Top 10 Campgrounds and RV Parks Pacific Coast Highway

Have you been California dreaming lately? We have too.

California is home to iconic cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco as well as dramatic coastline and world-class beaches like Big Sur and Laguna Beach. You’ve even got the sky-high, historic Redwood National Forest or the endless desert of Death Valley.

The Golden State truly has it all, and what’s more, all of these attractions are conveniently lined up along one of the country’s most beloved and wondrous highways: the Pacific Coast Highway. There’s no better way to squeeze in this beautiful state’s widely varying sights than road tripping down the Pacific Coast Highway with an RV rental in California.

Traveling in an RV makes your trip affordable and flexible, and it allows you to get off the beaten path, which is where the magic really happens in California. With RV Parks conveniently located in city centers and hidden gem campgrounds nestled in front of some of the nation’s most stunning beaches, finding a great place to park it for the night is easy along the Pacific Coast Highway.

But if you’re looking for some extra special, uniquely scenic, once-in-a-lifetime places to stay, here are the top 10 RV parks and campgrounds on the Pacific Coast Highway.

Manchester Beach KOA KOA Logo

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California’s Mendocino Coast is one of the Pacific Coast Highway’s greatest hidden treasures, and Manchester Beach KOA is located right on the coast of Manchester, Califonia, along a marine tural preserve. A short access trail from the campground leads directly to miles of sandy coastline. If you’re driving along the northern portion of the Pacific Coast Highway, this campground is a must see stop.

Why You’ll Love Manchester Beach KOA

While staying at Manchester Beach KOA, you have a huge diversity of California’s tural treasures at your doorstep. Aside from the breathtaking coastline and walkable beaches right on the property, you’ve also got places for tide pooling and abalone diving, two historic lighthouses, good fishing, fantastic local wineries, and the incredible redwoods, which are a required attraction for visitors to northern California. You’re also right by the village of Mendocino, which includes great restaurants, an art center, and cute local shops. This campground has won both the 2017 Founder’s Award, presented to parks with world class service, and the President’s Award, presented to parks of the highest quality.

Ocean Mesa Campground at El Capitan

This campground is located in sunny Santa Barbara, a southern California city famed for its nightlife and beautiful beaches. At Ocean Mesa Campground, you have vistas of the sea, large private lots, and even family movie nights on their big screen in the park. You’re just a short drive down the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway from the center of Santa Barbara as well, though you might not want to leave. El Capitan Canyon, a luxury campground, is right next door, and they offer a huge general store as well as an on-site spa.

Why You’ll Love Ocean Mesa Campground at El Capitan

Why you’ll love Ocean Mesa Campground California RV park reviews call it the “Hilton Hotel of RV parks” for a reason. This is definitely one of the nicest California campgrounds out there. You can reserve ocean view lots that overlook the magnificent El Capitan State Beach, spend the day relaxing in their on-site spa, or even hold a meeting in their “Adventure Yurt”. Their El Capitan Beach Store has everything you need for a day of recreation and cooking out, and they often plan evening activities that are fun for the whole family.

Jumbo Rocks Campground

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Why You’ll Love Jumbo Rocks Campground

This is a true desert wilderness experience. If you want an unforgettable vacation, you’ll find it here. What this campground lacks in facilities, it makes up for in authenticity. During bonfires in the evenings, you will feel like it’s nothing but you and the infinite desert. The incredible starry nights are a sight to take in as well. The campground offers direct access to Skull Rock Trail and a number of great climbing areas, including Con’s Corridor, Sky King Rock, New Sage Rock, and Zebra Cliffs. It’s important to note that there is no drinking water available at this campground, so you must bring your own.

Kirk Creek Campground

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Kirk Creek Campground

California is one of the best beach destinations in the world, and nothing says oceanside paradise for an RV traveler like Kirk Creek Campground. It’s deep in the Los Padres National Forest on the Pacific Coast Highway, just south of the San Francisco Bay Area. Because of its elevated position, there are panoramic ocean vistas all throughout the grounds.

Why You’ll Love Kirk Creek Campground

This campground offers some of the most truly marvelous views in all of California. It’s perched on a seaside cliff above the grandiose Big Sur, offering views of the best part of Central California’s rugged, dramatic coastline. Trails throughout the grounds lead to even more breath taking, serene scenery. Kirk Creek Campground is an ideal stop for any photographers in the family.

Leo Carrillo State Park

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Located right on the Pacific Coast Highway just 28 miles north of Santa Monica in the Santa Monica Mountains, this state park is perfectly situated for exploring all that southern California has to offer. You’ve got serene, remote coastline right at your doorstep, but you’re just a short drive from the more populated, lively beaches of Santa Monica and Venice. It’s also easy to hop down to other parts of Los Angeles for some city exploring. The park is also just down the road from the magnificent beaches of Malibu, although the park itself offers equally stunning scenery.

Why You’ll Love Leo Carrillo State Park

This state park and campground is an outdoor recreation lover’s dream. From windsurfing to scuba diving to fishing, the options could easily fill a week’s vacation. There are many fascinating coastal cave systems in the area to be explored, tide pools and reefs that can be seen while scuba diving or snorkeling, and great waves for surfers in the family. You’re also just down the road from the dramatic vistas and adorable shops of Malibu, and an easy drive into the greater Los Angeles area.

