The San Elijo State Beach campgrounds are some of the nicest in San Diego. Of course, the prime attraction is their beachfront location. This is an area not for secluded camping, but designed for the active beach going lifestyle. The campground has several higher end facilities and within walking distance are many great stores, restaurants and nightlife.
Overall San Elijo State Beach has 171 sites. This includes some RV sites with hookups. There is also plenty of tent camping, and some people choose to hike, or even boat to the campgrounds. The campground has full shower and laundry facilities. Across the street is the famed Seaside Market and other Cardiff-by-the-Sea restaurants (see our guides to the Cardiff area and Seaside Market). There is also a full store and market that operate March through December.
The campsites on the southern end are on a lower section of the bluff. This means a shorter climb to the beach. However, it should be noted that until mid-2019 some of the southern end of the campgrounds are closed for construction of a new lifeguard tower.
For several years, the store was also home to a taco stand, operate by Bull Taco. In 2018, Bull Taco closed down and San Elijo State Beach is looking for a new concession operator. The concession is a nice spot with picnic tables overlooking the ocean. In summer 2018 they were still serving a limited menu of food.
San Elijo State Beach Campground Prices Summer 2018
Campsite Inland $35
Campsite Inland with Hookup $60
Campsite Ocean $50
Campsite Ocean Hookup $75
The campgrounds at San Elijo State Beach are divided by those that are right on the bluff and those that sit a few feet inland. Of course, you pay more for the ones right on the bluff. However, the inland campsites are also very close to the beach and you can still get great views.
The camping at San Elijo State Beach is definitely different than what you find in the San Diego mountains. You are definitely in the middle of civilization, but it does actually feel fairly secluded all things considered. There are all kinds of places to eat and some great hikes and wildlife exploring at San Elijo Lagoon.
For more on the beach area at San Elijo State Beach Campgrounds see our overview. For a guide to the general Cardiff-by-the-Sea area go here. For an overview of the nearby San Elijo Lagoon go here and for a cool hike nearby check out Annie’s Canyon Trail.