THINGS TO DO IN ANZA BORREGO STATE PARK

 

Anza Borrego State Park was the last stop on our Southern California road trip sponsored by Visit California and Go RVing. We drove the RV we rented on Outdoorsy from Los Angeles to Huntington Beach to Oceanside before ending in Anza Borrego State Park. Here’s our list of things to do in Anza Borrego State Park to make your trip the best possible.

 

Anza Borrego RV Camping

If you’re RVing like we were the only place you should consider booking in Anza Borrego for RV camping is The Springs at Borrego RV Resort. The Springs at Borrego RV Resort is one of the best RV parks I have ever come across. The scenery in the park is just gorgeous in addition to its great amenities like the golf course and pool. Never RV’d before? Here are 6 tips for first time RVers along with an article to show you what vacationing in an RV looks like.

 

Things to Do in Anza Borrego State Park 

 

Day One: Galleta Meadows and Ram’s Hill Clubhouse

We arrived to Anza Borrego State Park late in the afternoon. Since we had an early dinner reservation, we stayed near the park and explored the Galleta Meadows. The Galleta Meadows are popular sculptures of mainly animals scattered around town, by artist Ricardo Breceda. They are quite a site to see in the middle of the desert.

 

After driving around to the different sculptures, we had an amazing dinner at Ram’s Hill Clubhouse. Dinner ended at 8 p.m. the time of year we visited but their hours vary based on the season. Some days they close as early as 4 p.m. so check online before showing up. I ordered the seafood risotto which was topped with the most amazing blackened piece of fish I’ve ever tasted. They also have a kids’ menu and my daughter was ecstatic to find mac and cheese on it.

 

The patio has the most gorgeous views of the mountains and sunset which we enjoyed after dinner. There is plenty of seating and a fire-pit you can enjoy into the night.

 

 

Things to Do in Anza Borrego State Park Day Two

We made breakfast in our RV before kicking off the day at the Anza Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center. You’ll need to pay to park in the lot here ($10) but RV parking is available. While the visitors center is quite small it has an informative museum and discovery center for kids.

 

The discovery center is filled with interactive activities to teach children facts about Anza Borrego State Park.  The exhibit had statues of the various animals found in the desert along with other species and plants. My daughter especially loved figuring out what type of animals all the fossils were from and digging for those fossils. They do offer a Junior Ranger Program but the recommended age is 6+.

 

After exploring the Anza Borrego State Park Visitor’s Center, we had lunch at Carlee’s, a local favorite. It’s an old school bar and restaurant that serves burgers and fries.

 

After our early lunch we went back to our RV park and beat the heat swimming in the pool. It was the perfect midday break for my 3-year-old. We splashed around for two hours, jumping in and out of the pool until it was time for our desert tour.

 

Since we were traveling in our  RV rental and didn’t have a 4WD vehicle we booked a tour to explore Anza Borrego Desert State Park. While there is a road that goes through the desert where we could have driven our RV, we couldn’t get to the various look out points without hiking 4+ miles. If you also find yourself without a 4WD the only tour operator in the area that goes deep into the desert is California Overland.

 

 

They offer a variety of tours including private tours, desert camping and public desert tours. Based on the tours offered while we were in Anza Borrego State Park we joined the 3 p.m. two and a half hour Badlands Adventure Tour. The tour had four stops including a mud cave, Vista del Malpais and the famous Font’s Point where we saw the Borrego Badlands in all its glory.

 

After the tour it was time for dinner. We dined at Red Ocotillo which is a farm to table restaurant. At the entrance you can see their garden to the left where many of their ingredients are grown. The pesto chicken entree my dad ordered was exquisite. My daughter was so tired from our day she slept through dinner. It just means she had a great day!

 

One of the most popular things to do in Anza Borrego State Park is stargazing. It’s one of the only eight Dark Sky Communities. Unfortunately for us the two nights we were there it was a full-moon which meant there were no stargazing tours available. Still we saw way more stars than we do in busy, always lit Miami! If you visit when there is not a full moon here are some tips for stargazing in Anza Borrego State Park.

 

Other Things to Do in Anza Borrego State Park

Hike in Anza Borrego State Park! While we didn’t get to go on any proper hikes on this trip (we ran out of time), Anza Borrego State Park has some nice ones. The most popular hike and one we wanted to do is the Borrego Palm Canyon. It’s a 2.9-mile loop where you can see the California fan palms and where they naturally grow. To get here you have to drive four miles from Borrego Springs to the Borrego Palm Canyon Campground. Check out some other great hikes here.

