An easy campground for your first camping trip with a baby or toddler, San Elijo State Beach has a general store and taco stand on the grounds and is right across the street from Starbucks. The narrow beach starts as a bluff with stair or ramp access and flattens for direct beach access on the south end.

Atmosphere: San Elijo State Beach attracts families and RV campers, who like the campground for its proximity to Cardiff and easy access to anything they might need. The campground is watched over by the Cardiff Kook, a surfer statue sometimes dressed up as a prank.

Parking and Entrance: Park in the campground’s day use area and look for the lifeguard stand to walk right into the beach. If you are staying there, try to request a site on the south end, which is at sea level.

Nice Walks and Views: Take in the sunset from the blufftop while eating a taco or burrito from the Bull Taco stand. An asphalt walking path goes along Coast Hwy. 101 and is somewhat protected from traffic.

Activities for Toddlers: Dog-watching; picking up stones and shells. Dogs are allowed on the beach, and locals and campers really take advantage of this.

Bathrooms: Bathrooms in the campground with hot showers. Outdoor shower too.

Perks for Parents: Surfing lessons, a nearby reef for those cold-water snorkelers. Free Wi-Fi in the campground with AT&T service.

Where to Stay with Kids: The campground, if you’re looking for some dirty-baby adventure. It’s well stocked with amenities and great for a first trip. Reserve a site WELL in advance at Reserve America.

Baby-friendly Restaurants: The Bull Taco stand, located near the campground entrance, is open from 8-8. Great for toddlers who can’t sit still and for parents who don’t have the time to cook a campfire meal.

What Else to Do: After letting your toddler roll around in the dirt, walk across Hwy. 101 to Cardiff.