Thursday, March 26, 2009

Summer Beach Camping Season - California

Summer is just around the corner and one of the most favorite activities is beach camping. Reservations for the most popular locations are being snapped up fast so its time to pick your camping spot before they sell out. California residents not only have to compete with other Californians but visitors from out of state and even out of country. On a recent visit to San Clemente State Beach we met travelers from England and France. It seems that California beach camping is heavily advertised in Europe as a dream vacation. Here are some of the most popular places to camp along the coast:

Point Mugu State Park - Located in the Santa Monica Mountains. 13,300 acre park has 5miles of shoreline. More than 70 miles of hiking trails. AT&T Wi-Fi Service.

Refugio State Beach - Palm trees give campground distinctive look. 3 mile bike trail runs along the beach to El Capitan Beach. Great place to get away without driving too far.

Leo Carillo - Mile and a half of beach with tide pools, caves and reefs. Visitor center and shady campsites. Nature walks and campfire programs offered.

San Elijo State Beach
- Bluff top camping with views of the Pacific Ocean. North San Diego County area. Stairway leads down to wide sandy beach.

More California Beach Camping

A to Z California Camping

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Western Railway Museum Suisun City California

Western Railway Museum Suisun City California
The Western Railway Museum gives visitors the opportunity to ride historic streetcars and interurban electric trains from all over California and other western states. Streetcars loop the shaded picnic grounds. Interurban cars run over the restored main line of the old Sacramento Northern Railway. With over 50 historic cars on display, railway exhibits, the Museum Store and Gift Shop and the large, shaded picnic grounds, the Western Railway Museum is ideal for family and group outings. The grounds of the Western Railway Museum include a large car house with historic electric-powered rail vehicles you can stroll through. The 1.5 acre shaded picnic grounds are perfect for family and group outings.

Museum is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am to 5pm. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Museum is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10:30am to 5pm.

Western Railway Museum
5848 State Highway 12
Suisun, CA 94585
(707) 374-2978

Approximately 12 miles East of Highway 80, on Highway 12.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Upper Little Truckee Campground

Upper Little Truckee  River
The Upper Little Truckee Campground has only 24 campsites. In the summer if your lucky enough to reserve a spot you can look forward to trout fishing, hiking, bicycling and camping alongside of the Little Truckee River. Upper Little Truckee Campground is located on Highway 89 12 miles north of Truckee. Reservations must be made 3 day in advance and a 2 night minimum on weekends and 3 night minimum on holidays. The Upper Little Truckee Campground is open May to October. A to Z list of California State Parks Campgrounds.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ocean Institute Dana Point

Ocean Institute Tide PoolFounded in 1977, the Ocean Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated
to ocean preservation through education, setting the standard for
educational excellence and serving as a leading resource for universities,
museums, teachers and all others seeking to increase their knowledge of the

Located in beautiful Dana Point harbor alongside the Pacific Ocean, the
Ocean Institute offers science and maritime history programs to youth during
the week, and is open to the general public on weekends, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Visitors can enjoy ocean-themed exhibits, marine life touch tanks and
aquaria with hundreds of marine creatures. Institute staff and volunteers
are on hand to share the secrets of our seas. Cost: $6.50 adults, $4.50
children (ages 4-12), Ocean Institute members free.

Unique maritime and ocean-themed items are available in the Chambers Gallery
everyday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Institute address: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr.,
Dana Point. For an added charge, visitors can enjoy marine mammal cruises
onboard the Institute’s R/V Sea Explorer or sail onboard the tall ship
Spirit of Dana Point. Facilities are available for rent for meetings,
receptions and other events. For information, visit

Monday, March 16, 2009

Underwood Family Farms

Underwood Family Farms
Underwood Farms grows seasonal fruits and veggies on about 40 acres in Moorpark California. The farm offers year round U-Pick. Depending on the season you could be harvesting anything from cucumbers to strawberries. Underwood Farms also has a produce stand for folks that don't want to get their hands dirty. Once a year the fabulous Fall Harvest Festival is held where kids can pick their own pumpkins. Underwood Family Farms have two locations. Moorpark Farm Center 3370 Sunset Valley Road Moorpark CA 93021 and Underwood Family FarmsSomis.5696 Los Angeles Avenue, 400 yards from the corner of Los Angeles Avenue and Somis Road in Somis, California. Underwood Family Farms

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

San Francisco Double Decker Bus Tour Half Price

San Francisco Double Decker Bus Tour
Take a San Francisco Double Decker Bus Tour and pay only half price. This bus tour stops at 11 San Francisco locations, ranging from Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square to Chinatown and North Beach. Your ticket includes unlimited two-day bus access. Board the bus as many times as you like while you explore the city. Parking in San Francisco can cost you big bucks, and on top of that traffic can make it all but impossible to see all the attractions in one day. Leave the car at your hotel or home and ride the double Decker bus for a fun day of San Francisco sightseeing.

Full price tickets are $26.99. With free Gold Star membership you pay only $13.50 Half-Price San Francisco Double Decker Bus Tour

The Double Decker bus tour stops at all these locations.
Fisherman's Wharf – 2800 Leavenworth St
The Cannery, Cable Car, Ghirardelli Square, Hyde Street Pier, The Anchorage, Maritime Museum, Aquatic Park

Barbary Coast – Outside Fog City Diner
Levi's Plaza, Fog City Diner, Telegraph Hill, Filbert Street, Steps to Coit Tower

Ferry Building – One Market St
Ferries, Farmers Market, BART, Embarcadero Shopping, AT&T Ballpark, Bay Bridge

South of Market – Opposite SF Museum of Modern Art
Moscone Center, Metreon Center, Yerba Buena Gardens, Jewish Contemporary Museum, SF MOMA, CalTrain Station

City Hall – Corner of Fulton and Larkin
San Francisco City Hall, Asian Art Museum, Opera House, Ballet, Civic Center, New Library

Union Square – Outside Macy's Department Store
Major Department Stores, San Francisco Shopping Center, Crocker Galleria, Hotels, Theatres and Cable Car

Chinatown Gate – Outside Triton Hotel
Pagoda Gates, Portsmouth Square, Chinatown shopping and restaurants, Old St. Mary's Church.

