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Camping In California In December

Airbnbs Near Death Valley

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My favorite choice of places to stay near Death Valley are the variety of Airbnbs available close to the park. The best thing about Airbnbs is that some are so quirky and unusual that it makes your stay even more memorable.

Here are some of our top Death Valley Airbnbs that you can easily book in winter:

Mount Tamalpais State Park

Mount Tamalpais State Park is a 6,300-acre state park in Northern California. It features the notable 2,571 foot Mount Tamalpais and fun activities like wildlife watching, picnicking, and hiking.

If youre seeking scenic hikes and nature outings for wildlife viewing, we recommend heading to the Mount Tamalpais Middle Peak Loop. It is a moderate, 5.3-mile hiking trail that is accessible year-round.

You can enjoy awe-inspiring views of the Farallon Islands, Marin County hills, Mount Diablo, the East Bay, San Francisco Bay and the city. Fog is common in winter, so it is always best to be extra careful during outdoor activities for a safe camping experience.

The park is open year-round with several campsites and lodging options. The reserved areas include Alice Eastwood Group Camp and Steep Ravine Environmental Campground .

You can book these rustic cabins and seaside campsites up to six months in advance. If youre heading on a last-minute trip, the Pantoll and Bootjack campground do not require reservations. There is a $25 nightly fee for both camps.

Note:At Mount Tamalpais State Park, you are not allowed to fly drones. But, dont forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking vistas and memorable moments.

Can I Drive On Tioga Road

Tioga Road is usually closed due to snow from sometime in November until late May or June. During this time, Highways 108 and 4, which cross the Sierra Nevada north of Yosemite, are normally also closed. When the Tioga Road and other Sierra roads are closed, you’ll need to use an alternate route to get to and from Yosemite to cross the Sierra Nevada.

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Russian Gulch State Park Campground Mendocino Coast

Just two miles north of the village of Mendocinoone of the best small towns in Californiathe Russian River makes quite a splash at Russian Gulch State Park. Alongside unique trail-lined bluffs and tidal features like the Devil’s Punchbowl, this coastal state park also has 26 standard sites near the Russian River before it hits the ocean.

The Fern Canyon Trail extends from the campground at Russian Gulch, enabling a six-mile round trip to a 36-foot waterfall and back.

The entire Mendocino Coast is lined with natural attractions and other places to camp. Surrounding the village itself, Mendocino Headlands State Park features plenty of bluff-side ocean views but is day-use only. Less than two miles south of the village, Van Damme State Park offers more camping on the Northern California coast with over 70 sites available.

Address: CA-1, Mendocino, California

Camping In California: San Elijo State Beach Encinitas

Our Favorite RV Campgrounds in California

Campers looking for a great oceanside campground should book their spot at San Elijo State Beach Campground near Cardiff-by-the-Sea. The large campground can accommodate RVs up to 35 feet long as well as tents, and the most sought-after sites are right on the edge of the beach front bluff, offering wonderful sunset views. You can buy just about everything you need at the convenience store and each of the campsites has the usual picnic table and fire ring with grill. There are clean flush toilets and coin-operated showers. Besides enjoying all the beach activities you can also explore on two wheels along the cycling trials. Some visitors may find the inevitable highway and train sounds annoying, particularly if your site is close to the railway tracks.

San Elijo State Beach, 2050 S Coast Hwy 101, Cardiff, CA 92007, Phone: 760-753-5091

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Camping In Southern California: Point Mugu State Park Malibu

Campers in search of an ideal beachside campground should set their sights on beautiful Point Mugu State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains. Thornhill Broome Campground has 62 primitive campsites, which can accommodate tents or RVs and trailers up to 32 feet long. Basic facilities are provided, but there are no electrical hook-ups. The Sycamore Canyon Campground is a firm favorite , offering 56 campsites for tents or RVs, and there is also a primitive hike-in site for backpackers and a group campsite at La Jolla. All the campgrounds offer access to a brilliant 5-mile beach for fishing, swimming, surfing, and body-boarding as well as access to over 70 miles of hiking trails through major river canyons and wide scenic valleys.

Point Mugu State Park, 9000 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265, Phone: 800-444-7275

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San Francisco In December

San Francisco is one of Americas greatest cities at any time of year and one of the best places in California to visit in December.

It makes for one of the best winter vacations in California.

However, its also one of the best places in California to spend Christmas as they really roll out the red and green carpet.

