Looking for the best kid-friendly campgrounds in Southern California? Between the beaches and the forested mountains, there are so many incredible scenic places to camp in Southern California. When camping with young kids or first-time campers, picking the right spot with essentials like bathrooms is critical to having a memorable experience. Some of the best family camping spots make the adventure more incredible, with amenities like hiking trails, swimming pools, horseback riding, and even covered wagons to sleep in!
To make your job easier, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best kid-friendly campgrounds near Los Angeles to check out.
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Kid-Friendly Campgrounds in Southern California
The Malibu Creek State Park campground is a great starter spot for families with young campers on a first-time camping trip. It has easy access from all over LA, and the close proximity means if for any reason you can’t make it through the night, you can get home fast. The open campground nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains features nature trails, an easy hike to a waterfall, an interesting visitor center, and the all-important flush toilets. The park also features family-friendly campfire programs at the campground amphitheater on Saturday nights during the summer season.
Address: 1925 Las Virgenes Rd, Calabasas, CA 91302
Reserve campsites online.
The Leo Carrillo State Park campground is another great place for young kids. Situated along the Pacific Coast Highway, the campground provides the best of two worlds, with tree-lined campsites and easy access to the beach. The campground, shaded by giant Sycamores, features fire rings, flush toilets, showers, and trailer sites. Junior ranger and campfire programs are offered during the summer. A short walk under PCH takes you to the beautiful sandy beaches where you can explore tide pools and coastal caves, swim, and surf. There’s something here for the entire family to enjoy!
Address: 35000 West Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
Reserve campsites online.
Located in the coastal Santa Monica Mountains, one of the most beautiful California State parks provides access to sandy beaches, lagoons and tide pools, sand dunes, over 70 miles of trails, and incredible views. The park features two distinct campgrounds, Sycamore Canyon Campground, and Thornhill Broome Campground. Set back from PCH, Sycamore Canyon features 58 campsites with access to showers and flush toilets. The campsite has a nature center and is within walking distance of Sycamore Cove Beach, which has picnic tables. Thornhill Broome is situated right on the beach along a 2-mile stretch of PCH and features primitive campsites with trailer parking and the ability to pitch tents right on the sand. Vault toilets are available, and there are a few roadside spigots for potable water and fire pits for use on the beach.
Address: 9000 West Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
Reserve campsites online.
Between Santa Barbara and Ventura sits Lake Casitas, a 2,500-acre lake perfect for a family getaway. The campsite, open year-round, is divided into 13 camping areas with various amenities, including RV hook-ups, tent sites, and group sites. While the lake is no-contact, you can enjoy water play at Lake Casitas Water Adventure Park, which features something for the whole family, including water slides, inner tube rides, and a swimming lagoon. Boat rentals and fishing gear are available at the marina. There is also a cafe, disc golf course, bike rentals, and bike trails.
Address: 11311 Santa Ana Rd, Ventura, CA 93001
If you’re looking for unique campgrounds, you can’t get much more special than a site that offers teepees and covered wagons to sleep in. The Rancho Oso campground in the Los Padres National Forest features cottages, Western cabins, teepees, and covered wagons to rent. You can also camp the traditional way in a tent or RV. The site amenities include a swimming pool, restaurant, basketball court, volleyball courts, nature trails, horseback riding, mini golf, and more! There is also an activity center with children’s programs and activities run by camp staff.
Address: 3750 Paradise Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Tucked away in the San Gabriel Mountains in the Angeles National Forest, Camp Williams is situated along the East Fork of the San Gabriel River. It has spectacular hiking trails, river swimming, bird watching, gold panning, a cafe, General Store, and access to toilets, food, and hot showers. A stunning resort that blends the beauty of nature with the comfort that makes things easier for children and parents alike, this is definitely one of the best places to camp with kids.
Address: 24210 East Fork Road, Azusa, CA 91702.
Make your reservation by calling (626) 910-1126.
Moro Campground brings the best views of both sides of the natural world. The breathtaking beaches and ocean breezes make for relaxing walks, while the wooded canyons provide a contrastingly green view that turns colorful in spring and autumn. In addition to the traditional campsites, you can also book an overnight stay in the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages in Crystal Cove State Park’s Historic District. Originally built as a seaside colony between 1920 and 1940, there are fourteen individual cottages and ten dorm-style cottages with private rooms. These book up very quickly months in advance.
Address: 8471 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California 92651.
Make your reservation online or by calling (800) 444-7275.
Equipped with the best to deal with your tastes, you can either opt for the tent sites that allow you to bask in true nature or book a luxurious glamping-style accommodation with Wi-Fi if your kids can’t live without their devices.
Address: 7400 Pine Grove Road, Santa Paula, CA 93060.
Make your reservation online or call 877-779-8080.
One of the most entertaining locations on our list, Hesperia Lake, has everything to keep kids excited and engaged. Fishing, scenic picnic areas, and even an equestrian center and soccer field are bound to make them have fun amidst the greenery.
Address: 7500 Arrowhead Lake Rd #7546, Hesperia, CA 92345.
Make your reservation by calling (760) 244-5951.
Located within the Los Padres National Forest, the creek-side campground has many sites to choose from. Forest rangers provide guided tours of the area from the visitor center; however, keep in mind that some of them are first-come, first-served basis, and there is high demand throughout the year.
Address: 17017 Maricopa Hwy, Ojai, CA 93023.
The Serrano Campground offers you and your family the best views and amenities in the San Bernardino National Forest within walking distance of Big Bear Lake. Popular activities include fishing and boating on the lake, hiking, and mountain biking trails.
Address: 40800 N Shore Dr, Fawnskin, CA 92333.
Lake Hemet has everything you could wish for—a comfortable and luxurious camping experience waiting for your family or a classic camping ground if you crave fun adventures. Best part? You and your family can rent a boat and explore the vast lake.
Address: 56570 Highway 74, Box 4, Mountain Center, CA 92561.
Campland on the Bay may not be the most classic camping set-up, but it’s undoubtedly one of the most fun. Ice cream, swimming pools, sports facilities, a skate park, a cantina, boats, and even free Wi-Fi will make this a family vacation you won’t forget.
Address: 2211 Pacific Beach Dr., San Diego, CA 92109.
Take your family to a camping experience unlike any other by visiting Santa Catalina Island. Children won’t have time to miss their electronic devices between the fun ferry ride, the six camping options, and the Bison and Undersea expeditions.
Address: Catalina Island Company, PO Box 737, 150 Metropole Avenue, Avalon, Ca 90704.
Make your reservation online or by calling 310-510-4205.