San Elijo State Beach Camping

What You Need to Know About San Elijo Beach Before You Go

San Elijo State Beach
••• San Elijo State Beach. Becca Kumar/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

San Elijo State Beach is in Cardiff, Calfornia north of San Diego. Its beach campground is well rated, with all of their sites close to the beach. Most people who review San Elijo online love it. To get to the beach from the campground, you'll have to walk up and down a stairway.

One of the good things about San Elijo is that the town is so nearby. You can walk across the main road to coffee and sandwich shops with names you will recognize.

If you want to camp at San Elijo but you don't own an RV, try Albert’s RV, Luv2Camp, RV Rentals San Diego, or Travel Time RV Rentals. They are the only companies authorized to deliver and set up an RV for you at San Elijo.

What Facilities Are There at San Elijo State Beach? 

San Elijo has 157 campsites total. Among them are 130 general campsites, 6 accessible and 28 RV sites and a few tent sites. There is an eight-person maximum per site. They can accommodate trailers and camper/motorhomes up to 35 feet long and sites are back-in. The campground is laid out in a series of loops, between the Coast Highway and the Pacific Ocean. What you can see from your site varies and some sites that are ocean facing may have shrubs or trees between them and the view. Check these campsite pictures before you choose your spot.

The campground has restrooms and showers, a laundry and a convenience store. They also have outdoor showers for washing the beach sand off, but they may be turned off during a drought.

There's also a taco stand that gets good ratings.

You can go snorkeling and scuba diving at the nearby reef. You can also go swimming. Between mid-September and mid-October, nearby Cardiff State Beach hosts two annual surfing contests but the surf breaks are much more mellow at San Elijo. Fishermen catch halibut, rockfish and bass in the surf.

Tidepools at the south end are fun to explore at low tide.

You can have a wood-burning fire, but only in an established fire ring. Propane and butane fire pits and burners are not allowed.

Visitors who go there frequently suggest that you shoudl stop for food and supplies in town, where they're less expensive than in the campground store. They also mention that the ground squirrels are likely to try stealing your food. If you're a light sleeper, you might need earplugs to block out the traffic and train noise. Some visitors also suggest bringing baking soda to sprinkle around your RV's wheels and stabilizers, to keep out the ants.

What You Need to Know Before You Go to San Elijo State Beach

Dogs must be on a leash less than 6 feet long at all times. They may not be left outside at night and are prohibited on the beach

California State Park campgrounds including San Elijo State Beach must be reserved in advance and you'll have to do it as much as 6 months in advance. Our guide to California state parks reservations will show you how.

How to Get to San Elijo

San Elijo State Beach
2050 South Coast Hwy 101
Cardiff by the Sea, CA​​
Website