Campland on the Bay: San Diego’s Ultimate Family-Friendly Beachfront Getaway!

Campland on the Bay, located in San Diego, is a popular camping destination that offers a variety of experiences for visitors. It’s situated along the shores of Mission Bay, providing a scenic backdrop for various outdoor activities.

Quick Overview of Campland on the Bay

FeaturesActivitiesAccess & ParkingHighlights
Situated along the shores of Mission Bay in San Diego, Campland boasts over 53 years of history with 18 amenities and 562 campsites for both RV and tent camping.Offers water sports like jet skiing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and land activities including bike rentals, skate parks, volleyball courts. Organizes family-friendly events.Features an easy-to-use access ramp for convenient entry to the campground.Known for its scenic location and range of activities suitable for all ages. Pet-friendly with dog areas.
Provides a mix of RV sites with electricity and water hookups and basic tent sites for traditional camping.The site includes a restaurant and market for dining and shopping, plus Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, and clean shower areas for a comfortable stay.Offers easy access to local attractions like beaches, parks, and cultural sites, serving as an ideal base for exploring San Diego.Less crowded, offering a more intimate beach experience compared to nearby beaches. Features unique seasonal surf breaks and sandbars.
campland sign when you enter

For over 53 years, Campland has been a favorite destination for campers worldwide, featuring 18 amenities and 562 campsites. It’s perfect for families and groups. The campground has options for both RV and tent camping, with amenities like electricity and water hookups available for RVs. Tent sites are more basic, catering to traditional camping enthusiasts.

The facility is known for its range of activities suitable for all ages. Water sports such as jet skiing, paddleboarding, and kayaking are popular due to its waterfront location. On land, visitors can enjoy bike rentals, skate parks, and volleyball courts. Campland also organizes family-friendly activities and events throughout the year, including live music and special holiday celebrations.

beach area at Campland
Beach area at Campland

In terms of amenities, Campland offers a restaurant and a market for dining and shopping conveniences. Essential services like Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, and clean shower areas are available, ensuring a comfortable stay. The site is pet-friendly and includes areas specifically for dogs.

Its location in San Diego also means that guests have easy access to local attractions, including beaches, parks, and cultural sites, making it an ideal base for exploring the wider area.

My Experience Camping at Campland on the Bay

fun Campland sign to take pictures
Fun Campland sign to take pictures

I’ve visited Campland on the Bay four times and it’s a fantastic place for families, covering over 40 acres.

our first campland spot
Our first Campland site
our large campland spot
This campsite was quite large
our large campland spot
Our large camping spot

On my first visit, I chose a large campsite away from the bay, but soon learned about the better spots. I was far from the beach and the main beach area gets crowded.

riding scooters in Campland
Kids riding scooters around Campland campground
kids riding scooters at Campland on the Bay
Kids riding scooters and having fun
kids riding scooters at Campland
Kids riding scooters and enjoying the view of the bay
bonfire at our first Campland spot
Enjoying the bonfire at our first Campland spot

During our first visit, finding a spot on this busy beach was a challenge, and it required dragging all our beach gear through the campground. So I found my favorite camping spots are in the beginning of Q area, right on the side of the bay.

Our campsite right by the bay at Campland
Our campsite right by the bay at Campland. This is my preferred campsite location. While the sites adjacent to the beach offer stunning views of the whole bay, the high tide there means setting up chairs or a beach tent by the rocks isn’t feasible, and you’d need to head to the main beach area anyways. However, these sites I like have a lower tide, providing a personal stretch of sand. It’s less crowded, ideal for kids to play, and feels like having your own private beach.
bayfront spot at campland
Our Q row bayfront spot at Campland
view of the bay at our camping spot
View of the bay at our camping spot
kids enjoying the view at our campland camping spot
Kids also enjoying the view at our Campland Q row camping spot
low tide at Campland
With low tide, we had all this sandy area to enjoy right in front of our campground on Q row.
campland spot
Campland Q row spot. Now we take our own water gear with us since it’s easy to just take them down to the water.
me paddleboarding at campland on the bay
Paddleboarding in front of our campsite
kids playing at our campsite at campland on the bay
Kids playing at our campsite
kids running below our campsite on the bay
Kids running below our campsite on the bay
kids playing on our campsite by the water
Kids playing on our campsite by the water
this is our camping spot right on the bay at Campland
This is our Q row camping spot right on the water
kids playing in the water at Campland
Kids playing in the water at Campland

I found that its easier to come down on the rocks there and you’ll get your sandy area there so it feels like your own secluded beach area. Not all these spots have fire pits, but each has a picnic table and offers a private beach-like area.

other nice view spots to be at Campland
Another nice view spot at Campland, these are by the bay as well, except there’s no beach area down below.

