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Over Labor Day weekend we camped at San Elijo. This is only about 45 minutes south of our house, so it was an easy drive. DON’T GET THERE EARLY ! They are very strict about check in time. 2 pm …. NO exceptions… darn it…. because we arrived around 12:30. We’ve never had a problem at other state beaches and thought it was no big deal to arrive an hour and 1/2 early.
San Elijo is made up of 5 loops of campsites. We were in spot #107. It backs up to a busy So. Coast Highway. Luckily, our spot had lots of bushes and trees to block this out. My Sister-In-Law had spot #122 and they had NO bushes and when you were sitting at your campfire, it was like sitting next to the street…. well almost. Here is the campsite map. We have marked where the good spots are. I just snagged #43 (bluff front) for a weekend in December… someone must have cancelled, lucky me !
I didn’t realize we had hook ups at spot #107 and since we pull a pop-up camper, no second car was allowed. This state beach/park is limited on parking. There is no overflow parking for overnight guests. You must find a spot on Coast Highway that is okay for overnight. Luckily a camper next to us didn’t have a car and allowed our daughter to park overnight in his spot.
The closer to the end at Tower 16, the closer you are to the beach. Here are some stairs to the beach from the campsites:
There was a big tide swing when we were there and the tide would come up to the rocks at night. In the morning around 9:30 – 10:00 we would head down to the beach and everyone was lined up against the rocks where some dry sand was. Space was a premium until the tide went out. I saw people going down early – around 7 am – to put chairs and canopies in place to save their spots. Here is the tide in the afternoon – very far out!
The water used to be up past the seaweed!
There is a camp store and grill and the breakfast burritos are really good. This is a great spot for us to camp and close to home!