Refugio State Beach State Park RV & Campground Guide

California

With its palm tree-lined shores and white sand, Refugio State Beach State Park is straight out of a California postcard. The waters are calm here, making it a great spot for families to enjoy long, relaxing days of swimming and snorkeling or rent a kayak and paddle through the gentle waves. In the mornings, you can join local anglers as they cast off in the surf and keep an eye out for the whales that swim just offshore. Getting here is easy; Santa Barbara lies just 23 miles down the coast, and downtown Los Angeles is 118 miles away. With its mild winters and sunny summers, Refugio is ideal for an RV getaway any time of year.

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Weather
Spring 50-70 F
Summer 65-95 F
Fall 60-80 F
Winter 45-70 F
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Nearby Cities
Santa Barbara, CA
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Refugio State Beach State Park

Whether you're picturing cool winter walks on the beach or summer sunbathing, an RV can help you achieve the perfect vacation to Refugio State Beach State Park. With an RV, you'll enjoy your own private bit of shade on sunny days, and you can cuddle up in the warmth of a bed on cool, misty mornings. An RV rental is an ideal way to get a feel for the motorhome travel experience.

Refugio State Beach State Park Campground

Sleep close to the action at Refugio State Beach State Park Campground. Here, the 66 sites sit a short walk from the beach. Refugio does not offer hookups, but your site will come with a fire ring and a picnic table. Nearby, hot showers and flush toilets make it easy for your whole group to camp comfortably, and a camp store sits within a short walk. Campsites at Refugio are big enough for motorhomes up to 30 feet long. Sites here start at $45, plus a $7.99 online reservation fee.

Ocean Mesa RV Park and Campground

Camp among the trees at Ocean Mesa RV Park and Campground. This beautiful park sits close to El Capitan Canyon and the Pacific Ocean, opening up a wide range of adventure activities. It's a great spot for big rigs with RV sites that accommodate vehicles up to 50 feet long. Every site comes with full hookups and free Wi-Fi as well as a fire pit and a picnic table. Pets are welcome as long as they're leashed. Looking for fun? Ocean Mesa offers something for everyone: Join a movie night, attend a summer concert, hop in the heated swimming pool or bring the kids to the playground. You can even attend a docent-led hike or a wine tasting. Rates here start at $115 per night.

El Capitán State Beach Campground

Located an easy drive down the shore from Refugio State Beach, El Capitán State Beach offers a large campground that's popular with families. With more than 130 sites, this is a great alternative when Refugio is full. Sites all offer a picnic table and fire ring, and each one sits close to the beach. This is an ideal campground for bigger RVs up to 42 feet long. If you book in advance, try to secure one of the spots with a paved pad for easier parking. There are no hookups available, but the park does offer a dump station, a camp store, hot showers and bathrooms. Nightly rates start at $45; reservations are not accepted during the winter months, which have first-come, first-served sites.

RV Rentals Near Refugio State Beach State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Refugio State Beach State Park

Inside Refugio State Beach State Park

Once you're settled into your RV campsite at Refugio State Beach State Park, head straight for the beach. Bring a blanket or chairs and set up camp for the day because a few steps away, you can swim, snorkel, sunbathe, surf, fish or explore the tide pools. During whale migration season, keep an eye out for the telltale spouts as they rise above the waves. If you're coming in the summer, be sure to check the schedule; park lifeguards lead guided kayak tours of the coast that are suitable for novice and intermediate kayakers.

Outside Refugio State Beach State Park

Refugio State Beach State Park is located on one of the most beautiful stretches of the California coast; you'll find plenty of outdoor adventures nearby. From boat trips to hiking, there are ample opportunities for individuals and families. Historic Santa Barbara sits within an easy drive, offering everything from restaurants to museums.

Restaurants

The Bistro

Enjoy the upscale-casual ambiance at this American restaurant, which is part of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Reserve a table on the outdoor patio and enjoy a brick-oven pizza or a burger with views of the water.

Type: American

Location: 8301 Hollister Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93117

Home Plate Grill

This family-friendly American restaurant features a baseball theme and a welcoming atmosphere. Come for lunch or dinner and enjoy classic grill dishes like burgers, fries and pizza. 

Type: American

Location: 7398 Calle Real Suite C, Goleta, CA 93117

Los Agaves

Sip a margarita and cool off after a long, sunny day at this Santa Barbara favorite, which offers traditional and contemporary Mexican fare. The colorful, stylish interior sets the perfect tone for a date or a casual meal.

Type: Mexican

Location: 7024 Market Pl Dr, Goleta, CA 93117

Beachside Bar-Cafe

Don't let the ramshackle exterior of this cafe fool you: The food is excellent, and the ocean views are even better. Come for sunset and be sure to try the fresh seafood.

Type: Seafood

Location: 905 Sandspit Rd, Goleta, CA 93117

Domingo's Cafe

Fill up on a hearty breakfast at Domingo's, which is known for its casual interior and friendly service. Kids are welcome, and portions are generous.

Type: Breakfast

Location: 5782 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117

Shopping

Hollister Village Plaza

Grab last-minute groceries and supplies at this plaza; it offers everything from grocery stores to pet shops.

Location: 7000 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117

Bonnie Lee Books

With a stock ranging from children's books to bestselling authors, this indie bookstore makes a fun family stop.

Location: 5695 Ekwill St Suite 103, Goleta, CA 93117

Surf Country

If you're hoping to try out the legendary California waves, head straight for this store for all of the gear you need as well as friendly recommendations.

Location: 109 S Fairview Ave, Goleta, CA 93117

Sightseeing

Channel Islands National Park

Hike across windswept cliffs and explore hidden beaches in this spectacular national park. Located one to three hours by boat from Santa Barbara, this spot is popular for daytrips or longer stays. Choose from five different islands, each boasting panoramic ocean views. For an adventure, book a spot on one of the small planes that fly to the islands from the mainland.

Location: Channel Islands, CA

Santa Barbara Zoo

Observe more than 500 different animals at this family-friendly zoo, which is home to creatures ranging from giraffes to penguins.

Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Old Mission Santa Barbara

Built in the 1700s by Spanish colonists, this site is a must-visit for history buffs. Wander through the ancient sanctuary, explore the lush gardens and chat with the Franciscan friars who still make their home here. Check the calendar for the many festivals and events held at this scenic spot each year.

Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Cachuma Lake Recreation Area

Watch the scenery change dramatically as you drive to Cachuma Lake Recreation Area. Here, a picturesque lake sits high in the hills, offering beautiful views of the San Rafael Mountains and Santa Ynez Mountains. With excellent fishing and hiking, this is a popular escape for outdoor enthusiasts.

Sandpiper Golf Club

Hit the links with a view of the Pacific Ocean at this seaside course, which is known for its relaxed vibe and well-maintained greens.

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How to Get to
Refugio State Beach State Park

The easiest way to access Refugio State Beach State Park, particularly in an RV, is by taking Highway 101 from either direction. It's also possible to take Refugio Road, but it's only recommended for passenger vehicles due to tight turns and mountainous terrain. 

Entering Refugio State Beach State Park

Refugio State Beach State Park is open every day of the year. The park opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at sunset.

Per vehicle with up to nine people : $10

Per vehicle for seniors aged 62 and up : $9

Disabled vehicle with state discount pass : $5

Boat, not including kayaks or canoes : $10

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