We were able to get a spot for a night of tent camping. The campgrounds along the beaches fill up fast in the summer and are booked up in advance. It seems it may be easy to get a Fri night spot if you live close by and don't mind one night of camping.
We have camped at Carlsbad State Beach and was expecting this place to be similiar. There are 2 areas for camping, bluff sites and a separate site called San Mateo. We camped at a bluff site.
There is no privacy when camping here, you are right next to people and everyone can see you. Try to get an end spot in a section if possible. There really isn't a view of the ocean, you can see it in the distance, especially if you are in the higher numbered spots. We had spot 117. Our spot was also exposed to freeway noise. Some of the other spots have higher bush lines on the other side to hide the freeway. When we were leaving, we tried to determine if any sites would be better and determined sites in the 50s and 60s might be better. These sites weren't exposed to the freeway and may have had a better oceanview.
You can get down to the beach by walking on the several trails. We were in between trail 5 and 6. 5 was a steeper trail. The beach is popular for surfers and there are lifeguard towers at the end of each trail. Walk in either direction away from the trails if you want to get away from some of the crowd.
There are flush toliets and showers on the outside of the toliets. Showers for mostly rinsing off sand. 2 sinks are at each restroom area, no soap or towels.
I love camping and would consider camping here again if no other campgrounds are available, but I definitely prefer Carlsbad! I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone tent camping that enjoys space and privacy and quiet.
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