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“My First Time Camping - Kind Of Perfect!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Jalama Beach County Park

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Jalama Beach County Park
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Star Route, Jalama Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436   |  
Kansas City, Missouri
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“My First Time Camping - Kind Of Perfect!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

As stated in my title, this was my first time camping. Ever. I'm nearly 32 years old, and my husband finally convinced me to "rough it" overnight. We were invited by a friend and his girlfriend whom had camped at Jalama Beach before, and I was pleasantly surprised!

We arrived about 11am. There was no line, as previous reviews stated. None. We paid the $10 overnight parking fee, and drove to our site. Location was perfect. Lot 36B. Nearby the restrooms, on the corner as to not be surrounded by others, and a direct (and very short) shot to the beach/ocean. Perfect June temperatures - 60s during the day, 50s at night. (There are really cute cabins for rent, but they book a few weeks out in the summer.)

The campsite is clean, not immaculate, but it's CAMPING! The restrooms work..they're not great, but they get the job done, and there were no "issues". The beach is really beautiful. The water is lighter (and colder) than in LA. We definitely didn't get in, but there were a few people splashing around, and they seemed to be having a great time! There is a small store to buy ice, beer, snacks, toiletries. Not severely overpriced. There are famous Jalama Burgers, but I am vegetarian, so I didn't indulge. Three of my group did, and they were not disappointed!! (They do offer a veggie burger, but what's the point, right?)

All of the individual spots have fire pits, and plenty of space. There were lots of families, singles, and couples. There were never any issues with drunken people fighting, screaming, etc. Also, no uptight jerks to spoil our time, as we drank many, many beers! The rangers do a round at 10pm, and music has to be turned off. But apparently, sleep comes early during camping, so it was no big deal. Most campers were turning into their tents/cabins by 10:30/11pm. It was a very nice, quiet, cool night of sleep! The stars are gorgeous!!

This campsite is SUCH a perfect break from the city. Previous reviewers had complained about the beach, the winds, etc, but I really thought that all in all, it was a perfect camping destination!!

**Driving distance from West Hollywood: 3 hours and 20 mins with a couple of short breaks

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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40 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Huntington Beach, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

Went to Jalama Beach, Friday, June 21st - after leaving Lompoc from my motel - to do some fishing on my birthday. Easy drive from the highway - but wouldn't do it in the dark. Some slightly blind corners and hauling a camping trailer would be a real chore.

$10.00 to get in - for day use parking. Strict dog leash rules: $100.00 fine for first offense. County ranger doesn't play. Tent camping is stark - dust everywhere - restrooms are adequate.

The Jalama store is fine - high prices quite justifiable - considering the distance they have to haul supplies. The burgers are fabulous and the little black birds land on the picnic table. They love fries.

The fishing was okay - Barred Surf Perch and Walleye. Millions of sand crabs for bait. Neat rock formations to explore, but watch the tides. Big waves will get you - wear rugged shoes!

I spent about 8 hours there - to take advantage of the tide change, but I couldn't see camping there - unless you're 20 and simply wanted to drink beer all night.

For me - I can now say I've been there. That's it.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Ventura, Ca.
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

We spent the most wonderful 4 days at this camp. Bookings can be made on-line now as well as reservations for specific spaces.

It is a long slow 14 mile drive to get from the highway to the camp, a very narrow curvy, hilly road that deserves all the care you can give it. But once you get there the view and serenity is well worth the effort.

There are about 100 spaces for tents, trailers, coaches. With location every type of space from actually on the beach, to wind protected tent areas, to the balcony row mostly coaches up here. It can be a tight place for a 38-40ft to get in and out of but with the help of another camper is not to difficult to get in and out of. They now have a row of about 10 cabins just below the balcony row big enough for a family to stay with a car next to it.

Hook-ups are power only or dry. Water is available all over the camp ground, and there is an easy to get to dump station for those who need it. There is a small shop with a café inside. There are old but decent clean showers that run on quarters, usually 2 will do, and clean bathrooms.

The Jalama Burger is okay but not all it's cracked up to be. And be careful when you order fires, you get a bucket load, a single order is enough for 4 people easily.

We will definitely be visiting it again. The peace and tranquility, very friendly staff, happy campers and Sunrise & Sunset are spectacular.

