Northern San Diego County Surf & Camp Vacation

San Diego County, California, stretches along I-5 from the border with Mexico north to the Orange County line at San Clemente. All along the way are legendary surf beaches, waiting to be explored by RV travelers. There are also exceptional places to camp by RV along the entire route.

We’ve broken up our itinerary into northern and southern San Diego County surf and camp destinations. This week, we’ll be talking about the northern beaches, from Trestles at San Onofre State Beach down to Carlsbad State Beach. As you read, use this handy surf cam/surf report link to see how the waves are breaking at each point.

Surf & Camp Stop 1: San Onofre State Beach

san_clemente_ca_shutterstock_258434750

San Clemente, CA

Two surfing beaches worth a visit, no matter when you come to San Diego County, can be found at San Onofre State Beach, just south of San Clemente   and adjacent to Camp Pendleton North. Reserve a campsite before you come at San Mateo Campground, about a mile and a half inland from Trestles Beach.

Make your way along the trail that crosses under I-5 to Trestles and Old Man Beach just to the south, where you’ll find distinctly different surfing conditions, both courtesy of the break at San Mateo Point. (Hint: “Old Man” refers to the long board surfers who once flocked to the rollers here. Trestles offers three areas—Uppers, Middles and Lowers—each with its own signature brand of swells.)

Non-surfers in your camping crew will appreciate the windswept trails along the bluffs and three-plus-miles of beaches to enjoy.

Surf & Camp Stop 2: Oceanside Harbor

The natural and manmade breaks found in the harbor at Oceanside, CA make for consistently good surfing year-round. Situated to receive desirable southwest swells, Oceanside offers challenges for beginning to advanced surfers.

Come RV camping and surfing to Oceanside to experience such hotspots as the jetties on the harbor’s north side, as well as the waves on both sides of the pier. Surfers will also appreciate the steady break action caused by sandbars throughout the harbor.

Where to camp while in Oceanside? There are two beachside parking lots that allow overnight RV parking (no hook-ups, but couldn’t be closer to the water). If you miss those parking spots, there are numerous private RV parks near Oceanside, or you can head for our next Northern San Diego County Surf & Camp Spot—South Carlsbad State Beach.

Surf & Camp Spot 3: South Carlsbad State Beach

South Carlsbad State Beach offers spectacular views from its bluff-top campground, where you can relax each night after a long day of surfing. The continuous break of waves rolling toward Tamarack Surf Beach attracts surfing enthusiasts year-round. An added bonus: you’re a short drive from surfing action at Oceanside as well as the challenges farther south at Cardiff, Del Mar and La Jolla (more about those in the next post).

While at Carlsbad/Tamarack Beach, take the time to walk the four-mile seawall for views of the beach, the ocean and sunsets that will take their place in your top vacation memories.

Whether you decide to RV camp and surf your way through northern San Diego County in the golden days of summer or when winter’s Santa Ana winds kick up a whole new breed of waves, there’s no time like the present to start planning. Pick your next surfing challenge. Rent the RV that suits your style, reserve your campsites and pack your wetsuits and board shorts. That’s really all you need; San Diego County is ready to supply the rest of your epic surf and camp vacation.

Posted in Beach RV Vacation, CA, CA RV Camping, CA RV Vacation, CA Vacation, California local trips, California Spring Vacations, California vacations, California winter vacation, Coastal RV Vacation, San Diego weekend trips, Surfing | Leave a comment

5 Popular Tourist Attractions to Visit in Orange County on Your Next RV Trip

Orange County is one of the most popular tourist areas in California, and for good reason. Orange County offers the best of both worlds with sprawling natural landscapes, ever-growing cities, year-round festivities, and great places to eat. Taking an RV trip to Orange County is a no-brainer, but the real question is what should you do once you get there?

Unless you have a lot of time and money on your hands, there’s no way you will be able to see everything Orange County has to offer in one trip.  Of course, you could make the leap and move there, but not many people have the luxury of uprooting just to get a full experience. Assuming you only have a few days to tour Orange County, here are some of the top tourist attractions to check out.

