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California Offers RV-Friendly Parks Near Top Attractions

According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, recreation vehicles (RVs) continue to increase in popularity with more than 8 million recreation vehicles on the road today. Many of those travelers are choosing to enjoy the conveniences of home while visiting California and its RV parks.

“Whatever your method of recreation travel - a fifth wheel trailer, conventional travel trailer, truck camper or motor home with all the bells and whistles - California offers a wide variety of RV Parks designed to fit your budget and locale preference,” Executive Director Caroline Beteta, of the California Travel and Tourism Commission (CTTC), said. “California Tourism also provides extensive driving itineraries that take travelers through seaside playgrounds, arid deserts and snow-covered mountains.”

In the Los Angeles County Region, recreation vehicle enthusiasts enjoy sunshine, ocean breezes and a scenic panorama from Malibu to Catalina Island at Dockweiler RV Park in Playa del Rey.

This popular year-round beach campsite, Los Angeles County’s only RV Park on the beach, offers complete hook ups, pump-out station, hot showers and a laundromat. Each campsite has its own picnic table and barbecue. Visitors can play volleyball at nearby courts, take a walk on the sand and enjoy romantic fires on the beach. The 22-mile South Bay Bicycle Trail is only a few pedals away from the camp, connecting the RV Park with nearby popular locations, including Venice Beach. It’s also close to the freeway and Southern California’s many attractions, such as Universal Studios Hollywood and the Getty Museum and Villa.

Luxury camping is perfected 48 miles south of San Francisco at Costanoa Coastal Lodge and Camp in Pescadero, part of the San Francisco Bay Area Region. Recreation vehicle travelers have access to water, electrical and dump hook-ups, as well as use of the “comfort stations,” specially designed bathroom facilities that include a central courtyard with fireplace, sauna, heated concrete floors and private indoor and outdoor showers. Overnight accommodations include the main lodge, cabins, canvas bungalows erected on wooden platforms and traditional campsites. The resort’s on-site activities are extensive and include horseback riding, kids’ camp on weekends during the summer, guided naturalist hikes, surfing lessons, mountain biking and yoga classes.

Called the “Ritz of the RV Parks” by the Los Angeles Times, Newport Dunes Resort, in Newport Beach and part of the Orange County Region, offers a state-of-the-art 386-site RV park with amenities that include doublewide spaces for maximum privacy, outlets for cable television and 20, 30 and 50-amp electric services. The Dunes is also home to 24 mobile cottages that the public may rent. On-site conveniences include a waterfront restaurant, market/grocery store, pool and spa, game room, fitness center, 450-slip marina, six-lane boat ramp and dry boat storage, as well as kayak, windsurfer, bicycle, and pedal boat rentals in addition to an aquatic park (during the summer).

Located directly on the scenic shores of Lake Shasta, part of the Shasta Cascade Region, Antlers RV Park and Campground is open year round. The park’s RV sites include water and sewer hookups, electricity, picnic tables and fire pits. During the warmer months, visitors can enjoy a number of outdoor activities, including fishing, water skiing, boating, swimming and wakeboarding. The site also offers basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, arcade/game room, ping-pong table and jukebox.

Just minutes from downtown San Diego, Mission Bay is a city-owned, 4,600-acre aquatic playground and the largest park of its kind in the world. Recreation vehicle enthusiasts have direct access to the area via Campland on the Bay, located on Mission Bay and part of the San Diego County Region, with its 750 tent and RV sites, most with full or partial hook ups along with its own beach, water sport rentals, pool and Jacuzzi area. The site also features picnic tables, fire grills, restrooms, playground, grocery, boat ramp and docks, bicycle rentals and laundry facilities. Children will enjoy the designated swimming area in the Bay and a large park for picnicking and flying kites.

In the North Coast Region, visitors don’t even have to bring their recreation vehicle with them. Redwood Coast Camping, headquartered in Fort Bragg, takes the travel trailer to their preferred destination, sets it up and picks it up when the vacation is over. Most of the company’s trailers are stocked with essentials, such as dishes and cooking utensils, as well as options for towels and bedding. Pets are welcome.

