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Old 02-16-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
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Staying in California

Not wanting to be more than a days drive away from home (in the toad) we are doing a Northern and Central California adventure this summer. We have time allotted for Lake Tahoe and need to be around the Bay Area for the Americas Cup in September. So any advice on must sees up north will be appreciated. Oh, and please no California bashing.TIA
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:15 PM   #2
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I'd advise making some reservations in Tahoe and the bay area soon. Especially the bay area.
When we go to San Francisco we have two places we stay....

We normally stay at Candlestick RV Park, San Francisco

Another place to stay is San Francisco RV Resort | Park your RV on the Cliffs overlooking the Pacific Coastline | Pacifica, California

Very expensive....$70 to $90 with the taxes, etc, but you can drive into the city from there or take their shuttle.


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Old 02-16-2013, 01:29 PM   #3
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I'd advise making some reservations in Tahoe and the bay area soon. Especially the bay area...
X2
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:26 PM   #4
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Tahoe and San Francisco we have figured out, we have August open and are looking to spend it above San Francisco, as we haven't been up that way . . .
We are looking for a few places we can spend several days each in and see the sights in the Jeep. We have a dog, so 50 amps is important as sometimes she just wants to stay in the RV and catch up on her soaps.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:26 AM   #5
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ChiliRick, we are planning our September trip out to SF area... for some suggestions on the north coast we are liking the looks of Gualala River Redwood Park, Ocean Cove Campground and Porto Bodega RV Park. For San Fran, rather that paying sky high rates to be in the city we are thinking about Half Moon Bay State Park (camping right on the ocean).
We are also looking for a place in Lake Tahoe to break up the drive from CO, so I'll be curious what others have to recommend. I found Meeks Bay on the web, looks very nice, but we would be arriving the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, not sure they will have any space then.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:54 AM   #6
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Napa isn't far from San Francisco
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:45 AM   #7
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Someone gave me this advice and we stayed at the park in Pleasanton on our trip in 2011. It was a nice place and great for visiting the Bay area.
"I can only offer help for the San Francisco portion. You don't say anything about towing a vehicle, so I'm going to assume you're not. I would recommend staying at the Fair Park RV in Pleasanton One of the best Moderately priced rv parks in california, centrally located in northern California providing access to San Francisco, The Livermore Wine country, State parks, world class golfing, five star shopping, fine dinning, historical sites, Oa It's a nice park but nothing fancy. The best part is it is only about a two or three mile cab ride to a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) BART - Bay Area Rapid Transit station at the Stoneride Mall, where you can get train that will take you directly into the City. It's about a 40 to 45 min ride and you get to go under the bay from Oakland to S.F. You'll detrain near Powell street where you can take a cable car to Fisherman's Wharf. Be sure and visit Pier 39. If you are towing a vehicle I would still recommend taking the BART train. You can park your vehicle at the mall. Safe travels and have a great trip."

and ChileRick, we loved visiting California)
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:33 PM   #8
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We used to go to Gualala River Redwood Park every 4th of July, it's a great campground. I think they close after Labor Day weekend. When at Gualala we like to go to Mendocino and have lunch and walk around. It's a nice town. I would also recommend checking out some of the wineries in Napa. Artessa and Sterling Vinyards are 2 we like to go to. We like to stay at the Petaluma KOA but I've seen some nice reviews for Napa Expo. If you've never stayed at Porto Bodega RV Park, it's essentially a gravel parking lot. They call it a resort on their page, that's stretching it a bit, IMHO.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:30 PM   #9
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Yeah, some of us live here and are lucky to do so!
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:41 PM   #10
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One of the things I do before selecting a stop
is to have a look at its photos.

Go to GoogleMaps.com, type in the name (or address) of the place
you are interested in. Then drag the orange man to that spot on the map
to see a 360 degree photo.

Very helpful as some of the RV parks can be a little 'creative' in how
they present their setting.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:08 AM   #11
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How about Jalama just south of Vandenberg AFB.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by lmsteck View Post
We used to go to Gualala River Redwood Park every 4th of July, it's a great campground. I think they close after Labor Day weekend. When at Gualala we like to go to Mendocino and have lunch and walk around. It's a nice town. I would also recommend checking out some of the wineries in Napa. Artessa and Sterling Vinyards are 2 we like to go to. We like to stay at the Petaluma KOA but I've seen some nice reviews for Napa Expo. If you've never stayed at Porto Bodega RV Park, it's essentially a gravel parking lot. They call it a resort on their page, that's stretching it a bit, IMHO.
Imsteck, thanks for the reviews. Porto Bodega is probably a good consideration for ChiliRick as it has full hook-ups w/50A and is a great location for exploring the coast and wine country. We changed our Bodega Bay plan based on PBCG being a gravel lot and just made reservations at the end of the point in Doran Beach Park. No hook-ups but looks like an incredible spot from Google Earth.
BTW... Gualala River Redwood Park website says they are open into October, weather permitting. We plan to stay there for a few nights for some variety in the area.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:29 PM   #13
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MandG-Fun, my husband grew up in Napa and spent many weekends at Doran Beach Park, I'm glad you were able to get reservations. It's much nicer than Porto Bodega. The only thing about Bodega Bay is it can get windy. You'll probably notice most people don't put out their awnings unless they're outside. Also, I'll recommend not staying in the "back" of the park(sites in the 200's) at Gualala River Redwood Park. There's a lot of foliage and moisture so there tends to be a lot of mosquitoes. We like the river view sites, but the sites between 42- 48 (42 being my favorite) people tend to come up from the beach and walk between the sites. There are signs to indicate these areas are not paths, but people don't always respect the rules. That being said, it's still a great campground. Hope you have a great trip!
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:03 PM   #14
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Jalama Beach is a great place for a day trip but I'd have reservations about actually camping there ... Aside from the fact that it is way back in the middle of nowhere and if you need anything you have a forty-five minute drive to civilization, the sites are really close together and if you are in a larger sized RV you may have some issues getting in to the sites (not too sure they offer full hook-ups either). Don't plan on getting cell phone service while you are there either; my husband and I neither one have been able to use our phones when we've been there and we have different carriers.

On the good side ... The burgers at the cafe are fabulous; just don't expect to be treated like royalty when ordering, because no one in the store seems too concerned about winning the congeniality award ... but then they don't need to be since they are the only game around. Day trip yes, overnighting not so much.

If you are going to be in or near the Santa Ynez Valley, your best bet would probably be the Flying Flags RV Park (I live in the Valley, so I'm pretty familiar with things around here). Flying Flags is well kept, the sites are decent sized, there is a pool, and Ellen's Pancake house is a great place to eat and is within walking distance. Solvang is just a few miles away if you want to do the tourist shopping thing, there are some fabulous wineries to visit (several tasting rooms right in Solvang), some really good dining options, and if you like to golf you are really close to a few really nice courses. There is also the Chumash Casino if you like to gamble and Cachuma Lake if fishing is more your idea of fun (just don't plan on going in the water at the lake, they frown on that).

Wherever you end up, have a great trip
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