San Diego is blessed with a lovely, temperate climate the year round, a beautiful coastline, a vibrant theater and arts scene, and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors on its beaches, mesas, deserts, and mountains. In fact, it is possible to head to San Diego County’s eastern edge in the winter to see snow, and then head back west to go surfing - all in one day.
All That, and Great RV Destinations, Too!
San Diego’s great weather is a magnet for “snow-birds” - people escaping snowy winters, as well as those who wish to escape the furnaces that are Arizona, New Mexico and Texas in summer. It’s natural that the region offers some great RV spots.
Whether you wish to see the ocean, the desert or the mountains, San Diego delivers. We offer information on each of the three below.
San Diego County is one of the largest counties in California. It sits at the farthest southwest point in the U.S. and takes up 4,526 miles of real estate. Fun fact -the county is bigger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. From its southwestern-most point to its northern tip just north of Oceanside and the U.S. Marine base of Camp Pendleton, the county offers about 70 miles of coastline, which means you can find many RV campsites in parks that are on or near the ocean.
Campland on the Bay, for example, is located on the shores of Mission Bay Park, a 10-minute drive from downtown San Diego and San Diego Harbor. Close to main tourist attractions such as Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, the Gaslamp Quarter, and Balboa Park, Campland on the Bay offers beaches to sun upon on the shores of Mission Bay, watercraft and bicycle rentals, a boat launch, a boat marina, swimming pools and Jacuzzis, and much more. It provides RV owners with full, partial and dry/no hook-up RV sites.
The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park lies just 90 miles north-northeast of downtown San Diego on the other side of the Cuyamaca, Vallecito and Pinyon mountains. At 600 square miles, it’s the largest state park in California and in the summer, it offers some of the hottest temperatures found in the U.S. - average summer temperatures can hit 107 degrees F, and 125 degree temperatures aren’t unheard of.
As for RV camping, you may want to check out the Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort, which offers you the chance to sleep in vintage airstream trailers, a Wild West-themed hotel, or “just” your own RV. The resort offers swimming pools, an on-site bar and grill and free Wi-Fi and cable. The resort is not in the state park, but is close by.
If you haven’t stargazed in the desert before, you owe it to yourself to check out the desert east of San Diego.
Not as much of a destination as San Diego’s coast and desert, the county’s mountains nevertheless are well worth exploring. The predominant mountain ranges are the Laguna and Cuaymaca Mountains. Of the two, the Laguna Mountains may be the more popular, as the Lagunas are home to the small town of Julian, famous the world over for its Apple Days Festival held each year in late September (although the town is crowded with apple lovers throughout September and October for Julian’s Apple Days Celebration).
Pinezanita RV Park & Campgrounds is located in the Lagunas at 5,000 feet elevation. Surrounded by pine trees and manzanita (hence the campground’s name), it offers full RV hook-ups, tent camping and trailing camping options. You also can rent a cabin. Enjoy fishing, hiking, and visiting Julian nearby for some great apple pie.
There’s a lot more to see and do in San Diego, of course, but taking the time to enjoy all three outdoor zones - ocean, mountains, and desert - during your visit, will really help you appreciate the county’s natural diversity all the more.