About an hour between LA and SD just off the 5, lies San Onofre State Beach, an awesome place to spend a couple nights camping and days on the beach surfing or just soaking up the sun and laying on the sand. We usually get a couple car loads of people and reserve a spot online and spend a weekend here surfing and grilling out. It’s great for families, fairly dog-friendly, and a good way to “Get away” without having to spend a fortune to actually get away.
The sites aren’t exactly on the beach. In fact, it’s a hike to actually get down to the beach, so you’ll want to factor that in when you pack. Think coolers with wheels, or sturdy backpacks, especially if you have kids. Some of the sites have fire rings otherwise you’ll have to bring your own grill. San Clemente is close enough and has plenty of restaurants, bars and grocery stores if you need to stock up on food or beer.