Camp-California Promoting Member RV Parks
Campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across California are offering a full slate of family activities and entertainment this summer, from pet costume contests and cardboard boat regattas to birding, wildflower and medicinal plant walks.
“Camping isn’t just parking an RV or pitching a tent anymore. Campgrounds increasingly offer everything from educational opportunities to fun family activities like arts and crafts activities, scavenger hunts and competitive events,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC), which hosts www.Camp-California.com, the statewide travel planning website.
According to a CalARVC news release, here’s a sampling of some of the activities taking place this summer at campgrounds up and down the state:
— Campland by the Bay in San Diego: This family friendly campground has a private beach on the shores of Mission Bay with special areas for swimming that are ideal for children. The park also has swimming pools and a Jacuzzi as well as a skate park, a fitness center and an onsite restaurant. Activities include scavenger hunts, beach volleyball, kickball, capture the flag, soccer, horseshoes and adult darts. Special events include live entertainment and dances, including periodic “Glow in the Dark DJ Dances” as well as talent competitions involving Campland guests.
— Casini Ranch Family Campground in Duncan Mills: This park, located 60 miles north of San Francisco, has frontage along the Russian River. The park has hayrides, weekend beach bonfires with marshmallow roasting as well as outdoor movies on holiday weekends. Canoe and kayak rentals are also available. Many guests also enjoy feeding the ducks and other waterfowl on historic Moscow Mill Pond.
— Chula Vista RV Park & Resort in Chula Vista: This park’s amenities include a swimming pool and Jacuzzi as well as a fitness center. July 4th weekend activities include a pig roast, hula dancers and fire dancers as well as a patriotic pet parade and a K-9 unit display.
— Coloma Resort in Coloma: This park, which includes campsites, RV sites, park model cabins and safari tents, offers several onsite activities, including a ropes course, gold panning and fishing along the American River. Nearby activities include whitewater rafting, river tubing and biking.
— El Capitan Canyon near Santa Barbara: This resort, which is affiliated with Ocean Mesa Campground, features RV sites, tent sites, park model cabins and safari tents. The resort has a Saturday night concert series that runs through the summer, featuring everything from oldies and classic rock to blues, old school funk and Latin jazz. Nearby recreational activities include hiking, biking, golf, glider rides, whale watching and ocean kayaking.
—Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert: This resort has a Father’s Day weekend special that includes three nights in a deluxe campsite, a round of golf with a cart at the Classic Club and a day of fishing on Lake Hemet. In honor of Father’s Day, Emerald Desert is also hosting a beer and brats barbecue on Saturday, June 15.
— Far Horizons 49er Village in Plymouth, California: In addition to offering over 300 full-service RV sites, this Sierra Nevada Gold Rush Country resort also features 15 vacation cottage accommodations that are available on a bed and breakfast plan in conjunction with Café at the Park, an on-site deli/espresso café. The resort also offers organized activities and special events, the most popular of which are its two Halloween-themed weekends, which include resort wide trick or treating, costume and campsite decorating contests, a pet costume contest, a pumpkin carving contest and a best scream contest.
— Flying Flags RV Resort in Buellton (Solvang): This park, located five minutes from the Danish-themed village of Solvang, has RV sites as well as luxurious park model cottage and vintage Airstream trailer rentals. Several activities are provided, including Friday night Tri-Tip barbecues, Saturday night ice cream socials, movies under the stars and Sunday breakfast in bed delivery service. Golf and wine tasting packages are also available.
— Frandy Park in Kernville: This park is located on the banks of the wild and scenic Kern River and offers sites for tents and RVs. Three river rafting companies are located onsite and there are opportunities for golfing, horseback riding, hiking, biking and ATV riding nearby. Fishing opportunities also abound for golden, rainbow and brown trout as well as crappie. Nightly dancing and weekend live bands are available at local dinner houses.
— Fridays RV Retreat and McCloud Fly Fishing Ranch in McCloud: This park is unique in that it has onsite fly fishing ponds as well as a runway for model airplanes. The park will have its second annual RC Fun Fly model airplane event Saturday, Aug. 24. weekend.
— Golden Village Palms RV Resort in Hemet: This resort will have a car show on June 1 from 9 a.m. to noon. Guests will enjoy cars, games and food and live music.
— Kamp Klamath in Klamath: This park is located along the Klamath River, one of California’s most sought after salmon fishing rivers. Park activities include barbecues, live music, bonfires and guided tours into Bigfoot country.
— Lake Minden RV Resort in Nicolaus: This park’s summer activities include a 1950s and 60s themed weekend over Father’s Day weekend with Matchbox cars, Hula Hoops, Pick Up Sticks, Etch-A-Sketch, Silly Putty, Spirograph and Battleship games. Guests can also show off their best twist moves at the Saturday night barn dance.
— Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina in Newport Beach: This resort has frequent ice cream socials, guitar hero hours, teen pizza nights, card nights and outdoor movies on the beach. Special events include cardboard boat regattas on June 15, July 20 and Aug. 17. Fall activities include pre-Halloween costume and campsite decorating contests. Amenities include a secluded beach with a waveless swimming lagoon on the bay; a swimming pool; and an onsite bistro. Pet friendly amenities include a dog wash station. Kayak, pedal boat, sailboat and electric boat rentals are available. The resort includes RV sites and park model cottage rentals. Tent camping is also allowed on the beach.
