Running from San Francisco in the north right down to San Diego, just minutes from the Mexican border at Tijuana, California has to be one of those ‘dream destinations’. It has everything from beaches to forests and National Parks so whatever your inclination, do join us for this magnificent ride. You will most definitely want more than one night in each Place!
Pick up your motorhome from Cruise America in Los Angeles. Just under 4 hours drive on main Route 101 will bring you to the KOA where you will spend your first night. They call the area around Santa Barbara “America’s Riviera” so their beaches and restaurants might make it a natural break along the way. ✪ 215 miles to Santa Margarita
★ Visit Chumash Painted Cave to see some of the very elaborate and colourful rock paintings that have survived for five hundred to a thousand years www.koa.com/where/ca/05224/
Back-haul on 101 just 11 miles, turning towards the Pacific Ocean and on to California’s spectacular Route 1 at San Luis Obispo. After about an hour you will see the signs for Hearst Castle and you can checkinto your campground and then spend time at the folly built by newspaper billionaire William Randolph Hearst or enjoy the San Simeon beaches. ✪ 55 miles to Hearst Castle
★ Visit San Luis Obispo. They shorten the name to SLO and invite you to enjoy the Slolife of laid back southern California.
Day 3 & 4)
Head north on Route 1 and one of the world’s most scenic drives. You will want to stop at Carmel and at Monterey and you will not want to miss the famous 17 mile drive which hugs the Pacific coastline and past famous golf courses and mansions in Pebble Beach.
You’re headed for San Francisco where your campsite next door to the 49ers stadium may not be the most rustic but is just four miles from the sights of the city using the campground’s hourly shuttle. ✪ 200 miles to San Francisco
★ Visit the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park where many of these massive trees have stood for over a thousand years www.sanfranciscorvpark.com/index.html
Day 5 & 6)
Head east now toward Yosemite. It’s one of the most famous of all National Parks and no visit to California is complete without experiencing Yosemite’s magnificent scenery. It is not a long drive, probably less than 3 hours on the Interstate and we are recommending Yosemite Pines RV as your destination for the night – or nights – you choose to spend here. The campground is an hour’s drive from the West Entrance but, because Yosemite’s three quarters of a million acres have few roads, you can see the valleys and rock formations, the Yosemite lakes, the waterfalls and the highest peaks and yet still have all the resort facilities and full hook-ups for your vehicle waiting when you return to your campground.
✪ 150 miles to Groveland, Yosemite National Park ★ Visit Bridal Veil and Yosemite Falls and, if you can, take the 2.5 mile hike to Inspiration Point. It’s steep towards the end so can take a little while but your reward will be the classic photograph of the Yosemite Valley bookended by the peaks of El Capitan and Half Dome www.yosemitepinesrv.com/about.html
Return to Yosemite and, this time drive right through Yosemite to join the very scenic Route 395 headed south on the other side. There’s so much of importance linked by this road that it has its own website – 395.com. Having just left Yosemite, you’ll now pass between no less than three more National Parks: Kings Canyon, Death Valley and Sequoia.
You’ll also pass Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous USA. It’s almost within sight of the lowest point which is in Death Valley’s Badwater Basin ✪ 255 miles to Lone Pine
★ Visit Manzanar. As a contrast to the natural beauty around, this was the site of the relocation camp that housed 10,000 internees during WW2. If it’s the right time of year you may also want to take our little side trip into Death Valley and on to Lake Havasu. www.bouldercreekrvresort.com
Continue south on 395 through the Sierra Nevada and then to the flatter lands of the Mojave Desert. It’s a gentle three hour drive.
Overnight is in the town of Barstow , a crossroads town that once saw The Old Spanish Trail and Route 66 pass this way. Most visitors now are here for the two outlet malls and their one hundred stores. ✪ 160 miles to Barstow
★ Take the shuttle from KOA to the silver mining ghost town of Calico www.koa.com/where/ca/05233
Day 9 & 10)
Campland on the Bay is San Diego’s premiere campground.
Dig your toes in the sand on the private beach. Catch some sun and fun on a sailboat from the marina. Enjoy one of dozens of activities and amenities for kids and adults that make Campland everyone’s favourite.✪ 185 miles to Campland
★ Visit the historic del Coranado; San Diego Zoo and the waterfront.
The restaurants and souvenir shops of Tijuana, Mexico, make a popular evening out www.campland.com
Today you are heading for another great campground beach resort, located in Newport Beach. Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina is a 110-acre resort at the entrance to the Back Bay Nature Preserve, its home to the premier RV Park and Marina in Southern California. Enjoy the mile of beach front with swimming and a playground on the beach for the kids. Rent a sailboat, electric boat or tour the Back Bay by kayak.
✪ 90 miles to Newport Beach
★ Check the events calendar for your visit as there is always something happening at Newport Beach from the oldest International Yacht Race in the world, the critically acclaimed Film Festival, Jazz Festival, Wine Festival and the list goes on. www.newportdunes.com
After breakfast it is just a short 30 mile drive which will bring you back to the Cruise America depot in Los Angeles.