Where to Camp

Whether you like your camping adventure on an island, close to the sea, or at a reservoir with no motorized boats, these three places hit the spot … the sweet spot for pitching a tent and enjoying some hikes and kayak explorations.

Week: 06.01.2022
Regions: Northern & Southern CA

Island Ahoy!

Camp and Hike on Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park

Two people smiling for a selfie on Santa Cruz Island Channel Island National Park
Two people hiking on Santa Cruz Island Channel Islands National Park
Picnic table at Smugglers Cove beach on Channel Islands National Park
Campers setting up and wandering among tents for camping at Santa Cruze Island
Take to the seas on a weekend adventure to remote Santa Cruz Island (the largest among Channel Islands National Park) and an idyllic campsite coupled with a rugged 8-mile (round-trip) trek to a hidden beach.
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Now You Sea It

Monterey Bay Aquarium's New Into the Deep Exhibit

Kelp Forest
couple viewing kelp forest
The Monterey Bay Aquarium's newest exhibition, Into the Deep, is a fully integrated ocean experience taking you from mesmerizing shoreline kelp forests all the way to the bottom of the sea.
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Sleeper Hit

Camp and Kayak at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest

Camp and Kayak at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest
It's all about the water, and the camping, at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest, a High Sierra reservoir perfect for kayak explorations and pitching your tent with the lake in the background.
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Sweet and Salty

Camp on the Sonoma Coast at Salt Point State Park

woman on rocks at Salt Point State Park Sonoma Coast
woman camping at Salt Point State Park on Sonoma Coast
woman hiking at Salt Point State Park Sonoma Coast
waves crashing at Salt Point State park
Located on Highway 1 about 18 miles north of Jenner, Salt Point State Park is wild, scenic, and one of the most beautiful places to do some classic coastal camping.
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El Capitán, My Capitán

Camping at El Capitán State Beach

Sunset at El Capitan State Beach in Santa Barbara
Camper at campsite at El Capitan State Beach in Santa Barbara
Person enjoying El Capitan State Beach near Santa Barbara
The best part about camping at El Capitán State Beach? It just might be sunset. The campground, perched on a forested bluff above the beach, gives you the best seats in the house for watching the sun settle down into the Santa Barbara Channel.
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  1. Bikers checking out the view of the reservoir from a bench in El Sereno Open Space Preserve on the Bay Area Ridge Trail

    Serenity in El Sereno

    This one’s for solitude seekers. The El Sereno Open Space Preserve leg of the Bay Area Ridge Trail is a new 7-mile (out-and-back) adventure for hikers and cyclists, winding through the chaparral with 1,000 feet of elevation gain and gorgeous views as payoff.

  2. Eat, Sleep, Beach, Repeat

    If you’re looking for one of those ultra-relaxing getaways where you can sit back and soak in some nature and nurture, head to Mendocino and follow this eat, beach, sleep, repeat itinerary ...

  3. Going Deep

    Mesmerized, educated, and inspired are just a few of things you can’t help but feel while visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium and its spellbinding new exhibition, Into the Deep.

  4. woman riding a bike in North Lake Tahoe

    Just in Time for Tahoe!

    Shorter days, cooler nights, and plenty of room to roam: Fall is amazing in North Lake Tahoe! You’re just in time to enjoy North Lake Tahoe’s autumn splendor among trails less crowded.


Trending Stories SoCal

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  1. Historic Hidden Gem

    Smack in the middle of Monterey, and featuring a phenomenal view of the bay and the harbor, Lower Presidio Historic Park is truly an undiscovered gem. In fact, some historians have called it “the most historically significant site on the West Coast of America.”

  2. Two people walking towards Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point Orange County

    Getting Salty

    Long walks on the beach are great, but what about long walks to the beach? This 7.7-mile (round-trip) to the beautiful Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point is one of the best in Orange County.

  3. Beauty and the Beach

    Sweeping, romantic, and vast, Garrapata State Park has all the stuff of swoon-worthy scenery. There’s a magical beach backed by hulking cliffs with a hiking trail we like best in the later afternoon, when the beach can be blissfully deserted.

  4. Pointing It Out

    Wanna hike where the locals do? Visit the new Palo Corona Regional Park in Carmel for a 4.5-mile (round-trip) journey through a beautiful oak forest and up to Inspiration Point for beautiful coastal vistas.