Monterey Bay/Santa Cruz RV Trip

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Jun 22nd, 2009, 08:56 PM
  #1
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Monterey Bay/Santa Cruz RV Trip

Hello,
Our family is going to be in the Monterey Bay/Santa Cruz area for 5 or 6 days, in our travel trailer, in early August and we are looking for ideas on places to stay (RV park or state park, with full hook-ups) and must-see places to visit. We live in Northern California already, but have never explored this area.
Our children are 10 and 12; we love nature and history and sea life (and are going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for sure), if that helps with suggestions
Thanks!
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Jun 27th, 2009, 12:07 AM
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We camped for the first time this January at Seacliff State Beach in Aptos, CA. The campground has full hook up sites but you will need to make reservations in the summer. The sites have paved driveways and a small area with table and fire pit, but you can't beat the views of the ocean right out your window.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is fantastic. In Santa Cruz is Natural Bridge State Park and if you drive up the coast there is a light house and fantastic views of the ocean. Inland is Big Basin State park and hiking around ancient coast redwoods. There is also the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz with rides for the kids.

Utahtea
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Jun 27th, 2009, 09:23 AM
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I haven't camped there but have rented houses very near Seacliff and it would be a great place to base for your trip.

But -- Be sure to double check the status of any state park. If things don't change dramatically in the budget deliberations, a great many State parks will be closed starting August 1 (some in July). Those SP's w/ other funding or operated by agreement w/ other agencies will remain open. Not sure of the funding sources/operations status is at Seacliff Beach . . . . .
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Jun 28th, 2009, 12:59 PM
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New Brighton state beach is another great place to camp with an RV. The campground is on a bluff overlooking the ocean. It isn't far from Aptos and Capitola Village.
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Jun 28th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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November_moon: New Brighton (as well as Seacliff) is on the closure list . . .

http://www.calparks.org/takeaction/closurelist.html
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Jun 28th, 2009, 06:08 PM
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WOW...if they close all the state parks on the list, I think it would be a very bad year to try and camping in California especially in this area.

Closure List:
http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/712/fi...losed_list.pdf

Open List:
http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/712/fi...pen_units_.pdf

Utahtea
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Jun 29th, 2009, 01:27 AM
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You can rent kayaks just north of Moss Landing and kayak into Elkhorn Slough.

If you turn east off the hwy at the Moss Landing pwer plant and drive inland just several miles, you can get to the Elkhorn Slough nature center. A nice place to learn about the local natural history. Some nice trails with great veiws from the hill above the Slough. And it is a national Estuarien Research Reserve - so not totally dependent on state funds. Check out the web site under Elkhorn Slough.
http://www.elkhornslough.org/

Fpr a great lunch or dinner in that area, go to Phil's Fish Market over the bridge in Moss Landing. Wonderful huge fish menu and artichokes and french bread, and of course .. cioppino!. See http://www.philsfishmarket.com/general.html

Tide pools at Pacific Grove are good. Check the tide tables.
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Jul 9th, 2009, 06:30 AM
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Thanks everyone for the great information. I really appreciate the closure list. I've heard some state parks will close, but I didn't realize it was so soon. The links for locations will be very helpful - you guys are great!

Have a great summer!
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Jul 9th, 2009, 08:26 AM
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Big Basin Redwoods State Park is nice in the big trees, less than an hour from Santa Cruz. There are nice parks around Big Sur, about an hour south of Monterey. I wouldn't camp at the Santa Cruz KOA, did that years ago and it was overpriced and noisy. Make reservations asap for New Brighton or Seacliff, we've never gotten in in the summer : (
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Jul 9th, 2009, 10:11 AM
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janis - Yes I am aware of what is and is not on the list. However, I don't believe that the governor will actively harm our state's tourist industry by closing that many parks, esspecially those that are heavily used. I believe that our parks are being used as a political tool, but that a "solution" will be found at the 11th hour to keep the parks open. Some may close, but I do not believe that the closures will be anywhere as far reaching as the governor is threatening. The governor knows how central our state parks are to tourism and he also knows that state parks are about the only thing that just about every legislator in the state will fight to save.
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Jul 9th, 2009, 10:27 AM
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well - state workers (including everyone in Parks) are now facing a 4th furlough day -- so even IF the parks escape closure, they will likely have severely restricted hours/services.

"The governor knows how central our state parks are to tourism and he also knows that state parks are about the only thing that just about every legislator in the state will fight to save"

All well and good - but all 3 parties in the impasse (Rep legislators, Dem legislators, and the Guv) are playing hardball right now and Karen Bass isn't even attending the talks . . . so good sense is not likely to enter the conversation. We all hope they find a solution - but anyone planning a vacation based on State Parks needs to have plans B and C ready IMO . . . .
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