If you camp at Seacliff, the beach will be right outside your door. But only if you have an RV or camper trailer. If pitching a tent is more your style, you won't be able to do it here; no tents are allowed.
There are no trees for shade, but the views are so lovely you may not notice. From your campsite, you'll see the entire Monterey Bay. You can watch birds roosting on the old, half-sunken cement ship beside the pier. Bluffs behind the campsites help protect them from the wind.
This campground sometimes seems almost like a small town. People often decorate their spaces and set up a home away from home. However, you should hope for good neighbors because the sites are close together without much privacy.
Activities at Seacliff include beach play and fishing from the pier. No fishing license is required, but Dept. of Fish and Game catch limits apply. There's also an excellent hiking trail.
What about the beach? All that information about it is in the Seacliff Beach guide.
Seacliff is only one of the places you can go camping near Santa Cruz. You can find more places to camp near the beach, more places to camp near town and some campgrounds in the nearby mountains if you use the guide to camping near Santa Cruz.
Seacliff State Beach Facilities
Seacliff has sites for self-contained RVs and camping trailers only. In general, vehicles can be up to 36 feet long, but they have a few spaces for 45-footers. Sites 1-28 fill up fastest because they have hookups. There is no dump station.
Sites are side by side facing the beach, and some people think they're a little too close together.
The campground has restrooms with flush toilets. The Beach Shack serves food but is only open on busier days. Water and a sanitation dump station are available at nearby New Brighton State Beach.
Within a couple of miles, you can find shopping, dining, and grocery stores.
What You Need to Know Before You Go to Seacliff State Beach
- This oceanfront campground is justifiably popular. Your best bet is to make reservations as far in advance as possible, which is seven months ahead. Learn about how to make California state park reservations. To be ready in time to snag a spot before they're all gone, pick your target sites before the reservation window opens by checking the campground map ahead of time. You can also see photos of the campsites at CampSite Photos.
- A limited number of non-hook up campsites are sold by lottery at 12:30 p.m. every day. You have to be there with your RV before noon to sign up for the lottery.
- Camping vehicles must be fully self-contained. That means they need to have permanent working plumbing fixtures, flushable toilets, and a sealed effluent holding tank. Your RV must be present when you register. You have to back into all campsites (for safety in case of a quick evacuation).
- Visitors who review the campground at Campground Reviews frequently mention that you may need two long sewer hoses for the hookup sites.
- Only one RV and a maximum of 8 people are allowed per campsite.
- If you want to use a picnic table, bring your own. To have a fire, you'll need to bring a raised fire ring.
- The Park Store carries souvenirs and the like, but the nearest grocery store is a Safeway, which is on the north side of Highway 1 at 16 Rancho Del Mar, Aptos, CA, about 3 miles away.
- Dogs allowed on leash only. At night, they have to be in your RV or vehicle.
How to Get to Seacliff State Beach Campground
Seacliff State Beach Campground is in the town of Aptos, near Santa Cruz, CA. You can find more information about it at the Seacliff State Beach website.
Seacliff Beach is 5.5 miles south of Santa Cruz. Exit CA Highway 1 at State Park Drive and go a short distance toward the water to the park entrance kiosk.
If you need an address for your GPS, enter 223 State Park Dr, Aptos, CA, which is the location of the Sno-White Drive-In on the way to the park.