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“To anyone who doesn't find this place amazing.”

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San Mateo Campground
Garden Grove, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“To anyone who doesn't find this place amazing.”
Reviewed 28 April 2014

This campground is amazing. True there aren't very many trees but that's why you go for a walk down to the beach and hang out there all day instead of just sitting around your campsite, also bring your own source of shading; a tarp or a pop up canopy, it will help when you are at your campsite. Yes there is wildlife, it's called being out doors if you don't like bugs, animals, dirt, or fresh air then maybe this place may not be for you. I would stay here over and over again. Bring some fun outdoor activities like a Frisbee or football, a bike, surfboard, boogie board, whatever your heart desires. I highly recommend this place I've been coming here since I was little and I am so happy my parents took us all the time, we have had some of the most amazing times here, It's great for family bonding, hanging out with friends, or even just for you and a loved one.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank HCasper08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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39 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
South Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
131 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2014

You just need to know what you're getting at this campground.

You are getting a clean, well-run campground near the beach. The location is very accessible, near the 5 freeway and not far from a convenience market. Conversely, it's well isolated from any adjacent development so you don't feel like you're camping near a motel or strip mall.

You are not getting a beachfront location. It's a nice hike (2 miles?) to the sand, but you might drive if you need to haul a bunch of beach stuff. The nearby beaches are very nice.

You are not getting lush green grounds or much deep shade; it's a lot of dry, hardpack dirt and few large trees. Privacy between spaces is pretty average. You are also not getting away from civilization since you can see and hear Camp Pendleton (boom!)

The size and scale of the campground is nice: not too large or too small. The rangers are ever-present but not in your face. The showers and restrooms are relatively clean and convenient. The clientele when we were there was friendly and family-oriented.

There is nothing about San Mateo to prevent you from having a great time as long as you know what you're getting. Enjoy the cool breezes off the ocean and some good food and friends, and you can have a great time there.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
4 Thank TravelDrone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2013

We loved the campground. It was quiet, clean, friendly people. The hike to the beach is a nice hike and the beach is beautiful. Fire rings were great, nice picnic tables and there are plenty of trees and shrubs to give privacy from other sites. The whole campground is well maintained and you can tell they take pride in their facilities. We will definitely be back, it is such an easy place to get to!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sloth62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Corona, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2013

This campground is near, but not on the beach. You can see Camp Pendleton from the sites. We knew that before we went; so, we were not disappointed. The sites have plenty of trees and shrubs to give you some privacy from other sites. We stayed in site 50 and it was very spacious and private. We took the 1.5 mile walk to Trestles beach. It is a surf beach with no facilities. I don't recommend it for families. We decided to drive to San Clemente beach for the day and had a great time. I gave it four stars because of the ants. Beware, the ants will invade. I was suspicious upon arrival when I saw the white chalk outline where the last camper's tires use to be. I read that salt will keep them out, but these ants still found a way. Those little pests walked right up our fresh water hose connection. Make sure you salt that too.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Gina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Corona, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2013

First of all, there is NO grass! Few trees, all dirt, no shade. This campground has absolutely nothing going for it! The state should pay campers to stay there, not the other way around. The crows come to visit in the afternoon and throw berries all over the campsite and vehicles. The restrooms were nice and clean but there is nothing to do! Bombs were going off all night and day at nearby Camp Pendleton. I do not recommend!

Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Donna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laguna Hills, CA
Level Contributor
78 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2013

We stayed at San Mateo campground aug 16-17, 2013. We had 2 sites side-by-side and went with another famiy and their children and dog. If you get the inner-ring - there is TONS of space. But if you get the outer ring you can barely put a large tent on the site. The fire rings were great and everything seemed to be nicely run. That is, until we took showers. It takes 50 cents for 3 minutes. Every one of the people in our party ran out of water and with soap filled hair and eyes, deposted another 50 cents and NO WATER came back on. It was a nightmare. I have to dress covered in soap and finish washing at the outdoor sink. They should have better showers if they want people to come back. Also, the quiet hours are not observed in the morning. We were woken each morning around 6am with nieghbors clanging pans. It's the cost of condo-camping - so we are used to that.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Esbart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
riverside california
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2012

I stayed here for more than two months jumping site to site. The staff and campground are perfect. My kids love to do all the events they do for the youth. Not to far drive from San Clemente, store, bars, food etc..

Room Tip: [hana-flv-player video="http://www.losttrekker.com/videos/VID_20120713_164900.flv" width...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank losttrekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about San Mateo Campground

Property: San Mateo Campground
Address: 3030 Del Presidente, San Clemente, CA 92672
Region: United States > California > Orange County > San Clemente
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 9 Speciality Lodging in San Clemente
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 157
Also Known As:
San Mateo Campground Hotel San Clemente

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