The campgrounds there are elevated, so you get a great view of the water. Setting up a beach tent or chairs down by the bay is relaxing.

kids riding a surrey at Campland on the bay
Surrey rides are also fun and you can rent them at Campland

My kids enjoyed playing in the sand and paddle boarding there and swimming to the dock. The water view is also so beautiful from there.

kids in the gold cart at Campland
Renting a golf cart was a hit with the kids

It’s much nicer to have a spot by the bay where you don’t have to compete for space. I initially rented paddleboards but later brought my own, which was easier as I could store them at our campsite and take them to the bay easily.

boat rental sign at campland
Next to the beach, at the Marina, is a boat rental place where you can rent different watercraft. The most I’ve enjoyed was renting ski boats but we’ve also rented a jet ski, and paddle boards, and a towable tubes.
Campland boating fun
Getting on the boat at at the Marina
boating at Campland
Boating at Campland

These spots are more expensive, but they’re worth it, especially for families. Kids can play safely on the beach while adults relax.

kids on the boat at Campland on the bay
Kids enjoying the boat ride. The boat cost $220 per hour
boating fun at Campland
You can see how busy the beach is behind us

Besides beach activities, there’s much more to do at Campland. We’ve taken golf cart tours, enjoyed surrey rides, and rented bikes to explore the area.

kids having fun on the floaty at Campland
We also rented a tube with the ski boat. Kids and adults both can have fun with it.

The kids loved riding our electric scooters around the campground. Renting a boat each visit has been a highlight, offering a peaceful way to enjoy the bay. Adults and kids alike can have fun here, with lots of activities and beautiful sunset views.

boating at Campland on the bay
Boating at Campland on the bay. If you want to rent a boat or a jet ski, make sure to go right in the morning to reserve it. The boat rentals open at 10 am in the summe and close at 6 pm.

During one of our trips to Campland, we rented a jet ski, which was a hit with the kids. I managed to fit two of them on one jet ski and we all had a great time exploring the bay.

me boating at Campland on the bay
I’m also having fun on the boat at Campland. This time, we took our own life jackets with us. The ones that they provided last time seemed really worn.

Although there’s a game room available, my kids preferred the water activities, though we did check out the game room and it was quite enjoyable. We also experienced live music at the Central Park, which was crowded but fun.

me with kids boatingat Campland
This was our first time renting a ski boat at Campland. We had an evening boat ride. Kids are required to wear life jackets.

There’s a variety of water sports to try – I rented a paddleboard for a whole day on our first visit, and the kids loved using it near the beach.

boating at Campland in San Diego
Evening boat ride

You can also rent different types of boats, like paddle boats, kayaks, catamarans, and hydro bikes. Walking around the campground in the evening, especially near the marina and jetty, is peaceful and you often see people fishing.

marina at Campland
Evening walk at the Marina at Campland
jet skiing at Campland
At one of our stays at Campland, we also rented a jet ski. One hour of jet ski rental is $110 and two hours $210. You can also rent it for a whole day.

Biking is another great option, you could do a 12-mile loop around Mission Bay or just bike around the campground.

jet skiing with kids at Campland
Jet skiing with kids at Campland

For the younger ones, there’s a playground. Our first campsite was near this playground, but on subsequent visits, we stayed on the other side of the campground.

park for kids at Campland in San Diego
Playground for kids at Campland

The facility also includes two pools (one heated) and two heated hot tubs, which were a big hit with my kids. They enjoyed swimming in the pools and warming up in the jacuzzi afterward.

kids in the jacuzzi at campland
Kids in the jacuzzi at Campland

If you’re hungry, Cantina offers good food. The restaurant offers a variety of classic American foods like pizza, tacos, burgers, and salads.

enjoying the pool with kids at Campland
Enjoying the pool with kids

They also serve drinks for adults, including craft cocktails, beer, and wine. On weekends, they make breakfast items like burritos, pancakes, and other tasty sides. You can eat outside with a great view of the bay or get your food to go.

