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“Best Spot in So Cal” 5 of 5 stars
Review of San Elijo State Beach Campground

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San Elijo State Beach Campground
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Del Mar, CA   |  
Hotel amenities
Newquay, England, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Best Spot in So Cal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2011

Having travelled throughout california in an RV, this spot is one of our top favourite places in the whole of California. Located on the bluff overlooking the Pacific ocean, it's a clean, tidy and well run camping ground with helpful staff. We've now visited there on several occasions over the past few years and have always had a wonderful experience. There are lots of great facilities nearby, and if you're there for the surf you wont be disappointed! Thankyou for another great trip San Elijo!!!

Room Tip: Save a bit of money - the seafront pitches are $20 more than the inland ones. Book the row behind b...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    13
    15
    5
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2011

Well organized, nice campground. We went there for second time in 9 years. Another great experience being so close to ocean. The only minus of this great place is noisy train and nerby road.
Stan and Bozena

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, California
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2011

I love coming to this campground for beach camping. The campsites are above the beach on a cliff and there are steps that get you down to the beach. Even if you do not have a site overlooking the beach and ocean, there some sites that are still scenic as the sun goes down at night. There is not a lot of tall, mature trees. However there are plenty of small tees and bushes so that there is not a barren feel to the campground. It is great for kids to ride their bikes and there is a bike/walking path along the main highway. The beach is VERY accessible and as a mom that translates to not needing to haul all our beach stuff for long distances. There are plenty of restaurants (casual and nice), including a taco stand at the campground, that you can walk to. The main drawback is the train tracks nearby. For some people, it keeps them from coming here. It hardly ever bothers me or wakes me at night and the kids love seeing and hearing the train multiple times a day. There are showers with hot water that you pay for with tokens bought at the campground. The bathrooms are pretty decent for camping-cleaned once a day in the morning. They can be pretty nasty by night time.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2011

Sites here are very difficult to book. I was lucky enough to secure a beach facing site #21 and we all have a great time at this camp site. This site is right next to the stairs leading down to the beach (the campsites are located on a bluff overlooking the beach) so it's convenient, but you do lose a bit of privacy and the beach/sea view is slightly obstructed by the stairs. The full hookups at this site was a pleasant change to the primitive sites at a lot of the state beaches. The toilets were reasonably clean, but don't expect too much. Sites were spacious and quite well separated with some level of privacy for most. The beach itself affords a very pleasant walk. We were very excited to see wave after wave of pelicans flying in formation right next to the campsites. It was a sight to behold. My guess is that this is a seasonal phenomenon. We will certainly be back.

Room Tip: Book EARLY and try for the Ocean facing sites.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2010

The campground was nice, but packed full. Each site has a fire pit. Bathrooms and showers were as nice as they could be considering all the people using them. Most sites had privacy, but unfortunately, ours did not. We were camping right off PCH in a tent, so you could only imagine how that went with the trains and all. You’re lucky if you get half a night’s sleep…DO NOT stay on this side unless you have a camper/RV or you will be sorry. You will hear everyone walking, biking, and the trains like they were right next to you- plus all the street noise. Takes the joy of camping awa

I did love the beach this was off of and that was the reason we went. There was a lot of seagrass and seaweed but no trash. The beach was romantic as it wasn’t too crowded. Seemed like it was a surfer’s paradise there. The store at the campground made things very convenient. My husband said they had everything you would ever need.

We are definitely coming back, but only if we can book the ocean view sites!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2010

This was the southernmost stop of our 3-week road-trip through CA, mostly staying at State Park campgrounds. The park was in an awesome location, beach-wise and amenity-wise. It was difficult to get into sometimes as there is only one lane going in and if you are just returning to the campground you have to wait behind everyone else who is checking in.

Our problem: we hardly slept. There were trains going by every 15-minutes to half an hour until at least 1.30am and they started up again around 5am... and blared their horns for at least 10 seconds each time as there is a major vehicle/pedestrian crossing right by the campground. Trains I can sleep through, loud horns I cannot. My husband sleeps through anything and even he was terribly ticked off come 2am. Maybe campsites nearer the beach don't have it as badly, or ones further away from the crossing, but we ended up finding a hotel on our last night because we were exhausted from lack of sleep.

Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Clarita, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2009

We live a couple hours from this terrific campground. I wish we lived close enough to pop over every weekebd, it is that great! Our kids have told us it is their favorite beach campground...and we have been to many.
They are very strict about check-in time so do not bother to check in before 2pm, not even 5 monutes early, WE HAVE TRIED!
Easy fill-up & dump site. Most sites have hook-ups but you will pay more. Most are very easy to back into. Beach front spots are very hard to get but beautiful if you get lucky. In the summer, camp sites towards the back can get hot & have less air flow.
Bring bikes!!! great bike paths & access to the town of Encinitas & Cardiff by The Sea. Of the later make sure to get amazing donuts at VG's & breakfast at Pipes.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about San Elijo State Beach Campground

Address: Del Mar, CA
Location: United States > California > Del Mar
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Del Mar
Number of rooms: 171
Also Known As:
San Elijo State Beach Campground Hotel Del Mar

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