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Old 04-29-2008, 10:00 PM   #1
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Southern California/ Baja --- need advice

I am traveling with two young children and require secure camp sites with beach access and beginner intermediate surf.

A pool and play ground for the kids would be exceptional.

Any advice out there.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:39 PM   #2
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How secure?

Depends when you're coming down. San Onofre has some bluff camping overlooking the ocean (sorta), and its got great beginner / intermediate surf. The term camping is used rather roughly as its more of a "parking" lot with a train that passes by till about 10. But the surf is fun and its secluded. You can also stay at the San Onofre / San Mateo campground which is located inland about a mile from the beach.. (maybe less) and then just go down to the beach if you want.

Carlsbad http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=660/ San Elijo State Campgrounds http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=662 are also more parking lot style, but not nearly as San O, but you'll have lots of people in the sites around. Its not secluded, but the surf at both campgrounds are nice and some of the sites are directly on the cliff overlooking the ocean. We used to "camp" here a lot with a westfalia.. so we could dawn patrol in the morning.

You can also camp on Silver Strand State Campground - http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=654

None of those actually have a pool... but there is a kids park at moonlight state beach in encinitas that I take my kid to - no camping there though.

Along Santa Barbara / carpenteria there are some good spots to camp and you could try Pismo beach. I think they still allow you to drive on teh beach up there and camp. Its a fun place. A little farther up north, is morro bay and big sur. Those are excellent places to go, but the surf is more for advanced surfers.

Baja used to be great (actually it still is) but I'm a lot more hesitant to go there nowadays. I don't mind going when I'm going WAAAAY down there and out of the way.. but anywhere in baja norte doesn't feel as safe anymore. Lots about it in the news. Who knows it could be all crap, but I wouldn't take the chance with kids.

Let me know if you need more areas, or if want some advice on a particular place. Do you live in fernie now? I love that place. My cousins used to have a condo on the river there, but now just bought a house there. The skiing is phenomenal.

Joe
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:46 AM   #3
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baja

Baja, well at least up to KM 80 is not safe at this time for kids...
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:23 AM   #4
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jlrray gave you great advice. There really isn't any other beach camping available in the San Diego area other than what he mentioned. San Elijo is also nice from the standpoint that there are plenty of good restaurants in easy walking distance from the campground.

I would actually avoid camping anywhere along the Pacific side of Baja until you are South of San Quinten based on people I've been talking to and everything I've read. We used to go down there at least 6 times a year, but the risks are too great now (in my opinion).
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:16 AM   #5
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For North of San Diego near Orange County, there is also San Clemente State Beach:

http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=646


And also Dana Point Beach:

http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=645


I really like Camping at San Clemente State Beach Campgrounds, nice beach, good facilities, nice ocean breezes.
But you have to reserve it in advance or hang out and see if there are any noshows for the day or weekend...

I'll have to check out the San Diego beach camp grounds with Google Earth...
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Old 04-30-2008, 06:55 PM   #6
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Beach Sights

Another good area that is usually accessible is along the Rincon in Ventura County Ca, as well as Emma Wood State Beach , Faria , And Hobson . There are securable sites if you arrive at around 10 AM as others are leaving . It will be very difficult after Memorial Day for any of the aforementioned sights . Their is a photo in my gallery of the very unglamorous camping on the Rincon .
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:44 AM   #7
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Your posts are awesome and much appreciated!

Baja is out this trip - the drug war and army situation sealed my decision to stay North of the border.

HAppy camping to you all!
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Old 05-04-2008, 09:21 PM   #8
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Bolsa Chica is great if you can get a camping reservation.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:27 AM   #9
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If you change you mind about Baja, I'd recommend you check http://www.Bajanomad.com The site has reliable up-to-date information (not the sensationalized media accounts of Baja).
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:06 PM   #10
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I correspond daily with folks on the east coast of Baja. Have a brother-in-law living in San Felipe and we have a place another hundred miles down the coast. No problems reported to date and we're outta here (No. CA) for Baja on Thursday to spend another month or so - till it's too hot.
I always just blast on thru Mexicalli at the border and the rest is fun and sun. Hope it doesn't change on our side.
By the way, if anyone wants to run the gaunlet, we gots a place to hang for a few days. Good fishing, riding, food, road info, etc. May is the second best month of the year....
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