Trip · 3-day camping trip
For · Friends and new campers
Vibe · Relaxing and chill
Reservations · Yes, reserve a site at San Mateo Campground
Drive · 1.5 hours from LA
Ideal dates · July to October
Pets · Welcome at camp and down by trails 1 and 6
San Onofre State Beach (SOSB) is one of the top five most visited state parks in CA and rightly so. It has 5.5 miles of coastline, which makes it a camper's playground and a surfer's dream. Trestles Beach within SOSB is considered the best year-round surf break in America! For campers, there are six numbered trails (1 to 6) that takes you below towering sandstone bluffs down to the rocky beach. Use the restroom before you hike down and settle in for awesome surfer-watching and ocean views.
Main image credit: California State Parks Foundation
Each campsite comes with a:
San Mateo Campground is a 20-minute walk to the rugged coastline of San Onofre State Beach, but it offers plenty of modern amenities for RV and tent campers alike. The campground has hot, coin-operated showers, restrooms, and RV hookup sites with electricity and water. Some campers suggest bringing ear plugs because you might hear the hum of the highway, but the campground's convenient location to the beach makes it hard to beat.
Check-in: After 2 PM · Check-out: 12 PM
View San Mateo Campground Map
Nightly Rate: $40
San Onofre State Beach was created by Presidential Decree in 1971, and it's leased from the Department of the Navy until 2024
For thousands of years, native Acjachemen people lived in what is now northern San Diego county. Panhe is an ancient Acjachemen village still located in SOSB.
The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher is not only adorable, but also one of ten nationally endangered species that call SOSB home
Imagine a sleeping pad, bag, and blanket all in one. It takes some getting used to, but people love it.
Cuddle with your partner to the max in this spacious sleeping bag, primarily designed for couples.
It's not the fairest of them all, but this affordable sleeping bag delivers on warmth and comfort.
Whether you're a couple or prefer to sleep like a queen, this spacious air mattress will keep you warm at night.
This self-inflating mattress weighs 5+ pounds, but it's comfy enough to forget you're sleeping on the ground.
A soft, comfy jacket that comes in a variety of colors. Wear it in the city or the trail.
A dreamy, colorful sweater to sport around camp and on chillier day hikes.
This mineral-based sunscreen is good for the envrionment and your skin. It's water resistant too.
You don't have to sacrifice color for SPF protection. Look and feel good while protecting your lips.
Campers can use this pot and pan cookset while car camping or backpacking in the woods.
This 4-person cookset comes with a stainless steel cooking pot, pan, lids, plates, bowls, utensils, and more.
When a campground is short of sinks, bring your own. Clean your dirty dishes in this expandable bin.
This expensive stove is for campers who want compact, portability, and performance all in one.
A reliable, popular, and relatively affordable dual-burner camping stove that is fairly heavy, but performs well.
Add a little magic to your experience by hanging these twinkling lights around your tent every night.
These bluetooth speakers are portable and loud enough to help everyone get into the groove.
An affordable day pack for bringing snacks, sunglasses, and water on your next day hike.
You can bet some snuggling is happening when you bring this chair to camp. No complaints though.
Sturdy, reliable, well-designed, and more expensive than most camp chairs, but it'll last for awhile.
Sometimes you just want a camp chair that gets the job done. Nothing glamorous or fancy. Well, this is it.
Sleepover! This is a tent you can stand up in and have plenty of space for air mattresses, doggos, and more.
This was Popular Mechanics "Gear of the Year" winner, and it won Outdoor Retailer's Innovations Awards. NBD.