Throughout the city is a month-long celebration called the Festival of Lights.

A collection of artists install massive light sculptures in installations in prime locations for your enjoyment.

You can enjoy the lights in any number of ways from a self-guided walking tour of San Francisco to riding a historic fire engine to taking a Christmas cruise on the bay.

Dont forget SantaCon, an adult-only party where thousands of costumed revelers take to the streets for a jolly party or the Chocolate and Art Show.

There are the usual holiday shows as well, like Christmas Carol, Handels Messiah, and The Nutcracker.

Even without the holiday glitz, San Francisco is a spectacular destination. Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, China Town, and Cable Cars are every bit as beautiful in the winter.

See them from a Golden Gate Bay cruise.

If you think Christmas is spectacular in the City by the Bay, you should see what they do for New Years.

Fireworks by the Bay and New Years cruises will let you celebrate in style.

Where to stay in San Francisco

Jenn and Ed | Coleman Concierge

Don’t Miss: Rio Grande National Forest Camping

Camps And Glamps That Are Optimal For Summer In Joshua Tree

Summer evenings are the perfect time to enjoy a sleep in the desert no additional heat is needed. Remember that the daytime temperatures can creep past 100°F, so its extra important to stay hydrated and protect yourself.

1. Wendys Kick It Spot: Wendys Kick It Spot provides three sites, with the possibility of lodging up to four guests per site. After pitching your tent or driving over your RV, take in the view and lounge around by the fire pit.

2. Starry JT Nights Moonflower: This private campsite can host up to ten guests within a few miles of the Joshua Tree National Park West entrance. Amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, port-a-potty, and running water.

3. Camp Coyote Acres: This Old Western-themed location provides three sites, each hosting up to nine guests. Enjoy a nighttime gathering by the fire pit.

Camping In Socal: Palomar Observatory Campground Palomar Mountain

SOLO Overnight Camping in RECORD SNOW | Campfire Chili | Western HISTORY of the RAILROAD

The Palomar Observatory Campground is located just 2 miles from the excellent Palomar Observatory in the heart of Palomar Mountain State Park, giving visitors the chance to combine a number of outdoor activities with some of the best stargazing in California. The individual campsites can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 32 feet long, and many sites have specially leveled areas where you can set up a telescope to observe the clean night skies. The campsites offer all the usual amenities, like picnic tables and fire rings with grills. Day-time activities include hiking, biking, picnicking, and scenic drives, and when the sun sets all eyes turn to the skies.

Palomar Observatory Campground, Palomar Mountain, CA 92060, Phone: 760-788-0250

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Camping In California: Los Alamos Campground Pyramid Lake

The close proximity of Los Alamos Campground to the city of Los Angeles makes this a popular weekend escape for city dwellers. There are 90 individual family campsites dotted around the hillside above Pyramid Lake as well as three group campsites that can accommodate up to 30 people. Although there is no electrical hook-up for your RV, the campground does offer the usual picnic tables and grills as well as clean toilets and running water. Pyramid Lake is exceptionally good for fishing and a fish-cleaning area is provided. You can enjoy birdwatching, rent a boat , go kayaking or jet-skiing, or go for a hike or cycle along various trials.

Los Alamos Campground, Hard Luck Rd, Lebec, CA 93243, Phone: 661-248-6725

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Everglades National Park Florida

If you want to escape the cold and move as far south as possible, consider Everglades National Park. This southern part of Florida is very popular in the winter for families looking to escape the snow. Be sure to pack sunscreen because you will want to soak up the sun and do outdoor activities all day.

Hiking, boating, fishing, and watching wildlife are among some great family-friendly activities that are super popular. With over 2,400 square miles to explore, there is something for anyone who visits.

Two of the biggest camping locations in the Everglades are Long Pine Key Campground and Flamingo Campground. Both of these options put you close to all the activities with the best resources available to ensure your comfort.

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How To Book The Campsite

The Bureau of Land Management, which manages the area, doesnt restrict camping along the Lost Coast Trail. However, its best to stick to the established campsites, which are usually tucked into narrow valleys and protected from the elements and wind. The popular Shipman Creek campsite is one spot along the trail where you can camp on the beach itself.

You do not need reservations for the campsites, but each person in your group will need a permit for the trail that you reserve online at Permits dont cost anything but there is a $6 reservation fee for each one. Summer tends to be the busiest season, with permits selling out months in advance. Spring and fall are your best bets for scoring a permit, but youll still want to try to reserve yours several months before your trip.

