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San Diego Camping In or Near the City
If you're thinking about camping when you visit San Diego, you'll find more locations in and around the city than in California's other big cities. And surprisingly, some of them are quite close to the attractions and things you want to see and do.
If you think camping in an RV during your San Diego trip sounds like fun, but you don’t have one - or didn't bring yours along, the folks at Luv 2 Camp can help you out. They’ll not only rent you an RV; they’ll take it to your campsite and set it up for you. They can do that at most of the RV parks in the San Diego area.
If you need a map – and if you're like me, you do – check the one at the end of this guide.
Beach Camping in Southern California
Camping at the beach sounds like so much fun, doesn't it? But it's actually hard to find a place where you're camping right at the beach and not a half-hour's walk away. To save you the trouble of trying to figure out which places are really close to the sand and... waves, I did the research for you. Check out these few places in southern California where you can camp on the beach.
San Diego Campgrounds Near Downtown and Mission Bay
You can choose San Diego camping spots at the beach, in the mountains or by the bay:
Campland on the Bay: Campland is a big RV resort with lots of amenities and things to do. It's on Mission Bay, near Sea World and not too far south of downtown.
Chula Vista RV Resort: 237 spaces with full hookups adjacent to its own marina. General store, swimming pool and spa, laundry, full restrooms and restaurants with waterfront dining. Chula Vista is south of downtown San Diego.
Mission Bay RV Resort: Just off I-5 on the north side of Mission Bay. Close to Sea World and an easy drive to downtown.
KOA San Diego Metro Campground: A 200-site park with paved roads and pads, grass, and mature trees.
Santa Fe Park RV Resort: Showers, fitness center, TV movie room, rec room, pool, spa, dog run, and cycling areas. Just off I-5.
San Diego Campgrounds in the Metro Area
These campgrounds aren't in town. In fact, they're out of town, and that's the point.
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 north of San Diego. They can accommodate big RVs. Reservations recommended.
South Carlsbad State Beach: A large, bluff-top campground. Very popular, especially in summer. Stairs lead down to the beach. Located 3 miles south of Carlsbad and north of San Diego, camping spots here can accommodate RV's up to 35 feet long. Reservations recommended.
You can also try Allstay’s Walmart Overnight Parking Locator app to find the nearest store that allows overnight stays in their parking lot. These no-frills places (which do not provide water, electricity or a dump station) are best for self-contained RV camping.Continue to 2 of 3 below.
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Campgrounds in San Diego County
These camping spots are in San Diego County, but not in or near the city. They're best thought of as weekend camping destinations than as convenient places to stay on a San Diego vacation.
Dos Picos County Park: This charming county park is 46 miles northeast of town
Guajome County Park: Located 40 miles north of San Diego. Hiking, horseback riding, fishing.
Lake Jennings: Near the El Capitan open space preserve, the face of El Cajon Mountain and the River Valley. But one of the longest drives from downtown San Diego
Sweetwater Regional Park: Accommodates campers, trailers, motor homes, and tent camping. 53 campsites, all of which have water and electricity.Continue to 3 of 3 below.
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San Diego Camping Map
If you need a map with more detail that you can use to check distances and get driving directions, check out this map at Google.