6 Must-See Campgrounds

There are natural epicenters that span across North America, with a notable concentration along the Pacific Coast. COVID19 has brought with it a resurgence of camping and creative ways to leave the crowds in search of reconnection with nature. Not only do more people than ever have travel trailers, but virtually everyone is remote working. This combination has afforded new freedoms to visit natural gems around the world. These 6 campgrounds lie alongside the great blue Pacific Ocean and are worth adding to your itinerary. 


Leo Carrillo State Beach

Tide pools, sea caves, coves, dog friendly, surf, sun, and giant sycamores that shad the tucked away campsites in a calm corner along the cusp of the buzz of Los Angeles. The State Park has 1.5 miles of beach for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, and beachcombing. The park also features back-country hiking! It's a great way to get away, hit your internal reset button while enjoying the thunder of waves as opposed to the seemingly endless buzz of car horns, and the industrial orchestra that is an impossible constant of the LA life.

Pismo State Beach

It’s like Lord of the Flies here (without the violence). Most Californian beaches are littered with rules: no camping, no fires, no dogs, no driving on the beach… Not so, here at Oceano Dunes. Oceano Dunes SVRA is located in Oceano, three miles south of Pismo Beach off Highway 1. Entrances to the beach are located at the West end of Grand Avenue and West end of Pier Avenue. One mile south of the Pier Avenue beach ramp is Post 2, which marks the beginning of the off-highway vehicle riding and camping area. OHV's must be transported to this point before unloading. Drive your rig, your ATV, your dune buggy, or your rented desert toy on the beach and the adjoining dunes. Dig a fire, play fetch with your dog, jog along the beach in the quiet morning hours, and enjoy an epic bowl of chowder from nearby Splash Cafe.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

How often do you see an actual waterfall land on the sand? Exactly one time, that’s how often, and it’s here. In addition to the waterfall there are campgrounds, a variety of trees including redwood, tan oak, madrone, and chaparral. The waterfall is an 80-foot single spout 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.

Cape Perpetua

If you can’t decide between camping in the forest or on the ocean, stop trying! This is your place. Enjoy the shelter from the wind and peace afforded to you by giant cedars in this picture-perfect campground and enjoy a five-minute walk to the ocean, toes-in-sand! The campground is surrounded by adventures and large Sitka spruce, Douglas fir and alder trees within the Siuslaw National Forest. Many sites are situated along Cape Creek and are equipped with a picnic table and campfire ring. Flush toilets and drinking water are provided. The visitor center has a phenomenal view of the ocean. The nearest dump station is located in Waldport, about 12 miles north of the campground. Another dump station can be found about 12 miles south at the Carl G. Washburn State Park.

Olympic National Park

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Campground is another fantastic all in one campground where you can enjoy the forest, hot springs, and waterfall all in the same special region! Here, however, you can also enjoy watching whales as they migrate pass you (season-dependent). Located along the Sol Duc River, the hot springs are on the "edge of the backcountry in the heart of the Olympic National Park" with hot spring pools and access to numerous hiking trails. In the late 1800s, settlers found the hot springs and called them "Sol Duc" a mispronunciation of the Quileute word for sparkling waters. You can make reservations for 62 of the resort's 82 tent sites and for all 17 of the resort's RV campsites. The remaining 20 tent sites are managed as walk-in reservations. 

There is some great hiking right from the campgrounds, most notable is the hike to the spectacular Sol Duc Falls. If you're headed out via Forks, make sure and stop at the Hoh Rainforest and Marymere Falls.

Porteau, British Columbia, Canada

A fairytale cove in a sleepy town amongst a surreal mountain-scape. Some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world are viewed here. Also, when the conditions are right you can observe the northern lights here or enjoy a the underwater world with a great diving spot and special amenities for divers. An old ship has been sunk to provide interest for scuba divers and to attract marine life. Situated on the most southerly fjord in North America, Porteau Cove Provincial Park features waterfront campsites with a view over Howe Sound. The adjacent train tracks are active and cause the occasional noise disturbance. While in the area, make sure to visit the Sea to Sky Gondola and Shannon Falls!