Also, campers are required to bring a bear canister to store food on this trail. Pick up the BearVault BV450 from REI for $70 or rent one for $5 at one of several nearby locations.

The Inn At Benton Hot Springs

Motorhomes Parked And Camping At The Beach During Sunset, Los Barriles ...

Why you should camp here: Enjoy epic stargazing and views of Boundary Peak while soaking your bones in a private, naturally-fed hot spring.

  • Location: Benton, CA
  • Campsite type: Tent, RV, car camping
  • RV hookups: No

How many developed campgrounds have you been to where each site has their own private hot tub? The Inn at Benton Hot Springs is a thing of California legend, and though pricey, these twelve well-spaced campsites are worth the money.

Set against a backdrop of jaw-dropping White Mountain views in a tiny, old west-style town, each site not only features a spring-fed tub, but also a picnic table, fire grill, and pit. Dont want to rough it? The Inn also hosts a bed and breakfast.

The campground is a great base camp for anyone looking to explore the White Mountains, Mono Lake, or the Eastern Sierra during winter months. Nearby Bishop is a quirky mountain town with ample amenities like grocery stores, gear shops, and mouthwatering restaurants.

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What To Pack For Your Beach Camping Trip

As for any camping trip, youll want to pack your essentialstent, sleeping bag, warm clothes, and a comfy camping chairbut here are a few beach-specific items you should remember to bring with you when you camp:

  • Beach blanket: Be sure to pack a beach blanket for days lounging on the beach. If youre hiking in, something small and lightweight like Matador Pocket Blanket Mini will be the easiest to pack.
  • Swimsuit: Especially in Northern California, the water can be too cold for swimming, but it never hurts to bring a bathing suit just in case.
  • Quick-dry towel: Skip the bulky beach towel and bring a lightweight camp towel to dry off with. Packtowel is a good option.
  • Sunscreen: Pack an eco-friendly sunscreen, like Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Lotion SFP 50, to keep your skin safe while you swim and hike.
  • Dry bag: If youre kayaking or spending time on a boat, use waterproof dry bags like those by Sea to Summit to keep your gear from getting soaked by rogue waves.

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Best Glamping Spots In California

Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Being able to sleep among the beauty of the great outdoors is an incredible experience, and of course, those smores arent so bad either. But for many, venturing out into the wilderness, pitching a tent and sleeping on the ground is just a little too rugged. Thats where glamping comes in, offering the ideal compromise as a more luxurious way of enjoying nature, along with the comforts of home. In California, these are some of the top spots for enjoying it.


Enjoy a fabulous glamping stay in beautiful Carmel By the Sea with full access to all the amenities at Saddle Mountain Ranch campground, including a seasonally heated pool, scenic trails for hiking, including a trek that leads to the top of the mountain with your reward a 360-degree view of the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Youll also have access to the community restrooms and hot showers. Your luxury tent includes Wi-Fi a comfy bed, indoor and outdoor seating, a fire pit and BBQ.

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Best Campgrounds In Southern California

Written by Brad LaneDec 2, 2019

Nothing caps off a California adventure like camping under the stars, and numerous campgrounds in Southern California deliver with big natural features and dark night skies. From beach camping in the summer to winter camping in the desert, there’s a Southern California campground to visit every month of the year.

Catering to both tent and RV camping, places like Point Mugu, Palomar Mountain, and Death Valley offer scenic campsites on the coast, in the mountains, and across the deserts of Southern California.

For the ultimate desert attraction and great spots to camp in winter, Southern California’s Joshua Tree National Park offers a stunning environment to wake up to in the morning. One of the best state parks in California, and the largest, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park also delivers with desert landscapes, including Tamarisk Grove Campground.

For coastal camping and a reprieve from summer temperatures, the Southern California coast is filled with postcard spots like Souths Carlsbad State Beach and Crystal Cove State Park.

Many quintessential hikes in Southern California stem from the region’s best campgrounds. Campers looking to bag the peak of Mt. Baldy will find the Manker Flats Campground accommodatingand easy access to Mount San Jacinto can be found at the Fern Valley Campground near Idyllwild.

For lakeside camping, look no further than the banks of Big Bear Lake and 100-plus RV and tent sites at the Serrano Campground.

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