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  1. Default Thanksgiving Road Trip

    Hello!

    My family (including 2 young boys) are heading from Tucson to Sasualito for Thanksgiving.

    We are leaving the weekend before Thanksgiving so we can camp and see interesting things along the way.

    We would like to spend the 1st night in Joshua Tree, but wasn't sure of the best place to camp.

    We would also like advice on a great place to stop between LA and San Fran, somewhere on the coast.

    Thanks for any thoughts or advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Between LA and SF, stop in San Simeon and take the Hearst Castle tour. I do not know what the camping situation is around there, so someone else will have to advise you there. I do know that there's a Motel 6 in San Simeon if you want to spend a night in a reasonably priced bed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Lots to see.

    Hello and welcome to the R.T.A forums.

    We would like to spend the 1st night in Joshua Tree, but wasn't sure of the best place to camp.
    For camping at joshua tree I would suggest using one of the Parks campgrounds found here.

    We would also like advice on a great place to stop between LA and San Fran, somewhere on the coast.
    I can't offer first hand advice here but you might find This thread has some great info and also this one with info on beaches along the way.

    You may find this link of some use as well.

    Depending on the age of your young ones they could find the boat trip and Alcatraz tour fun while in San Fran and will enjoy the Sea lions at Pier '39. Here's some other ideas.

    I hope that gets you started.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 11-04-2008 at 05:40 PM. Reason: Added info

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default A place you've got to see in Sasualito!

    Quote Originally Posted by sparks View Post
    We are leaving the weekend before Thanksgiving so we can camp and see interesting things along the way.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum -- Jumping ahead to Sasaulito -- there is an Italian restaurant just off the freeway -- that you might not ever notice -- but I bet your two sons would get a kick out of -- I can't remember if it still running in November but.... Frantoio Ristorante next to the Holiday Inn Express has a working olive press and it is very, very cool to watch! (152 Shoreline Highway and the US-101).
    We would like to spend the 1st night in Joshua Tree, but wasn't sure of the best place to camp.
    I really like the Jumbo Rocks Campground -- I am going to publish a review of James Kaiser's definitive new guidebook to Joshua Tree on Friday -- so check back here for more details.
    We would also like advice on a great place to stop between LA and San Fran, somewhere on the coast.
    My favorite town is Cayucos (just north of Morro Bay) -- laid back -- nice beach -- Plus, just up the highway is the small town of Harmony with honey-making displays and other arts and crafts.

    Here are some of suggestions for the coastal run! (One thing to be aware of -- two major wildfires burned along the Big Sur this year and the road is subject to washouts and rocks and other debris in the road) so you really need to check the CalTrans web site 24 hours before you drive north from Cayucos in case the road is being worked on.

    Larrison's picks for beaches between LA and San Francisco

    This site is a Must-Stop for you and your kids -- it could be awesome this year!

    Near Santa Cruz -- I really, really like this beach for tidepools -- very easy to find great starfishes here! Natural Bridges State Park is just north of downtown and you find creatures like this one:


    You are likely to find a few other travelers on the road with you over this holiday -- so read this for tips about how to deal with that!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-05-2008 at 09:56 AM. Reason: added space for clarity of reading

  5. #5

    Default Camping

    There are a few California State Parks where you can camp near
    Santa Barbara.

    El Capitan, Refugio and Gaviota State Beaches. They all have camping.
    I'm not sure how busy they are and whether or not you need to make
    reservations.

    Though I've not camped at Refugio or El Capitan, I have stopped at both
    state parks and they look nice. Refugio in particular has some nice
    palm trees and a nice beach.

    Here's the Reserve America website to reserve camping spots.

    Another camping location that you might consider is Jalama Beach County
    Park.


    San Simeon State Beach also has camping.

    Nearby at Piedras Blancas is a beach where elephant seals hang out (mentioned in many posts on RTA
    covering this part of CA).

    Also nearby is Solvang, a Danish themed town.

    I hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default The 'Other' Direction

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You've gotten some wonderful suggestions so far, but here are a few more. For my money, one of the best benefits of camping out in the desert is that you are away from the lights and pollution of the cities and have a clear view of the sky. Around Thanksgiving, there will be some particularly 'scenic' sights in the sky at night in addition to those along your drives during the day. In the early evening Venus and Jupiter will be right next to each other, low on the western horizon. Venus is pretty obvious, being the third brightest object in the sky after the sun and Moon. Jupiter will be the next brightest object and just above Venus. Next I'd point out the Milky Way to your boys. This broad band of diffuse light will be nearly overhead, and is our own galaxy seen edge on. If you can follow it all the way to the horizon just below Venus, you will be looking towards our galaxy's center. Also in the sky will be another galaxy that is just visible to the naked eye (and young children have better eyesight than most). This is the Andromeda Galaxy. If you lie on your back with your feet aimed south, you will see a large square of stars directly overhead. This is the body of Pegasus, the horse. With a (very) good imagination, you can make out a head to the upper right and a tail to the upper left. The tail consists of two upwardly curving lines of stars and is actually another constellation, Andromeda. If you follow the tail out to the second pair of stars and use them as a pointer to a third 'star', about as far above the pair as they are from each other, that 'star' should look a little fuzzy. That's because it is actually billions of stars in our nearest neighbor galaxy, Andromeda. Also in your night sky are various birds and bears, a camel, a whale, an archer, a bull, some fish, and assorted other pictures. But you and your boys are free to make up your own pictures and stories.

    AZBuck

  7. Default Big Thanks!

    Thanks to all who gave me wonderful tips for my upcoming road trip, I really appreciate all of the great advice and knowledge. Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Default

    Hey AZ Buck, Whe you took the Hearst Tour a few years ago, do you remember which option you chose?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I'm not Buck, but I took Tour 1. This is the one recommended for first time visitors, and the others are best experienced as followups. Wear good walking shoes and bring your own bottle of water.

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