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7 Best Places for Pismo Beach Camping

7 Best Places for Pismo Beach Camping

Are you planning a future getaway to Pismo Beach and need to find a Pismo Beach camping spot? We’ve compiled a list of the top campgrounds for your next visit to Pismo Beach. Let’s find you a place to serve as a home base while you explore the area.

Let’s get started.

pismo beach surf board sign
Welcome to Pismo Beach, California! @Chantelle via Twenty20

Pismo Beach Is a Perfect Place to Set Up Camp

Pismo Beach sits on the Californian coast of the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. This classic coastal town features the iconic Pismo Beach pier and signs boasting their city name.

Plus, they have 17 miles of beach for you to enjoy the ocean. The town’s famous for seafood, like large clams. And it has some killer cinnamon rolls and insect candy.

Near the pier that stretches out 1,370 feet into the Pacific, you’ll find a boardwalk with a newly-renovated plaza. Upgrades include a neon, seven-foot “Pismo Beach” sign, plus three vintage Airstreams that house a bait shop, a restaurant offering sunset fare, and a visitor’s center.

There’s also a new parking area, street improvements, and a large whale surfing playground for kids. The town has plenty of local shopping options, plus the Pismo Beach Premium Outlets.

Pismo Beach Camping Information

Can You Camp Anywhere on Pismo Beach?

Pismo State Beach is the only beach in California that allows you to drive on it. They even allow Pismo Beach camping in designated beach areas at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA).

This is primitive camping; you won’t find any water, sewer, electric hook-ups, or designated campsites here. There are trash receptacles, vault and chemical toilets, and a fee-based dump station onsite. There are no size limits, and they allow up to 1,000 units at one time.

Aside from Pismo Beach camping, you can go off-road in a dune buggy, four-wheeler, or other all-terrain vehicles. Be sure to bring tow straps if you get stuck and air down your tires before driving on the sand to prevent getting stuck, especially in the dune area. Finally, pay attention to the tide to make sure you’re safe against the ocean.

Two men camping on Pismo Beach
Drive and camp on Pismo Beach in California.

The 7 Best Places to Camp In Pismo Beach

Aside from primitive camping on the beach, Pismo Beach offers many campgrounds. Here are some of our favorites based on amenities and location.

1. Pismo Coast Village RV Resort

Address: 165 S Dolliver St, Pismo Beach CA 93449

About: Pismo Coast Village RV Resort is a large RV resort within walking distance from Pismo Pier. It offers 400 full hook-up sites that are large enough to fit RVs up to 45 feet.

Cost to Camp: Starting at $69 per night

Perks of the Park: There’s a heated pool, mini-golf, laundry, and an indoor arcade onsite. You can also rent bicycles here, making it easier to head to downtown Pismo.

The resort also includes Rock and Roll Diner, a highly-rated restaurant with nightly specials that deliver within the park. Each site comes with free cable and internet.

Morton Road Trip Rating: 9/10

Pro Tip: Want to trade in the beach for a national park? We found the 7 Best National Parks in California.

2. Pismo Sands RV Resort

Address: 2220 Cienaga St, Oceano CA 93445 (next to the town of Pismo Beach)

About: Welcome to Pismo Beach camping in Pismo Sands! This 133-site, paved resort has full hook-up sites and a gated entry. It can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet long, and tents aren’t allowed. Pismo Beach Pier is a 10-minute trip by car.

Cost to Camp: Starting at $70 per night

Perks of the Park: With cable and wifi, you’ll have the amenities you’ll need indoors. There’s a large heated pool and jacuzzi, plus a modern playground outdoors. They also have three- and four-wheeled cycles for rent. 

Morton Road Trip Rating: 7.5/10

Couple walking together on Pismo Beach.
Swim in the warm sea in Pismo Beach.

3. Avila/Pismo Beach KOA

Address: 7075 Ontario Rd, San Luis Obispo CA 93405 

About: This campground is a 10-minute drive to Pismo Pier and offers full hook-up sites. Tent and van camping are not allowed.

It’s a non-smoking campground, meaning you can’t smoke or vape, and they don’t allow cooking or fires with wood, wood pellets, smokers, or duralogs. You can cook with charcoal and propane. The sites accommodate RVs as long as 40 feet.

Cost to Camp: Sites start at $60 and $70, depending on size.

Perks of the Park: The Avila/Pismo Beach KOA has an outdoor pool and hot tub, plus a playground area. The Bob Jones Trail Head is super close to this campground for biking and hiking, which takes you to Avila beach in three miles. And, there’s a hot mineral spring pool nearby, plus a destination farm with a petting zoo.

Morton Road Trip Rating: 7/10

4. Holiday RV Park

Address: 100 S Dolliver St, Pismo Beach CA 93449

About: Enjoy being only two blocks from Pismo Beach and a half-mile walk from the Pier. Holiday RV Park features 195 sites with full hook-ups. If your RV is over 36 feet long, you’ll need to stay in an oversized space or purchase two sites.