 

 

Sadly, our time in Anza Borrego State Park had come to an end. Even more sadly so had our Southern California RV road trip. We hope you found some great things to do in Anza Borrego State Park along with nearby cities Oceanside and Huntington BeachIf you found this blog post helpful, let me know in the comments!

 

THINGS TO DO IN OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA

 

Oceanside, California was the second stop on our sponsored Southern California road trip with Go RVing and Visit CaliforniaRoad trips with kids are better in RVs so after landing in LAX from Miami we picked up our rented RV from Outdoorsy and drove to our first stop Huntington Beach. After spending two nights we drove 60 miles to reach Oceanside. We would spend one night in Oceanside before heading to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Here’s how to pack in the best things to do in Oceanside in two days along with the best RV park to book.

 

Things to Do in Oceanside, California

Things to Do in Oceanside Day One: Oceanside Pier, Oceanside Boat Rentals, Privateer Coal Fire Pizza

After checking into our RV park we decided to beat the crowds and have an early lunch. We decided on Hello Betty Fish House as we read about its great ocean views. Unfortunately, they are doing construction right in front of the restaurant, so we weren’t able to get that view but the restaurant’s decor inside was nice. It wasn’t our favorite restaurant of the trip but it wasn’t terrible.

 

From Hello Betty Fish House, we walked to the Oceanside Boardwalk. Here we rented a surrey bike from Wheel Fun Rentals. We pedaled up and down the pier stopping at the many parks right on the beach for my daughter to play. Bring a Bluetooth speaker with you so you have music to listen to on your ride. Be sure to also leave plenty of room for all the good treats sold on the boardwalk. My dad enjoyed a milkshake while my daughter and I had shaved ice.

 

Since we already enjoyed the beach water in Huntington Beach, we skipped swimming in the ocean here. Instead we headed to the marina. We came to rent a small boat from Oceanside Boat Rentals and noticed a surf competition! Unfortunately, it was the end of it which we were bummed about because we thought it would have been a great experience. I recommend checking local events in the area when planning your trip to not miss out on these unique experiences. Still we had a nice ride on the small boat we rented to go around the marina. We came across some sea lions sunbathing on a pier and enjoyed the sea breeze.

 

 

For dinner we ate at a local favorite, Privateer Coal Fire Pizza. The owner, Charlie Anderson, is an Oceanside local and surfer. He prides himself on working with Oceanside Cyclops Farms to ensure as many ingredients as possible are locally grown.

 

My daughter took the longest afternoon nap, so she was full of energy after dinner. I saw an advertisement for a trampoline park, Altitude, in the brochure we got from the Oceanside Visitor Center so we went there. It was the perfect place to burn off some energy before bed.

 

 

Things to Do in Oceanside Day Two: Beach Break Cafe, Whale Watching Tour, & More

We started off our second day in Oceanside with breakfast at Beach Break Cafe. Another locally owned restaurant, Beach Break is famous for their cinnamon-laced coffee cake. While I don’t like coffee cake in general, my dad who loves them says it was the best coffee cake he’s ever had. I had their signature banana crunch French toast which was excellent but ask for light whip cream if you’re not a big fan as they don’t hold back on it at all.

 

After a very filling breakfast it was time for us to try to see some whales. We were going on a tour with Oceanside Adventures which lasts two hours. From November to April you can spot Gray, Minke, Humpback and Fin whales along with all four species of dolphins. Then from May to October you can spot Fin, Blue, Minke and Humpback Whales and all four species of dolphins. Unfortunately for us we didn’t see any whales on our sailing. However we did see a pod of over 300 dolphins and they were not shy at all. They put on a lovely show for us, constantly jumping out of the water and coming right next to the boat for us to see them. While we wanted to see whales, the dolphins didn’t disappoint. I know many whale watching companies offer refunds or a rain check if you don’t spot a whale but Oceanside Adventures does not.

 

 

Oceanside Whale Watching Tour

Our time in Oceanside was coming to an end but not without having one more meal. We had lunch at Lighthouse Oyster Bar and Grill which is right at the marina as you come off the whale watching tour. This was the best meal we had while in Oceanside and it came with a beautiful view.

 

Other Things to Do in Oceanside

Since we only had two days we weren’t able to experience all the things to do in Oceanside. If you have more time or if your interests differ check out these activities:

Also be sure to check out Oceanside’s event calendar for things to do in Oceanside during your visit as they often have special events. There was a surf competition going on the day we arrived but we discovered it too late. Check out other family friendly ideas for your California visit here.

