Pitch a tent and stay awhile. With 840 miles of majestic coastline to explore, camping in California offers boundless opportunities for the wandering surfer. With multi-million-dollar vistas and immediate access to some of the Golden State’s best setups, a stay at any of the coastal campgrounds is cheaper than Motel 6 and considerably less dodgy. It wasn’t easy, but we’ve whittled down our list of California camp spots to provide the top 10 where you’re most likely to score nearby. From the bottom to the top of the state, here are our favorites:
San Elijo State Beach
A statue known as “The Cardiff Kook” marks the location of San Elijo State Park along Pacific Coast Highway. The artist responsible for the piece obviously never saw Joel Tudor’s graceful approach to riding waves in nearby lineups.
Situated on some of the best real estate in the country, for $50/night you can score an oceanfront campsite at San Elijo State Beach, settle in and wait for the tide to get just right. Fun beachbreak waves right out front give way to higher-quality setups both to the north and south, namely Swami’s and Cardiff Reef. Inland sites go for $35/night while beachfront sites are $50. RV hookups are available.