  1. Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park - Anaheim, CA

Disneyland Park – Anaheim, CA

Orange County is most recognizable as the home of Disneyland. Thousands of people flood to this famed park each year, providing Orange County with the publicity it needs to draw tourists. Disneyland’s attractions continue to grow and evolve even today. Long-time staples like Mickey’s Toontown, Adventureland, and Tomorrowland are enough to bring people from all over to Orange County’s top theme park but newer classics such as Fantasy Faire work to draw even more tourism to the area.

Be sure to check out the RV parking situation before you arrive or plan to make camp at one of the nearby campgrounds.

  1. Mission San Juan Capistrano

This 200-year-old mission is now a monument to Orange County’s diverse past and present. Built by Spanish Catholic priests and Native Americans, the mission was once the center of a self-sufficient community involving agriculture, religion, education, and industry. The mission now offers a number of exhibits, some permanent and some temporary, to go alongside the building’s own historic attributes.

  1. Crystal Cove State Park

For a more natural destination, Crystal Cove has been designated a nature reserve where it fosters the growth of natural plants and animals in its forested canyons, stretches of beach, and tidal pools. It is popular for swimming, surfing, and tidal pool exploration. There are also a number of coves frequently used for after-dark bonfires. Spending a relaxing day at the beach can be a good way to unwind and recuperate from your trip to Disneyland. Just be sure to reserve a spot at the campground for your RV ahead of time!

  1. Huntington Beach Pier

If the ocean is your draw to California, Huntington Beach Pier is a must-visit. The surrounding city of Huntington is known as “Surf City” for the sheer number of surf-driven tourists. People come from all corners of the U.S. to catch a wave and enjoy some of the nation’s best surfing. The website for the famous pier is even updated three times a day for visitors to track the surfing conditions. If you do not surf but want to visit Orange County, now may be the time to learn. RVs are definitely welcome just be sure to check for parking restrictions.

  1. Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney is a part of the enormous theme park that does not require tickets. You can stroll the pristine walkways and peruse the rows of shops, many containing Disney-related merchandise. It also offers the colors and flashiness of Disney without the theme park atmosphere. Entertainment such as night clubs, movie theaters, and live, outdoor shows can all be found in the Downtown Disney district.

Visiting or even moving to Orange County can be an extraordinarily rewarding experience. The area is rich with local culture, diversity, and events while still appealing to the tourist industry with its theme parks and beaches. Regardless of the time you spend in Orange County, it will be worth your while.

Catherine Workman grew up in a small town where she yearned to stretch her wings. Now that she’s left the nest, she spends every available weekend exploring different cities across the country and someday, across the world. She started WellnessVoyager.com with her friends to share her travels and experiences and hopes to inspire others to embrace the hidden gems of the world.

Image via Pixabay by Manic_Sylph

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RV Camping to California Winter Beer Fests

As if you needed another reason to come to California in February, here’s some news for beer aficionados who enjoy RV camping: the Golden State hosts some of the best beer fests and expos while most other states are still shoveling snow.

It’s time to book your campsite in California, because fans of craft beers and microbreweries won’t want to miss these festivals.

  • Bock Fest Olympic Collection Convention CenterWest LA – Feb. 6, 2016

Spend an afternoon tasting beers from around the world while raising money for charity. Indulge your love of beer pong or watch the best brews take home the gold as judging takes place on-site. If visiting the area for the first time, plan an extra day to visit the beautiful city of Santa Monica nearby, as well as taking a drive north on Hwy 1 along Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Unforgettable!

Looking for yet another way to sample brews from dozens of microbreweries while donating to a great cause? This February fest is just the ticket! Get in on the festival fun, learn how this annual fest raises money for breast cancer education and enjoy the beauty of an Oceanside or San Diego RV campground. If your honey loves beer, too, it’s the perfect Valentine’s Day camping excursion.

Bands, brews and a whole lot more at a legendary venue. Come Friday or Saturday evening to sample an amazing variety of craft brews while enjoying live music, food and the company of fellow beer fans.  Plan to extend your San Diego RV camping vacation with a visit to Cabrillo National Monument, Belmont Park or the San Diego Zoo.

With this awesome combination, how could a festival go wrong? Spend the afternoon or evening session sampling brews from more than two dozen breweries. You’ll also be treated to the bacon-themed stylings of numerous local restaurants. Check out the event details on their website and then reserve a site at a campground near the action.

