Dolphin, Boogie-boarding and Toy Story 4
Have you ever tried to camp in California? Let me re-phrase…Have you ever attempted to camp in California without a reservation?
Scoring a campsite at a beachside campground is similar to winning the lottery. Most often we are welcomed by the all too familiar “Campground full” sign upon arrival. Luckily, we are traveling a little later in the season this time around (mid-October) and were able to score a beachfront site at Carlsbad State Beach Campground in Encinitas, California, with a reservation made only a week in advance. Now, California is not known for economical accommodations by any means, but a non-beachfront site here is only $30 per night at this time of year and $50 for beach front. OK, that’s still a lot, I know. But it’s California! Buying a tank of gas here requires a second mortgage on your home. And when I say we camped beach front, we’re not talking steps from the beach. You are parked up on a cliff overlooking the ocean, next to a chain-link fence. If it were anywhere else, that may be a drawback. But along the CA coastline, it’s ideal. You get the view that standing at ocean level doesn’t provide, which included seals and dolphin playing in the surf.
The vibe here is epic. Rigs range from tents to 5th-wheels, old school VW vans to new Mercedes conversions and everything in between. Everyone wants to experience the SoCal lifestyle along the Pacific Coast. And we’re right there with them…La Tortuga in all her glory!
The highlights of this trip?
Noah perfected his boogie boarding skills and figured out why rash guards were invented. And since 99% of all beaches in California do not allow dogs, this one included, Gregg & I took turns hitting the surf with him for hours at a time. The thrill of riding the waves was completely addicting. Next up, surfing lessons! Bring on Southern Baja!
We also met the coolest family, the Waters, from Temecula, chilling on the beach for 4 days with their decked-out VW Bus and Apache pop-up. Their two kids, 5 and 7 years old, were a hoot and they immediately made La Tortuga their second home. And just like with any camping trip, the kids all got to settle in for a showing of Toy Story 4 alongside the Apache tent. You know, your typical campout.
So, conclude, I’d give two thumbs up for California beach camping, that is if you plan in advance and get a site. I just wouldn’t expect to be catching a showing of Toy Story 4, unless you’re lucky enough to be parked next to the Water’s!