Campland Cantina
Campland Cantina where they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It opens 9 am to 9 pm and the bar closes at 10 pm. They also have a kids menu

There’s also the Market for camping essentials, souvenirs, and coffee. One morning, it was particularly nice to grab a coffee and walk to the marina.

fun area for concerts at the Campland on the bay
This is a Central Park area where they have live concerts

On hot days, the Ice Cream Parlor is a treat. Campland offers complimentary yoga classes held on the Central Park lawn.

kids running on the jetty in Campland
Kids running on the jetty in Campland

There’s also a skate park, pickleball, volleyball and a basketball court, ensuring there’s always something to do. There’s a dog park as well. The campsite also has free WiFi.

morning coffee on the jetty at campland
Having my morning coffee on the jetty at Campland

If you’re new to camping or don’t have an RV, both Campland on the Bay and Mission Bay RV Resort provide a list of local RV rental companies on their websites.

paddleboarding at campland in San Diego
Paddleboarding at Campland with kids

These companies can deliver a clean, ready-to-use RV right to your site and hook it up. Remember, you’ll need to arrange the RV rental directly with these companies.

my son paddleboarding at Campland
my son paddleboarding at Campland

The only downside is that it can get quite noisy, with some people drinking and playing loud music late into the night.

relaxing on the paddle board by the beach at Campland
Relaxing on the paddle board by the beach

I remember a camper next to us getting into trouble for not turning off their music at 1 am and then again at 2 am. Despite this, my kids always look forward to going back.

paddle boarding with kids at Campland
Having fun paddle boarding with kids

Tips to Remember

Address: 2211 Pacific Beach Dr., San Diego, California 92109

Phone Number: (858) 581-4260

You can make reservations om their website

Quiet Hours and Alternative Stay Options: Campland maintains quiet hours from 11 pm to 8 am to ensure a peaceful environment for all campers. If you encounter noise issues during these hours, you can reach out to the Rangers for assistance. For guests seeking a quieter experience, our sister resort, Mission Bay RV Resort, provides a more tranquil setting while still offering access to Campland’s activities.

Campsites and Amenities: As an urban campground operational since 1969, Campland’s campsites are smaller and narrower. It’s important to provide your vehicle’s exact dimensions when reserving a site to ensure a suitable match. The campsites are a mix of pavement and dirt, and many include fire rings, hook-ups, and picnic tables for your convenience.

Wi-Fi and Connectivity: Free Wi-Fi is available for light internet use, such as browsing and checking emails. Due to signal variations, you might get a stronger connection outdoors or near communal areas like the Cantina.

Check-In and Late Arrivals: Check-in begins at 2 pm. For late arrivals after 10 pm, it’s essential to keep noise to a minimum as other campers will be sleeping. Depending on the situation, you might be restricted to basic hookups or provided alternative parking until the morning. When checking in, have your reservation number, ID, and credit card ready.

Activities and Recreation: Campland offers a variety of activities, including water sports and biking. The Marina allows you to rent pedal boats, pontoon boats, kayaks, bicycles, surrey carts, and golf carts. The skateboard park is a popular spot, requiring helmets for safety. The Cantina & Bar serves food and drinks, and the Campland Ice Cream Parlor is perfect for a sweet treat.

What to Bring: Guests often bring their own floats, SUPs, kayaks, bikes, scooters, and golf carts. For biking at night, it’s advisable to have bike lights for visibility.

Market and Supplies: Campland’s market caters to a variety of needs, offering groceries, snacks, drinks, RV supplies, and souvenirs.

Summer Season Activities: During the busy summer season, the resort is filled with families and children. The ‘Campland Rocks’ series features live music on weekend nights. The public beach can become crowded, so it’s recommended to bring floats for relaxation on the water.

Pet Policy: Campland is pet-friendly, with specific areas like the off-leash Dogwood Park. However, there are breed restrictions and a limit on the number of pets per guest.

Laundry Facilities: The onsite laundromat requires the CSCMobile App for a smooth laundry experience. You can add funds to your account before arriving for hassle-free use.

Campfire and Propane Policies: Campfires are allowed in designated fire rings and approved portable pits. Propane, water, and air are available at the fill station, and tanks must meet current federal standards.

Lost and Found: Lost items can be taken to or found at the Ranger Booth near the entrance.

Extended Stay Guests: Post-Labor Day through June, Campland welcomes extended stay guests, creating a diverse community of snowbirds and locals who treat Campland as their winter home.

Types of Campsites

map of the camping spots at Campland
This is the map of the camping spots at Campland. Look at the Q row campsites. The beginning of Q row are my favorite spots. It’s easy to go down the rocks to the bay and you’ll get your own little sand area which is not crowded.

Here is a list of different camping spots, my favorite is the beginning of Q row. You can get your own strip of sand there which makes it like a private beach. The main beach area can get super crowded in the summer so I really enjoyed the spots on the Q row.