If you’ve never been to beautiful “SLO”, there’s no better time than while visiting the Craft Beer Fest.  Sample delicious food and brew pairings, attend seminars on the art of craft brewing and rub shoulders with those who share your passion.  Camp close by and take the time to experience Oceano Dunes, Pismo State Beach and Morro Bay.

There you have it—five fantastic reasons for beer loving travelers to come to California in February!  Order tickets for your favorite events, bring along your designated driver and be sure to book your campsites early.

We can also help with a California RV rental, no matter which beer fest you plan to attend.  The beers are brewed and the festivals are firing up!  Don’t miss your chance to take an exciting California RV camping vacation to attend these winter beer fests.

Posted in CA, CA RV Vacation, CA Vacation, California local trips, California vacations, California winter vacation | Leave a comment

It’s Time to Come RV Camping at El Capitan State Beach!

Think warm summer months are the only time to go beach camping? Think again! El Capitan State Beach, just seventeen miles west of Santa Barbara, California, is fabulous year-round, with attractive winter temps in the 60s.  el_capitan_sb_parks.ca.gov

That means perfect beach-hiking weather, plus access to a whole range of other outdoor activities. El Capitan’s oak-covered bluffs, rocky beach and on-site RV campground are just three more reasons to come here this winter.

Need a little more incentive? Here’s a suggested itinerary for camping at El Capitan State Beach, adjustable for your family’s level of activity.

  • Reserve your El Capitan SB campsite as far in advance as possible. It’s a popular spot! Most campsites have awesome ocean views and are a short walk from the beach.
  • Pick up your Van Nuys RV rental and head up US-101 two hours (through Oxnard and Ventura) to El Capitan SB. Alternately, you could pick up your El Monte CA RV rental and drive just a bit longer on the same highway. Either location is close to LAX.
  • Once you’ve set up camp, walk the steps down to the beach (if its low tide) and experience the splendor of California’s Gaviota Coast first hand. Watch for sea life in the tide pools formed by rocky outcroppings and keep an eye out to sea—you just might see dolphins and grey whales close to shore!
  • From the seaside RV campground, watch the sunset with your family. The bluffs are magnificent at sundown!
  • Camping with youngsters? Take the short nature trail through giant sycamores and along the beach for even more stunning views of the shoreline.
  • Book a kayak tour from Refugio State Beach (just down the road) to El Capitan SB for on-the-water exploration of sea life and coastal ecology.
  • Here’s another idea—bring your own kayak and go surf fishing for surfperch and other species while exploring the protected shoreline just past the campground.
  • Don’t miss the chance to visit Channel Islands National Park, just off the coast, by taking a boat tour to one of the islands. Click here for more information. Tip—the whale watching tour in winter is awesome!

Need just a little more incentive to come our way? The town of Santa Barbara is a great place for a day trip, an evening out or some well-deserved shopping. Save some time to get to know this lovely spot, famous for its Spanish architecture. There’s a reason so many people spend the winter here!

Winter beach camping at El Capitan State Beach is a fantastic way to unwind, so why not make it a priority this year? The windswept beauty, convenient oceanside campground, proximity to other state and national parks and abundant outdoor activities will bring you, like so many other seasoned RV travelers, back to El Capitan winter after winter.

Posted in Beach RV Vacation, CA RV Camping, CA RV Vacation, CA Vacation, California local trips, California Spring Vacations, California vacations, California winter vacation | Leave a comment

RV Camping Flea Market Adventures—California Style

Next to camping in a motorhome, do you love finding bargains best? We know many of our readers never miss a chance to visit local flea markets while camping. That’s why we’ll be sharing our series on the best flea markets in America, just in time for motorhome camping season.

Let’s start our series in California, where five outstanding flea markets filled with bargains, fun food choices and surprise celebs can be found in a three-hour circuit around Los Angeles.

San Bernardino Flea Market – Sundays

Plan your Los Angeles RV camping and flea market adventure for the second Sunday of the month (you’ll see why in a minute) and make your first stop the San Bernardino Flea Market. Open every Sunday, this huge show held at the National Orange Show Events Center features nearly 800 vendors to fuel your bargain hunting fever.

Rose Bowl Flea Market (Pasadena) – Second Sunday

Here’s why you should be RV camping near Pasadena on next month’s second Sunday—the Rose Bowl Stadium is home to a flea market that’s drawn the crowds for nearlyrose-bowl-flea-market fifty years. Take advantage of free parking and then lose yourself in acres of vintage, used and collectible items.

