The Best Malibu Beachfront Camping Sites

by CaliCase Team on September 08, 2023

Nestled along the pristine shores of Southern California, Malibu beckons adventurers with its sun-kissed beaches, rugged cliffs, and the promise of an unforgettable camping experience. There's something undeniably magical about camping by the ocean, and Malibu offers several options to indulge in this coastal paradise. If you'd like to learn more about Malibu's best beaches, we've made a comprehensive guide about the 7 best beaches in Malibu.


Leo Carrillo State Park: A Coastal Gem For Camping

Leo Carrillo State Park Campground

When it comes to beachfront camping in Malibu, Leo Carrillo State Park shines like a gem. Located about 28 miles northwest of Santa Monica, this park boasts a stunning coastline and a campsite that offers a front-row seat to the Pacific Ocean's beauty. With 135 campsites accommodating both tents and RVs, Leo Carrillo welcomes campers of all preferences.

"We camped here with a crew of about 16 adults and 15 children. We had a blast. All our campsites were right next to each other. Easy access to great beach and fun surf. There is a camp store just in case you forget anything or need more ice or beer. So fun we are definitely going to go back." from Maps Reviews.

What sets Leo Carrillo apart is its well-maintained facilities, including restrooms, showers, and picnic areas. However, the popularity of this spot means you should make reservations well in advance, especially during peak seasons. Trust us; the ocean breeze and crashing waves are worth the planning.


Camping at Point Mugu State Park: Nature's Retreat

Point Mugu State Park Campground

Further down the coast, you'll discover Point Mugu State Park, a true nature lover's haven. This coastal gem offers not one but two campgrounds to choose from: Thornhill Broome Beach and Sycamore Canyon. Thornhill Broome Beach beckons with its beachside campsites, perfect for those who want to wake up to the soothing sound of waves crashing on the shore.

Sycamore Canyon Campground, on the other hand, is nestled amidst lush landscapes, providing an entirely different camping experience. It offers 58 tent and RV sites, and both campgrounds offer restrooms and picnic areas.

"Sycamore cove is the beach area. Love it, rangers are friendly. We meet friends there every new years day for breakfast. Sometimes we stay in the campground across the highway." from Maps Review.

While at Point Mugu State Park, don't miss the chance to explore its scenic trails, including the famous Mugu Peak Trail, which offers panoramic views of the coastline and surrounding mountains.


Malibu Beach RV Park: RV Enthusiasts' Haven

Malibu Beach RV Park from Cross Country Trips Website


For those who prefer the comfort and convenience of an RV or camper, Malibu Beach RV Park is your beachfront haven. This RV park sits right on the beach, allowing you to step out of your vehicle and onto the sandy shores. You can book on their official website called MalibuRV.

Last time we checked, it cost $55 per night for 5 persons max to book a spot with a tent.

Malibu Beach RV Park provides full hookups, restrooms, and even a nearby grocery store for your convenience. It's a good choice for RV enthusiasts looking to combine the joys of beach camping with the comforts of home on wheels. However, it's worth noting that we've seen a couple of bad reviews about the staff there, so be prepared!


Malibu Creek State Park: Mountain Retreat Campground

Malibu Creek State Park | Attractions in Santa Monica Mountains, Los AngelesSource: Malibu Creek State Park: Mountain Retreat Campground

Although it's not directly on the beach, Malibu Creek State Park offers a unique mountain escape just inland from the coast. With 62 tent-only campsites surrounded by the Santa Monica Mountains, it's a serene alternative to beachfront camping.

Explore the park's scenic trails, including the Malibu Creek Trail, which winds through picturesque landscapes and offers glimpses of the park's diverse wildlife. It's a peaceful retreat that's just a short drive from the beach, making it a great option for those who want to experience both coastal and mountain environments.


El Matador State Beach: A Day by the Shore

El Matador State Beach in Malibu, CA - California BeachesSource: El Matador State Beach: A Day by the Shore

While El Matador State Beach isn't a camping site, it's a must-visit destination for a day trip during your Malibu adventure. This hidden gem features sea caves, large rock formations, and dramatic cliffs that create a breathtaking backdrop for your beach day.

Spend the day exploring the caves and soaking in the natural beauty of the coastline. Keep in mind that there are no overnight camping facilities here, so it's a perfect spot for a day of beachcombing and photography. We made a complete guide on El Matador Sea Caves that you should check out!