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Silver Strand State Beach
Silver Strand State Beach - camping and city information. Silver Strand State Beach is a 7-mile isthmus that connects the city of Coronado and Imperial Beach and sits between the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay. The surf here is relatively calm which is good for swimming, surf fishing, and some boogy boarding, but not for the serious surfer. The Silver Strand has a bike path stretching almost 10 miles to Coronado, which is also popular with runners, walkers, and inline skaters. Grunion runs can be witnessed at the state beach between March through August. The bay side and the nature preserve can be reached via three underground pedestrian tunnels from the ocean side parking lots. Because the water is warmer and calmer than the ocean, it is a popular area for sailing and swimming.
At Silver Strand State Beach Campground there is no water, electricity or even a dump station. What you pay for is a parking spot in a parking lot inches away from your neighbor. Despite its primitiveness, reservations are a must. There are about 130 campsites and in the summer there is no getting in without a reservation. We found that the majority of the campers were local Californians and they pride themselves on coming here every year. At this state beach the gates open and close at a particular time, so there is no coming and going as you please after hours. As well, the street lights were turned off at 10 p.m. so basically they tell everybody when to shut up and go to sleep. There is RV day camping for a fee during daylight hours.
Jason's thoughts - Do NOT stay here unless you are desperate to be close to the ocean all night long. NO electricity, NO water or dump station Over 200 rvs jammed together line to line with less than 2 feet between many of them, back to back literally in a parking lot, complete with hundreds of screaming kids, barking dogs, sounds of helicopters from nearby military base screaming overhead, drunk 50 year olds trying to be 20 again crashing into rv's while riding scooters and skateboards with their 5 year olds, sounds of gunfire and bombs exploding offshore from the military boats doing practice maneuvers. Couple that with rude camp hosts, and $25 a night charge PLUS extra car fee of $10 a night makes it less than ideal. On a positive note you are 100 feet from the crashing surf, bathrooms have cold running water, kids and those who have trouble creating their own excitement will love the confusion and crowds. Very cool and nice even in the daytime in August.
Kelly's thoughts - Silver Strand is crowded in the summer but there is plenty of beach to spread out. I had two great runs in the morning at low tide. At 2.5 miles north of the RV park I was whistled at to turn around as I was entering Navy SEALS training territory. The next morning I ran 3.75 miles south to Imperial Beach Pier, no whistles. The bottom of your feet and shoes get a shimmer on them from the sand, it's really kind of cool looking.
Travel Info - Avoid the $10 a night extra car fee by towing your car in. You cannot enter the RV park before 2 pm when a huge line of rv's back up on the road to get in. Park in the parking lots prior to the park entrance and wait until 1:55 then race for the front gate like everyone else. Prepare to sit for up to 45 minutes if not in the front of the pack. NO rv's allowed unless completely self contained, that means complete holding tanks. NO tent camping allowed though many of the teenagers curled up on the beach in sleeping bags to sleep after 10 pm when the park rangers left the premises and turned off the huge overhead street lights. Silver Strand State Beach is on the 7 miles stretch between the city of Coronado and Imperial Beach.
American Road Trips - reviews & pictures of places we visited on $20 a day - food, gas and lodging.