A Local's Guide to Camping on the Central Coast

Whether you're someone who likes backpacking in the depths of the Sierra Nevada's or just like a weekend spent on the beach, this guide will give you some insights into the camping gems of the Central Coast.

Photo found here: https://www.timeout.com/los-angeles/attractions/leo-carrillo-state-park

For those looking for something close to LA, Leo Carrillo State Park is a a dream tucked away in Northern Malibu. You can camp just a few minutes walking distance to the ocean. The purple mountains lining the turquoise ocean makes it a great destination for photographers and artists. And if you visit at low tide, many shells and sea glass pieces can be found. 


Photo found here: https://www.sbadventureco.com/blog/refugio-state-beach-oil-spill-response/

Nestled between both of our Heritage stores, in Gaviota, a "town" of about 70 residents, you can find Refugio Beach. Refugio is located a few minutes off of Route 1 and is mostly passed up by tourists. If you're looking for a safe, calm place to swim and a short hiking trail, this is a great place to camp for a night or two. 

Photo found here: https://www.nps.gov/chis/planyourvisit/santa-cruz-island.htm 

Another easily passed up place are the Channel Islands. Located about an hour long boat ride off of Ventura, Santa Cruz Island is a great choice to combine camping with island life. 


Photo found here: http://ftp.sbcphd.org/parks/jalamacamping.sbc

One of the more remote places on this list can be found about an hour and a half north of Santa Barbara. Jalama Beach offers sand-front camping, several miles of walking, and a famous burger shack. If you find yourself needing a getaway from the city and swarms of people, this is the place to visit. 


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Every beach goer needs a sturdy, reliable cooler and ice packs. Our favorites are from Yeti. 


Just like coolers, every camper needs a a good pocket knife.

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