California’s Big Sur: An Unforgettable Camping Experience

Big Sur, California, is one of the most beautiful areas of North America and its campgrounds are ideal for a variety of activities such as fishing, hiking, and exploring the local forests, wilderness and beaches. It’s a wonderful destination for family vacations due to the miles and miles of sandy beaches and hiking trails along with the interesting variety of wildlife. It’s also a pretty remote and isolated area where you can escape from the crowded cities.

The Big Sur area is made up of charming coastal hamlets and villages that are tucked inside of the rocky coastline alongside California’s famous Highway One. There are several state parks and beaches to visit including Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Andrew Molera State Park, and Garrapata State Beach. These areas enable you to picnic alongside the Pacific Ocean while enjoying the company of the local wildlife and the view of the waterfalls.

(photo by Doug Brown 37)

Bird watching is also quite popular in Big Sur and you might be able to see condors, and bald eagles along with elephant seals, whales, mountain lions, and sea lions. If you’re looking for accommodations in the area they can get pretty pricey even in the off season. This makes tent and RV camping a great alternative as it’s quite a bit cheaper. Tent cabins are also common in many campgrounds.

Because it’s such a great deal you’ll find that many of the campgrounds fill up quite quickly during the summer. It’s a good idea to reserve a campsite as far ahead in advance as you can. Between September and November things quieten down a bit and it’s usually pretty easy to find a good spot. You won’t regret camping here as it’s a very memorable place with its lush forests, blue ocean, warm temperatures and tranquil setting. You’re surrounded by nature everywhere you look.

The mornings and evenings can still be pretty cool and foggy on the California coast though and you’ll need to make sure you take some warm clothing with you. The afternoons are typically nice and warm so dressing in layers is usually the best thing to do. Most Big Sur campgrounds allow pets and also sell firewood.

Some of the most popular campgrounds are Andrew Molera State Park, Big Sur Campground and Cabins, Fernwood Campground, Limekin State Park, and Plaskitt Creek Campground.

Andrew Molera State Park has 24 in campsites and plenty of hiking trails near the Big Sur River. Big Sur Campground and Cabins is open all year long for tent and R.V camping and also rents cabins and inner tubes near Big Sur River. Limekin State Park has 33 campsites on its 716-acre property and overlooks the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Fernwood Campground has 60 campsites as well as a motel. Plaskitt Creek Campground is ideal for families as it’s across from Jade Cove and San Dollar Beach.

If you’d like to visit Big Sur you can drive 60 miles southbound on Highway One if you leave from Monterey. If you leave from San Simeon it’s about 60 miles north on the highway. The highway stretches for about 90 miles along the Santa Lucia Mountain ranges, meaning you get spectacular scenery on both sides. The population along the coastline of Big Sur is only about 1,000 people, but it’s estimated that three million people visit the area each year.