— Pacific Dunes RV Resort and Riding Stables in Pismo Beach: This 215-site RV park is next door to Pacific Dunes Ranch Riding Stables, which offers horseback riding trips on one of the only beaches in California where people can go horseback riding. Guides take riders through a lushly forested area that includes a creek that’s inhabited by beavers and frequented by deer. Riders then go along the beach for a short time before circling back on another trail that crosses the Oceano Dunes, an 18-mile-long stretch of sand dunes that were once inhabited by the Chumash Indians.
— Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort in Santa Barbara: This park also offers guided horseback riding trips. Guests at this park can watch stock dogs herding sheep and cattle every Saturday. The park also offers a bucking bull demo with “baby” bulls that are being prepared for future work in rodeos. Amenities include bike trails, miniature golf, nature hiking trails, plus an onsite restaurant and clubhouse. Camping options range from RV and tent site rentals as well as park model cabins. The resort also offers horse camping sites for campers who bring their horses with them. The resort also has several covered wagon rentals, which are arranged in a circle around a campfire pit. Covered wagons sleep up to four people and are equipped with four cots and an electrical outlet.
— Redwoods River Resort & Campground in Leggett: This park, which has RV and tent sites as well as cabin and motel room rentals, features movie nights, rock painting, ice cream socials, Karaoke nights and “Find the Rock” games in which children search for brightly colored rocks in exchange for a prize. One of the park’s biggest onsite events takes place over July 4th with a chocolate pie eating contest and canoe races in the swimming pool. Reggae Rising, an internationally acclaimed three-day Reggae music festival, takes place six miles north of the resort during the first weekend of August.
— Sacred Rocks Reserve in Boulevard: This campground is located at the 3,500-foot level in the mountains about an hour’s drive east of San Diego. They do a lot of nature, artistic and meditation activities at this park, from star-gazing activities to weekend workshops with water color painters, writers and poets. They also have a Native American drum circle and California’s largest labyrinth. This park is also horse-friendly and accommodates people who travel with their horses. They also have park model cabin rentals and a bunkhouse that sleeps 10.
— San Diego Metro KOA in Chula Vista: This campground features a variety of organized activities from tie-dye t-shirt making classes to ice cream socials, pony races, hayrides, flashlight lollipop hunts and outdoor movies. The campground also has an outdoor laser game facility called a Surf Shack Shootout. Rental accommodations range from an African safari style tent that’s furnished to rustic cabins to fully furnished park models, two more of which were expected to be available for rent this summer.
— San Diego RV Resort in La Mesa: In addition to having a heated pool and spa, state-of-the-art exercise facilities and a pet walking area, this park has its own trolley stop on San Diego’s Trolley Line. The park has also developed a five-day Trolley travel itinerary that includes visits to the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld, Balboa Park, Seaport Village, the Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, Old Town San Diego and the beaches of Coronado Island.
— San Francisco Petaluma KOA in Petaluma: This campground, which features park model cabin and RV rentals as well as RV sites, features a petting farm with goats, chickens, miniature donkeys and horses; a 30-foot rock climbing wall; horse-shoe pits; a bocce ball and ring toss area; a jumping pillow as well as a huge swimming pool. Organized activities include Karaoke nights, hay wagon rides, pancake breakfasts and outdoor movie nights. The campground also has themed activities, including a Father’s Day week from June 10 to 16, which includes a chili cookoff and a decorated dad parade. A Harry Potter week is set for July 15 to 21 and includes a magic show. A prom flashback and ugly bridesmaid dress contest is set for the week of July 29 to Aug 4 with a tacky tuxedo contest for men.
— Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in Santee: Operated by Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the Preserve has over 190 acres of stocked lakes and parkland as well as a 300-site campground with RV and tent sites as well as 10 fully furnished park model cabins with kitchens and bathroom facilities. Seven of the cabins are right on the water’s edge, while three of cabins are actually floating on the water. The cabins come equipped with air conditioning and heating as well as wireless Internet service and barbecues. Other campground amenities include swimming pools and a Jacuzzi, a water sprayground and regular playground facilities as well as a camp store that offers food and fishing tackle as well as canoe, rowboat and kayak rentals. Bicycle rentals are also available. Special events also take place at Santee Lakes from time to time, including a 5K fun run on Sept. 21.
— Smithwoods RV Park in Felton: This park’s summer activities include outdoor movie nights, ice cream socials and scavenger hunts. Other special events this summer include a July 4 children’s wheels parade in which campers are invited to decorate their bikes, trikes, scooters and wagons and red, white and blue. The park will also have its annual dog show competition on July 27, a vintage trailer rally on Aug. 3 and a wiffle ball tournament on Labor Day weekend.
— Sorenson’s Resort in Hope Valley (near Lake Tahoe): This resort features 35 cabin rentals and 25 campsites for tent or RV camping, plus a vintage 1947 trailer and a three-bedroom, two-bath house for rent. The resort also offers a variety of on-site and off-site classes for an extra fee. Upcoming events include a fly fishing weekend, June 7 – 9; a historic Emigrant Trail tour, June 24; a birding seminar, July 6; a medical plants walk, July 7; a wildflower identification class, July 18; a landscape photography workshop July 27; and a watercolor workshop Sept. 16 – 20.
— Ventura Ranch KOA in Santa Paula: This campground has a 1,400-foot long zip line, a rock climbing wall and jumping pillow. “Bigfoot Adventure Walks” also take place from time to time on weekends. Other activities include rock and tie dye t-shirt painting. This campground offers fully furnished safari tents, Native American style teepees and park model cabin rentals in addition to RV and tent sites.