 Melrose Trading Post (Los Angeles) – Sundays

If you’ve played too long in Pasadena, save this one for next Sunday. Either way, you won’t want to miss this weekly flea market held at Fairfax High in Los Angeles. Only three bucks to get in, and the parking is free so plan to spend the day browsing two hundred booths filled with vintage and collectible finds and an impressive selection of handcrafted items.

Roadium Open Air Market (Torrance) – Every Day Except Christmas & New Year’s

While enjoying your week in the LA area, pick a day (or two!) to shop at the Roadium Open Air Market in Torrance, CA. Open three-hundred-sixty-three days each year, this 15-acre market at a repurposed drive-in offers everything from produce to jewelry. On weekends park at El Camino College and take the shuttle for easy entry.

Long Beach Outdoor Collectible & Antique Market – Third Sundays

Round out your trip at the end of the week with a visit to Veterans Stadium at Long Beach. Every third Sunday, you can rub shoulders with celebrities as you comb through vintage and antique offerings. Given rave reviews by frequent shoppers, it’s rated one of the top outdoor markets in the US. Find a campground near Long Beach—you’re going to want to stay until the gates close!

Doesn’t a week’s worth of flea market bargain hunting sound like fun? With the money you’ll save by camping in an RV, you’ll be able to buy even more. Get the motorhome ready for your California road trip and let us know if we can help. There’s a flea market find in California with your name on it!

Posted in CA RV Vacation, CA Vacation, California local trips, California vacations, RV Vacation Ideas | Leave a comment

The Rose Bowl and Tournament of Roses—An RV Traveler’s Guide

College football fans and RV campers who love a good parade are already making plans to be in Pasadena, California on January 1. Are you planning to join them for the must-watch, hotly contested Rose Bowl Game and the Tournament of Roses Parade?

Marching Band

Marching Band

For one hundred twenty six years, the Tournament of Roses Parade has thrilled parade watchers with flowered fantasy floats, newly-crowned parade royalty and skillful marching bands. The beautiful city of Pasadena opens its doors to hundreds of thousands of parade-goers each year and is more than up to the task.

And if you’re planning to attend the 101st Rose Bowl Game, going by RV makes it comfortable and affordable. If that sounds like a dream come true, there’s still time to make your RV rental reservation and get tickets for all the events.

Here’s what you need to know to plan your trip. Get started now!

Need-to-Know Basics for the Tournament of Roses Parade

    • When? January 1 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. PST
    • Where? Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA
    • Where Can I Camp? Because Pasadena is part of the larger Los Angeles metro area, you may not find an actual RV campground close by the parade route. Here’s the good news: the vendor-regulated parking areas (see Where Can I Park below) and many of the area businesses allow some form of ‘boondocking’ or camping without services. Here’s also a link to a list of campgrounds within 30 miles of Pasadena.
    • Will I Need Tickets? Grandstand seating is reserved and requires tickets. Purchase them here. You can also view the parade for free curbside. The curbside area opens for seating at noon December 31.
    • Where Can I Park? If you’re planning to camp outside the parade route, you may want to reserve parking closer in. The vendor who provides grandstand seating for the parade also makes available car or RV parking adjacent to the seating areas, for up to three days. Here’s the link to purchase parking space for the Rose Parade.
    • Anything Happening Before and After the Parade?  Plenty! Watch the marching bands in action before the parade by attending Band Fest either December 29 or December 30. If you’d love to see the magic that transforms thousands of flowers and natural items into award-winning floats, schedule time to watch float decorating at one of three official venues during parade week. There’s also a showcase of floats following the parade. Here’s a link to pre- and post- parade event details.

Need-to-Know Basics for the Rose Bowl Game

    • When? January 1 – Pre-game activities begin at 1:30 p.m. PST. Don’t miss any of the excitement!
    • Where? Rose Bowl Stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA. The chance to see this historic, one-of-a-kind stadium is worth the trip. Home to the oldest bowl game in America!
    • Who’s Playing in 2015 Rose Bowl? Oregon vs. Florida State

      Rose Bowl Game

      Rose Bowl Game

    • Where Do I Buy Tickets? Rose Bowl tickets are selling out fast, so click the link for contact information and make the call today.
    • Where is RV Parking Allowed? Along with a special lot for RV and bus parking at the stadium, you can also reserve parking at the off-site lots, some of which run shuttles to the stadium. Here’s a link for more info on RV parking at the Rose Bowl.  Every RV traveler to California should see the Rose Bowl at least once. Choose your events, buy your tickets, rent your RV and reserve a space at the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game. You’ll be so glad you did!

