San Diego Camping Travel Guide

The self-proclaimed “America’s Finest City” is one of the rare places that lives up to its tourism board slogan. San Diego encompasses everything you look for in a vacation on the road. Miles and miles of coastal highway, the amazing variety of landscape, and and year-round perfect weather will leave you wishing you could camp here forever. Pack up the RV or motorhome and hit the road to indulge in all San Diego has to offer.

Though planning a trip is exciting, it can be overwhelming. The list of camping experiences San Diego has to offer is endless. Our San Diego RV camping guide has narrowed down our top three recommendations of the best places to stay, places to eat, and things to do in San Diego on your RV camping trip. 


Stay:

San Elijo Beach Campground 

A Beach Oasis

San Elijo Beach Campground

No sound machine is needed when you can fall asleep to the sound of real ocean waves crashing right outside your door. This beachfront oasis is heaven on earth with ⅓ of the campsites offering unobstructed views of the 2 mile long coastline. Be sure to check out -delete (Check out) the ground's famous family-friendly taco stand with 360 degree oceanfront views, or take a short walk outside the grounds and discover plenty of local restaurants and coffee shops. Surf, stroll, or savor the scenic views of San Elijo Beach on your next trip. 


Campland on the Bay

Total Family Fun

Campland on the Bay Beach Campground

The kind of place kids dream about. Make their dreams come true by planning to stay at Campland on the Bay. The list of amenities is endless, but to name a few highlights the campsite has to offer: Swimming pools & jacuzzi hot-tubs, a marina, watercraft & bicycle rentals, ice cream parlor, yard game competitions, and yes, the list goes on. The location is also in close proximity to some of San Diego’s most famous attractions such as SeaWorld (so close you can see the theme parks fireworks at night from the campground), the USS Midway Museum, GasLamp Quarter, and La Jolla. Check out their website to see their daily scheduled activities and for reservation information.


Lake Jennings

The Fisherman's Paradise

Lake Jennings Campground fishing

Head inland and experience gorgeous lakeside views and the wooded surroundings of Lake Jennings. You’ll feel as if you're in the middle of nowhere, just right outside of town which is what makes this site so attractive. Lake Jennings is known for being one of the most scenic parks in all of San Diego county and contains some of the best fishing, hiking, and camping experiences as well. Fishermen will be pleased to hear the lake stocks 30,000 fish every year and is stocked weekly during the summer months. Escape to the peace and quiet away from the tourist crowds at Lake Jennings campground. 


Eat: 

The Fishery

Seafood by the Ocean

The Fishery San Diego Restaurant

This family-owned, locally sourced seafood restaurant serves as the perfect retreat for date night away from the campsite.  Taste the bounty of the west coast, on the coast by only being a short ten-minute walk from the beach. Not only is The Fishery a fabulous restaurant but also a seafood distributor and market. If you're eager to head back to the campsite for a night-in, swing by and grab some fresh seafood you can cook up from the comfort and privacy of your rig.


Snooze, an A.M. Eatery

Hit snooze, get brunch!

Snooze an A.M. Eatery San Diego Restaurant

Don't bother cooking breakfast after a late night at the campsite and head over to Snooze, an A.M. Eatery. The large array of sweet and savory options will have your party’s mouth watering. Their specialty is taking the classics of eggs, batter, and coffee and giving them a new reputation. You won't be sleeping on this brunch spot once you try it.


The Crack Shack

Family Friendly Dinner Option

The Crack Shack San Diego Chicken Restaurant

For a family friendly dining experience, The Crack Shack offers chicken without limits. This restaurant gives the quality of fine dining and the atmosphere of a backyard barbecue. There’s yard games available for the kids to play, and a bar for the parents to supervise from. This creative and fun restaurant is the perfect stop for everyone in the family that will have them begging to come back. 


Explore Attractions:

USS Midway Museum

USS Midway Flight Deck San Diego Top Gun

Calling all TopGun fans! Once America’s longest serving aircraft of the 20th century, is now an interactive attraction for everyone. You can't beat the city skyline views from the flight-deck, or escape the sun and head below deck to witness the tight living spaces crewmen experienced while serving on this floating city. The museum is on the aircraft itself led by guided audio tours that feature interview excerpts from former crewmen and directions to and explanations for different aircrafts and areas throughout the carrier. This is a great way to spend the afternoon in downtown San Diego while restaurants are crazy during the lunch rush. 


SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld Killer Whales San Diego

A visit to San Diego SeaWorld will make an ocean of a difference on your trip. From world class animal shows, thrilling roller coaster rides, all laid out across scenic Mission Bay Park, it's no wonder why this is an absolute must-see for tourists alike. SeaWorld rescues its exotic animals from being stranded, injured, or fallen due to illness along local coastline beaches and over the last 55 years, they have saved over 39,000 animals. Emperor, California's longest, tallest, and fastest dive coaster is now open at the park and is in great company with all the other heart-pounding thrill roller coasters. To get even closer to marine life, make a reservation for interactive experiences like the Dolphin Encounter where guests will get to touch and interact with bottlenose dolphins!

 

Balboa Park

Balboa Park San Diego To Do

17 major museums, performing art venues, gorgeous gardens, and the world-renowned San Diego Zoo makes Balboa Park the cultural heartbeat of San Diego. Spread across 1,200 acres of lush landscape, Balboa park is the nation's largest urban cultural park. Be sure to walk through the Botanical Building which serves as the architectural backdrop for most images of the park, or take one of the free guided tours along the grounds to soak in all the park has to offer. You can spend a whole day at the San Diego Zoo that hosts more than 4,000 animals representing more than 800 different species from around the world, or take in a spectacular show at the theater. You can take this must-see park at any pace you like, and enjoy the vibrant energy that surrounds it. 


In a city like San Diego, you'll find yourself constantly wishing for more hours hours in a day, all while falling in love with the sights and sounds around you. Make sure to come ready with your lists of "must-see" and "must-do", but also leave room to explore all the hidden gems San Diego has in store for you and you'll be sure to have the trip of a lifetime. 

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