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Old 09-12-2017, 12:38 AM   #1
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Question best coastal campgrounds between LA and San Fran?

Hi all

What are the best coastal campgrounds between LA and San Fran?

and

anything good near

Pismo Beach?

Avila Beach ?

Montaņa de Oro State Park?

Estero Bay?

Harmony Headlands State Park?

thanks

john
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:45 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
Hi all

What are the best coastal campgrounds between LA and San Fran?

and

anything good near

Pismo Beach?

Avila Beach ?

Montaņa de Oro State Park?

Estero Bay?

Harmony Headlands State Park?

thanks

john
Hello,
These are old stomping grounds, lived in this area for 12 years and camped there for 6 years before that.

Pismo Beach (both private and public) has lots of camping although it fills up quickly in the summer. There is Pismo State Beach - North Beach, big open sites that back up to the dunes and easy access to the beach. Water and showers are available but no hook-ups at the sites. There is a boardwalk that takes you right into town. We have camped here many times and like the large sites. This also backs up to the Monarch Grove.

There are a few private sites in Pismo that offer full hook-ups, laundry, and a pool. One is right next to the State Park and one is across the street. Of course they cost much more but offer more amenities. The sites are CLOSE together.

Pismo Beach is fun, nice wide beach, a large fishing pier, shops, restaurants, bowling alley and a great family pool hall. You can even drive your car and ATV's on the beach if you go in the Oceano Beach entrance and head south.

Another nice campground is Montano de Ora, it sits high above the bluffs and has a nice hiking trail. We have camped there and really like it -- I don't think it has hook-ups. Pit toilets and a large racoon population. Good tide pools.

Morro Bay Strand State Beach is a large parking lot with bathroom and I think shower facilities, no hook-ups. It sits right next to the beach and has some shrubbery but is not shaded. We have camped here many times with the kids and enjoyed it. It is at the north end of Morro Bay.

A little further north is San Simeon State Park. It is across highway 1 from the beach, there is an underpass you can walk under to get to the beach. There are bathrooms with showers but I believe no hook-ups. We have camped here and it is nice and quiet, some spots have shade. You are close to Hearst Castle and the elephant seals. Also Cambria is not too far away with shops, antique shops and restaurants.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
Hi all

What are the best coastal campgrounds between LA and San Fran?

and

anything good near

Pismo Beach?

Avila Beach ?

Montaņa de Oro State Park?

Estero Bay?

Harmony Headlands State Park?

thanks

john
Forgot to mention that Avila only has a couple of spots next to the marina off the side of the road -- very expensive!

Another spot just north of Santa Barbara is Refugio State Beach -- nice stop off when traveling north.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:29 AM   #4
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:57 AM   #5
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Kirk Creek Campground is a great place which fills REAL fast. Some sites are right on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Just a few miles south and on the other side of HWY1 is Plasket Cr Campground (no real views of the ocean buy easy access if I remember correctly). Neither are easy to get to due to the road closures on HWY1.

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Old 09-12-2017, 10:31 AM   #6
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Kirk creek campground is cool.. pick the sites closest to the cliff.. Further north Sunset beach SP is good too, but if you go on a weekday you will hear the farm machines ..

both filled really quick..
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:14 PM   #7
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We've stayed at the Refugio State Beach and Morro Bay State Park campgrounds.

Refugio was right on the beach - sort of a landscaped parking lot, but nice enough.

Morro Bay State Park was very nice - it even has it's own Monarch butterfly grove right in the campground. Nice little marina and cafe across the street, and a nice walking route to the touristy part of town along the beach and through some parklands and residential neighborhoods. Stumbled into some real good live music with BanjerDan (Banjo Dan) at one of the outdoor seafood restaurants (Tagazzinni's Dockside Too Restaurant and Fish Market), and found out about the live music at the Last Stage West BBQ (LAST STAGE WEST), east of Morro Bay on Highway 41 - great local live music and ribs, highly recommended. We drove by the Morro Strand State Beach campground north of town, and while it's right on the beach it was pretty much just a bare paved parking lot, so we ended up at Morro Bay State Park.
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Old 09-12-2017, 04:42 PM   #8
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Kirk creek campground is cool.. pick the sites closest to the cliff.. Further north Sunset beach SP is good too, but if you go on a weekday you will hear the farm machines ..

both filled really quick..
thanks much - we stayed at Kirk Creek a while back... it was nice, but we are hoping for something a ways south of that.....