We’ve tried to answer most of your questions about RV camping at the Rose Bowl this year, but if we’ve missed one, here’s how to reach the Visitor Hotline for the Rose Bowl and Tournament of Roses Parade.

Photo Credits: Marching Band photo: Prayitno, Flickr Commons License ; Rose Bowl Game photo: Keith Skelton, Flickr Commons License

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The Perfect Time for an RV Trip to San Diego

There is an early spring everywhere it seems and San Diego is no exception.  It is the ideal time to head to southern California and the coastal city of San Diego for a little getaway.  The ocean is a brilliant blue, the sky mirrors the depth of color with added highlights of soft white clouds, and the sun is shining overhead spreading its health-invigorating affects all around.  Traveling in an RV to experience this early spring weather is a grand choice as you will have a wonderful place to relax while on the road and in between adventures.

San Diego

San Diego Seaside

When coming to San Diego in an RV, there are many RV campgrounds from which to choose.  You should take your time to pick your favorite before leaving home.  You might like La Pacifica RV Resort or Campland on the Bay.  Perhaps Santa Fe Park RV Resort or Paradise by the Sea RV Resort would be your top choice.  Whichever you pick, you’ll discover great amenities and easy access to all San Diego sights.

Perhaps the first thing you’d like to do is get out into nature and enjoy the great fishing and hiking that this area has to offer.  At Lake Cuyamaca the crappie and sturgeon are biting.  When you visit Lake Morena you can fish between hiking adventures.  Catch some bluegill and native trout at Lake Jennings.

There are always wonderful things to do and see at Balboa Park.   This is where you’ll find San Diego Zoo and the animals that are waiting just for you to stop by.  The lions, giraffes, tigers, and monkeys are such fun to see.  Hike the trails, bring your pets out to play, and tour the gardens in Balboa Park.  This is the best spot to spend an entire weekend.

Sea World in San Diego, California

Sea World in San Diego, California

Of course, you realize that Sea World is nearby!  This is one attraction you simply can’t miss when in San Diego.  Besides the fascinating marine life and fun shows, like Blue Horizon, there are plenty of great rides – different kinds for different members of the family.  Explorer’s Reef is a new exhibit and you’ll want to be one of the first to see it.

Now it’s time to take it easy, get out of the sun, and visit some of the area museums.  The first one to see is the Museum of Contemporary Art.  No matter the age of your family members, everyone can enjoy this museum.  For the younger ones, include a stop at the New Children’s Museum.

With so many museums around San Diego, you can pretty much choose the ones that are a fit for your interests.  There is the San Diego Model Railroad Museum for model railroad lovers, the San Diego Air & Space Museum for air and space lovers and, naturally, the San Diego Museum of Art for art lovers.  Once you have taken in these museums, perhaps, it is time to get outdoors again.  Why not at the beach?

Before you end your visit to San Diego, be sure to get to the beach for some relaxing fun.  One of the favorites is Ocean Beach with options to play volleyball or to take a hike in the area.  Yes, a trip to San Diego in an RV offers all sorts of interesting activities for the whole family.  Don’t miss it this spring!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For information on renting a motorhome CLICK HERE!

Picture credits:  San Diego Seaside by Truyen Nguyen is licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license  and Sea World by svabo (http://creativecommons.org/licenses)via Wikimedia Commons Thank you!

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An RV Trip around Los Angeles for a Fun-Filled Time

Southern California is a surprise this time of year, with warm weather and sunny days.  This is the ideal time for a vacation around the Los Angeles and Hollywood area.  There are so many things to do and places to go.  You don’t have to stay in the city but can experience the mountains or desert on your trip.  The best of all worlds!  First you can find the perfect RV motorhome at El Monte RV Rentals near Los Angeles then move to your RV camping location to make your home base.

