This California Beach Is A Perfect Spot For An Oceanside Camping Adventure

Santa Barbara County, California, is famed for its coastal views and laid-back vibes. The quaint region is made up of eight cities, including Lompoc. Located less than three hours away from Los Angeles and about an hour from Santa Barbara, Lompoc should be on the radar of any outdoor enthusiast. That's because it has a great spot to camp: Jalama Beach. The park, a 30-minute drive from the city, is secluded and has sweeping ocean views and coastal bluffs. Jalama Beach's landscape makes it a quintessential California camping experience for those with tents, trailers, and RVs.

There are 107 campsites, 31 of which have electrical hookups, and a dump station is available. An online reservation must be made in advance to camp at Jalama Beach. But if you're feeling spontaneous, you can inquire about the first-come, first-served walk-in sites at the park's gates. Although this is a picturesque oceanfront space, the camping fees are surprisingly reasonable. They vary, but at the time of this publication, they range from $35 to $55 a night. Also, keep in mind that eight people are allowed per campsite.

However, two areas, Abalone Point and Starfish Cove, are designed for larger groups. The former costs $300 a night and accommodates 20 people; the latter is $275 for up to 32 people. But if camping in a tent or RV isn't for you, Jalama Beach has another option. 

Camp in style in Jalama Beach's cabins

Jalama Beach has typical amenities, including showers, restrooms, picnic tables, and BBQ pits. A playground is also available. While Jalama Beach does allow dogs for an unspecified fee, they need to be on a leash. Another thing to note is that Jalama Beach has quiet hours from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., meaning generators and other noise sources must be shut off. If you prefer to camp under more refined conditions, you can book one of Jalama Beach's seven cabins.

Although they vary in size, each rustic-style cabin is designed for four people and has a kitchen and bathroom with a shower. One of the cabins, Cormorant, is ADA-accessible and features one queen bed and a sleeper sofa. The rest, however, have a queen bed and a bunk bed. Unfortunately, dogs cannot stay in the cabins, so if your furry friend must join you, consider a tent or an RV. 

Other amenities to be expected in the cabins include a TV with cable, air conditioning, and outdoor seating. So how much will this set campers back? They can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $250 a night for a cabin. However, a minimum two-night stay is required.

Relax by the sea at Jalama Beach

Jalama Beach is the place to camp if you are in need of a break from everyday life. Visitors can rejoice in nature through swimming, surfing, fishing, or birdwatching. Free beach wheelchairs are available to use as well. Delicious meals can be found on-site at the Jalama Beach Store, which sells breakfast, seafood, and burgers. The establishment is best known for its Jalama burger, made with a secret sauce. However, visiting the town of Lompoc is a must, even though it doesn't have the same notoriety as Santa Barbara, a city known for its luxury hotels and upscale offerings. 

Nevertheless, Lompoc has plenty of charm. Visitors can stop by La Purisima Mission State Historic Park. The mission dates back to the 18th century and offers self-guided tours. This is a free attraction, but guests must pay for parking. Lompoc is also home to several wine-tasting rooms and wineries, such as the Sanford Winery, which offers tastings and tours, including one that takes guests through its vineyards on an ATV. Want to take the kids somewhere they'll enjoy? Check out the Lompoc Aquatic Center. It has an indoor water park and various pools. Plus, admission is only $4.50 for kids and $5.00 for adults.