by Gary Hawkins, May 31, 2017
In May, we were lucky enough to get ocean side spots at South Carlsbad State Beach two weeks in a row. When I say lucky, I mean I was on the ReserveAmerica website at 8 am sharp six months earlier as the booking window opened up. Then you work the keyboard as fast as possible before all the spots disappear; this usually occurs within 15 minutes! It's crazy but illustrates how popular beach camping is here in Southern California.
Going through this ritual is worth it - Xaria loves beach camping, but then who doesn't love being at the seaside! On both occasions we got excellent spots; we always try and snag one where the dividing line to our neighbors has bushes.
The campground at South Carlsbad State Beach sits high on the bluff above the beach below. If you can get an ocean side site you are treated to 180-degree views of the sea - it's magnificent! This is truly one of the best dining spots you are going to get in the region.
Access to the beach is primarily by stairs, which isn't ideal if you have a toddler. Fortunately, at the south end of the campground, there is a ramp, and this is our usual means of beach access since we can easily drag everything we need for the day.
In the above picture, we're on the way to the campground shop to pick-up fresh ice; if we were going to the beach we'd be loaded down with stuff! Xaria loves the store - ice cream is another favorite of hers.
The beach is typically empty but unless the tide is out most of it is pebble rather than sand. That being said, Xaria can usually find a spot to dig; she can play for hours. I typically pass the time listening to the maritime shipping channels, and Sophia reads.
Another advantage of this campground is it's very close to home. Thus, on the latter of these trips it was just Xaria and I. I picked her up from daycare midday, we overnight at the beach and I dropped her back to daycare the following morning. It's hard work looking after Xaria singlehanded, but it does allow us to get some quality father/daughter time together. It also gives Sophia a well-earned break from our little munchkin.