Cost to Camp: Pismo Beach camping here starts at $65 for off-season dates and $80 per night for oversized sites.

Perks of the Park: Aside from the amazing walking distance to downtown Pismo Beach, they have laundry and a heated pool and spa. They also have free cable and wifi.

Morton Road Trip Rating: 8.5/10

Pismo Beach sign on boardwalk.
Pismo Beach offers many amazing campground opportunities.

5. North Beach Campground

Address: 399 S Dolliver St, Pismo Beach CA 93449

About: This campground offers dry camping only. There’s a dump station on-site, which costs $10, and there are pay-operated hot showers and flush toilets.

Each site has tables and fire rings, but no sewer, water, or electric hook-ups. This campground allows tent camping and RVs of up to 36 feet. You’ll be just one mile from the Pismo pier at this campground.

Cost to Camp: $25

Perks of the Park: While Pismo Beach camping here, you’re right next to the Pismo State Beach Monard Butterfly Grove, where you can see hundreds of butterflies in the winter months.

This place boasts one of the largest over-wintering colonies of western monarch butterflies. The campfire center has ranger programs, and you’re only a walk away from Pismo State Beach.

Morton Road Trip Rating: 8/10

Pro Tip: Don’t know where to explore while in California? Why not try out Our Favorite Boondocking Spot: Alabama Hills, California.

6. Oceano Campground – Pismo State Beach

Address: 494 Air Park Dr, Oceano, CA 93445

About: This state park offers sites with electric and water hookups and tent-camping sites. There’s a fire ring and table at each site, and there are pay-operated showers onsite.

You’ll need to head to nearby North Beach Campground or Le Sage Drive and pay $10 to dump your tanks. This campground is just a short walk to the beach and a seven-minute drive to the pier. RVs up to 36 feet long can fit here.

Cost to Camp: RV sites are $40, while tent sites are $25.

Perks of the Park: This campground has beach access, and you’ll have the Oceano Dunes District Visitor Center onsite to learn more about the history and wildlife of the area. Head to the onsite Oceano Lagoon for freshwater fishing. It even has an accessible fishing overhang for those in a wheelchair.

Morton Road Trip Rating: 8.5/10

Couple and dog walking on Pismo Beach.
Camp close to the water in Pismo Beach’s many RV resorts.

7. Pacific Dunes Ranch RV Resort

Address: 1205 Silver Spur Pl, Oceano, CA 93445

About: Nothing stands between you and the ocean except for a half-mile of sand dunes. All 229 sites offer full hook-ups, and some have room for big rigs. This campground puts you just a 10-minute drive from the Pismo pier.

Pacific Dunes Ranch RV Resort is a Trails Collection campground through the Thousand Trails program. If you’re a member of Trails Collection, you stay for a discounted rate.

Cost to Camp: Trails Collection – $20 per night. General public – starting at $73 per night and $81 per night for extra-large sites.

Perks of the Park: With your own access to the dunes, you can enjoy sledding and hiking on the sand. Plus, you’ll have a prime spot for sunset-watching. There’s laundry on-site, an arcade, and a small store. And, there’s onsite horseback riding for a fee.

Morton Road Trip Rating: 9/10

Kamp Klamath Overview - Klamath, California

Plan Ahead to Go Camping in Pismo Beach

What’s not to love about Pismo Beach? Aside from the breathtaking beauty of the ocean, Pismo Beach is a vibrant beach town with an amazing pier and equally-amazing food. Add this town to your list of must-see travel spots. If you’re ready for some Pismo Beach camping, be sure to reserve your campsite early since reservations fill up fast.

Have you been to Pismo Beach? Drop a comment below!

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David Anderson

Saturday 28th of January 2023

My 2 favorite Campgrounds are the Pacific Village if you want the amenities, it is well maintained and just a short walk to the beach over the Dunes and the North beach if you want to tent camp or have a self contained RV and don’t need external power. Also just over the dunes, and right next to Pacific village. And both are a short walk (4 or 5 blocks) to restraints on main drag of Pismo. And I always love getting up early and walking on the beach. Oceano Dunes are nice too jus a little drive into town. I really love the whole area.

Mortons on the Move

Wednesday 8th of February 2023

Thanks for your thoughts David! We agree that it really is a lovely area!

Michael Zeller

Tuesday 1st of March 2022

Another amazing spot, it’s fairly new, is flying flags in Avila it just opened and is right across the st from the dog beach. Full hook ups RV sites, tent sites, soft cabin and hard cabin sights. It can handle up to a 45 ft rig. RV sites I think are about 115 a night for the top level

Cathy Bonnett

Friday 18th of February 2022

There is a lot of controversy about driving on the sand dunes near Pismo Beach. I wish the video accompanying this article hadn't appeared to promote it, or at least gave up to date information.