Jalama Beach County Park is a tiny speck of civilization on a remote and deserted part of the California coast. Once used by the Atlantic Richfield oil company as a staging area for deploying the off-shore oil platforms, this beautiful spot was home to a pioneer family for nearly one hundred years and is one that California families return to for generations. Little-known outside of southern California, this park is a mecca for surfers, kite surfers and beach lovers of all stripes. This is one of the premier beach campgrounds on the entire west coast.
The campground at Jalama Beach is extremely popular and until a few years ago was first-come, first-served only. Now most of the sites can be reserved, and this is highly-recommended. There are several layers to the campground, with RV hook up sites at the top of the hill along with some of the best views. The middle tier sites have some hookups and great views also. At the beach level, there is a large group of sites that are separated from the beach by dunes and another area that features sites that literally sit right on the sand of the beach. There is free Wi-Fi that works pretty well, showers, and a great little general store that features a grill that cooks up some of the best burgers anywhere. The crowd has quintessential southern California beach vibe, and the campground takes on the ambiance of a friendly village.
Once at the campground, all activities revolve around the beach. There are no hiking trails or other access to the rolling coastal hills, but the beach stretches for miles in either direction and offers lots of solitude and dog play space. Be careful to avoid the occasional tar ball on the beach, and check on the launch schedule for nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base for the chance to see a rocket launch.