Camping with kids By Ashley Burnett
Joshua Tree is home to some of the best campground for families with kids. (Flickr: Trevor Benedict)
Camping with kids in tow can make for the perfect family vacation. Setting up a tent and starting up a fire make for the perfect way to truly experience a location. And for kids who are usually cooped up in the house or at school, getting outdoors is a memorable experience.
No place is that truer than Southern California. SoCal offers a plethora of great, family-friendly campgrounds. Many offer all of the typical camping amenities, are extremely safe and within walking distance of great trailheads. Theyâre also just a short drive from SoCalâs many landmarks and interesting small towns. Below, weâve highlighted five of the most kid-friendly campgrounds in SoCal.
Black Rock Campground near Joshua Tree Tree National Park
Camping with kids is easy at the Black Rock Campground. Right on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park, Black Rock Campground attracts families from all over California. With full amenities, this site is the perfect gateway to camping for families who have yet to go. Itâs a short drive away from the park proper and close to town in case you forget any essentials. Thereâs also plenty of beautiful rock formations to explore directly around the campsite. And, of course, you canât beat the sunsets or sunrises of the desert. All in all, this is a great choice for a family vacation and one of SoCalâs most kid-friendly campgrounds.
Crystal Cove State Parkâs Moro Campground
Crystal Cove State Park is one of SoCalâs most kid-friendly campgrounds. Itâs in close proximity to Newport Beach and Laguna Beach make it a great choice for a staycation adventure. This specific campground is perfect for camping with kids because of its seaside location. Itâll feel like another beach adventureâbut this time, you get to enjoy the sand all night. Kids will love getting to roast some sâmores as the weather turns cooler. Overall, for a simple family vacation, this spot is one of the best. Afterward, you can head to Newport or Laguna for some shopping or dining once youâre through with the outdoors.
Mount Laguna in Cleveland National Forest
Located about an hour from San Diego, Cleveland National Forest is perfect for a mountain-oriented family vacation. This park boasts several kid-friendly campgrounds. The Mount Laguna campsite, however, gives you a taste of scenery unlike elsewhere in SoCal. When camping with kids, youâll relish the siteâs open meadow spaces for fun games and activities. Itâs also a 30-minute ride to the town of Julian, where you can split the townâs renowned apple pies. Be sure to check out its small shops and boutiques.
Borrego Palm Canyon Campground in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
SoCal has plenty of kid-friendly campgrounds surrounded by desert sands. Head to this spot in Anza-Borrego for a family vacation full of quality bonding. Kids will absolutely love spotting the flowers during the spring season. Like Mount Laguna, the campsite also provides plenty of space to run around. Bring a few lawn gamesâthink badminton or frisbeeâand let the kids run free. Many families go camping with kids when they head here, so the tykes can also have fun mingling with peers.
Stone Creek in Idyllwild
When the weather turns warm (which it almost always is in SoCal), head to Idyllwild. Within short distance to townâwhich boasts cute shops and cafesâthis campsite is perfect for a family vacation. Itâs also one of SoCalâs most kid-friendly campgrounds. Itâs easily accessible and located right off the freeway, so no need to worry about getting lost. Itâs also close to several short, 1.5-mile hikes nearby.
Ashley Burnett contributed this to MiniTime.