Anaheim RV Park

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What’s a trip down the Pacific Coast Highway without a stop at Disneyland? One of the top-rated of all California RV park reviews, Anaheim RV Park is within walking distance of Disneyland and an ideal place to stay if you’re visiting the country’s most cherished theme park. They even offer free coffee and a newspaper in the morning! Wake up, enjoy a cup of joe, and enjoy a nice walk over to Disneyland with your family. Or, even better, take their free shuttle!

Why You’ll Love Anaheim RV Park

When you plan a trip to Disneyland, you want to make the most out of your time in the park. And after walking around in the sun all day, you want to come back and relax. The convenience, location, and plush amenities offered at Anaheim RV Park simply can’t be topped for visitors to California’s theme parks.

Durango RV Resort

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Durango RV Resort is conveniently located off of the highway along the Sacramento River. The facilities here are top-notch and the area is full of activities all year round. You’ll find Shasta National Forest, northern California wineries, and world-class golfing all within short driving distance.

Why You’ll Love Durango RV Resort

Durango RV Resort is the perfect example of what RV camping in California should look like. They have everything an RV traveler could need, from extensive amenities, riverside campsites with sunset views, extensive recreational areas, quick check-in, and friendly staff. The facilities are impeccably clean and up-to-date. While it isn’t the cheapest RV park in California, what you get for the price is a great deal.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

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Big Basin Redwoods State Park is California’s very first state park, founded way back in 1902. Located deep in the magnificent redwoods of northern California, amidst of some of the tallest trees in the country, there is plenty of nature to be had right at your doorstep. You can follow countless trails both long and short from the campgrounds.

Why You’ll Love Big Basin Redwoods State Park

This is one of the country’s most astounding natural sights. The park contains trees taller than the Statue of Liberty, predating the Roman Empire. The Big Basin Redwoods State Park Campgrounds give you the chance to sleep surrounded by these giants.

Malibu Beach RV Park

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Few places in California are more iconic than Malibu. Malibu Beach RV Park will have you swooning over the ritzy, glamorous beach town as well with its sweeping cliffside ocean views and mountain panoramas. The park is right outside of the town center of Malibu and within walking distance of the beach. It’s not a bad jumping off point for exploring Los Angeles with your RV rental if you want to stay outside of the hustle and bustle of the city.

Why You’ll Love Malibu Beach RV Park

Splurge on an ocean view campsite, and you’ll be treated to some of the best views you’re likely to see on your trip. From here, you’ll be able to see both fantastic sunrises and sunsets. Not to mention you’ve got one of the area’s best beaches right at your front door! The facilities are well-maintained, and California park reviews are positive.

Chula Vista RV Resort

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If you’re planning to head down south to sunny San Diego, Chula Vista RV Resort is the place to be. It’s located both in the heart of San Diego’s Chula Vista neighborhood and right on the San Diego Bay. This makes it easy to enjoy the beach and the amenities and attractions of San Diego without having to be right in the city center. California RV park reviews have called it “the best RV park in California”.

Why You’ll Love Chula Vista RV Resort

Why you’ll love Chula Vista RV Resort This is a great place to relax and socialize. The staff is incredibly friendly and the facilities are spotless. Between the acres upon acres of beautiful park land, recreational activities, beaches, a waterfront restaurant, and even an on-site tiki bar, you could easily spend your whole vacation within this park. At the same time, you’re conveniently located to many of San Diego’s biggest attractions. You can easily spend one day walking along the beach and enjoying the pool at the RV park and the next day sightseeing in the heart of San Diego, visiting the San Diego Zoo, or checking out some of the city’s wild nightlife. There’s something here for everyone.

In Summary

 

There is no shortage of fantastic California campgrounds and RV parks. The vast state is known for its widely varying landscapes ripe for exploration. Whether it’s the ocean views of Big Sur or sky-high Redwood forests you’re after, you can find it on this list. Some of these parks, like the Chula Vista RV Resort or the Ocean Mesa Campground are more expensive, but they’ve got amenities and views that rival some of the best hotel chains. Others, such as the Lodgepole Campground or the Jumbo Rocks Campground, are very low-budget but also offer minimal amenities. That being said, they do offer the chance to immerse yourself in the surrounding nature.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, go rock climbing, or hit up a big city, California campgrounds offer it all. The hardest part is choosing which one to visit!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to camp in Pacific Coast Highway?

The top 10 campgrounds we selected all show daily, weekly and monthly rates for you. Pricing will vary.

How much does it cost to RV park in Pacific Coast Highway?

Pricing will vary. The top 10 RV Parks we selected all display daily, weekly and monthly rates for you.

How long can you stay at an RV Park in Pacific Coast Highway?

Staying at an RV Park for a long period of time will vary on the campground & RV Park you choose. View our post for more information.

Are there pet friendly RV Parks & Campgrounds in Pacific Coast Highway?

Yes. The majority of campgrounds we selected in this blog allow pets.