California's Best Camping covers more than 600 of the finest campgrounds in California. From San Diego beaches to the Redwood Empire, From Big Bear and Silverwood to Shasta and Trinity, & all up and down the Sierra Nevada.
Half Moon Bay State Beach is actually a string of small beaches clustered under the state beach umbrella on the San Mateo County coast. The popular campground at Francis Beach has 52 campsites, many with ocean views and all with a brief stroll of miles of sandy beach. Electric hook-ups are available at some sites.
Visitors to the campground take advantage of the paved Coastside Trail which connects four of the beaches and stretches all the way north to Pillar Point Harbor. South of the four neighboring beaches is Cowell Ranch Beach with short trails leading to pocket beaches and an overlook where visitors can gaze upon a secluded Harbor Seal Preserve beach. Seals give birth there in March and April. The beach itself is off-limits to people. Benches and a wheel-chair accessible telescope are available at the overlook.
Indian Grinding Rock State Park is in Amador County, off Highway 88, only a few miles east of Jackson. The small campground and surrounding park are a nice place to take a family with young children and to use as a base for exploring nearby Gold Rush towns. The park is rich with Native American history and culture, including a reconstructed Miwok Village and a fascinating museum.
Gold Star - The best of the best campgrounds. Not only are the campgrounds equipped with very good amenities and in beautiful settings, they are close to outstanding recreational opportunities such as natural wonders, waterskiing, beaches, or special attractions.
Green Star - Campgrounds with good facilities and located close to a variety of activities, whether its trails among redwoods, a beach-front location, or a beautiful mountain lake.
Green Triangle - Comfortable campgrounds equipped with basic amenities and near some worthwhile recreational attractions. These are sometimes smaller, more remote campgrounds which, nevertheless, may have exceptional views. Ease of driving access is sometimes a consideration.
Green Dot - Campgrounds we have not included in our reviews, either because much better campgrounds are nearby or because the facilities or available recreation opportunities are negligible.
Everyone is Different
Everyone's interests are different, so a perfect campground for one might be only mediocre for another. Use our symbols as a starting point on your quest to find the best campground for you.
Big Bear Lake
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New Brighton Beach
San Elijo Beach
San Clemente Beach
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Waterskiing & Boating Lakes
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Types of Campgrounds Included
Our reviews include publicly operated campgrounds such as Forest Service, National Park, State Park, BLM, and Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds. We also include many regional and county park campgrounds along with campgrounds offered by public and private utilities such as electric companies and irrigation districts. We do not include private RV Parks nor most privately operated campgrounds.
Prices listed for campground stays are the basic campsite fee and do not include any reservation fees. Often there are discrepancies between the fee shown on the campground agency's website and the price listed by the reservation website. In those cases, we have displayed the higher of the two.