Room Tip: No Rooms - Family cabins - Camp ground with spaces for tents, trailers, coaches etc.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Coast, CA
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

I think this place is special. Not everyone would agree, I'm sure! It's not the Ritz, but it's not camping either. My vision was a fun family time right on the beach, and all of us would agree that it was. The Albatross cabin slept 6, but there was 4 of us plus 2 dogs and I wouldn't have wanted more occupants given that we were all adults and good sized ones at that. Coming from Orange County, we made a stop at Costco in Goleta to pick up most of our food. The cabin was well equipped to prepare and serve everything we'd brought (no oven, keep in mind....just a cooktop). Nice TV with satellite and also a Blu-ray player. There's a little store/restaurant with all the important things you might have missed. For example: S'mores makings....of course we had to have those. The accomodations are perfectly fine and comfortable. We mainly ate, relaxed, walked on the beach, and sat by the fire (it was March). Important what we did NOT do: Check our cell phones, tablets and laptops. You are cut off, and that's wonderful. We actually got to talk to our 19- and 30-year old sons. On Saturday we drove the 25 miles into Lompoc and did some wine tasting. All in all it was great and we definitely would do it again. But appreciate it the first time; it's well worth the experience.

Room Tip: I think all of the cabins would have perfectly fine views. You're about 1500 yards from the wat...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brea,CA / Chattanooga, TN
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

While camped at Morro Bay SP, friends told us about Jalama Beach. Was indeed worth the 14.5 mile windy, curvy road from Hwy 1. Coming over the last summitt, you see the deepest blue Pacific with white ribbon surf and sand. This secluded site is almost 60 years old ... and due to budget cuts, is showing it's age. However, these do NOT impede the quietness of solitude and the vast panorama b4 your eyes. RV hookups are 30 amp only, and only top two terrace levels. If your RV water is low, best to pull-up to the big tank and fill up before you hook up. The onkshore wind can be really strong, so have good books or videos. ALERT - no cell phone or internet ... unless you have sat. dish on your roof. We found an awesome collection of small rocks along edge of the surf ... bucket fulls in fact. Suggest planning spend a minimum of 2-3 days to warrant the long drive - since you have retrace back to Hwy 1. Online reservations since March 1st makes it even more attractive.

Room Tip: The cabins are reserved months in advance. The ADA rental is really great.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013 via mobile

I'm not a camping kinda of person, more of a city slicker but I always wanted to camp by the beach. Found this hidden Gem, passing Santa Barbara.
It's a state park, I rented a Cabin, we were 2 families with little ones under 4 years old. The cabin was perfect, had all the ammenties, small kitchen, DVD player, beds, bring your on blankets or sleeping bags,ect ect. You really feel like your someplace else, beach is located 15miles from Lompoc, no houses around.
There is a market on site, so if you forgot anything they have it., plus a little restaurant with the best burgers, friendly people,
No cell reception, which is kinda nice, but if you need to call out, they have a few pay phones. You really feel your out in nature, beautiful sunsets, they only thing that you must deal with is the wind, during the day it was fine, but at nite it was windy, a few tents flew away, but I was lucky I rented a cabin, so the wind did not bother me. You have to book 6 months in advance if you want a cabin, if you want to park your RV with your tents, you don't have to book that far in advance, sometimes they have something that same day but summer is high peak, bathrooms and showers were very clean, showers had warm waters and heard they were very clean, I had a cabin and that was perfect for me and my family. I went in August and that was a perfect time to go, weather wise. My family had a blast , these are memories they will have forever, playing in the sand, enjoying an ice cream with no cares in the world. If your like me and cant rough it out, a cabin is the perfect choice.Doesn't get better than this.
Alcohol is allowed.no noise after 10pm.
Park rangers are very friendly and helpful. I highly recommend.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Laguna Niguel, California, United States
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

My husband booked this trip for our anniversary and I wasn't thrilled. Beach sand, no fancy restaurants. BUT it ended up being wonderful. On the sand with our dogs and the best Jalama burgers ever.
Bring a flashlight and enjoy more stars than I have seen in years. The cabins are not easy to find a date to rent but if you can get one, enjoy!!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Jalama Beach County Park

Address: Star Route, Jalama Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436
Location: United States > California > Lompoc
Amenities:
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Lompoc
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Jalama Beach County Park Hotel Lompoc

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