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Old 10-17-2021, 01:39 PM   #1
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California here we come!

Looks like the Pasadena Rose Parade is still on for New Years day so we are more hopeful for the rest of our California adventure.

After our week in the LA area (did not get to make reservations at Hollywood RV Resort) so we will be at disparaged Malibu RV campground for our stay following the parade.

We are planning to do a tour of as much of the state as possible from early January to March 1 when we will be stopping for 2 weeks in Indian Wells. High on our list of favorite places (we have visited without a camper in the past) are:

Monterey
Big Sur
San Simeon
San Francisco
Bodega Bay
San Diego
Gold Country (hwy 49)

We have been to most of the major attractions in the above, some we will repeat. We also enjoy touring light houses and missions and have visited at least 6 missions in California and a couple of the light houses.

I want to take our time this trip and perhaps branch out a little. But I don't like snow and we would prefer to avoid mountains. In making my list I realized we don't really have as much time as I would like, never is. Perhaps we can do part of it again in 2023.

Like many others, the number of campgrounds in some areas and the lack of campgrounds in other, is making this a challenge.

Share your campground suggestions and your must see or out of the way places.
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Old 10-17-2021, 02:31 PM   #2
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I would consider the North Coast from Jenner north (head over from Santa Rosa) to Fort Brag - lots of beautiful coast, plenty of attractions, less populated, and Hwy 1 is pretty good on that stretch. You can get back to 101 easily on Hwy 20.

Then there is Humbolt County - the Redwoods - Avenue of the Giants, etc 75 miles north of the Hwy 20/101 junction - very nice and a memorable experience. After that if you want more, the coast is nice and easily accessible with good parks all the way up to Crescent City. Iíll provide some specific locations and details if interested
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Old 10-17-2021, 03:32 PM   #3
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Sounds doable. I prefer to stick to the coast, my memory is that it is much more temperate than further inland.

It will probably be the last time we will be able to spend almost 2 months roaming the area. We might go back to Indian Wells in 2023 but would not need to be there so early, then we can explore Palm Springs and visit San Diego again.
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Old 10-17-2021, 04:03 PM   #4
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yeah the North Coast does it for me. Humbolt Co is very for costal enjoyment. That or occasional desert trips, but other than that I leave California to travel.

If youre going to be in the Palm Springs area, you might want to check out FOY (Fountain of Youth) - hot springs fed, three different temp hot tubs, two pools, saunas, soaking tubs, etc on the east side of the Salton Sea. Its a big park but doesnt feel that way once youre settled in. Also has a breakfast joint, farmers market on Thursdays, barber shop and salon, store, and various recreation amenities.

https://foyspa.com/
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Old 10-18-2021, 12:39 AM   #5
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I would consider the North Coast from Jenner north (head over from Santa Rosa) to Fort Brag - lots of beautiful coast, plenty of attractions, less populated, and Hwy 1 is pretty good on that stretch. You can get back to 101 easily on Hwy 20.

Then there is Humbolt County - the Redwoods - Avenue of the Giants, etc 75 miles north of the Hwy 20/101 junction - very nice and a memorable experience. After that if you want more, the coast is nice and easily accessible with good parks all the way up to Crescent City. Iíll provide some specific locations and details if interested
I second this. I have never made this trip in an RV but I have been to the places mentioned. From Malibu, I would stop in Paso Robles area and then up near Carmel or Santa Cruz before going around SF to Santa Rosa or Sonoma. You could go from Malibu to Santa Rosa in a day but it will be a long day in an RV with a toad.
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Old 10-18-2021, 08:11 AM   #6
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One thing you donít want to do is drive Hwy 1 between SF and Bodega Bay - good sightseeing trip in a car, but not towing one in a coach. Personally Id by-pass SF all together and take 880 to 580 (east bay freeways) and cross on the Richmond-San Rafael bridge - just do it mid-day to avoid commute traffic. Then continue on 101 to Petaluma, then out to the coast. From there its a nice trip to Ft Brag, where you can take 20 back to 101.
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Old 10-18-2021, 08:34 AM   #7
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One thing you donít want to do is drive Hwy 1 between SF and Bodega Bay - good sightseeing trip in a car, but not towing one in a coach. Personally Id by-pass SF all together and take 880 to 580 (east bay freeways) and cross on the Richmond-San Rafael bridge - just do it mid-day to avoid commute traffic. Then continue on 101 to Petaluma, then out to the coast. From there its a nice trip to Ft Brag, where you can take 20 back to 101.
Thanks, it will be a very different visit this time. We usually flew into CA, we didn't have to worry about routes and roads. I do recall our first visit, driving down the coast from west of Santa Rosa south. We were behind a pickup towing a camper and it looked like at some turns the back of the camper was meeting the front of the truck.

