This is Surf Camping

Beach Campgrounds With Surf

Tent + Beach + Surf Board = Good Times

Jul 17, 2012
  • camping
  • beach camping
main imgTasmania, Australia. Photo by Manuel Meurisse

There are few things as satisfying as spending time with friends or family at a great campsite. It's a nice reminder of just how little you really need to enjoy life. Simple and self-sufficient while enjoying the outdoors—that's camping.

Arguably the best sort of camping is beach camping, and throw in a surf break and most of us couldn't be more stoked. Wherever you are in the world you can usually find a place to pitch a tent next to some great waves. The below list is a work in progress of some of our favorite beach camping spots with surf potential. One great beach camping resource we came across was, they have an incredible selection of campsite photos from all over the U.S. and the site is very easy to use.
Beach camping is inexpensive, offers loads of freedom and makes for a unique and memorable trip whether you're with the family, friends or just flying solo.
San Onofre Surf Camping
Setting up camp at San Onofre Bluffs Campground in Southern California


California Beach Campgrounds

California, in a lot of ways, is the ultimate place for beach camping. The weather is almost always ideal and the variety of camp sites along the coast is incredible. During the summer many places will be booked almost a year in advance so PLAN AHEAD, or just head out in the fall or other off season times. If you can manage weekday camping you'll often have places all to yourself... the campsite and the beach!

  1. Bolsa Chica State Beach - RV camping on the beach in Huntington Beach, CA. Great for cycling or running along the beach path too.
  2. Doheny State Beach Campground - Great for longboarding and SUP, large grassy lawn, sandy beach, scuba diving on offshore reef, one of the best campgrounds on the West Coast.
  3. Faria Beach Park - Great winter point break, gets full far in advance so plan ahead.
  4. Hobson County Park - Fun surf out front, some highway noise.
  5. Jalama Beach Park - Great facilities and juicy, barreling beach breaks
  6. Leo Carillo State Beach - Tent and RV camping and one of the most picturesque stretches of beach in California. Great point break surf too!
  7. Morro Strands State Beach - Central California beauty with views of Morro Rock.
  8. San Clemente State Park - 157 sites for tent camping and RVs. Beach access trail with miles of sandy beach and decent beach breaks.
  9. San Onofre Bluffs - Miles of uncrowded prime surf and incredible views from the bluffs. Narrow camping zone, steep hike down to beach.
  10. San Elijo State Beach Campground - Close to city amenities, good snorkeling.
  11. South Carlsbad State Beach - Quiet spot, good for families.


Hawaii Beach Campgrounds

Hawaii offers some spectacular camping areas that can be a great respite from the high price hotels and vacation homes. Each Island has state or County Parks that offer camping. Many of them such as Polihale State Park have great surfing potential.

  1. Malaekahana Beach Campground - Old school Hawaii camping minutes from the North Shore on Oahu.
  2. Camp Olowalu - A picturesque campground with cabins and tent sites on Maui. It's fairly pricey, but a good option for family reunions.
  3. Hawaii State Parks - Official website for Hawaii State Parks, not very informative but it can get you started: Hawaii State Parks

New York Beach Campgrounds

Beach camping in New York? Yep. If you lived in the Big Apple you'd be looking for an escape as well. New York's Long Island has some pristine beaches, and a few nice camping areas that have waves.

  1. Hither Hills Campground - Scenic camping on the beach
  2. Fire Island National Seashore - Boat access only to this car free island. Beach breaks can get good and it's always uncrowded.

Texas Beach Campgrounds

Texas beach camping may not be as known as California but there is plenty of it even if the terrain isn't as varied. One fun thing especially if you're from out of state is many Texas beaches allow you to drive onto the beach and actually camp on the beach. We're talking ON THE SAND, not just near the beach. Just don't park to close to the waters edge or high tide may leave you with a vehicle sunk to its axles in the morning.

  1. IB Magee Beach Park - RV or tent camping with restrooms and showers. Next to Horace Caldwell Pier.
  2. Mustang Island State Park - Wide open beaches, sleep on the sand, family spot.
  3. Quintana Beach County Park - Tent camping, RV hookups or beach cabin rentals next to the jetty.
  4. South Padre Isla Blanca Park - RV, tent sites and cabanas. Prices from $15/night next to the jetty and South Padre's best surfing.


Mexico Beach Campgrounds

Mexico and Baja were the original surf camp trip for many surfers in the 60's and 70's. Unfortunately many of the free pitch your tent anywhere locations have been lost to development now. In fact I recently drove into Northern Baja and saw the cliff where my college roommate and I had camped out during a Baja surf trip. There now stands a 20 story condo development. For those willing to travel a bit further off the beaten track though, there's no doubt you can find places to park your RV or pop your tent for months on end without being bothered at all. We don't have many listed here yet because they're the sort of places you just have to go find on your own... ADVENTURE!

  1. Punta San Carlos, Baja - Camp on the bluff and surf, windsurf, kite surf all day


Guatemala Beach Campgrounds

Another place you probably didn't think about camping on the beach. Well Guatemala has loads of empty black sand coastline so you could find free places to pitch your tent if you're really adventurous. From a safety perspective you're probably better off renting a spot from a beach property that allows tents like El Paredon Surf Camp. Guatemala is already a cheap place to stay, but if you're REALLY on a budget and can take the sweltering coastal heat bring your tent I suppose.

  1. El Paredon Surf Camp - Sleep in the bungalows or pitch your own tent on the black sands for about $4 a night.


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  • beach camping