Thanks for the suggestions all.
I did end up going north to Point Reyes, which was a very cool drive along the 1.
I wanted to camp at Wildcat (beach), but it was full so I chose to camp at Glen ("secluded" woods). Camping was $15 a night, which is pretty reasonable considering the parking was free and there was no entry fee. I'd still have rather wild camped, but eh that's personal preference.
The trail was pretty crowded near the start with a lot of gravel (leaving from Bear Valley I believe). It's a bike path, and a horse path, so that made sense but was a bit of a bummer.
It was nice though, very damp woods unlike my local haunts.
I put my stuff down at Glen. There was a group of three kind of loud dudes that I was supposed to camp next to (I had assigned site #3). I decided that since when I booked it Wednesday they said no one else had reserved it was fair to switch sites, which I did. It got crowded later in the night with the majority of sites taken, but everyone was pretty respectful. The sites were SOAKED, the benches are wet, the ground is wet, that was interesting. They had food lockers.
I took a hike down to Wildcat camp which was breathtaking and I'd highly recommend staying there. I took the coastal trail down and it was really awesome to hear the waves as I hiked.
The second day I went to Arch rock which was similarly beautiful. High cliffs, waves crashing, very sunny. It was a great place to dry my tent off. I just hung out there for an hour or so, very peaceful.
The way out was crowded, but as I opted to again take the main road that was expected.
Overall pretty cool, an hour away, and what beats hiking by the beach? =)
Thanks all for your recommendations and advice!