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Camping at San Elijo State Beach

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Location and Overview

San Elijo State Beach is located in San Diego County on the Southern California coast. Specifically, it's at 2050 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92007. The park boasts of roughly a mile-long stretch of beach, which is known for its surfing opportunities. It's popular among families and campers who want to enjoy the outdoors while still being close to urban amenities.

Camping Facilities

There are more than 150 campsites available at San Elijo State Beach, including both tent and RV sites. Many of these sites offer an ocean view. Facilities include:

  • Electric hookups at select sites
  • Water hookups
  • Dump station
  • Restrooms
  • Showers

Campers should note that there are no sewer hookups, but the dump station is available for RVs.

Reservation Information

Reservations at San Elijo State Beach are highly sought after, especially during peak seasons and weekends. Here's what to know:

  • Reservations can be made up to six months in advance.
  • They are often essential, particularly in summer, on weekends, and during public holidays.
  • Reservations can be made through the California State Park reservation system, typically online or by phone.

Recreational Activities

San Elijo offers a variety of activities including:

  • Surfing: The beach is well known for its waves.
  • Fishing: Anglers can try their luck fishing off the coast.
  • Swimming: Lifeguards are on duty during peak times for swimmer safety.
  • Snorkeling and Diving: The clear waters can be great for underwater exploration.
  • Beachcombing: Visitors enjoy walking the beach and looking for shells and sea life.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Birds, dolphins, and sometimes whales can be spotted.

Local Amenities

Adjacent to the campground, there's a small shopping plaza known as the "Cardiff Seaside Market" area, where campers can find:

  • General store
  • Restaurants
  • Surf rental shops

This can be very convenient for campers who did not bring all the necessary supplies or just want to enjoy local cuisine.

Campground Rules and Regulations

  • Fires: Fires are only allowed in provided fire rings.
  • Pets: Dogs are allowed in the campground (on a leash), but not on the beach.
  • Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages are not allowed on the beach.
  • Quiet Hours: Typically from 10 PM to 6 AM, where noise should be kept to a minimum.
  • Vehicle Length: There may be restrictions on the length of RVs and trailers, usually not exceeding a specific length (often around 35 feet).


Some sites and facilities at San Elijo are accessible for campers with disabilities, but it's always best to check with the campground directly for specific details regarding accessibility needs.


San Elijo State Beach offers a classic Southern California beach camping experience with ample recreational opportunities and convenient amenities. Reserving a site well in advance is crucial due to its popularity. Always check for the latest information from the California State Parks website or contact the park directly before planning your trip, to ensure you have the most current guidelines and regulations.

Map of Campgrounds in San Elijo State Beach
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