California is getting a massive new beachside campground for Bay Area residents and visitors from further afield. Along the Pacific coast north of Monterey, 98 campsites along four miles of beachfront are slated to open to overnight guests in 2022 in Fort Ord Dunes State Park.
Fort Ord Army Base closed in 1994 after more than 70 years of operation, and California’s Department of Parks and Recreation notes that despite the park opening for day use in 2009, this new project will be the first time overnight camping is allowed. The park, which includes the beachfront as well as bluffs and dunes just west of California State University, Monterey Bay, already offers hiking trails through the natural landscape on the park’s eastern side and down to the beach. The addition of the campground will be the state’s first new beachfront camping development in more than 30 years.
Half of the 98 individual campsites will be designated for tent campers and the other half for recreational vehicles. According to the park’s official webpage, the project will cost $25 million and aims to make beach vacations more attainable for Californians.
Fort Ord Dunes State Park offers four miles of protected beach space along the nearly 12-mile span of coast stretching from Lovers Point Park north to Marina State Beach, with the campsites set to make an area already ripe with surfing and leisure activities even more attractive to the adventurous beachgoer.