 

 

Paradise by the Sea: The Best Oceanside RV Park

When we arrived to Oceanside we checked into Paradise by the Sea RV Resort. Just one mile from the Oceanside Pier it’s a prime location for enjoying the water activities Oceanside has to offer. It’s sparkling clean with friendly staff that even helps you park in your spot. Paradise by the Sea is a 4 star RV park with an amazing clubhouse, pool, hang-out area plus it has a path that leads straight to the beach.

Have you rented an RV before? If not, here are 6 tips for first time RVers and what vacationing in an RV looks like plus save $50 of your first RV rental by signing up for Outdoorsy here.

 

There are so many things to do in Oceanside and it’s a beautiful city in Southern California. We’re so happy we got to explore it on our Southern California road trip. Our next and final stop on this trip was Anza-Borrego park, 80 miles from Oceanside. If you found this article helpful, please let me know in the comments!

 

THING TO DO IN HUNTINGTON BEACH: A COMPLETE TWO-DAY ITINERARY

 

After going on our first RV road trip last year we were itching for another one. Thankfully our partnership with Visit California and Go RVing gave us that opportunity. We headed out on a six day Southern California RV trip visiting Huntington Beach, Oceanside, and Anza-Borrego. Here are things to do in Huntington Beach, a complete guide to Surf City USA.

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Kick Off Camping This Summer With Go RVing

The following blog post is a sponsored post written by Diana Chen of MVMT blog. All opinions are 100% Diana’s, but she was compensated for her content.

One of my favorite things to do while traveling is get outdoors and experience all that nature has to offer. That’s why I was ecstatic when I was invited by Go RVing to attend the RVX conference in Salt Lake City earlier this month to explore the newest models of RVs for 2019 and learn more about how RVing can fit into my – and any – lifestyle. The exhibit hall and big reveal (which I’ll share more about below) got me excited and anxious to embark on my very first RV trip this summer to a secret destination that I’ll reveal at a later date. While I walked in with a preconceived notion of what RVs look like, feel like, and the audience for whom they serve, I walked out with a completely different perspective and understanding of just how versatile, fun, and comfortable RVing can be for anyone. Hopefully my recap of the event will get you just as excited as I am to kick off camping this summer with Go RVing.

Exploring Different Types of RVs

My first impression when I walked into the RVX exhibit hall was that there are so many different kinds of RVs I never knew existed. In my mind, I had pictured all RVs as mid-sized travel trailers that hooked on to the backs of trucks. While this describes one type of RV, it certainly doesn’t describe every type.

RVs come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are so large that they can practically hold an entire football team, while others are so small that they may comfortably hold only one person. Some can be towed by small sedans, some require a larger truck to tow them, and others can be driven without an additional vehicle. Some contain minimalist features, while others contain all the amenities like fireplaces and multiple bathrooms. Some are decorated with more traditional decor, while others have a much more modern aesthetic. Some cost as much as a high end car, while others cost as much as a large house. So, as you can see, there is no single prototype for an RV, but, rather, RVs can be found in all shapes, sizes, and budgets, and customized for every taste.

Here are a few of my favorite RVs, of all different shapes and sizes, that I found at the RVX conference:

A small Boondock Edge RV that looks like a mouseA small RV shaped like a house – ALINER

If I could pick only one RV, it would be this Gulf Stream Vintage Cruiser

This Cyclone toy hauler is a sheer monster of an RV


 

The Winnebago Forza, an accessible RV

 

RVs Are For Every Lifestyle

Just as RVs come in all shapes and sizes, they are built for all types of lifestyles. Whether you’re a city slicker or a rugged outdoorsman or something in between, you’ll be able to find an RV that fits your lifestyle.

Here are just a few examples of the different types of lifestyles that RVs cater to:

 

For the RVer who wants to off-road whenever and wherever she likes (this rear tire suspension system on the Black Series RVs allows you to go anywhere your heart desires)

 

For the minimalist RVer who likes to have only the bare necessities

 

For the luxury RVer who wants all the amenities (like a fireplace)

 

For the RVer that likes to grill outside

 

For the RVer who likes to tailgate with all his friends and family

 

For the RVer who likes to always feel like she’s by the sea 

The Big Reveal

The most anticipated event at RVX was The Reveal, where one RV from each of nine categories would be dubbed the “spotlight,” or winner, for 2019. My top three favorite categories were Van Life, Outdoor Adventurer, and City Escape, but I’ll include a description of each of the nine categories below.

