San Elijo State Beach – July/August 2017

We were able to get this reservation at San Elijo SB very last minute but it wasn’t an ocean view site. In our section there were actually 4 rows (some parts of the loops have just 2 or 3 rows) and we were in the 2nd row from the ocean. The trains were REALLY loud without the ocean to drown out the noise…from 6:00 AM to Midnight!  Check out this video to hear the trains. You’ll also see our view. Oh, and our neighbors across the way had the exact same model pop up (1994 Coleman Destiny Royale).

This summer Reserve California became the new website for making reservations. They moved from a first-of-the-month on-sale days system to a new rolling window reservation service. This means you are able to reserve campsites 6 months in advance from the current date. I guess that’s a good thing, but I find the system itself to be cumbersome because, once you put in your dates, you see the results in sections instead of seeing the entire campground map with all available sites. So, you have to click on one section, look around, then navigate “back” to look at the other sections. No likey.

The views are amazing if you are lucky enough to get an ocean view site, very similar to South Carlsbad State Beach. IMG_9601For those of you who camp or travel with fur-babies, you know that there are some trade offs. You can’t take your dog on most trails in State and National Parks and most beaches. For me, it’s worth the trade off because I love being able to take her with us instead of leaving her home. She’s part of the family! Well, the beach at San Elijo allows doggies on the beach! AND, this beach is really cool as it has a lagoon where you can swim without big waves. The condition of the water changes with the tide and you have to be careful of the undertow where it meets the ocean, but there are lifeguards in season and they are vigilant in keeping people out of the unsafe areas. In the first pic below, you and see the lagoon and beyond that, the campground. Also, it’s a little walk to the beach from the campground, but we didn’t mind and we used our little wagon IMG_9609IMG_9613IMG_5839IMG_5846IMG_5844TIMG_5859There’s also beach access back at camp via the long stairs. Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach here, but I often walked Mickey down to the bottom step to sit with her, or hang out on the upper level and enjoy the sunshine and view from up above. She’s getting to be an old girl so she doesn’t mind as long as she’s with me. 🙂

In past blogs I’ve shared how much we love our little fence (pic below) that we use at our campsite. It’s great because she can roam around without getting tangled in the leash. (This is the basic 4 panel “starter set” from Amazon, then we also bought 3 add-on sets.) We just needed a way to secure the space under the step of the pop up. The fence would butt up to the step, but there was still a gap underneath, so my hubby created a little add-on piece out of lattice work that fits right under the step. Works great!


In addition to the train noise, there were some other negatives. The ants were really, really bad and for the 1st time ever, we had an ant invasion INSIDE. Our neighbors (tent campers) had them inside their tent every day, and even inside their van!  There was also a crazy number of squirrels. I mean, wildlife is normal and even enjoyable, but there were a LOT of them, and you can’t leave ANYTHING out, even the dog’s water bowl, or they will be on it in minutes.

I’d still like to go back sometime, especially since it’s “local” for us, but we’ll try to get a beach front site next time to hopefully drown out the train noise.

Have you ever been to San Elijo?  What was your experience? Leave a comment!

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