options. Don’t miss out on their activities area offering golf, ping pong, cornhole and so many more fun games. It’s a great way to pass time and bond with your family and friends! Additionally, you can take a dip in the lake to cool off in the summer or visit their bait and tackle shop and get your fishing on. Plus, at night you can cozy up by the fire to make s’mores. All around, this is a great family friendly location for your camping needs!
10108 Bass Road
Lakeside, CA 92040
4. San Elijo State Beach Campground
San Elijo State Beach campground is a beautiful spot for beach camping located right on the San Diego coast. This campground offers camping spots that overlook the water and recreational activities such as swimming, surfing and picnicking. Some amenities they offer include showers, a camp store, and a snack bar overlooking the beach. There is a nearby reef that is very popular with snorkelers and divers. San Elijo campground offers a beautiful view of the ocean, as well as easy access to many local restaurants and stores, making this is a perfect spot for those looking for a more localized camping experience.
2050 S Coast Hwy 101
Cardiff, CA 92007
5. Santee Lake Campground
This campground is the perfect weekend getaway for those of you who live in San Diego. It is located just 20 minutes out of the downtown area offering RV hookup spots, as well as available lakeside “cabin” options. While camping at Santee lake, you are offered exclusive access to areas of the lake that are perfect for fishing. Additionally, there is a swimming pool, an activities clubhouse and 7 playgrounds. You are guaranteed to be able to keep the kiddos busy all weekend! This campground is definitely more resort style, so it is ideal for those looking for a bit more of the “glamping” experience. For those of you with furry friends, this is a great spot, as they allow 3 dogs per campsite!
9310 Fanita Parkway
Santee, CA 92071
6. Campland on the Bay
Are you looking for the ultimate camping experience? Well, look no further, this is the spot for you! This campground offers both RV and tent camping on waterfront spots located right on the shores of Mission Bay. The recreational activities are off the charts at this camping resort, including swimming pools, hot tubs, bicycle rentals, game rooms, skatepark, basketball courts, watercraft rentals…the list goes on and on! There is no question you and the family will have the BEST time here. If you are staying at this campground, they also offer campfires located right on the bay, as well as dining options and occasional live music entertainment (check their website for info on your specific stay time).
2211 Pacific Beach Dr.
San Diego, CA 92109
Looking forward to seeing you all out enjoying the amazing outdoor beauty San Diego provides us!