Nestled beneath the picturesque foothills of the Rainbow Gap delineating the Temecula Valley, located 20 miles from the ocean, is the new, year round Pechanga RV Resort in Temecula, part of the Inland Empire Region. Each of the resort’s 168 sites offers full electric (20, 30 and 50 amp), water, cable television and sewer services. The resort also provides three Internet access stations in the clubhouse, available to guests at no charge. Other amenities include a recreation room, pool and two spas.

Many RV travelers enjoy the Marble Quarry RV Park and the 49er RV Ranch in Columbia, located in the Gold Country Region, both walking distance to Columbia State Historic Park. In this restored 1849 town, there is an old-time candy store, working blacksmith shop, ice cream parlor, stores, saloons, restaurants and a museum with many interactive exhibits. This Old West town is also home to horses, stagecoaches and buggies. After a day of sightseeing travelers can take in live theatre at the Sierra Repertory’s Fallon House Theatre, where professionals perform plays and musicals. In Plymouth, the Far Horizons 49er Village RV Resort offers guests well-equipped facilities, including two swimming pools, and billiards and horseshoe recreation areas. The resort is also in close proximity to historic gold rush towns and the Amador wine country.

Located just south of Pismo Beach, Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area in the Central Coast Region is the only state park in California where cars and RVs are allowed to drive and camp on the beach. Oceano Dunes is located within the 15,000-acre Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes complex and recognized by many as one of the most extensive coastal dunes remaining in state. Popular activities include riding the dunes in an ATV, Hummer or other type of off-road vehicle. Rentals are available.

The Vineyard RV Park is located in Vacaville, part of the Central Valley Region, and is midway between the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, and only minutes from the Napa and Sonoma Wine Country, Jelly Belly Factory, Vacaville Outlet Mall, the new Nut Tree and many golf courses. The Park is a full-hookup park, and mature trees shade most sites. Amenities offered include laundry facilities, a clubhouse, and a 60-foot pool, open seasonally, as well as a large enclosed dog walk area. Discounts are available for AAA and Good Sam Club members.

RV Sky Valley Resorts is located on 250 acres, in the Deserts Region, just outside Palm Springs. Travelers come to enjoy the resorts' natural, sulfur-free hot springs that feed directly into organic hot tubs, pools and spas. Nearby activities include hiking in Joshua Tree, shopping downtown Palm Springs, golfing the resorts’ nine-hole course or hitting the driving range. The resorts offer full hookups, as well as room for oversized RVs. Additional amenities include free Internet access, free cable television, restaurant, deli, general store, exercise facilities, massage and hair salon.

In Lake Tahoe, part of the High Sierra Region, Donner Memorial State Park is a state-government operated park, open during the summer months, with 130 sites that accommodate trailers up to 24 feet and motor homes up to 28 feet. The park is just west of Truckee and offers showers, restrooms, and swimming, boating and fishing. Visitors are also welcome at the nearby Emigrant Trail Museum and at the Pioneer Monument, built to commemorate those who immigrated to California from the east in the mid-1800's. Included in the museum are displays and information about one of the earliest pioneer wagon trains, the Donner Party, forced by circumstances to camp at the east end of Donner Lake in the winter of 1846-47. Historic Camp Richardson Resort located along a long stretch of sandy Lake Tahoe beach is a year-round resort featuring a full-service marina, Mountain Sports Center for recreation rentals, and Beacon Bar & Grill where travelers can rest after a long day on the water.

The CTTC is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs - in partnership with the state's travel industry - that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. California is currently the number one travel destination in the country. According to the CTTC, travel and tourism expenditures total $93.8 billion annually in California, support jobs for 929,000 Californians and generate $5.6 billion in state and local tax revenues. For more information about the CTTC and to get a free California vacation packet, go to the California Travel and Tourism Commission web site.

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