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“Ocean Mesa RV Park”

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Ocean Mesa Campground at El Capitan
Reviewed 23 October 2011

We stayed here in a rental RV on a trip to California, Nevada and Arizona from Scotland with 2 teenage children. We stayed in a total of 7 parks during the trip and this was by a massive margin the best we stayed in. It is beautifully kept, with great staff and fantastic facilities. The kids loved the pool which was also immaculate. the higher sites have lovely sea views and the hookups are modern. A bonus is the proximity of the lodge restaurant next door which serves very good food.

I could not fault this place and if?? We ever return to SC we would love to stay again. We had originally planned to stay for 2 nights but actually stayed for 5. also enjoyed a great horseback trail ride at Circle B stables off the next Junction north (Refugio).

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Alan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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104 - 108 of 131 reviews

Reviewed 6 August 2011

0k first i must say we havent done tent camping in a loooong time... I didnt like that they had bark down instead of grass by tent spots and thought needed some more shade! But everything else is great! The bathrooms super clean, staff helpful and friendly! The only other thing is we thought kinda far from beach. Especially with little children and all the stuff you take too far to walk!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank jusgojourney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2011

We camped here because I saw a tidbit in "Sunset" magazine about this being a great campground for RV's. We have a little travel trailer and it didn't disappoint. Super clean, above-average showers and bathrooms. They were very accommodating as we wanted a quiet spot, and they got one for us. You could also walk down a wooded path into the neighboring El Capitan Canyon site for delicious breakfast if you were feeling too lazy to cook. They are stocked with wine, too! Only 20 min from Santa Barbara, across the highway from a state beach, and an hour from the Central Coast winery trails, we loved it and would stay here again.

Room Tip: Ask for campsites closest to the foot of the bluff--the best views of the ocean!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank 29er_Luver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2011

Brand New, Heated Pool is Great for Kids - Even a New playground with grassy Area - nice. However this is again built too Close to the Highway, which i just cannot understand Why this cannot Be avoided. Beach Access is possible by Foot, but it is 25mins Walk strongly downhill. The el capitan Beach is really Great, much better than the SB City beaches. I also recommend refugio Beach, accessible via Next Exit northbound or from el capitan with 1h Walk Next to cliffs.

So in total: Best campground we have Seen in California roundtrip, but still flawed due to Highway Noise - Quite a City at 90 Dollars a Night.

  • Stayed: June 2011
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2  Thank Patrickaufreisen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2011

Ocean Mesa at El Capitan is far and away our favorite RV campground in Southern California. We stayed for 2 nights and would loved to have stayed for at least another two. Each site is very clean and well maintained and the wifi service worked great. My husband and I made this trip on our own but will be returning soon with our two daugters, ages 9 and 10.

The pool (which we didn't use but did visit) is on the small side but seems well proportioned for the size of the campground. It's very clean and well-heated, according to all ten of my toes (that's as far as I got given the fact that I'd rather gouge out my eyeballs with a grapefruit spoon than put on a bathing suit in public!). It was very popular with the kids at the campground but there is also a nightly adults-only swim from 9 to 10 pm.

One aspect of the campground that we particularly enjoyed was the proximity to, and association with, El Capitan Canyon. The Canyon is a beautifully-maintained "luxury" campground with cabins and safari tents. It's absolutely gorgeous over there and is well worth the hike down (and back up) a rather steep paved trail between the two campgrounds. There's a creek running through the canyon and trails to both an organic garden and a nearby llama farm.

The Canyon Market, which is the first building you encounter when you take the trail from Ocean Mesa to the Canyon, is really well appointed and its deli serves fabulous food. I had freshly-prepared Eggs Benedict and potatoes with peppers and onions for breakfast on Sunday and it was divine. The Canyon also offers music and a group barbeque every Saturday night during the summer (tri-tip, chicken, ranch beans, whole roasted corn, etc., according to the guy who was setting up the grill Saturday morning). Guests at Ocean Mesa are included in these fesitivities.

A couple of warnings. First, if your rig is longer than about 35 feet (especially if you're towing a trailer or 5th wheel), don't bother reserving any of the "Ocean View Premium" sites. The driveways are at a right angle to the access road and you'll have a heck of a time backing in without taking out a lot of vegetation. My husband and I got in a huge fight trying to back in (doesn't everyone?) and finally gave up. The front office quickly re-assigned us to a pull-through site.

Second, since you're up on a hill at the campground everywhere you walk, run or ride your bike will be downhill, including the Canyon and El Capitan State Beach. Which means, of course, the walk/run/ride back to your site will be UPHILL. And you will want to die halfway through. Plan accordingly.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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18  Thank Soozikue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ocean Mesa Campground at El Capitan

Address: El Capitan Terrace Lane, Santa Barbara, CA
Region: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Santa Barbara
Price Range: $51 - $115 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 100
Also Known As:
Ocean Mesa Campground At El Capitan Hotel Santa Barbara

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