Back to Nature: Camping in South Orange County

July 30, 2019

Coastal Orange County offers an abundant selection of camping options for some Southern California daytime, overnight, weekend or week-long escape. For those who live at Sea Summit in San Clemente, camping is a satisfying outdoor option for getting away close to home.

Not sure where you want to venture? This overview of some top camping spots can help you narrow your choices down.

O’Neill Regional Park

This campers’ favorite stretches over 4,500 wooded acres within Trabuco and Live Oak Canyons in Rancho Santa Margarita. Campers praise the park for its spacious and neat camping areas, nature trails, picnic spots, lawns and children’s playground, cell phone reception and clean restrooms.

Caspers Wilderness Park

An 8,000-acre wilderness preserve in San Juan Capistrano, Caspers Wilderness Park is situated in coastal Santa Ana Mountains amid sandstone canyons and river terraces. The popular park books up fast for summer weekends, so reservations are needed. Visitors enjoy the affordable camping options, open spaces, playgrounds, location and more.

San Mateo Campground

Popular with RV as well as tent campers, San Mateo Campground in San Clemente is a mile-and-a-half from Trestles beach, which can be reached on a walking path. Spacious camping spots, clean restrooms, firewood for sale and location are just a few of the camper-friendly aspects of the campground.

The Holidays Camp Community

The Holidays is located in San Clemente State Beach with beaches, inspiring views, trails and refreshing coastal breezes. This unique camp rents out stays in 1960s-style vintage campers with updated interiors and modern amenities.

Moro Campground at Crystal Cove State Park

Moro Campground in Laguna Beach is part of Crystal Cove State Park, which features 3.2 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, bluffs, wooded canyons and an underwater park. Visitors can swim, surf, scuba and skin dive, fish, mountain bike, hike and ride horseback, as well as the Historic District, beach and backcountry.

Bolsa Chica State Park

Open to RV camping only, Bolsa Chica State Beach just south of Sunset Beach in OC is popular for surf fishing, surfing, sand volleyball, sunbathing, water sports and family outings. Fifty campsites with electric and water hookups are featured along with picnic tables, outdoor showers and restrooms. A paved beachside trail connects Bolsa Chica and Huntington State Beaches.

Doheny State Beach

The southern part of the Doheny State Beach in Dana Point is dedicated to camping while the northern area for day use features a lawn, picnic facilities and volleyball courts. If you’re lucky you might even snag one of the campsites that are just steps from the beach. Overnight facilities include campsites for individuals, families and groups.


The coastal lifestyle at Sea Summit in San Clemente makes it ideal for those times when you want to vacation right at home. Here, you can enjoy a native preserve, views from sandstone bluffs, trails to the beach, community parks and state-of-the-art Summit Club amenity center. Shops, eateries, coffee shops and more can be found nearby. A limited number of homes remain available in our Azure, Sapphire and Viewpoint neighborhoods, so now is the time to make your move!