Discover Coastal Paradise at New Brighton State Beach Campground

Just south of the iconic Capitola Beach in Santa Cruz County lies the New Brighton State Beach Campground, a coastal haven for camping enthusiasts. Offering 109 family campsites, including premium sites with ocean views, this campground is a magnet for nature lovers and beachgoers alike.

As you plan your visit to this seaside gem, here are essential tips, strategies, and gear recommendations to ensure a memorable camping experience. Whether you’re embracing oceanfront luxury, indulging in beachside adventures, or exploring the nearby town of Capitola, there’s something for everyone at New Brighton. From group camping delights to wildlife etiquette, we’ve got you covered with expert advice for an optimal camping experience. So pack your bags, prepare your gear, and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of coastal California at New Brighton State Beach Campground.

Map & Reservations

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Best Campsites

Sites #70, Group Site 1, and Oceanfront Sites
Sites #14, #22, and the Oceanfront Sites
  • #14
  • #22
  • #Group Sites 1
  • #67 & #68
  • #70
  • Oceanfront Sites: #73, #75, #76, #78, #79, #82, #87, #88, #90

(click to zoom in)

New Brighton State Beach Campground offers a range of experiences, from the serene sounds of waves lapping against the shore to the excitement of nearby attractions. For those seeking ultimate relaxation, the premium ocean view sites provide unparalleled vistas and tranquility. Imagine waking up to the gentle sea breeze and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean right from your tent or RV. These premium sites offer an elevated camping experience that is truly unforgettable.

Additionally, New Brighton’s proximity to New Brighton Beach and Seacliff Beach opens up a world of beachside adventures. Spend your days sunbathing on the sandy shores, taking refreshing dips in the ocean, or trying your hand at kayaking and fishing. A short walk to the picturesque town of Capitola offers a charming escape with its array of restaurants, shops, and scenic wharf. Whether you’re craving outdoor thrills or leisurely strolls, New Brighton State Beach Campground serves as the perfect basecamp for exploring the wonders of coastal California.

Top Tips for First-Time Campers:

  • Embrace Oceanfront Luxury: Opt for one of the nine premium sites overlooking the ocean for an unparalleled camping experience. These sites are a worth-while splurge, offering breathtaking views and serene sounds of the waves.
  • Beachside Adventures: Take advantage of the proximity to New Brighton Beach for various water activities such as sunbathing, swimming, kayaking, and fishing. Additionally, explore nearby Seacliff Beach with its visitor center, pier, and charming snack bar.
  • Group Camping Delight: If you’re planning a group camping adventure, consider the three tent-only group campsites on the west side of the campground. With space for 9 to 25 people and up to 4 vehicles, these sites provide a communal and scenic setting.
  • Capitola Exploration: Walk to the picturesque town of Capitola, offering an array of restaurants, shopping, and a scenic wharf. Immerse yourself in the local culture and seaside charm during your camping retreat.
  • Wildlife Etiquette: Respect the natural environment by refraining from feeding or leaving food out for wildlife. Follow campground regulations to ensure a harmonious coexistence with the coastal ecosystem.

Top Strategies and Tactics for an Optimal Camping Experience:

  • Seasonal Bliss: Aim for a visit during the spring and fall months to avoid peak summer crowds. The campground is open year-round, providing flexibility for campers seeking a more tranquil coastal escape.
  • Early Arrival Advantage: Plan your arrival for earlier in the day to secure an ideal campsite. This strategy not only allows you to choose from available spots but also provides ample time for setup, maximizing your time by the ocean.
  • Generous Amenities: Enjoy the convenience of campground amenities, including flush toilets, piped water, showers, and a dump station. Pack accordingly, knowing you have access to these facilities for a comfortable and enjoyable stay.
  • Dog-Friendly Atmosphere: While dogs are not permitted on the beach, they are welcome in the campground on a leash and attended at all times. Ensure your furry companions are part of the coastal camping experience, adhering to pet regulations.
  • Hiking Safety: Explore the beauty of the coastal bluffs by staying on designated hiking trails. The bluff walls can be steep, emphasizing the importance of safety and adherence to established trails.

Recommendations on Camping Gear:

  • Premium Site Essentials: If you opt for a premium ocean view site, enhance your camping comfort with cozy blankets, comfortable chairs, and a good book to fully appreciate the stunning surroundings.
  • Beach Day Gear: Pack beach essentials, including sunscreen, hats, and beach towels, for days spent lounging on the sandy shores. Enjoy the sun and surf without worrying about missing any beach day necessities.
  • Lighting Solutions: Illuminate your campsite with reliable lanterns and flashlights, creating a cozy ambiance for evening relaxation. Battery-powered or solar-powered lights are eco-friendly choices for an immersive camping experience.
  • Cooking by the Ocean: Bring along portable camping stoves, essential cookware, and a variety of cooking ingredients for beachside culinary adventures. Enjoy delicious meals with the sound of the ocean as your backdrop.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: Elevate your camping preparations by exploring our gearlist account. Discover specific recommendations on camp cooking equipment, sleeping systems, overlanding setups, backpacks, and clothing. Maximize your camping experience with insights from seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we use for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

Other Campgrounds Nearby We Recommend

Nearby Fishing Locations We Recommend

In conclusion, New Brighton State Beach Campground stands as a beacon of coastal serenity, inviting camping enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and tranquil ambiance of Santa Cruz County’s stunning coastline. It’s not just a destination; it’s an experience crafted for those seeking solace in nature’s embrace and adventure along the sandy shores. Whether you’re drawn to the allure of oceanfront luxury, where premium sites offer unparalleled views of the rolling waves and golden sunsets, or you’re eager for beachside adventures, ready to explore the endless possibilities of New Brighton Beach and nearby Seacliff Beach, this campground caters to your every desire for outdoor escapades.

Moreover, nestled within a short distance from the charming town of Capitola, New Brighton State Beach Campground seamlessly blends coastal relaxation with vibrant local culture. Take leisurely strolls along Capitola’s scenic wharf, indulge in fresh seafood at quaint seaside eateries, or simply bask in the warmth of the sun as you watch the world go by. With essential tips, strategies, and gear recommendations at your disposal, you’re not just embarking on a camping trip; you’re embarking on an expedition filled with unforgettable moments, laughter around the campfire, and cherished memories shared with loved ones. So gather your gear, embrace the coastal charm, and let New Brighton State Beach Campground be the backdrop to your next great outdoor adventure. Experience the magic of coastal California and create moments that will last a lifetime at this captivating campground by the sea.