• 7 Best Family-Friendly Campgrounds in Southern California


Few can deny enjoying camping. There is something about it that awakens our inner child. So, it's no wonder why kids love it so much. Moreover, exploring nature is one of the best ways to spend quality time with your family. Your children's young and inquisitive minds will receive enough stimulation in these seven best family-friendly campgrounds in Southern California. What is more, these places will provide never-ending fun and constant action- the two absolute necessities when camping with kids.

El Capitan Canyon

This unique campground has one advantage over many others - you don't carry your own tents but rent permanent safari tents or cabins. Traveling with kids always implies packing loads of stuff and filling your trunk to the maximum. So, if eliminating a portion of camping equipment sounds appealing, this is the right place for you. The cabins are fully furnished, heated, and have electricity. So, this is the perfect combination of camping adventure and all the comforts of hotel accommodation. 

Located north of Santa Barbara and covering 65 acres of the coastal foothills, El Capitan park offers its visitors two very different camping experiences. Those who prefer hiking (especially after holidays) and mountain-biking can relish these activities on 2,200 acres of public land. Others more inclined to sea, sand, and surfing can stroll to the beach. If you are among the latter group, know that you can book ocean kayaking and deep-sea fishing trips at the resort. 

Important note: If you have a dog, you must know that they are not allowed.

Pine Cliff Resort 

Located along the north shore of June Lake, this is a perfect campsite for kids. Surrounded by pine trees and being the only camp at June Lake Loop that features a swimming beach, this camp offers a beautiful fairy tale experience. While having loads of fun, your family can enjoy the beautiful scenery that also includes snowcapped peaks above the lake. Also, if you are a fishing enthusiast, this is the place for you. 

This campground has been blessed with the most beauty and fish of all the lakes in the June Lake Loop. It also has the best accommodation. The only potential downside is that it also attracts the largest number of people. So, if you are looking for a more peaceful place, you may not love it.

Dorst Creek

Located in Sequoia National Park, Dorst Creek is a favorite among families. Being under a forest canopy certainly has something to do with it. The campground is enormous and provides plenty of space to run around and have fun. This is the place where kids will undoubtedly make new friends.

As for activities, you can go on an easy hike to the Muir Grove, a giant sequoia grove in pristine condition. It's a perfect family hike as younger children will not need too much stamina. 

An exciting warning: Bears like to visit this campsite and steal food. So, campers have to keep their food in bear-proof food lockers. This is the law, and if you fail to do so, you will get a fine. 


Serrano is a campground located on Big Bear Lake in San Bernardino National Forest. It opened in 1990 and was the first campground in the National Forest with the most modern restrooms and showers. For this reason, it's a bit more expensive to camp here. Despite the higher price, this is one of the most popular campsites. And there are several reasons for that besides the state-of-the-art facilities:

  1. Great location - it's within walking distance from the lakeshore.
  2. It's enormous - covering 60 acres.
  3. It features a wheelchair-accessible paved trail.

This is another place for avid anglers, as it is an incredible trout fishing location. But the lake is also stocked with other fish, such as catfish, bass, crappie, sunfish, and bluegill. Moreover, it is an excellent place for waterskiing and all other water sports. Kids will enjoy swimming in albeit cold water and playing on the vast, sandy beaches.

Lake Hemet Recreation Area

If you want to spice your camping trip up a bit, this is a place your family will most definitely love. Lake Hemet Recreation Area has a fantastic waterpark. So, if you feel like having a fun weekend outside, exploring nature, enjoying the various campsite activities, and then having even more fun splashing in the water with your kids, this is the place for you.

What makes it even more attractive is that you can rent all the camping gear you may need. You will have a complete camping experience without transporting a mountain of camping equipment or even buying camping supplies.

Campland on the Bay

Bike rentals, swimming pools, restaurants, an ice cream shop, and a game room make this place the fantastic campground the entire family will enjoy. Whatever you feel like doing, you can find it in a campsite so big you might confuse it with a small town. With its jaw-dropping views and tons of amenities, Campland on the Bay will provide a family camping adventure like no other. Whether you like camping in your RV or a tent, this place has enough space; you just have to book it.

This place truly has it all, and a weekend spent here might even be the highlight of your summer. If you like the prospect of living closer to such a gem, what better reason to relocate to Southern California. Sure, a long-distance move is a tremendous endeavor, but if you know that every weekend can be a memorable one, why not settle in this area trouble-free with the help of your trusted movers. So, if you like all you have read, what's stopping you from moving here. It's as good a reason as any.

Calico Ghost Town Campground

And now something completely different. Your kids will love the chance to visit a ghost town. And a campsite just a short walk away from Calico Ghost Town is a perfect place for such a family adventure. It will be a unique family trip that you will never forget. You either organize a day trip or make it a whole camping vacation. Also, it's both RV and tent-friendly, depending on your preferences. 

This campground is clean, quiet, has electricity and showers, and if you decide to stay there, the cost also covers the visit to the ghost town. Touring this historic town will take you right back to the 1800s. 

Have you decided which one of the best family-friendly campgrounds in Southern California to visit?

If you have been toying with an idea to take your family on a camping trip this summer, whichever one of these family-friendly campgrounds in Southern California you opt for, you won't make a mistake. They all have a lot to offer, and fun and non-stop action are guaranteed. Once you experience camping in California, you may even consider living in Beverly Hills or some other place here.

Written by Mary Aspen Richardson

301 N Canon Dr, Suite E, Beverly Hills CA 90210