Some of the state parks in California include Sonoma Coast State Park, Santa Monica State Beach, Humboldt Lagoons State Park and the Monterey State Historic Park. Those parks offering camping reservations use ReserveAmerica.com, accessible through the individual state park's website.
Sonoma Coast State Park is on the northern California coast, stretching 17 miles from Bodega Head to Vista Trail, north of Jenner. Some of the beaches, like Blind Beach and Campbell's Cove, are on the small side and are for day use only.
Bodega Dunes and Wright's Beach both have campgrounds steps from the sand. Bodega Dunes Campground is the largest, with showers, flush toilets and a dump station. Wright's Beach Campground is smaller, but the sites are closer to the water. Running water and flush toilets are available, but campers use the showers at Bodega Dunes.
Santa Monica State Beach is in an urban setting, complete with a 2-mile-long beach, picnic area, shops and pier. This is a good spot for surfing, fishing, beach-combing and people-watching. Humboldt Lagoons State Park is in northern California and day use only. This beach is for those who like to fish, boat, hike and observe wildlife.
Monterey State Historical Park is for history lovers. Set in the midst of Old Town in Monterey, the site preserves some of the old adobes from when Monterey was California's first capital. Brochures are available for self-guided walking tours, and tours of the individual adobes are also available.