Monterey Bay area camping

Jun 21st, 2010, 08:25 AM
  #1  
jkr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 58
Monterey Bay area camping

Have 2 to 3 days to spend in area first week of August. All state campgrounds full Monterey down to San Simeon. Suggestions going North? Are Santa Cruz or San Jose to far away to use as a base camp to visit area? What is it like along coast north of Santa Cruz? Any redwoods and hiking like around Big Sur?
jkr is offline  
Jun 21st, 2010, 11:53 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
Have you tried the private camp grounds? Here's a list of state and private:

http://www.bigsurcalifornia.org/camping.html
easytraveler is offline  
Jun 21st, 2010, 01:31 PM
  #3  
jkr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 58
Yes but will keep checking. Only finding 1 night availability. Found New Brighton and Sunset state beach camping north of Monterey - How is that area as a base? Not finding many private campgrounds for tents.
jkr is offline  
Jun 21st, 2010, 02:40 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
Both those beaches are near Capitola. New Brighton is closer.

It's a beautiful stretch of beach and is quite safe. Although I've only been there in the daytime and that was some years ago.

The only thing is that if the fog comes in, it can get to be quite cold. I'd be prepared for cold weather as well as sunny - layering is the best. A good lightweight, all-seasons windbreaker could do wonders.
easytraveler is offline  
Jun 21st, 2010, 03:39 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,708
I'd go for New Brighton if you can get a site. It is a nice campground on a bluff above a beautiful beach. It is also quite centrally located. Easy to use as a base for exploring the Monterey Bay area.

Seacliff is a nice beach, but I am not sure if they have tent sites. I think the campground is RV only in sort of a parking lot type of set up. Double check though.

Another nice park on the coast is Manresa state beach, and I think Sunset state beach also has a campground. There is also a KOA campground in the area, but I don't know what it is like.

Mount Madonna county park (Santa Clara County) has a couple good campgrounds - it is at the summit between Watsonville and Gilroy.

Other state parks to try, which are a bit further out, but have plenty of redwoods: Henry Cowell, Big Basin, Butano, and Portola Redwoods.

If you want to go inland a bit, Uvas Canyon is another county park in Santa Clara county that has camping.
november_moon is offline  
Jun 21st, 2010, 07:37 PM
  #6  
jkr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 58
I'll check these out. I was told to try and get on a wait list for a campground...how do you do that???
jkr is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2010, 07:16 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,708
I've never done a wait list, but I assume you would contact whoever does the reservations for that campground.
november_moon is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2010, 08:07 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 12
Hi,
We stayed last year at a campground 10 mins from Santa Cruz in Felton called Cotillion Gardens. I think they allow tents as well as RVs?? We found it nice and near to a few shops, steam railway and the coast etc.
We also stayed at Marina Dunes 5 mins from Monterey by the big sand dunes. It was a very convenient campground for Monterey area but not as scenic as some others.
We also stayed at Big Sur Campground and Cabins which was right in Big Sur near to lots of hiking, and also Half Moon Bay state park right on the beach but that was further north near to SF.
We came from UK and loved then all!!
Jukes is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2010, 08:44 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,708
Cotillion Gardens is really nice - I thought they were RV only, but if they have tent spaces, then that would be a good choice too.

I like Half Moon Bay state park too. Since the campground is just above the beach and there isn't much tree cover, it can get windy, but it is a beautiful spot. It is a longer drive to the Monterey area, but not too bad for going to Santa Cruz. And unlike the Big Sur coast, Hwy 1 north of Santa Cruz is fairly straight so you can drive faster.
november_moon is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2010, 09:58 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 19
Have you tried Veteran's Park in Monterey? It's the town's best kept secret. It's in the woods, but only a mile from downtown. Great home base for exploring Monterey. It's run by the city, not the state.
rednikki is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2010, 10:01 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 19
Another great base (that I didn't think of before): Laguna Seca recreation area.

http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/parks/lagunaseca_camp.html

Run by the county, not the state, so it probably didn't turn up on your search. It's inland, but a very reasonable drive to everything in Monterey County. It's right next to the Fort Ord Public Lands (literally; several trailheads are there).

