San Elijo State Beach is one of the most popular places to camp along the beach in Southern California. Located in Northern San Diego County, the campground is divided into two sections, North and South.
San Elijo State Beach can be best described as bluff-top camping. About half of the 170 campsites have uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean. Access to the beach is by wooden staircases, which drop you directly on the beach from the campground.
Being situated on the bluff does have its benefits. If there happens to be a Tsunami, it would need to be at least 100 feet high before you get wet.
Some of the non-ocean campsites back up to Highway 101, and you will get some road noise.
Campsite assignments are made upon your arrival unless you reserve a specific site. Peak season reservations are a must, but you should not have problems getting an ocean view campsite after the busy summer.
Visitors enjoy swimming, surfing, camping, and picnicking. San Elijo also has a day-use parking area, a store, and a snack shop with a fantastic view of the beach below.
Best Campsites at San Elijo State Beach
San Elijo Beach State Beach campsites 145 through 171 all on the ocean view and in the park’s north section.
South end sites 1 through 43 and sites 47, 49, 51, 54, and 56 are also on the park’s ocean side. The remaining campsites do not have views, many of them back up to Highway 101.
San Elijo campsites numbers 4, 26, 58, 92, 143, and 164 are handicap accessible.
If you don’t have a camping trailer, the state of California has contracts with several vendors that will deliver one to your reserved campsite. Campsites 145 through 171 north end sites have ocean views. South end areas 1 through 43 and 47, 49, 51, 54, and 56 are Oceanside.
San Elijo State Beach Campground Rules
The usual rules apply here, including Non-registered guests must exit by 10 pm—two vehicles maximum. Only one RV, trailer, tent trailer, van per site, and Dogs must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet and under physical control at all times.
Pet owners love San Elijo Beach State Beach. Dogs are allowed on the sand as long as you have them on a leash at all times. San Elijo features 156 campsites – 28 are RV-Trailer only. San Elijo features 156 campsites – 28 are RV-Trailer only. Campground Reservations
San Elijo State Beach Nearby Attractions
The town of Cardiff-by-the-Sea is minutes away with stores and restaurants. Head South to Del Mar Beach or head north to Encinitas. There is no shortage of things to do within minutes of the San Elijo Beach State Beach campground.
Legoland, California, is only 7 miles from San Elijo State Beach. Legoland features three attractions Theme Park, Waterpark, and Aquarium.
San Diego Botanic Garden is 4 miles from San Elijo State Park. The garden is a 35-acre paradise of garden trails featuring flowering trees, plants from all climates around the world, desert to tropical, and the world’s most extensive bamboo collection.
Torrey Pines State Reserve is 9 miles from the State Beach. With over 2,000 acres of untouched land, the reserve has long stretches of beachfront and a fantastic lagoon home to migrating birds. Visitors come from all over the globe to witness the California coast as it was before development.
Finally, San Diego is less than an hour’s drive and offers almost endless attractions to visit.
Getting to San Elijo State Beach
San Elijo State Beach extends along Coast Highway 101, 3/4 mile north from San Elijo Lagoon’s entrance channel, near the community of Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Exit Interstate 5 at Encinitas Blvd., head west. Turn left on So. Coast Hwy. Follow the Coast Hwy. South, about 2 miles. Website.