Most of our coast driving will be in the toad!
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Old 10-18-2021, 10:51 PM   #8
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One thing you donít want to do is drive Hwy 1 between SF and Bodega Bay - good sightseeing trip in a car, but not towing one in a coach. Personally Id by-pass SF all together and take 880 to 580 (east bay freeways) and cross on the Richmond-San Rafael bridge - just do it mid-day to avoid commute traffic. Then continue on 101 to Petaluma, then out to the coast. From there its a nice trip to Ft Brag, where you can take 20 back to 101.

If you don't mind a side question, comparing 20 out of Fort Bragg or 128 from the Navarro bridge, which would you say is the easier drive over to 101?
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Old 10-18-2021, 11:19 PM   #9
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If you don't mind a side question, comparing 20 out of Fort Bragg or 128 from the Navarro bridge, which would you say is the easier drive over to 101?
Both are easy enough but 20 is probably the better road and certainly a lot shorter route to 101. Guess it also depends in if you're headed north or south.
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Old 10-19-2021, 01:46 AM   #10
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If you wand a complete change of pace from being with millions of your closest friends at the Rose Parade, try Pinnacles National Park north of Paso Robles. Enter via King City on 101. Do not go there from 5 (I made that mistake this year). Lots of hiking and bird watching. One of the areas they reintroduce California condors.

Definitely out in the boonies. No cell service. We paid for wifi so we coul make calls and texts.

We love the little towns like Solvang, Morro Bay and Carmel by the Sea (near Monterey).

Have fun and drive safe.
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Old 10-19-2021, 08:49 AM   #11
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If you wand a complete change of pace from being with millions of your closest friends at the Rose Parade, try Pinnacles National Park north of Paso Robles. Enter via King City on 101. Do not go there from 5 (I made that mistake this year). Lots of hiking and bird watching. One of the areas they reintroduce California condors.

Definitely out in the boonies. No cell service. We paid for wifi so we coul make calls and texts.

We love the little towns like Solvang, Morro Bay and Carmel by the Sea (near Monterey).

Have fun and drive safe.

We were supposed to be camping in Carpinteria with plans to spend time in Santa Barbara and Solvang. But with 101 closed due to fire last week, we diverted to Santa Cruz. We did spend a day visting Carmel-by-the-Sea. One of our favorite places.
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Old 10-19-2021, 09:34 AM   #12
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We gave stayed in Carmel-by-the-Sea several times, one of our favorite places to visit. I recall spending time in Solvang on our first trip to the state.

The Rose Parade is a "bucket list" item for me. It is a one day event in a 2+ month visit so I think we have time for it and wilderness.
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Old 10-19-2021, 09:46 AM   #13
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If you don't mind a side question, comparing 20 out of Fort Bragg or 128 from the Navarro bridge, which would you say is the easier drive over to 101?
I drove 128 from 101 to the coast in the summer of 2020 and it was a very nice drive, and Im told by a reliable source (career corporate beverage exec and master brewer) that the brewery in Boonville is a worthwhile stop although we didn't feel like stopping st the time.
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Old 10-19-2021, 10:43 AM   #14
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Sounds doable. I prefer to stick to the coast, my memory is that it is much more temperate than further inland.

It will probably be the last time we will be able to spend almost 2 months roaming the area. We might go back to Indian Wells in 2023 but would not need to be there so early, then we can explore Palm Springs and visit San Diego again.
That's generally true during the summer (I live in the North Valley, where we regularly get above the century mark during the summer), but the coast can get really cold during the winter. Remember, Mark Twain said the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.

Be sure to check vaccine requirements before you go. I was in Palm Springs a couple of weeks ago and restaurants couldn't allow people to sit indoors unless they showed proof of COVID-19 vaccination. I had a copy of my CDC card and everyone accepted it. Some local health departments are more stringent than others, so you should check all your planned stops.
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