Campland offers a variety of camping options to suit different preferences:

  • 568 paved sites in total
  • 412 sites come with full hookups
  • 18 RV sites without hookups
  • 148 sites equipped with water and electric only
  • 26 pull-thru sites, varying in size

Additionally, there are back-ins and nose-in sites, also varying in size. Campers can choose sites along the water, shaded under trees, or in full sun. The standout is the Supersite, a private, gated haven with luxurious amenities like a hot tub, grill, private restroom, shower, and washer & dryer, boasting unobstructed views of Mission Bay and the Kendall Frost Wildlife Sanctuary.

When booking a campsite at Campland, it’s important to input your vehicle length to ensure a perfect match. Here’s a detailed overview of each site type:

  • Beachfront RV Sites: These sites offer full hookups and are just steps away from Mission Bay. They’re located in the P section along Pelican Crescent or across from the beach along Wildlife Friendly Lane. Selected sites have fire pits and grills, with some offering unobstructed water views.
  • Bay View RV Sites: These provide full hookups and scenic views of Mission Bay, though without direct beach access. They are located in sections I, G, H, F, and E, mostly including fire pits and all with picnic tables.
  • Distinguished RV Sites: These full hookup sites are in desirable sections like F, H, J, K, and O, offering various amenities including proximity to Dog Wood Park and Central Park, asphalt pull-thrus, and more.
  • Preferred RV Sites: Spread throughout the resort, these sites have full hookups and are close to several attractions like the pool/spa complex, Central Park, and Rose Creek. They include picnic tables and usually fire pits.
  • Select RV Sites: Popular for their value, these sites are near the beach and bay, featuring full hookups, picnic tables, and fire pits.
  • Marina Dry I Sites: Non-hookup sites near the Boat Launch and Marina, offering close beach access, asphalt surfaces, and picnic tables.
  • Standard East/West RV Sites: Affordable full hookup sites located on either the sunny East or lush West side of the resort. They include fire pits and picnic tables.
  • Dry RV Sites: Non-hookup, asphalt sites in I section, featuring picnic tables and close access to the beach and marina.
  • Limited RV & Tent Sites: Partial hookup sites ideal for tents or RVs not requiring sewer hookups. Close to the Pool/Spa and playground, these sites include fire pits and are near dump stations.
  • Primitive Sites: Tent-only, no-hookup sites available only during the summer. They’re perfect for budget campers, offering immediate access to resort amenities, with a picnic table and fire pit per site.
  • Supersite: A luxurious option featuring a gated site with a hot tub, fire pit, BBQ, sink, shower, bathroom, and laundry, overlooking the Kendall Frost Marsh Reserve.

Tent Camping: Tents are welcome in designated areas like the Limited Section and J Row. Certain sections do not allow tents.

Reservation Policies: Campland accepts various RV types and tents, but not conversion vans, converted school buses, or transit buses.

Things to Do Near Campland

If you’re looking to explore beyond Campland, San Diego’s top attractions are close by. Campland is just 2.5 miles from Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, a beloved spot among locals. You can bike over to Ocean Front Walk to soak in the beach atmosphere, explore local shops, restaurants, and bars.

The northern end features Tourmaline Surfing Park, popular for surfing and kite surfing. Pacific Beach, with permanent lifeguard stations, is great for families. You can also rent bikes at Campland Marina and enjoy 12 miles of trails around Mission Bay.

Crystal Pier is perfect for fishing without needing a license. Catch various fish from surf perch to halibut, open from 8 am to sunset. For fishing supplies, check Campland Marina. Mission Bay, the largest aquatic park in the nation, is ideal for water sports with a 14-mile bike and pedestrian trail.

The area includes Mission Bay Park, a 4,600-acre aquatic playground with 27 miles of shoreline. You can enjoy a range of water sports from wave running to kayaking. The Kendall-Frost Mission Bay Marsh Reserve, adjacent to Campland, is a protected wetland where you can spot various bird species.

If you choose to leave Campland, San Diego offers attractions like Sea World, Old Town San Diego, USS Midway Museum, Balboa Park, and the San Diego Zoo, all within a short drive from Campland. The historic Gaslamp Quarter, known for nightlife and rooftop bars, is also nearby.


I’ve had great times at Campland on the Bay. The campsites near the beach are beautiful, and there’s a wide range of activities for everyone.

If you want a quiet place by the water or a vacation full of water sports and entertainment, Campland is perfect. It’s a place to create lasting memories and for families to enjoy the outdoors in San Diego. I’m excited about going back and experiencing more adventures there.

me on the beach
About the author

Hi, I'm Kat, the adventurous spirit behind TasteCaliforniaTravel, your guide to the hidden wonders of California. Having called California home for the last 15 years, I am thrilled to take you along on my journey and share the adventures that this incredible state has to offer.

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