Like everyone in quarantine, we were craving a trip and craving some time to just get away. We found camping was a safe and affordable way to explore California, see family and have a break from working/quarantine. We unfortunately went at the worst time during a record high heatwave which ultimately led to devastating fires and poor air quality. We did make the most of the trip and found a new love for camping and California.
Livermore Wine Tasting
My cousin Norell is an avid wine taster and wine enthusiast so we had to go wine tasting. It was extremely hot so it made for a Rose-all-day kind of day!
We went to:
Camping in the Redwoods-Santa Cruz
After visiting my mom Judy in San Jose, we went camping in the Redwoods at Portola Redwood State Park. If you go, it is a beautiful campsite and make sure to get campsite #38. The bugs were pretty awful mostly due to the heat but overall it was one of the coolest experiences to camp underneath the trees and stars. As we headed out of the Redwoods, we drove through the charming town of Saratoga. We didn’t have time to stop at their darling restaurants and wine tasting rooms, but hope to someday.
We came here for a quick morning stop before staying with my cousins in Salinas. I absolutely adore the sandy and expensive shores of Carmel-by-the-Sea just as anyone else would. Charming and quaint in a luxury way, Carmel is the perfect place for a day trip or weekend getaway to view art, have a bite and enjoy the beach (which is a dog beach too!) and golf at the world renowned Pebble Beach Golf Resort (minimum 3 nights stay). We went to From Scratch for breakfast featured on the FoodNetwork’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, then strolled the shops and made our way to the beach.
We did camp inland in Morro Bay just north of San Luis Obispbo,however, we only made it one night! The heat wave, air quality from the fires and bugs made it an unpleasant night so we decided to stay and visit Morro Bay. Morro Bay is right off of Highway One and is located on a natural harbor. My friend Alyse and her fiance Emanuel rave about Morro Bay (they go a few times a year!) and we just fell in love with the sleepy seaside town. Morro Bay is known for the historic giant volcanic boulder, water activities and delicious seafood and is the perfect place to just chill and relax and watch the otters and sea lions play. We went to the following:
Breakfast: Dorn’s Breakers (brunch with a view)
Lunch: Hofbrau (have the French Dip and the Arctic Cod Sandwich)
Lunch: Dutchman’s Seafood House (the best fish n chips ever!)
Beer: Libertine Brewing Company (brews by the water)
Happy Hour: Blue Sky Bistro ($5 wine & beer and can take togo!)
Drinks by the Water: Beach Burger
We highly recommend taking the Lost Isle Adventure Boat Tour with Dane (thanks Aly for the recommendation!) Normally it is a booze cruise but since COVID, they can’t service drinks but you will get the history of Morro Bay and see marine life.
We met up with our friends Aly and Emauel in Buellton on the way to Santa Barbra. This town is inland but so worth it! We had an amazing lunch at Industrial Eats. They specialize in handcrafted gourmet sandwiches and pizza. Next door is the Alma Rosa Winery tasting room that has a refreshing wine tasting. We then made our way to Goleta for beer tasting.
Santa Barbara Camping- Gaviota State Park
We ended our trip by camping at the wonderful Gaviota State Park. Definitely the best beach camping we have ever done. Located right on the beautiful Pacific, Gaviota has it all: decent sized camping spots, bathrooms with showers and just steps away from the ocean.