Warning: second week in August, Monterey County is likely to be booked up. That's Monterey Auto Week, which includes the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and many other auto shows. It's one of the biggest events of the year.
rednikki is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 10:17 PM
  #12  
jkr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 58
checked all the suggestions - Veterans Park is first come first serve as is Kirk Creek Campground on Hwy 1 50 miles south of Monterey and 38 miles north of Hearst Castle. Sunset beach had a site avail Aug 2 & 3. Laguana Seca Recreation area need to call for availabity. Everything else was full unless went much closer to Santa Cruz which now I think is to far north.

Plans have changed a bit. Coming from Kings Canyon on Sunday 8/1.
For the central coast we wanted to tour Hearst castle, do a couple hikes along hwy 1, see the aquarium in Monterey and maybe bkie the trail to Seaside.
Heading to San Fran sometime on Wed 8/4 for a quick look at the town and then heading back to Iowa on Friday 8/6.

what to do...Kings to Hearst to 4.30 hrs and Kings to Laguan Sec is 4.30 hrs drive. Laguan Sec to Hearst is 2.15 hr drive.
Go Kings, Hearst (camp), hwy 1 to Laguan and day trip
or Kings, Laguan and day trip out to Hearst - Hwy 1
jkr is offline  
Jul 6th, 2010, 03:36 PM
  #13  
jkr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 58
Laguana Seca has plenty of availablity. What is the campground like? I found ratings in travel life on the low side for the campground.
jkr is offline  
Jul 7th, 2010, 08:16 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,708
I don't know anything about Laguna Seca so hopefully someone else has some information. Given the lack of availability in most places though, I might just take it regardless of the reviews so that you have a place. Then maybe keep a look out for cancellations at places you'd rather stay.

For your choice of itinerary, I'd go from Kings Canyon to Hearst, then up to Laguna Seca. The reason being that Hearst as a day trip from the Monterey area makes for a long day. It might only be 2.25 hours of driving each way, but the road is curvey and takes a lot of concentration. 4.5 hours total driving through Big Sur will feel a lot different than 4.5 hours between Kings Canyon and Hearst Castle.
november_moon is offline  
Jul 7th, 2010, 08:37 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
If this is near the Laguna Seca Racetrack on Route 68, then it's about 10 miles inland from Monterey and in a low-lying area. I can't imagine there's much of a view there, and I'm almost certain you can't see the ocean because of the surrounding hills/mountains. Hope you can find something else.

I can't remember this entire thread, but have you tried Pfeiffer Big Sur? There's usually quite a bit of camping available there.


Definitely go in one direction and go Kings to Hearst to Monterey.
easytraveler is offline  
Jul 7th, 2010, 09:46 AM
  #16  
jkr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 58
Yes it is the racetrack. Can't see an ocean. They described it as a nice valley. Everything by Big Sur if full. If we want a reservation Laguana Seca is only choice at this late date.

Camping by Hearst is full too as far as reservations. Another county park Lake San Antioncia by Bradley 70 miles from Hearst Castle has availability. First week of August offers temperatures over 100 there. Maybe we should consider a hotel for 1 night from Kings to Hearst - any recommendations on a town to check out hotels other than Cambria?
jkr is offline  
Jul 7th, 2010, 10:31 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,708
For hotels, check San Simeon, San Luis Obispo, and Morro Bay. Further inland, Paso Robles is a good choice too.
november_moon is offline  
Aug 21st, 2010, 08:34 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,708
jkr - What did you end up doing?
november_moon is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Angel3
United States
20
Feb 26th, 2012 03:33 PM
ReedFamily
United States
10
Jul 9th, 2009 09:27 AM
njgirl
United States
10
May 9th, 2007 08:01 AM
Kat22
United States
7
Jun 6th, 2003 02:17 PM
jenny
United States
7
Sep 25th, 2002 09:00 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:10 AM.