It’s official, San Elijo State Beach Campground is one of our top 2 places to camp in San Diego, CA. The other is Carlsbad State Beach. We’ve been doing weekend camping for the last few years now and have stayed at San Elijo a handful of times. This was one of my favorite trips since we had an extra night and really got to enjoy the location. I’ve got a few helpful tips for your next stay at San Elijo State Beach Campground including a few breakfast options and ideal camp spots.
Getting to San Elijo State Beach Campground
This campground is pretty easy to get to from the 5 freeway. It is located on the 101 and is close to shopping centers. San Elijo has street parking right outside of the campground. This makes it easier for visitors to pop by. You can exit the 5 freeway on Birmingham or Manchester. If you’re driving in with a trailer, note that there is a u-turn to get into the campground on the 101.
Best Spots to Grab at San Elijo State Beach Campground
The best spots are on the south end and are the closest to the beach. We had a spot that we could walk closely to a set of stairs to go down to the beach or take a little longer of a walk down to head straight onto the sand. This is a great option if you’re not into the giant sets of stairs that this beach and Carlsbad have. Even the set of stairs closest to us and the most south at this campground were much shorter. The farther south you are at this campground, the closer you are to Cardiff Beach too.
The tide was really low during our trip so the kids were able to play in the San Elijo Lagoon entrance channel. They thought this was so fun because they could walk to the other side and swim back. The waves on the ocean side were over the rocks though making surfing a little harder for the younger kids. The bigger kids and adults enjoyed the surf.
Awesome Camping Breakfast Ideas
We had some of our favorite breakfasts during this trip. We camped with our good friends and split up all meals so we could cook every other meal. We made a bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich on English muffins and baked all of them in the trailer oven for about 10 minutes. Our friends made really tasty breakfast quesadillas with egg, cheese, sausage and leftover tri-tip. Both breakfasts turned out really yummy and are fairly simple to put together while camping. Use bacon or sausage that is precooked for less mess. We also stopped in VG Donut & Bakery for the best donuts you can get in Cardiff.
This beautiful pathway leads straight to VG Donut on the other side of the 101. You can take it a little farther and get to Seaside Market, a super awesome grocery store.
We highly recommend this campground for anyone looking to experience beach camping in San Diego. It’s one of our favorite spots and we hope to spend a lot more time here. We even considered running the campground store but ultimately decided it’s just the best place to camp. In the future, we will sign up to be campground hosts for our retirement fun. #CampGoals
San Elijo State Beach Campground Location
2050 S Coast Hwy 101
Cardiff, CA 92007