The first destination once you are settled should be Disneyland.  Visiting this famous park is a fabulous start to your vacation – full of rides, delicious food and Disney characters.  Be ready to do a lot of walking, but every second is worth it.  You’ll see why they call it the Happiest Place on Earth.  You could spend a week here, but two days might be enough.  Then it will be time to move on to more sights and sounds!

Disneyland Castle

Disneyland Castle

Two more theme parks are worth a visit.  At Universal Studios you’ll find some unique rides and the opportunity to take a fascinating tour of Universal.  At Six Flags Magic Mountain you will discover more fun, with great rides, plenty of friendly faces and more good food and snacks.

Before leaving the city to explore outdoor recreation options, you can see some of the sights in town.  Naturally, Hollywood is a must-see, with the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Blvd.  You can walk from one end to the other, watching for the stars of your favorite actors and actresses.  Meanwhile you can shop in many fine boutiques, and end up at Grauman’s Chinese Theater and see a show.

After this adventure of discovering Hollywood’s attractions, you can now head for the out-of-doors with confidence.  Right in the city you can explore Griffith Park and hike, bike or have a picnic.  There is a place where kids can have fun on a carousel, take pony rides and much more.

To really get out into nature, you can go to Angeles National Forest, only about thirty miles away.  You’ll find wildlife is abundant and so are scenic views.  Stop and take a deep breath of the forest smells.  You can hike as long as you like as there are 500 miles of trails here.

Another great day trip from Los Angeles is the Mojave Desert.  Visit the Ghost Town of Calico to really get an idea how people lived in this mining town in the late 1800s.

Mojave Desert

Mojave Desert

There are so many interesting places to visit so close to Los Angeles and Hollywood.  You have to spend time planning your California vacation so you have time to see everything.  Decide how many sights you can see in a day, then plan out how many days you’ll need and arrange to rent your RV for that long and make reservations in a campground which you can make as a home base.  This truly will be a vacation to remember.

To book an RV rental in Los Angeles, CA – CLICK HERE

Picture credits: photo of Disneyland Castle and Mojave Desert are all licensed under the Wikimedia Creative Commons.

Posted in CA RV Vacation, CA Vacation, California local trips, California vacations, RV Vacation Ideas, Theme Park vacations | 1 Comment

Take an RV Trip Through Napa Valley this Winter

The winter is mild in Napa Valley and there could be no better time to tour this fabulous wine country area.  You cannot imagine the beauty of this section of Northern California until you see it for yourself.  The picturesque landscape of rolling hills, vineyards, and quaint towns and villages is a perfect place to head in an RV for either a short trip or an extended vacation.

Napa Valley Region Welcome Sign

Napa Valley Region Welcome Sign

Besides some delightful wine tasting, you will want to see all the sights possible while you are here.  Make the best of your stay by camping at Napa Valley Expo RV Park.  Within close proximity to all Napa has to offer, this park has great amenities.  You can also use it as your home base as you visit Sacramento, Six Flags in Vallejo, Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, or Infineon Raceway.

Hiking in this area is wonderful, and you’ll find plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun throughout Napa Valley.  For instance, hike among the pines in Bothe-Napa Valley State Park.  The coastal Redwoods also offer shade for some of the best hikes.  Quiet streams run through the woods and trails allow you to stroll peacefully as long as you desire.

Another popular stop is Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, named after the famous author of “Treasure Island.”  You can hike to the top of Mt.  St.  Helena and catch glimpses of the San Francisco Bay area and even Mt.  Shasta in the far distance.  This is a five-mile hike, but certainly well worth it.

Even in winter months, it’s fun to go horseback riding in Skyline Wilderness Park.  Study nature and hike along more than 16 miles of trails.  If you prefer, you can bike the trails through the oak woodlands.  It’s great to get outdoors and breathe that fresh, clean air and enjoy nature to the fullest.  Napa Valley is one perfect spot in which to do that!

Napa Valley Wine Train - All Aboard!

Napa Valley Wine Train – All Aboard!

Stop by the historic landmark of Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park where you can see how early settlers ground their wheat and corn into flour and meal.  There are milling demonstrations on most weekends that the whole family will enjoy.  Then from downtown Napa, take the Napa Valley Wine Train to enjoy a scenic ride with lunch or dinner.

Right in Napa Valley you can have an African safari experience at Safari West.  It is quite a treat to get close to so many wild animals.  In fact, this could very well be one of the highlights of the whole trip to Napa Valley.

