Remove Ads
3.9
80 votes

Emma Wood State Beach

State Beach Access Rd., Ventura, California 93001 USA

Free
Free to Visit
Closed Now
Opens Tue 6a
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Not Wheelchair
    Accessible
  • Public
    Restrooms
Add to Trip
Remove Ads

“state beach at the Ventura River estuary”

Emma Wood State Beach is located at the Ventura River estuary at the most of the Ventura River. The water's moderate temperatures make this a popular park for swimming, surfing and fishing. Perch, bass, corbina and cabezon frequent the area. A wide array of wildlife, including songbirds and great herons can be found. The ruins of a World War II era artillery site are located within the park. Camping is available for self-contained vehicles.

Read More >

Reviews of Emma Wood State Beach

22 people have reviewed this location

Ratings Summary

4.5 Access
4.9 Location
3.8 Cleanliness
3.2 Site Quality
2.8 Noise

Cell Coverage

Verizon 4G

Confirmed by 6 users | Last reported on June 28, 2020

AT&T 4G

Confirmed by 10 users | Last reported on July 14, 2021

T-Mobile 5G

Confirmed by 1 users | Last reported on January 26, 2023
Add Review
Thanks!
Your Rating
1
2
3
4
5
Photo of Campendium

Reviewed by
Campendium

June 18, 2015
Rated

Overpriced and under-serviced, this is still a compelling place to stay for an overnight or two while passing through the area. You're parked just past the edge of the surf at high tide, watching the wind and waves as long as you like. Your $40 a night is paying purely for the privilege of parking on the beach. That said, staying on the beach is pretty amazing, and that's what you're here for. There are absolutely no hookups or services of any sort, except the occasional trash bin.

Bring earplugs. Trains run on the major rail line just a few feet from the camp road all night long, the busy 101 freeway is just past that, and of course the beach isn't very quiet either. The campground seems to largely be the domain of partying locals. The more genteel crowd is further south at the Ventura "Beach" RV Resort, paying twice as much or more, with no direct access to the beach whatsoever (despite the name).

Most sites are back-in sites with little separation, and because half the people park head-in, you're often sharing that little space with your neighbor. Some sites are parallel-park along a seawall, which is where I stayed. This is nice because you can achieve complete privacy using the coach shades. The downside here is that there is absolutely no space. I sat out on the seawall.

Was this helpful?
This reviewer would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $40.00

Days Stayed: 2

Site Number: 64

4 Access
5 Location
3 Cleanliness
1 Site Quality
1 Noise

Cell Coverage Rating

AT&T 4G

Photo of Campendium

Reviewed by
Campendium

February 16, 2018
Rated

We agree with what most the previous reviewers have stated. It is a very tired state beach, which has been our experience with state beaches in this area.

There was a lot of availability off season and midweek. There are porta potties at the entrance, very old porta potties. There are trash and recycling bins throughout the camping area.

Dogs are not allowed on the beach but to the north and south of the camping area there are beaches where they are allowed, at least we did not see signs prohibiting them. There is a bike path to enjoy that goes either direction for miles.

Some sites are definitely longer and wider than others. Very big rigs can even find a spot long enough to accomadate their size.

It is noisy here! The train tracks are a stone's throw followed by the highway. If it weren't for beach front access, we would not return.

Was this helpful?
This reviewer would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $40.00

Days Stayed: 3

Site Number: 41

5 Access
5 Location
2 Cleanliness
2 Site Quality
1 Noise
Photo of Campendium

Reviewed by
Campendium

February 21, 2018
Rated

We love Ventura. Getting to camp here was even better. We didn't stay long, as it is pricy, but you get what you pay for. An amazing view on the shore with waves crashing all night. If you snag a spot closer to the entrance, you're lucky to have sandy beaches and water to play in. We were further down and from the trailer to the water were huge boulders. Our kids didn't mind, as they enjoyed climbing and playing on the rocks. We played on the beach during the day and enjoyed watching the pro surfers we admire catch waves. Downtown Venture is fun and enjoyable to grab lunch and walk the farmers market. We did have loud neighbors, as you are in close quarters along the shore, but everyone is friendly. They also say to make sure to lock up your belongings at night. Apparently people stop along the highway, climb down take items, but we didn't have any problems.