Chinatown / Financial District – Outside Hilton Financial Hotel
Financial District, Transamerica Pyramid, Bank of America Building, Fortune Cookie Factory, Exotic Cuisines

North Beach – Washington Square (Outside Joey & Eddie's)
Italian District Restaurants, Coit Tower, Washington Square

Lombard Street – Corner of Lombard and Columbus
Crookedest Street, Russian Hill, Hyde Street Cable Car

Fisherman's Wharf – Pier 43 ½
Pier 39, Bay Cruise, Wax Museum, Boudin Bakery, USS Pampanito, Sea Lions, Shopping

Half-Price San Francisco Double Decker Bus Tour

Sunday, March 08, 2009

California State Parks Camping

Beach Camping
The state of California maintains over 480 campgrounds most of which are open year round. Campsite locations range from beach front to mountain high. You can stay close to civilization of enjoy a total escape out in the middle of nowhere. Reservations for camping at California state parks can be made up to seven months in advance. For some of the most popular places, reserving a spot is an absolute must. Average rates run about $35.00 Per Night, $245.00 Per Week. It is almost impossible to find a hotel in California at these prices ( at least one you would want to stay in). Of course you will need an recreation vehicle of tent, but camping is still a bargain. No RV, then you can rent one and still be saving money over an expensive hotel. Here is a complete list of all 480 California State Campgrounds.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Frog Meadow Guard Station

Frog Meadow Guard Station
If your looking for an off the beaten path camping experience Frog Meadow Guard Station is the place for you. The station is located near Tobias Peak and is available for overnight rental from June 1 to November 15.

Cabin History: Frog Meadow Guard Station was constructed between 1933 and 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, (CCC) to provide a residence for Forest Service fire patrolmen stationed in that area. In the early 1980's, the Forest Service no longer needed the use of the cabin, and it was closed until just recently. The cabin is 900 square feet, single story and consists of 1 bedroom with a closet, 1 bathroom, a living room and a kitchen with a service porch. The original cabinets, walls and bath fixtures remain, although the floor was covered with new vinyl tile recently. The exterior is constructed of redwood board over 1 X 8 diagonal sheeting nailed to a standard wooden frame.

This is one camp that you should reserve early. There is a 4 day minimum booking window. There is a 2 night minimum stay on weekends, and a 3 night minimum stay on holiday weekends. This rental does not honor Golden Passport or America the Beautiful Pass discounts. Persons holding the reservations must accompany the group and be at least 18 years of age. Reservations can be made through Reserve America.

Getting There: Frog Meadow Guard Station is located 2 hours NE of Bakersfield, or 2 hours SE of Porterville, taking Hwy 65 either from Bakersfield or Porterville to Hwy 155, and travel EAST, and can also be reached just 1 hour NW from Lake Isabella. Please contact the Tule River District office for more complete directions.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Calico Ghost Town Camping

Calico KOA Campground
Calico Ghost Town is in the mountains near the Barstow California. Once a thriving silver mining center, Calico is now a tourist stop on the way to Las Vegas just off Interstate 15. The town has quite a few of the original buildings plus it's own little railroad. If your traveling in an RV the Barstow/ Calico KOA Campground is just three miles away and offers a free shuttle up to the ghost town. This KOA features 70-foot pull through with dividing hedges, full hookups, free cable and Wi-Fi, deluxe one- and two-room lodges as well as tent sites. You'll appreciate the easy access to hiking trails and rock hounding at nearby Mule Canyon. Visit the Calico Early Man Archaeological Site, museums and numerous desert attractions. More about Calico Ghost Town.
Getting There:
Barstow / Calico KOA
35250 Outer Highway 15 North
Yermo CA 92398
7 miles north of Barstow on I-15 take Exit 191 (Ghost Town Road), left to service station, then left 0.25 mile. From I-40 take Daggett Exit 4 miles. North under I-15 bridge to Outer Highway 15N, turn left.

There is also a campground in the canyon below Calico which is run by San Bernardino County Regional Parks.

Monday, March 02, 2009

California Deserts Bloom Wildflower Season

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is starting to bloom with a colorful carpet of wildflowers. Brittlebush, chuparosa, popcorn flower, sand verbena, spectacle pod, and desert lily have popped up in recent days, according to the Anza-Borrego Foundation and Institute. Peak blooming season should be the first two weeks in March depending on weather. Early blooms are mostly found in scattered washes around the park and at lower elevations such as the Carrizo Badlands overlook at Sweeney Pass, Indian Valley and the Bow Willow Campground. Officials suggest a visit to the northern edge of Borrego Springs on Henderson Canyon Road and at the northern end of DiGiorgio Road, about \ mile beyond the end of the pavement. Hikes in Borrego Palm Canyon or Plum Canyon will also bring blooms into view. For more information, call the Wildflower Hotline (760-767-4684), the state park's Web site ( or Anza-Borrego Foundation and Institute's website (
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park