California State Parks offer a total of 64 state beach facilities up and down the beautiful California coastline. Many of California’s state beaches provide camping facilities and they all offer gorgeous coastal views and a wide range of activities that are sure to please everyone in your family.
Sonoma Coast State Beach is located in the northern coastal region of California. Visitors to Sonoma Coast can enjoy hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding along the scenic trails and craggy beaches. While the strong surfs and rip currents of California’s northern beaches are not safe for swimmers, they provide great opportunities for surfing. Wildlife, including harbor seals and the endangered snowy plover, can be spotted throughout the park and fishing is bountiful all along the 17 miles of beaches.
Sonoma Coast offers two developed family campgrounds as well as two environmental camps. Bodega Dunes features 98 campsites and hot showers. A sandy beach with a handicap accessible boardwalk is located near the campground and summer programs are available for children. Wright’s Beach offers 27 campsites along the beach with picnic tables, fire pits, and paved parking. Wright’s Beach campers can use the nearby showers at Bodega Dunes.
In the San Francisco Bay area of California, Half Moon Bay State Beach lets campers experience the moderate temperatures and gorgeous sandy beaches of the San Francisco Bay through hiking, fishing, or picnicking. The four miles of vast beaches at Half Moon Bay includes four beaches, a three mile trail for walking, jogging, and biking, and a horse trail. Francis Beach offers a 52 site campground for tents and campers, as well as coin operated hot showers. The water in the San Francisco Bay stays too cold for swimming year round, but fishing in the park is abundant.
California’s central coast boasts a wide variety of state beaches, offering many different activities and venues. From hang gliding to bird watching, the central coast has a little of everything. El Capitan State Beach is located just outside of Santa Barbara and offers shady picnicking and camping beside the El Capitan Creek. Hiking, bicycling, surfing, and fishing can be enjoyed in the park. One bike trail connects the park to nearby Refugio State Beach, only 2.5 miles away. Visitors to Refugio can also enjoy camping, hiking, biking, and fishing.
Los Angeles County has several state beaches with picnicking facilities and hiking trails. While most of these state beaches do not provide camping facilities, they are perfect for day trips. Visitors to Malibu Lagoon can enjoy historic and cultural exhibits, as well as bird watching and guided nature tours, including watching the gray whale. Santa Monica State Beach is a beautiful beach that offers shopping as well as activities like volleyball, basketball, and jogging. Many of LA County’s beaches also provide wireless internet services. When visiting, carry along a cooler, like one of Coleman’s wheeled coolers, to keep your lunch fresh and your drinks cool.
Orange and San Diego Counties have some of California’s best beaches for swimming and surfing. The balmy, Mediterranean temperatures make the beaches great vacation destinations year round. San Clemente State Beach is a beautiful, sandy beach that stretches one mile down Orange County’s coast. The campground at San Clemente features 157 sites, 72 including hook-ups. Visitors can enjoy nature trails, as well as natural and cultural exhibits and events. The beach is popular for picnics, swimming, and surfing, and the park has an available wi-fi connection.