Was this helpful?
This reviewer would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $40.00

Days Stayed: 2

Site Number: -

5 Access
5 Location
4 Cleanliness
5 Site Quality
3 Noise

Cell Coverage Rating

AT&T 4G

Photo of Campendium

Reviewed by
Campendium

October 30, 2018
Rated

We checked out all 4 parks in the area. Faria Beach Park looked the nicest to stay at. Rincon Parkway is the cheapest, but Emma Woods was the only one where the surf was breaking while we wanted to stay. So we shelled out $40/night for no hooks up in a disintegrating beach front parking lot.

The water front views are great, but if thats what you want the other parks are better options and come with more amenities and cheaper price tags. You are nestle between the ocean on one side and a train and the highway on the other. There were lots of warnings about thefts in the area and to keep your stuff locked up.

cell service was fine with AT&T, did not check Verizon

Was this helpful?
This reviewer would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $40.00

Days Stayed: 1

Site Number: 15

4 Access
5 Location
2 Cleanliness
2 Site Quality
2 Noise

Cell Coverage Rating

AT&T 4G

Photo of Campendium

Reviewed by
Campendium

November 27, 2015
Rated

We always stay at Emma Wood State Beach Campground during our Senior Sprints, Dwarf Cars, Hobby Stocks, Focus Midgets, Sport Compacts, and Mod Lites fall racing excursion to Ventura Raceway, over at Ventura County Fairgrounds, California.

So peaceful and quiet at Emma Wood Campground, after a long day at our VRA races. Always good folks there too. See the Pacific Ocean's old WWII artillery ruins (bath), and relax at The Denkes Fire Pit at night. Come have a cold one with the boys!

Garry Denke

Was this helpful?
This reviewer would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $20.00

Days Stayed: 3

Site Number: 2

5 Access
5 Location
5 Cleanliness
5 Site Quality
5 Noise

Cell Coverage Rating

Verizon 4G

Photo of Campendium

Reviewed by
Campendium

March 30, 2016
Rated

We try to come to Emma Wood at least once or twice a year. You are parked at the ocean's edge and you truly feel like you are away from all the stresses in life. There are no amenities at all, so no tent camping, which I am totally okay with. The beach is large stones, especially now after the recent storms, but the kids love exploring in them. A quick 2 minute drive just outside the camp will get you to a sandy beach that you can spend the day at if you prefer.

The only downfall is trying to get spots here in the non-reservation season. We usually have to take the trailer out a few days before the weekend to ensure we get a spot (that means paying for a few extra days too). We've even had the unfortunate experience of not getting a spot and having to bring the trailer home and unpack it. It's all worth it though, for the times we've stayed.

I gave 2 stars for Site Quality because the sites tend to be a little rocky and uneven, again especially since the recent storms. I gave 3 stars for Noise because there is a train track behind the sites and occasionally a train will go by, however that noise is usually mitigated by the ocean noise, and the ocean noise is what you are there for!

Was this helpful?
This reviewer would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $40.00

Days Stayed: 3

Site Number: 30

5 Access
5 Location
3 Cleanliness
2 Site Quality
3 Noise

Cell Coverage Rating

Verizon 4G

Photo of Campendium

Reviewed by
Campendium

August 25, 2016
Rated

What an enchanting and fabulous place to camp! For a mere $40, you are RIGHT ON the beach. As I write this, the surf is breaking 20 feet from my window. This is pure boondocking, though there are some porta-potties by the ranger station. Reservations recommended.

The farther you get from the ranger station, the more remote this feels. Sites are pretty close together, but people are pretty cool (who isn't happy camping at the beach?). There are miles of beaches to walk the dog, and a bike path if you don't like sand. Yes, the train goes by often, but isn't the train a lovely, if slightly mournful, sound? And as another review said, the sound of the crashing waves nearly overpowers it. Playful, surfing seals and passing porpoise provide plenty of entertainment. There are rock firepits at just about every site.

Ventura, only a couple of miles away, is a gem of a town, with a large old downtown and a very lively craft brew community. Great Verizon service, even without a booster.

Tell no one.

Was this helpful?
This reviewer would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $40.00

Days Stayed: 3

Site Number: 79

5 Access
5 Location
4 Cleanliness
4 Site Quality
5 Noise

Cell Coverage Rating

Verizon 4G

AT&T 4G

Photo of Campendium

Reviewed by
Campendium

October 11, 2016
Rated

The entrance to the campground is more complicated than it should be. Once you find the entrance and follow the road, you wait in a line (this wasn't so bad) just to get to the booth where there you find a curmudgeon waiting for you.

