SANTA MARGARITA KOA IS "THE BEST-KEPT SECRET ON THE CENTRAL COAST!" Come Camp with Us . . . Because Therapy Is Expensive!


Open Year Round for G*R*E*A*T Camping! Located halfway between Los Angeles & San Francisco, just 10 miles off US101. Santa Margarita KOA is an outdoor lover's dream! Whether you enjoy hiking, fishing, boating, bird watching, horseback riding, cycling, horseshoes, swimming, and many other outdoor activities, you're sure to find an activity in our area you will enjoy! Our giant Jumping Pillow is a favorite of kids of all ages. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, we offer on-site activities on Saturdays & holidays. Our "refreshing" unheated swimming pool is open from May through October. Beat the heat by visiting in the Fall & Spring.    

SANTA MARGARITA KOA is a rustic, rural campground carved into the side of a hill on 70 acres covered in oaks and pines. Retreat to a nature-lover's paradise in a natural setting with panoramic vistas, rolling terrain, and secluded campsites. All of our roads and sites are dirt. Expect steep terrain, hard ground, cool nights and dark skies year-round. Come prepared with soft sleeping pads, warm sleeping bags, warm clothes, comfy shoes, flashlights and lanterns. We sell nice oak firewood for your warming and BBQ'ing pleasure. Our convenience store carries camping essentials like ice, beer, soda, juice, water, candy, chips and s'more stuff. If you want fresh grub or a hot meal, swing by a grocery store or restaurant in San Luis Obispo or Atascadero before heading our way.

SANTA MARGARITA LAKE is just one-half mile away, where you can enjoy fishing, hiking, biking, boat rentals and horse trails...but NO SWIMMING. Santa Margarita Lake is a "Quiet Lake" that provides drinking water for local residents so you cannot swim in it. You can walk or bike in for FREE or pay $10 per vehicle for Day Use. You can rent kayaks, fishing boats and pontoon boats at really reasonable rates. There is excellent fishing for bass, catfish, crappie and blue gill.

DAY TRIPS:  We are located within an hour's drive or less from Hearst Castle, Cambria, Ocean Dunes, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, local wineries, Pozo National Forest, and many other great local attractions! Monterey and Santa Barbara are also great day trips when visiting California's Central Coast.

STARGAZING: After a day enjoying the outdoors, relax around your campfire and the crickets and frogs will serenade you... along with beautiful birds singing in chorus.

Campground Amenities

  • 50 Max Amp
  • 40' Max Length
  • Wi-Fi
  • Pool (5/1 - 11/1)
  • Propane ($)
  • Firewood ($)
  • Dog Park
More About Amenities

Ways to Stay

KOA Holiday

KOA Holiday Campgrounds

Whether you’re exploring the local area or hanging out at the campground, KOA Holidays are an ideal place to relax and play. There’s plenty to do, with amenities and services to make your stay memorable. Plus, you’ll enjoy the outdoor experience with upgraded RV Sites with KOA Patio® and Deluxe Cabins with full baths for camping in comfort. Bring your family, bring your friends, or bring the whole group – there’s plenty of ways to stay and explore.

KOA Holidays Feature:

  • RV Sites with a KOA Patio®
  • Deluxe Cabins with full baths
  • Premium Tent Sites
  • Group meeting facilities

Latest Hot Deal

Big Weekend

Big Weekend Photo

WHEN: May 12-13, 2023

WHAT: Stay Friday night, May 12th at a participating campground, and get Saturday night, May 13th for just $20*.

WHY: The Big Weekend helps raise funds to send kids with cancer to medically-supervised camps all across North America. Kids fighting cancer deserve a chance to attend a summer camp and to just be a kid again. Funds raised from May 13 support the KOA Care Camps Trust which distributes more than $1 million dollars annually to support 125+ Care Camps each year. Learn more at

* Only at participating KOA locations. Applies to one-site, for two consecutive nights at the same KOA. Sites may be limited. Not valid with other discounts.

Book This Hot Deal

Local Area

Hearst Castle

Reservations are strongly recommended for tours of Hearst Castle . Construction began on Hearst Castle in 1919 and continued for 28 years. Hearst Castle is referred to as the "Crown Jewel of San Luis Obispo". Hearst Castle has spectacular views overlooking the ocean and the Santa Lucia Mountains.

The Ticket Office opens at 8:00 am. Tour times vary, but generally the daytime tours begin at 9:00 am
(800) 444-4445
750 Hearst Castle Road, San Simeon, CA 93452


Fishing and Boating at Santa Margarita Lake

Beyond the developed area of the park, Santa Margarita Lake Natural Area represents several thousand acres of designated open space. This section of the park is managed for its natural resource values, passive recreational use, and environmental education opportunities. The area is accessible to hikers, bicyclists and equestrians. Motor vehicles are not permitted in the Natural Area. Santa Margarita Lake Regional Park is a nature lover's retreat. With thousands of acres of unspoiled open space, the park is home to countless species of plants and wildlife making it the perfect location for nature study, boating, and fishing.

Santa Margarita Lake is noted for its excellent fishing and peaceful boating. Cast your line into Santa Margarita Lake and you'll find hungry redear, striped bass, trout, catfish, crappie and bluegill. Fish from shore, use one of the launch ramps, or try your luck from a boat or canoe.

Reservations (805) 788-2397
Pool Rental (805) 781-5930
Marina Store: (805) 438-1522

for more information click here


Sunset Drive-In Movie Theatre

Like a blast from the 1950s, this roadside drive-in is the real thing. Located in a big empty field just off the highway, it's easy to get to and the whole experience is a hoot. The films are typically family fare, with a double feature consisting of two popular current films for a price that's as retro as the theater itself. The sound system is a modern one that allows the film's sound to come through the car stereo. This means you don't have to have your window open to accommodate speakers, a nice touch given that temperatures can drop after dark if the fog comes in. They sell typical movie fare like popcorn, candy and drinks, and a limited menu of snacks such as nachos and hot dogs

Planning Notes
Be prepared for cold night air. Bring lots of blankets, jackets and scarves in case it gets chilly. The fog can come in or the wind can come up in this location close to the coast.
Just the Facts
Hours: Open weekdays and weekends all year. Call for film schedule; typically there are two films, one at 7 or 7:30, the other at 9 or 9:30 p.m.
Fees: Under $10
Address: 255 Elks Ln, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401Phone:(805) 544-4475

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Pismo Beach and Pismo Dunes

This off road area is among the most popular and unique of California State Parks. The 5 1/2 miles of beach open for vehicle use and the sand dunes available for off highway motor vehicle recreation are attractions for visitors from throughout the United States

Oceano Dunes is the only California State Park where vehicles may be driven on the beach. Passenger cars can easily drive on the northern portion of the beach.
Four wheel drive vehicles are recommended for driving to the camping and off highway vehicle use areas in the park.
Beach wheelchairs are available for loan at the Pier and Grand Avenue entrances to the beach.
Surfing, swimming, surf fishing, horseback riding and bird watching are popular activities. 

The recreation area is located in Oceano, three miles south of Pismo Beach off Highway 1.

One mile south of the Pier Avenue beach ramp is Post 2, a post on the beach which marks the beginning of the off-highway vehicle riding and camping area. 

OHV's must be transported to this point before unloading. Any areas on the beach or in the dunes that are fenced or signed are closed to vehicular use because they either contain sensitive plant and animal life or are private property.

(805) 473-7220

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Campground Awards and Programs