To s’more, or not to s’more, that is the question…
Getting back to the basics can truly bring a family together. Unplugging from all of the electronic devices and taking the time to experience nature can help turn screen time into actual face time.
To help with thy unpluggin', we have created a list of what we think are some of the top public campgrounds. These State owned campgrounds tend to focus on the art of camping — generally catering to smaller trailers and tent camping. Although many do have designated RV sites, they tend to be a little more rustic than privately owned RV Parks.
To refine your search and focus on another vacation location, please select it from our Destination Explorer and search away!
Monterey Camping (elevation 3,169 feet.)
The park features expansive views of the Monterey Bay from its hiking trails in the grasslands of the higher peaks of the Gavilan Range. Other views include the San Benito Valley, Salinas Valley, and the Santa Lucia Mountains east of Big Sur.
Fremont Peak has ten primitive family campsites and 40 picnic areas. Two of the park's six group camps, which will accommodate up to 50 people and can be reserved at Ticketron outlets; the remaining four must be reserved through the park supervisor. The group picnic area is first-come-first-served.
Skyline Drive, Monterey, CA (831) 646-3865
City of Monterey – This 50-acre park with overnight camping, walking trails, BBQ picnic areas, play equipment, turf playfield, is located in Monterey. The Park has a basketball court, limited hiking trails, and a large lawn area which can be used for Frisbee, kite flying, football, softball and relaxing.
Containing 4,800 acres, Andrew Molera State Park is located in the spectacular Big Sur Area. The Big Sur River runs through the park. Miles of trails wind through meadows, beaches and hilltops. A primitive trail camp, popular with hikers and bikers, is located approximately one third mile from the parking area. The campsites are located in a primitive trail camp–approximately one third mile from the parking area.
Highway 1, Big Sur, CA (831) 667-2322
This is a privately operated, year-round campground RV park. Located in the redwoods trees along the Big Sur River, it aminities include: store, laundry, playground & basketball court. Tent camping with hot showers. RV camping with water & electric hook-ups as well as a dump station.
This Forest Service campground is operated by Parks Management Company. It features 12 tent sites only. Summer and Winter. No running water, so bring your own.
Located in the redwood forest along the Big Sur River, it a 60-unit campground. Available facilities: tent camping, tent-cabins, and RV Parking.
The park stretches from the Big Sur coastline into nearby 3,000-foot ridges. The park features redwood, tan oak, madrone, chaparral, and an 80-foot waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean from the Overlook Trail. A panoramic view of the ocean and miles of rugged coastline is available from the higher elevations along the trails east of Highway 1.
The park offers Environmental Camping only. Located west of the highway a little over 1/4 mile from the parking lot, Saddle rock (No 1) and South Garden (No. 2) are the park's only campsites. Visit their Web site for additional information.
The park contains 716-acres. The park features breathtaking views of the Big Sur Coast, the beauty of the redwoods, and the cultural history of limekilns. Co-managed with California Land Management, the parks has 33 campsites.
The park has 800 acres of redwoods, conifers, oaks, sycamores, cottonwoods, maples, alders and willows – plus open meadows. Hikers can enjoy the many scenic loops, including a self-guided nature loop. Overlooks provide spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the Big Sur Gorge. Campsites are along the Big Sur River.
Hwy. 1, Big Sur, CA (831) 667-2414
This privately operated campground has 45 sites that are available for tent and RV camping.
Ventana Campground a combination of rustic camping with modern facilities. Three bath houses have hot showers, electrical sockets, and flush toilets. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, and running water is a short walk from all sites.