I camped here with a Cub Scout group and there were only a few others here. Instead of being placed in the large group campgrounds we were promised (which were completely vacant), we were put in a giant dirt lot meant for RV's. After setting up our tents, we created a barricade around our group with the cars to prevent drunk drivers from crashing into our campsite.

The beach was, however very close. Besides that, the location was incredibly inconvenient. To your right, there was the freeway, and to the left, train tracks with trains that ran at midnight.

Overall, a pretty bad experience.

Was this helpful?
This reviewer would stay here again

Nightly Rate: -

Days Stayed: 3

Site Number: -

3 Access
3 Location
3 Cleanliness
2 Site Quality
1 Noise
Photo of Campendium

Reviewed by
Campendium

May 13, 2019
Rated

First time here and we love it. Rustic Beach Camping where you are almost right on the sand. In California no less. No frills. No water. No power. No dump. But what an amazing view from any window in your RV.

This will be a common stop for us now. The only reason I don’t give it 5 stars is that there is no dump station. For 40.00 per night I would expect at least that.

There do have porta-potties and trash bins.

Was this helpful?
This reviewer would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $40.00

Days Stayed: 2

Site Number: 13

4 Access
5 Location
4 Cleanliness
3 Site Quality
4 Noise

Cell Coverage Rating

Verizon 4G

AT&T 4G

Photo of Campendium

Reviewed by
Campendium

September 07, 2019
Rated

Arrived and checked in with no problems. We had reservations although I'm not sure we needed them. We arrived on Labor Day and there were plenty of empty spaces all week.

Ranger warned us to make sure generator or anything else valuable was locked up. We had no issues. We felt very safe camping there.

The space is very rocky so you need to be careful walking around. It is a little bit of a walk to get down to the sandy beach but all in all, we loved it.

Was this helpful?
This reviewer would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $40.00

Days Stayed: 4

Site Number: 87

Cell Coverage Rating

Verizon 4G

Be the first to add a review to the Emma Wood State Beach.

Emma Wood State Beach

State Beach Access Rd.
Ventura, California
93001 USA
Remove Ads

Hours

Closed Now
  • Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 7:00 pm

Problem with this listing? Let us know.

Has RV parking changed? Let us know.

Remove Ads
  • Check
    Parking
  • Check
    Pets Allowed
  • Check
    Restrooms
  • Unavailable
    Wifi
  • Unavailable
    Wheelchair Accessible
  • Check
    Credit Cards Accepted
Affiliation
State park or forest
Last Nightly Rate
40.0
Longest Vehicle Length Reported
33.0
Lowest Nightly Rate
20.0
Max Length
45 ft
Max Stay
7
Sites Count
90
  • Unavailable
    Paved Sites
  • Unavailable
    Fifty Amp
  • Unavailable
    Full Hookup
  • Check
    Rec Facilities
  • Unavailable
    Pull Through
  • Unavailable
    Tent Sites
  • Unavailable
    Dump Station
  • Unavailable
    Big Rigs
  • Unavailable
    Open Seasonally
  • Unavailable
    Age Restricted
  • Check
    Boondock
  • Unavailable
    Cabin Sites
  • Unavailable
    Dispersed Sites
  • Unavailable
    Firewood
  • Unavailable
    Fulltime Residents
  • Check
    Group Tent Sites
  • Unavailable
    Laundry
  • Unavailable
    Mobile Homes
  • Unavailable
    Permit Required
  • Check
    Primitive Sites
  • Unavailable
    Propane
  • Unavailable
    Public Water
  • Unavailable
    Pull Through RV Sites
  • Check
    Reservations
  • Unavailable
    Sewer Hookup
  • Unavailable
    Showers
  • Check
    Sites
  • Unavailable
    Standard Tent Sites
  • Unavailable
    Water Hookup
See More Details (53)

Campground, Parking

Remove Ads

Nearby Hotels

Oxnard, California
FastBook
$

Click to discover a
great deal!

Oxnard, California
FastBook
$

Click to discover a
great deal!

Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara, California
Remove Ads

Related Trip Guides

Remove Ads
63155