Who’d have thought that a stretch of coastline between Los Angeles and San Francisco, known as Slo Cal, could make such an idyllic camping site? This Pismo Beach camping guide will shed light on a beachy haven often overlooked in favour of SoCal. 

Pismo Beach might be small, but it shore is mighty. 

Fancy camping amongst gorgeous beaches surrounded by rugged mountains and vibrant wildflowers? Expect that and plenty more in Pismo. It’s nothing short of dramatic. 

It’s time to pitch a tent at one of the most underrated beach towns in California. 

Best Spots for Camping in Pismo Beach

North Beach Campground 

Pismo State Beach 

  • Open dates: Year-round
  • Number of sites: 103
  • Types of camping available: Tent, trailers & campervan/RV
  • Amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, picnic tables, coin-operated showers, and fire pits.
North Beach Campground 

The best Pismo campground? That has to be North Beach Campground. This site sits in Pismo State Beach, offering pleasant weather and a serene environment perfect for pitching up. Though, the excellent amenities and spacious sites are what makes it so popular. 

Grab your camera and capture the rugged beauty surrounding you — dreamy shores with soft pale sand adorned with wildflowers. And for something a little more special, head out on the Monarch Butterfly Grove trail that winds through the majestic seasonal butterfly migration area nearby. 

The developed campground is ideal for larger groups or families (up to eight people) who’d also like to bring their dogs along. You can book up to six months in advance at fees between $25 (off-season) to $35 for standard sites. 

Top Tip: The maximum length for trailers is 31 ft, and for motorhomes, it is 36 ft.

Oceano Campground 

Pismo State Beach 

  • Open dates: Year-round
  • Number of sites: 80
  • Types of camping available: Tent, trailers & campervan/RV
  • Amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, picnic tables, fire pits, electric and water hookups. 
Oceano Campground 

A slightly quieter Pismo Beach campground is a tranquil spot suitable for groups of up to eight persons per site. Oceano Campground has the same amenities as its sister grounds, North Beach – only there are several sites here offering electric and water hook-ups. 

Oceano Park and Campground is famous for hunting, fishing and birding. However, it’s generally a fantastic area for bonding with nature, thanks to its lush greenery. Practise your fishing skills at the freshwater lagoon or take several hikes in Pismo Beach. 

The fees are the same as North Beach, but you’ll pay $40 (off-season) to $50 for hook-up sites. 

Pacific Dunes Ranch Campground


  • Open dates: Year-round
  • Number of sites: 229
  • Types of camping available: campervan/RV, cabins
  • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic tables, and fire pits.

How does a remote escape among rolling dunes and shimmering azure waters sound? If that sounds like paradise, waste no time getting to Pacific Dunes Ranch Campground. This well-developed spot has modern comforts meant for RV travellers or cabin campers. 

You have endless possibilities: go on a hike, try sand sledding, catch a few waves or – my favourite – explore via horseback. The fun continues with an onsite arcade game room, basketball and billiards. 

Camping at Pismo doesn’t get any better with these exciting activities and gorgeous beachfront vistas. 

Better yet, this pet-friendly campground allows pets and up to six people per site, and you can arrange an extended stay for 28 days or longer. 

Camp Arroyo Grande 

Arroyo Grande  

  • Open dates: Year-round
  • Types of camping available: Tents, cabins & RVs 
  • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic tables, fire pits, Wi-Fi, amphitheatre, kitchen, and dining area

Located just a few minutes’ drive from Pismo, camping at Arroyo Grande is an excellent choice. Camp Arroyo Grande has an open camping area perfect for small groups, though it’s not as spacious. 

That said: if you want more space, opt for a charming cabin that will still give you that fun camping experience you crave. 

The sound of waves crashing serenades you as you sleep, and you’ll have abundant nature at your doorstep. 

There’s plenty to stay active, including a large swimming pool, a recreation room filled with games, horseshoes, etc. And once you’re ready to scope out the surroundings, you can head to the historic village of Arroyo Grande for dining and shopping. 

Twisselman Ranch

Santa Margarita  

  • Open dates: Year-round
  • Types of camping available: Tent & campervan/RV
  • Amenities: Showers, toilets, picnic tables, pet-friendly, and fire pits.

More of a glamper? I’ve got you covered with this magical, Instagram-worthy campground. The only crux — it’s about a 20-minute drive from Pismo Beach. 

So not quite a Pismo Beach campground, but close enough to make it into my guide. Besides, there aren’t many options for camping at Pismo. At least not one this glamorous. 

The pictures speak for themselves, but imagine an enchanting, rural atmosphere, star-studded skies and stylish white canvas tents.   

This one’s more for couples seeking a quiet, romantic retreat. You can book your stay on the official Twisselman Ranch site. These range from $60 – $165 per night for two. 

KOA Campground 

Avila/Pismo Beach 

  • Open dates: Year-round
  • Types of camping available: Tent & campervan/RV
  • Amenities: Restrooms, bathhouse, Wi-Fi, playground, picnic tables, and briquette bbq.  

If in doubt, you won’t go wrong with a KOA campsite. They’re convenient and contain everything you need for a comfortable camping experience. 

Each site hosts up to six people and is pet-friendly. And, even better, these campgrounds are well-integrated for groups and families, with plenty of indoor and outdoor activities available. 

There’s a lot in store — play some ping-pong, unwind in the hot tub or make a few laps in the pool. I don’t recommend this campground for couples or solace seekers, but for friends and family who can’t get by without modern conveniences it’s perfect. 

Individual tent sites have gravel pads, water, and electricity, spacious enough for up to 30ft long RVs. You can learn more about the costs and reserve your spot on the Avila / Pismo Beach KOA site

Holiday RV Park 

Pismo Beach 

  • Open dates: Year-round
  • Number of sites: 195
  • Types of camping available: Full hook-up RV sites 
  • Amenities: Brand new restrooms, spa, swimming pool, Wi-Fi

Holiday RV Park is a larger, but no less serene, camping spot. The real pull is its vistas – enjoy views of the Pacific shore as you watch the sunrise in the mornings and set in the evenings. 

Walk peacefully on the beach, watch dolphins play in the distance (if you’re very lucky) and simply splendour your surroundings. This campground boasts spa and swimming pool facilities, as well as pristine bathrooms – something you shouldn’t take for granted. Trust me.

The nearby amenities are also top notch. These include golfing, kayaking, horseback riding, surfing, and four-wheeling in the Ocean dunes if you’re up for adventure.

You can bring your pup along, and daily rates start at $71, covering up to six people per RV. 

Practical Tips for Booking Campsites in Pismo Beach 

Camping in & Near Pismo Beach: Map

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