On the Monterey Bay there are a lot of great camping destinations, many of which are right on the ocean. There are so many in fact that it’s hard to choose which one’s to write about. Below are just the highlights to a few of the campgrounds in and around the Monterey Bay.
A secret on the bay is a spot not far south on highway 1 from Monterey. It sits just off the highway towards the ocean about forty minutes out of the city. There are about twenty campsites. It’s only a five minutes to the beach. And best of all it’s inexpensive at only ten dollars a night. The ocean can be seen and heard from the campground. And best of all it’s a great place to go surfing.
Just north of Monterey is Watsonville which has a campground that’s oddly placed next to a strawberry field, but if you can over look the field the beach is just over the hill about five minutes away. At a cost of only ten dollars a night it’s one of the nicer bargains on the central coast. To get to the campground is easy. Just take the Airport exit in Watsonville and head towards the ocean (east).
Farther back in the redwoods, about forty-five minutes out of Santa Cruz sits Big Basin State park, which offers trails that lead all the way to the ocean, which are tough but fun. The tails are from ten to fifteen miles in length and just remember that you’ll need someone to pick you up at the end, which is Waddell beach. The park is pretty in that it has many rivers and streams that run through it and many of the shorter trails, the three to five miles long, lead to a waterfall or waterfalls.
Just outside of Aptos, which is only twenty minutes south of Santa Cruz sits The Forest of Nisene Marks, a place where many mountain bikers to bike and many artists go to draw and paint. The scenery is awe inspiring with both forests and canyons.
Past Monterey, South, is probably the most well known campground on the Monterey Bay, Big Sur. It offers many trails for the beginning hiker to the more experienced who might want to tackle the ten-mile hike out to the hot springs. Just remember to bring food and good camping gear and that, even though the trail is tough and long, there is a campsite half way through the hike for those that can’t make the hike in one day.