9 Best Beach Campgrounds in the West

Fall asleep to the sound of waves and wake up to an ocean oasis.

A group of friends camp on Second Beach in Olympic National Park, Washington.
Camp on Second Beach in Olympic National Park, Washington.
Cultura Creative RF / Alamy

Pack your tent for a quintessential coastal experience: camping on the beach. The salty air, expansive views, and sand underfoot make for an unforgettable experience and an inviting place to cozy up under the stars. If a day trip to the beach isn’t enough, extend your visit by staying at one of these campgrounds along the West Coast and Hawaiʻi. 


Second Beach in Olympic National Park

Sleep on the sand in Olympic National Park. Just south of La Push, Second Beach is one of the easier hike-in camping spots in Washington. After a 0.7-mile hike through the Sitka spruce forest, you reach the beach where you can set up your tent above the high tide mark. A wilderness camping permit through is required for an overnight stay, and reservations for the summer season open on April 15. Don’t forget to pack a bear canister, it’s required to store all food, garbage, and scented items in the canister overnight or when unattended throughout the park. Weekends can get busy in the summer; arrive early or visit on a weekday instead.

Pacific Beach State Park in Pacific Beach

For camping year-round, consider this state park in the sleepy coastal town of Pacific Beach. Choose from 18 standard campsites or 41 partial hook-up sites, or opt for a night in the two furnished yurts. You aren’t allowed to have a campfire at your campsite, but fires are always allowed on the beach. Take a short walk into town for hotdogs and milkshakes from Surfhouse Pub & Cafe. Reservations can be made online or by phone, and sites start at $30.

An RV at Siuslaw National Forest's Cape Perpetua Campground.
Cape Perpetua Campground in Siuslaw National Forest, Oregon.
George Ostertag / Alamy


Cape Perpetua Campground in Siuslaw National Forest

Right off Highway 101, 38 sites are situated along the banks of Cape Creek and surrounded by Douglas fir trees. From the hiking trails and overlooks, you can see two scenic points among the rocks: thunderous waves crash between volcanic rock at Devil’s Churn, while the ocean geyser named Spouting Horn funnels air and water into a wet explosion. Reservations are available online at from March through September, and sites cost $28 a night.

Tillicum Beach Campground in Siuslaw National Forest

Southwest of Corvallis, Tillicum Beach is popular from summer through fall for its whale watching opportunities. Fall asleep to the sound of waves and wake up to sweeping views of the Pacific. About half of the 59 campsites have ocean views, and some are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance at Sites start at $36.

A camper unloads his canoe at Tomales Bay in Point Reyes National Seashore.
Canoe or kayak into your campsite at Tomales Bay in California's Point Reyes National Seashore.
Pascalipatou / Shutterstock


Doran Regional Park in Sonoma County

Nestled in Bodega Bay, this public campground has 120 tent and RV sites spread across five areas within steps to the beach: Jetty, Miwok, Cove, Gull, and Shell. Walk along the shoreline, head to the grassy dunes and boardwalk, or launch your kayak or small boat from the ramp. Reservations are required through the county website, and they open up to 12 months in advance. Sites start at $35 a night, and the campground has potable water, showers, flush toilets, and a dump station. 

Tomales Bay in Point Reyes National Seashore

Escape the crowds by kayaking to a remote campsite in this otherwise coveted area. Only 20 permits ($30 a night for parties under 6 people, $60 for groups of 7 to 14 people, $90 for groups of 15 to 25 people) are available each day through the NPS’s booking platform. Some sites are available three months in advance, some are available 14 days in advance, and the remainder are available for same-day reservations that must be booked online before you arrive. Bring your own potable water, and pack out your trash.

RVs and tents at Jalama Beach Park in Santa Barbara County, California.
Jalama Beach Park in Santa Barbara County.
Bill Morson / Shutterstock

Jalama Beach Park in Santa Barbara County

Maintained by Santa Barbara County, this beachside campground is a seaside escape for families, surfers, beachcombers, and dog owners. More than 100 campsites (beachfront sites 53-64 book fastest) overlook the ocean, and each site has a BBQ pit and picnic table. This campground also has 12 walk-in sites available on a first-come, first-served basis as well as yurts and cabins for rent. Reservations can be made online up to 6 months in advance.


Homer Spit Campground on Kenai Peninsula

The only family-owned spot on the list, Homer Spit Campground is a quirky home base in this Kachemak Bay fishing town. More than 120 campsites range from beachfront to third row, all with views of the bay and Kenai Mountains and some with electric hookups. Campers can hop on and off the Homer Trolley to explore the spit and downtown, or they can board a water taxi (like Marko’s Water Taxi or Coldwater Alaska) to reach new beaches. Camping season is early May through early September, and sites start at $45 a night.


Kīholo State Park Reserve Campground on Hawaiʻi

Sleeping on the sand in Hawaiʻi is an especially tranquil experience with the year-round temperate weather and notoriously warm waters. Kīholo State Park Reserve, a remote lava-covered beach on the northwestern end of the big island, is open to campers Friday through Sunday. Today, the area is still used as a sustenance-based fishery and remains a highly significant cultural site. Dogs (except for service dogs), fires outside designated fire pits, generators or other loud sounds, and alcohol are not allowed. There’s no potable water available, but there are portable toilets. Reservations can be made online up to 30 days in advance, and sites are $30 a night for non-residents.