Big Sur is one of California's most iconic destinations! If you have a California Coast road trip or vacation planned and are heading to Big Sur then see this round up of the top 5 camping spots to stay at along this magnificent stretch of coastline.
1. Kirk Creek Campground
Kirk Creek Campground is located on a 100 foot bluff with epic views of Big Sur and the Pacific Ocean. The campground is within walking distance of several scenic trails that lead into the Los Padres National Forest.
A short walk from camp is a trail that will take you to a rocky beach. You can also visit Sand Dollar Beach located 5 miles south which is a nice sandy beach great for swimming , sunbathing and surfing.
There are more hiking and mountain biking trails within a short drive of this campground which offer scenic views of waterfalls, redwood groves, mountain meadows and streams. Directly across the highway from the campground is the Vicente Flats Trailhead which leads into the Ventana Wilderness.
The Kirk Creek Campground offers tent and RV sites however there are no hook-ups available. Each site includes a picnic table and campfire ring with grill for frying up those burgers or tofu dogs. Just remember to bring your own water as there is no water available at the campground.
Fee: $35.00 per night
2. Limekiln State Park
Limekiln State Park offers a 29-site campground with various sites nestled in a shaded redwood grove along Limekiln Creek or more exposed spots in the sun with ocean views at the bottom of Limekiln Canyon.
There is access to a small beach and some short hiking trails up Limekiln Canyon to Hare Creek, Limekiln Falls and the historic lime kilns. You can also hike far out into the wilderness via Cone Peak Road / Stone Ridge Trail.
There are picnic tables by the beach at the bottom of the canyon perfect for a picnic lunch or dinner. The campsites also come with picnic tables, fire pits, and pedestal barbecue grills. The campsites in the redwoods are small so only RV campers are allowed up to 24 feet and trailers maximum length 15 feet at the ocean sites. There is no dump station or hook-ups at the park. This campground is ideal for tent camping or van camping.
Fee: $35.00 per night
3. Plaskett Creek
Plaskett Creek Campground is in an awesome location just minutes from one of the largest and most popular beaches in central California; Sand Dollar Beach. A variety of trails exist along the beach which lead to the bluffs that overlook the beach and coves in the area. Like most campgrounds in Big Sur, there is never a lack of hiking trails or beaches to explore and Plaskett Creek is no exception.
The campground has a park-like setting under a scattered canopy of Monterey pine and Cypress trees. Cedar trees provide a fragrant aroma here. All sites are grassy and the campground is situated in the Los Padres National Forest.
The campground offers single-family sites, as well as three group campsites for tent and RV camping. Campsites are each equipped with a table and campfire ring with grill. Flush toilets, sinks and drinking water are provided throughout the campground. An accessible flush toilet is located near Site 10.
Fee: $35.00 per night
4. Ventana Campground
Ventana campground is an ideal spot when it comes to Big Sur camping. Every site includes a parking spot, a campfire ring with grill, a picnic table and there is room for at least two tents. There are several clean restroom facilities with showers, clean trash enclosures and a general store that sells firewood should you run out. If feel like having a night off from cooking camp food you can head up the hill to the Ventana Inn for a meal or a cocktail.
Plenty of hiking, sightseeing and photo opportunities are in the area. The campground is situated under magnificent Redwood trees which keep the camp relatively cool and shady throughout the day. As night falls rug up next to the fire and look up through the trees to see glimpses of the moon and stars.
Note: Ventana Campground is on the high end of the scale in terms of prices.
Fee: $50 per night
5. Big Sur Campgrounds and Cabins
Big Sur Campgrounds and Cabins has more of a park like feeling with cabins as well as campsites. For fun you can swim or hop into an inner-tube and float down the river. You can also toss a fishing line in the river in the hopes of taking dinner back to the camp. Just remember to check seasonal rules as catch and release is in effect at certain times of the year.
Pitch your tent among the tall Redwood trees and enjoy camping in one of the most beautiful settings along the Big Sur Coast! A fire pit and picnic table are provided at each site, and you'll find a bath house with hot showers nearby. The campground also welcomes you and your RV and can accommodate trailers and motor homes up to 40 feet in length. Sites include 20 amp electricity and water hook-ups. If you don't have an RV and don't feel like roughing it in a tent, book yourself a stay in one of the cute little cabins!
Fee: Campsite $60 - $75 per night
Fee: RV Site $75 - $85 per night
Fee: Tent Cabins $200 -$400 per night
Plan A Trip
Booking Car Hire
There are many car rental options to choose from including Budget, Dollar Rent-A-Car and Avis. With all car rental companies, you will get a much better rate if you book online and in advance (usually saving of 30%).
BONUS: If you book with Avis in California, there are no one-way drop off fees for travel within the state!