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Old 10-24-2013, 07:45 PM   #1
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Recommended campsites along the Cali coastal highway?

Our family is planning on leaving Salt Lake to go visit family in San Francisco then onto San Diego. We were hoping to find a nice place to camp by the coast for one night. We'll be traveling down HWY 1 and it will be in late January.

Any recommendations would be appreciated. We are trying to split the trip between SF and SD into two days and camp somewhere in the middle. We were thinking about North Beach Campground near Pismo Beach. Thanks for your help!
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:55 PM   #2
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Re: Recommended campsites along the Cali coastal highway?

Sorry to tell you that there is very limited camping along the central coast. Plasket Creek campground comes to mind. Perhaps some sites at Montana del Oro? Big Sur has a nice campground, but that's near your start. Then when Hiway 101 hits the ocean again at Gaviota and a bit south at Refugio Beach there is camping. I don't know of any more south of that.
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:57 PM   #3
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Re: Recommended campsites along the Cali coastal highway?

North Beach at Pismo is a nice campground and not likely to be too crowded in Jan. Its just a short walk from the beach, but the best part is the vast numbers of Monarch butterflies who winter in the adjacent eucalyptus grove and often come over to the campground to hang out. I think you will be happy there.

San Simeon SP is another good campground if its on your route. I am not as much of a fan of the state park campgrounds near Morro Bay as they are too cramped for my taste, but some people like Montana de Oro, mostly for the hiking.

You can camp on the beach at Oceano Dunes if you have 4WD and don't mind the OHV crowd.
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:01 AM   #4
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Re: Recommended campsites along the Cali coastal highway?

We stayed at Limekiln SP on a trip down the coast. Pretty quiet as I recall. Go to

http://www.parks.ca.gov/

And you can search by region.
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:20 AM   #5
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Re: Recommended campsites along the Cali coastal highway?

Here are some places to look into, but I have not used any of them myself (kind of kicking myself now that I think of it). Never seem to camp close to home, even though there are a number of places to go.

Faria Beach Park
http://portal.countyofventura.org/porta ... Beach_Park

Emma Wood State Beach
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=604

Hobson County Campground
http://portal.countyofventura.org/porta ... Beach_Park

Rincon parkway (right off the road, but hopefully the ocean waves drown out any road noise).
http://portal.countyofventura.org/porta ... on_Parkway

Point Mugu State Park
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=630

Thornhill Broom campground (south of Point Mugu, right along PCH, between PCH and the ocean). Can be windy, can be noisy though the waves ar typically louder than the traffic).
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:39 AM   #6
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Re: Recommended campsites along the Cali coastal highway?

There are some RV spots at Port San Luis (end of Avila Beach Rd), but you'll be on top of everyone else just like at Morro Bay. There's a place on the dock down there that sells freshly cooked rock crab by the pound though...

If you don't mind driving inland just a little way, up "the grade" on US101 from San Luis Obispo is the town of Santa Margarita. Take Pozo Rd East out of town for a few miles to the Nat. Forest. There's a campground out there (La Panza), but you can boondock anywhere there's room. The only folks you'll probably see out there are Rangers, so be sure to buy an "Adventure Pass".

There's another nice spot NE on CA41 from Morro Bay called Cerro Alto. It's also a FSCG.

If you just need a safe place to park for the night, there's some RV sites at El Chorro Regional park, just N on CA1 from SLO.

There's a CG at Lopez Lake. I've never been there, but it's there.

Like has been said, pretty much all the established campgrounds on the CC are crowded, especially the beach ones. SLO has kind of a "political problem" with vehicle dwellers so around there, it's prudent to just camp in real campgrounds or head up the grade into the forest.

If you're passing through Cayucos, and want the best smoked fish tacos ever, stop at Ruddell's Smokehouse at the end of D st.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:19 AM   #7
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Re: Recommended campsites along the Cali coastal highway?

You could also check out Jalama Beach it is an off the beaten path beach campground, but you should call for reservations. http://www.santabarbara.com/activiti.../jalama_beach/
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:15 PM   #8
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Re: Recommended campsites along the Cali coastal highway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BogusBlake
If you're passing through Cayucos, and want the best smoked fish tacos ever, stop at Ruddell's Smokehouse at the end of D st.
Thanks for that tip. I have been mighty partial to the Taco Temple (just south of Cayucos) but now I will have to give Ruddell's a try too.
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:39 PM   #9
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Re: Recommended campsites along the Cali coastal highway?

Kelly street in Half Moon bay and San Elio in Cardiff are a few of my favorites!!
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:23 PM   #10
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Re: Recommended campsites along the Cali coastal highway?

Wow, very impressed with the response to this. Thanks for your needed input, now the hard part is making the decision.
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