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Bay Area campground recommendations?
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pnwkayaker
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:41 pm    Post subject: Bay Area campground recommendations? Reply with quote

My wife and I are planning to visit the Bay Area (San Francisco and Palo Alto) for Christmas/New Year to meet with friends. Of course, it's great excuse for a road trip in the Syncro, so we'll stop by the Redwoods on our way down.

Does anybody have any campground recommendations in the Bay Area? We'll be traveling with kids and expected to interact with "normal" human beings for social gatherings, so showers are a necessity Smile

I was thinking of staying a Half-Moon Bay (never stayed there before though, they're somewhat close to both locations), but it looks they will be closing during December for renovation, are there any other options (close to the ocean would be awesome)?

Yes, we *could* drive the Syncro and stay at a regular hotel, but that won't be even half as fun...
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regis101
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, let's just jump right to the top. I have no personal history of this place but it is on the to-do list.

http://koa.com/campgrounds/santa-cruz-north/
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/portal/site/parks/men...rchannel=1
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70coupyel
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did a drive through here and looks nice. Looks like classic Calif State campground on the beach. South side of HMB.
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=531
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're driving through the Bay Area and on down to Disneyland and San Diego from Dec. 27 - first week in Jan. Is it advised to make reservations down the coast in campgrounds this time of year? I'd rather wing it if possible. I was eyeing Half Moon also so appreciate the heads-up on the renovation.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could shower here and then stealth camp somewhere.

http://norcalhostels.org/pigeon

Lots of little turnouts and parking lots. Not sure if they are off limits to overnighting, but you could tool around and find a decent spot I'm sure. Also, many campgrounds always keep a certain amount of space available for walk ins.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

singler3360 wrote:
We're driving through the Bay Area and on down to Disneyland and San Diego from Dec. 27 - first week in Jan. Is it advised to make reservations down the coast in campgrounds this time of year? I'd rather wing it if possible. I was eyeing Half Moon also so appreciate the heads-up on the renovation.


No reservations needed this time of year. Maybe around Christmas on weekend at popular places like Big Sur.
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rsbones
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There aren't a lot of ocean side options in SF and San Mateo counties. So...if Half Moon Bay is closed, you could drive down the coast another 20min or so and then inland 15 min and be amongst redwood trees in the awesome Memorial Park.


http://www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/portal/site/parks/men...rchannel=1

It's also less than an hour from Palo Alto , using CA 84 (la Honda road).

Edit: oops, just saw synchrodoka already recommended Memorial. I second it!
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you talking about the State Beach in HMB? it looks like only the "family sites" are closed. i think those are like small group sites. it looks like you can still reserve sites over xmas on reserveamerica.com. that park is a nice place to stay. i'd check if they're really closed. it's probably you're best bet for what you're looking for.

there's some RV parks in pacifica on the water, but they're kinda meh and spendy, but if you're dying to stay on the water and are going to SF and PA it's the easiest drive to both. PA is a fairly long haul from there, but it's easy driving. SF is an easy ride.

there's a decent RV park in like Saratoga, saratoga-springs.com it's an RV park but it's pretty tucked in the redwoods and doesn't feel like a trailer park. it's not a bad drive to PA from there, but it's a fairly long haul to SF. nice park tho.

i wouldn't do that KOA, that's a long ass drive to that from PA. almost easier from SF (but longer). i use to live on 84 which takes you from near PA to the coast and after a day with the family you won't want to take the hour plus to get over the hill and down to the KOA. HMB benefits from the least puke inducing route over the hill to the coast. it's a haul to get over that hill. it's a wonderful drive when you're sunday driving but when you're getting from one place to another it's a pita.

aside from all that there are several RV parks in HMB, Pelican Point RV Park , and Pillar Point. I haven't stayed at either so can't comment. some RV parks won't let camper vans in (usually require you are self sufficient) but they might not care.

good luck Smile
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pnwkayaker
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to all for your replies/pointers; it turned out that vwlvr was right, only the "family sites" were closed in Half Moon Bay. We just got some reservations there. Awesome! Looks like I was confused when I looked at it a while ago.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pnwkayaker wrote:
Thanks to all for your replies/pointers; it turned out that vwlvr was right, only the "family sites" were closed in Half Moon Bay. We just got some reservations there. Awesome! Looks like I was confused when I looked at it a while ago.


Very Happy cool! glad it worked out. that is a nice park. there's a bike path that runs thru there if you're thinking of taking some bikes.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pnwkayaker wrote:
Thanks to all for your replies/pointers; it turned out that vwlvr was right, only the "family sites" were closed in Half Moon Bay. We just got some reservations there. Awesome! Looks like I was confused when I looked at it a while ago.

Glad to hear it!

I went to down to visit Burley in Santa Barbara last weekend.. and planned to sleep over at Gaviota State Beach night before. Pulled in around midnight and the gate was freking LOCKED!

With a sign that read "Day use only... due to budget cuts"... ARRGH!

But have no fear.. they will reopen. We voted oursevles a tidy little tax hike to pay for a few things.

Anyway.. good on ya for calling ahead.. And since you are in the vicinity you can also check out Big Basin.. awesome redwoods. Not too far from the coast.
At minimum, a day visit.
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