I guess i should have specified that...

a good site for folks to know about, for sure.



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Old 09-12-2017, 04:43 PM   #9
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We've stayed at the Refugio State Beach and Morro Bay State Park campgrounds.

Refugio was right on the beach - sort of a landscaped parking lot, but nice enough.

Morro Bay State Park was very nice - it even has it's own Monarch butterfly grove right in the campground. Nice little marina and cafe across the street, and a nice walking route to the touristy part of town along the beach and through some parklands and residential neighborhoods. Stumbled into some real good live music with BanjerDan (Banjo Dan) at one of the outdoor seafood restaurants (Tagazzinni's Dockside Too Restaurant and Fish Market), and found out about the live music at the Last Stage West BBQ (LAST STAGE WEST), east of Morro Bay on Highway 41 - great local live music and ribs, highly recommended. We drove by the Morro Strand State Beach campground north of town, and while it's right on the beach it was pretty much just a bare paved parking lot, so we ended up at Morro Bay State Park.
Morro Bay State Park sounds pretty great!

I'll check it out - thanks.
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Old 09-12-2017, 04:47 PM   #10
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Morro Bay State Park sounds pretty great!

I'll check it out - thanks.
I think that Morro Bay State park has been recently closed -- you should check their website or call. It really is in a nice location.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:13 PM   #11
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From their web site:

Morro Bay State Park has reopened as of March 9, 2017. The park had been closed due to flooding and damage from falling trees.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:13 PM   #12
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Morro State campground was a nice place and the surrounding Bay area was awesome. We've also stayed in Pismo Beach State Campground backed up to the dunes and the ocean. Our site was nice but there were a lot of law enforcement vehicles rolling through. We weren't thrilled with our neighbours.
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:15 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions... we ended up booking in at Islay Creek Campground at Montaņa de Oro. State Park.

Gets good reviews. Not night on the beach but walkable to one... some great scenery around there.

$25/night.

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Old 09-13-2017, 10:06 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions... we ended up booking in at Islay Creek Campground at Montaņa de Oro. State Park.

Gets good reviews. Not night on the beach but walkable to one... some great scenery around there.

$25/night.

john
John, Nice location with some amazing bluff hikes many with amazing views. Be sure to check out Point Buchon. The property belongs to PG&E (power company) you may need to sign up on line and check into the kiosk to hike but worth the effort (it is maybe a mile from where you will be camping) Have fun .... need any other local advice let me know. Bill

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/c...uchon-trail--2
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:12 AM   #15
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John, Nice location with some amazing bluff hikes many with amazing views. Be sure to check out Point Buchon. The property belongs to PG&E (power company) you may need to sign up on line and check into the kiosk to hike but worth the effort (it is maybe a mile from where you will be camping) Have fun .... need any other local advice let me know. Bill

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/c...uchon-trail--2
Thanks Bill - awesome!!!! all sounds great.

john
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:38 AM   #16
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We spent some time on the beaches this past May. We stayed at Carpinteria Beach State Park (the sites with hookups were parking lots but on the beach), Pismo Beach Oceano Campground (electric and water and within a mile of the beach but not our favorite), and Morro Bay state park (electric and water and a block from the marina), which we really liked and will go back there. There is lots to do in the area. We especially enjoyed Black Hill and El Moro Elfin Forest. Se my blog posting at Morro Bay | Traveling in Blanquillo
We also visited Montana de Oro State Park, and it was also nice. We didn't camp there. We found Morro Bay to be a more relaxed place than Pismo Beach but it depends on your style and what you like. We plan to go back to Morro Bay and will visit Pismo Beach to see the Monarch Grove but won't stay there.
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