San Elijo State Beach
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San Elijo State Beach in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California

San Elijo State Beach
San Elijo State Beach in Cardiff-by-the-Sea near San Diego features 171 campsites, which are set on a bluff overlooking the beach. (Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)
San Elijo State Beach
Location might be everything in real estate, but too many of California’s coastal campgrounds seem to rely solely on the draw of the ocean while offering tiny campsites and less-than-stellar (read: less-than-sanitary) amenities. San Elijo certainly goes against those tendencies. (Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)
San Elijo State Beach
Surfers enjoy this beach, which has sand as smooth as pottery clay. (Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)
San Elijo State Beach
Brisk water didn’t deter the wetsuit-clad surfers from taking on the improved swells brought on by the storms. Winter ocean temperatures linger in the high 50s, about 10 degrees cooler than in August. (Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)
San Elijo State Beach
A long stretch of wooden stairs connects the campground to the beach below. (Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)
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