Manresa State Beach (CA)

A lot of the camping grounds around the Bay Area are the RV/Tent combination areas where tent and RV areas are right next to each other. I avoid those places when at all possible because RV’s get loud when the people in it use any electricity or gas or whatnot. After looking around, I found a tent-only camping ground; Manresa SB.

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Note that the campground is actually a bit further south from what will come up as Manresa SB if you Google the name.

As you can see from the map, it’s located a bit away from Santa Cruz and other residential places that people usually gather at so it’s a perfect quiet getaway place. The distance is also great because there were literally no lights at night to distract from the awesome night sky view. This does mean that you have to bring a light source to use at night though – just another thing to take note.

When you drive into the campgrounds, you get these two piece of paper which are pretty self-explanatory;

Campground Snapshot. We stayed at #19 obviously.
Campground Rules

I forgot to take pictures to the actual campsite, but this entire camping ground is a no car zone so all the equipment and food had to be carried to the site. #19 is not too far away from the parking lot so it wasn’t too bad, but a smarter and more prepared camper to this campground would have brought a large wheeled basket or a collapsible cart of some sort. The road is not nicely smooth and paved so be prepared for that.

The camping site #19 looks like this;

The whole #19 campground.

It’s quite large and the entire campground is visible from the walking-road, but there is a little area at the back of #19 behind the tables that is far enough away from the walking-road and behind the table to give a bit of privacy.

Perfect spot to set up the tent in campground #19!

I suggest that anyone at this campsite put the tent all the way into the little area pictured above. #19 faces east so you get the full sunrise sun blast and the tent can get hot pretty darn quickly.

Along with that, you get a water tap (not individually pictured but you can see it from the whole campground pic) and

The fireplace at each campground.
Bear-proof food storage container. Beach umbrella for scale.
Another view of the bear-proof container.


One other benefit about this campground is that it is very close to the beach. From #19 to the southern beach “stairs,” which is more like a concrete paved road, is probably 2~3mins of walking. You can fall asleep and wake up to the sound of the ocean, and a stroll down the beach can give you some very beautiful and relaxing views like these;

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If I could go camping again soon around the Bay, I think I’d give this place another shot. The beach, night time peace, and quiet was much needed.