As we have all had our regular routines upended these past few months, I know that everyone is eager to leave their homes and get outdoors! I may only be speaking for myself, but I am willing to bet many other families with young children are feeling the need to get out and have a family adventure of some sort. With our annual summer vacation cancelled and our future looking more and more home bound, our family decided to start looking into places in Orange County that we could camp and have some fun!
There are several spots that are already filled, by people who had much more foresight than I did I should add, but I have taken the liberty of scheduling adventures into the next several months. Not only does this make me look like I am on top of things and planning ahead (which I assure you is not really the case LOL), but it is giving our family something to look forward to in these uncertain times! As we visit some of these spots I will try to update this post with photos and any additional information that I feel would be helpful to everyone, hope you enjoy it!
30892 Trabuco Canyon Road
Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678
This popular spot is super close to Mission Viejo, so if you are looking to not stray too far from home this may be a good spot for you! This area offers hiking trails, bird watching, mountain biking, equestrian trails, horse shoe pits, picnic areas, RV camping, a playground, water streams, restrooms and hot showers, and an interpretive center. This park is dog and horse friendly for those that want to bring them along. Some feedback that I have read for this area suggests that there are magnificent, 360 views of Orange County from Vista Point, which you can hike to from the park’s trail system. A few reviews of the campground have also mention that there can be “road noise” to contend with as well
33401 Ortega Hwy
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
This park is full of wildlife and hiking trails with plenty of wide open spaces to explore nature. Similar to O’Neill Regional Park, this spot also has mountain biking and equestrian trails, a nature center, RV camping, a playground, and restrooms and showers. Reviewers consistently mention to friendly park rangers who help enforce park rules, but also are a great source of helpful information regarding how to best enjoy your time in the park. You should note that there has also been feedback regarding pesky squirrels and yellowjackets in the area, especially during the summer months.
1131 Back Bay Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660
This one is more a resort than a campground, offering several lodging options including beach cottages, RV park, and tent campsites. While this is not your typical secluded camping experience, the full list of amenities make it well worth it for families. Keep in mind that some amenities have restrictions or are unavailable due to the Covid pandemic, but many are still open. Amenities include an inflatable waterpark, a waveless beach, swimming pools, a swimming lagoon, on site markets and restaurants, water sport rentals, beachside firepits, playground, horseshoe pits, and lots more! If you are looking for more of a glamping vs a camping vacation with the family, this just might be the right pick for you!
8471 N. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
While this option certainly books far in advance, it just might be the most picturesque of them all. This campground and RV park is located right along the ocean bluffs of Crystal Cove State Park. This campground is steps away from Crystal Cove Beach and beautiful canyon hiking trails. For the really adventurous, this location offers hike in primitive campsites which are set into the canyon and secluded from the rest of the park. Crystal Cove beach is also an amazing location for taking young ones to learn about tide pools and see some really cool ocean habitats and creatures. If becoming one with nature is your goal, this one will deliver!
225 Avenida Califia
San Clemente, CA 92676
From the moment I saw these adorable trailers, I knew this was somewhere that I could see myself falling in love with! The Holidays campsite offers 4 vintage, renovated trailers that can be rented for a camping experience without completely “roughing it”. Each trailers sleeps up to 4 adults and 1 child and also has amenities such as a sink with running water, a stovetop, a refrigerator, and USB hookup. The trailers do not have working restrooms or showers, but these facilities are just a few steps away within the campground. Each trailer also has a fire pit and picnic/eating area. After the adorable trailers, the best part is that this campground is just a short walk down to the beautiful San Clemente beach! Also, for a less expensive option in the same location, the San Clemente State Beach also has it’s own campground.
830 Cristianitos Rd
San Clemente, CA 92672
Located right across from the beautiful San Onofre State Beach, this campground is in a prime location. This area offers two different campgrounds: the San Mateo campground and the San Onofre Bluffs Campground. The Bluffs location is just a short quarter mile hike to the water’s edge and the San Mateo location is only a 1.5 mile hike to the water. This spot is great for enjoying all that beach life has to offer while also taking in nature, as the location has a unique wetland habitat close by. In fact, there are 10 federally endangered or threatened species that reside in this specific location due to its unique ecosystem. Combine all of these recreation and nature experiences with amenities such as firepits and picnic tables, RV hookups, and coin operated showers and flushing toilets, and this is a wonderful spot for a family adventure!
I look forward to updating this post with more places that my family and I find as well as details of our own adventures! As of now, we have San Mateo campground (San Onofre State Beach) and the Holidays Trailers reserved for the future and we are looking forward to all the fun those trips will bring!
Dr. Mikaeya Kalantari has been a practicing pediatric dentist for over 7 years working in both the children's hospital setting and private practice. She has had a wealth of experience treating children of all ages, and medical conditions. When it comes to serving children, she feels the importance of communication between the dentist and parent can not be emphasized enough. Dr. Kalantari practices in her family owned dental office in Mission Viejo, California