Our Comprehensive Guide to Santa Cruz Beach Campgrounds and RV Parks
If your dream campsite is near a Santa Cruz beach, you may want to look at Seacliff State Beach. It is located along a long stretch of beach backed by bluffs. It’s known for its fishing pier, swimming and concrete ship. Another great spot is New Brighton State Beach.
Regardless of the beach campground that you select, you will be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the Pacific Ocean, Monterey Bay and beaches, surrounding bluffs, and rugged rock formations jetting into the water. And, since you are in close proximity to the City of Santa Cruz, after enjoying a day of beach combing and waves crashing against the beach, you can enjoy great dining, unique shops and a very big nightlife.
Big Basin / Rancho Del Oso — campgrounds
The ocean end of Big Basin, Hwy 1 831-338-8860
Located 20 miles north of Santa Cruz on Hwy. 1, the park has miles of trails, which serves hikers and equestrians, links Big Basin to Castle Rock State Park and the eastern reaches of the Santa Cruz range. Maps
2001 Rossi Road – Pescadero, CA
Located 30 minutes north of the City of Santa Cruz, Costanoa is connected to four State Parks – 30,000 acres of hiking trails with a vibrant wildlife reserve. Costanoa offers the unique opportunity to experience outdoor living in comfortable stylish surroundings. Accommodations include canvas cabins – Douglas Fir Cabins – and a forty-room Lodge. Special features include on-site spa services – horseback riding – mountain bike rentals – children’s activities – and a general store and cafe.
Manresa State Beach – Family camp sites
205 Manresa Beach Rd., La Selva Beach, CA 95076 (831) 763-7063
The beach features a beautiful expanse of sea and sand, with surf fishing, and recreation.
New Brighton State Beach — Campgrounds
201 State Park Drive., Aptos, CA (831) 464-6330
The park features picnic areas, swimming, fishing and a nearby forest of Monterey pine. The camping area’s campsites are located on a bluff overlooking northern Monterey Bay.
Nisene Marks State Park— Remote Camps
Aptos Creek Rd. & Soquel Dr., Aptos, CA (831) 763-7062
The park has 10,000 acres of rugged semi-wilderness, rising from sea level to steep coastal mountains of more than 2,600 feet.
The park has a rugged, natural basin forested with coast redwoods, Douglas fir and live oak. Eighteen miles of trails crisscross the canyon and its two streams, Peters Creek and Pescadero Creek.
Pigeon Point Light Station — Hostel
210 Pigeon Point Rd. Hwy 1, Pescadero (650) 879-0633
On California Highway 1, 20 miles south of Half Moon Bay and 27 miles north of Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park (Upper Yacht Harbor)
135 5th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA (831) 475-3279
The R.V. park is located in the north harbor. Do not bring your rig to the harbor office. The Port District maintains a harbor patrol who are on duty 24 hrs/day.
201 State Park Drive., Aptos, CA (831) 429-2850
The park is known for its fishing pier and concrete freighter, the Palo Alto. The beach is also a popular swimming spot. There is a long stretch of sand backed by bluffs.
Sunset State Beach — Campgrounds
201 Sunset Beach Rd., Watsonville, CA (831) 763-7062
The park features pine trees, mountainous sand dunes, and Pacific Ocean side picnic spots. Bordered by large agricultural fields between the cities of Santa Cruz and Monterey, the beach is a year-round destination for thousands of visitors.