Safari West's Giraffe with a Personality

Safari West’s Giraffe with a Personality

Before leaving to go back home, be sure to take one of the scenic drives around the area to drink in the real flavor of this famous wine country.  The Sonoma-Napa Valleys Scenic Drive brings you from Santa Rosa all around this historic valley.  Most of the highways in this area provide incredible views, including Silverado Trail and Highways 12 and 128.

Yes, Napa Valley is a wonderful change of pace for a pleasurable RV vacation in Northern California.  Enjoy a winter respite soaking up the sunshine, the wine, and all the  comforts of an El Monte RV!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV

To book an RV rental in CALIFORNIA – CLICK HERE  or to book an RV rental outside the state of California   CLICK HERE !

Picture credits: photo of Napa Valley Welcome Sign by Weinakademieerlin, photo of Napa Valley Wine Train by Bill Stanley, and photo of Safari West’s Giraffe by Donnaphoto are all licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.  Thank you for allowing us to share your photos!

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Head to Redwood National Park for an RV Adventure

Whether you are in Southern California or in its northern counterpart, the current weather should be very cooperative for a little getaway up the coast.  You may run into some rain, but since you’ll be travelling in an RV on this adventure, finding a beautiful place to pull over and stop to wait out the storm will not only be very easy but cozy as well!  Pull out your favorite cold-weather movie, warm up the hot chocolate on the RV stove, start popping that tasty microwave popcorn and you’re all set!  There’s hardly any travelling setbacks due to weather while vacationing in a motorhome.

El Monte RV motor home at the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

El Monte RV motor home at the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

You can rent your RV in San Francisco and start out driving up Pacific Coast Highway.  This is one drive that has some of the best scenery in the country.  Stay alert for curves and take your sweet time if the highway is wet, knowing that the drive itself is the best part of the trip and is well worth any effort made due to the amazing sights you will be seeing.  The best thing about traveling up through Northern California is viewing the beautiful Redwood trees.  Some of these trees are the largest and tallest trees anywhere.  You are going to have a true nature experience on this trip!

The Humboldt Redwoods State Park has thousands of acres of trees and many of them are the coastal redwoods.  You will discover fascinating exhibits at the visitor center and you can get directions on taking the auto tour (or we should say RV tour) which is 32 lovely miles.  Don’t miss Avenue of the Giants and don’t fail to get out and do your own exploring of these forests.

When you reach Humboldt Bay, stop and visit Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum and learn a lot about maritime history.  Do you love birds and wildlife?  You’ll also want to stop at Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge.  This is a great place to fit in some bird watching and see many ducks, geese, swan and other birds.

As you move closer to your destination at Redwood National Park, you will come upon a coastal town called Eureka.  You can enjoy many galleries, the boardwalk along the waterfront and the restored homes.  Then continue on to Big Lagoon in Dry Lagoon State Park where you might want to fish.  You can get more bird watching done here too, with lots of osprey and herons.  Throw in a line and catch some fish as well.

Exploring Humboldt Lagoons State Park is the next adventure on your itinerary.  You’ll discover this marshland is a wonderful place to see wildlife of all kinds.  Hike and get some exercise in.  You’ll want to be in shape so you can hike throughout Redwood National Park when you arrive.

Family of Redwood Trees

Family of Redwood Trees

So when you reach Redwood National Park you will be in an ideal location for whale watching, believe it or not!  Although migration was over in December, you could still spot a whale or two off the coast.  The forests here are some of the most gorgeous anywhere in California.

Spotting a Redwood National Forest Elk

Spotting a Redwood National Forest Elk

You may spot some black bears or elk in this area.  For the perfect hike, take off along Lady Bird Johnson Grove.  You will love checking out all that Mother Nature offers you here at Redwood National Park.   Take your family on this California road trip not only once, but go back again and again in an RV to maximize this amazing awe-inspiring vacation experience!

For information on renting an RV in California – CLICK HERE or to rent a motor home outside of the state of California –  CLICK HERE.

El Monte RV

El Monte RV

Picture credits:  El Monte RV in San Francisco is a company media stock photo and the photos of Redwood trees and Redwood elk by Arkansas shutterbug and Jeffery Delfiscio respectively are licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.

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