1. Family Friendly

Family friendly RVs are spacious RVs that comfortably sleep 6-8 people. Top of the line family friendly RVs typically include plenty of convertible furniture, pass-through exterior storage, and separate areas for kids to sleep and play in while adults enjoy time to themselves.

Spotlight: Jayco Eagle HT 264 BHOK

Judge’s Choices: Forest River Vengeance 385 FK Touring Edition, Forest River Sabre Fifth Wheel, Forest River Rpod, Winnebago Outlook, Coachmen Catalina 39 RLTS

2. Outdoor Adventurer

The outdoor adventurer wants to bring all the adventure gear with them when they travel, so the perfect outdoor adventurer RV has to have the capacity to hold all that gear, without sacrificing comfort. Top of the line outdoor adventurer RVs will allow you to bring your bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, and any other gear you can’t live without on your trip and still have all the space to live and sleep comfortably.

Spotlight: SylvanSport VAST

Judge’s Choices: Airstream Basecamp, Forest River No Boundaries, Taxa Tiger Moth, Taxa Cricket, Lance 855 Rule Maker

3. Van Life

Having lived in a city with excellent public transportation options for the past eight years, I haven’t felt a need to own a car. Thus, when I think about roadtripping with an RV, the first image I get in my mind is of an RV campervan that operates as a standalone vehicle rather than an attachment on another vehicle. Van life RVs are most popular amongst minimalist millennials, but they can also attract anyone who prefers to keep it simple.

Spotlight: ModVans CV1 Camper Van

Judge’s Choices: Winnebago Revel, Winnebago Travato Pure 3, Leisure Vans 2019 Wonder Rear Twin Bed, Coachmen Galleria 24 A

4. City Escape

For those who live in the city, the perfect RV is one that can drive just as easily in the city as it can outside of the city. Top of the line city escape RVs are not only versatile, but they also come with the same comforts and amenities that the typical city slicker is accustomed to having back home.

Spotlight: Leisure Travel’s 2020 Unity Rear Lounge

Judge’s Choices: Airstream Interstate Nineteen, Forest River Flagstaff Hard Side SE Camping Trailer, Venture Sonic, Winnebago Boldt

5. Destination Camping

The destination camper wants to be able to drive their RV to a campground and park it there for days or weeks while exploring the area. Top of the line destination camper RVs are spacious and make the RVer feel at home while parked in a new destination.

Spotlight: Forest River – Riverstone Luxury 39 RBFL

Judge’s Choices: KZ-RV Durango, Winnebago Horizon, Forest River Cedar Creek Cottage, Forest River Wildwood Grand Lodge 42DL

6. Team Tailgate

The team tailgate RV is for the RVer who loves to get all their friends together for a sporting event or chauffeur their child’s sports team to away games and tournaments. Top of the line team tailgate RVs have features like multiple TVs, quality sound systems and speakers, an outdoor bar, an excellent lighting system, and for the overachievers like Heartland’s Cyclone Ultimate Tailgate RV: a kegerator.

Spotlight: Heartland’s Cyclone Ultimate Tailgate RV

Judge’s Choices: Coachmen Sportscoach 366BH, Venture RV’s Sport Trek Touring, KZ-RV Venom V Series, Lance 1975 Ultra Light Travel Trailer

7. Sustainability

Just because RVs are large in size doesn’t mean they have to have a large impact on the environment. The sustainability category focuses on RVs that strive to leave as small of a footprint as possible on the environment so that we can take care of our beautiful earth and continue to enjoy it for generations to come. Electric RVs take center stage this year and will hopefully become the industry standard one day in the near future.

Spotlight: Winnebago All Electric/Zero Emission

Judge’s Choices: Taxa 2019 Mantis, Forest River Rockwood Geo Pro, Attitude F35GSG by Eclipse, Forest River Work and Play

8. Luxury Living

One thing I love about RVs is that it makes camping and the outdoors feel more accessible to a larger demographic of people. Those who typically would shy away from anything that takes them away from their lush bathrobes and leather couches can now enjoy all the comforts of home while camping out in a luxury RV in the middle of the woods.

Spotlight: Newmar 2020 Superstar

Judge’s Choices: Stratus SR261 VRK by Venture, Entegra Coach Cornerstone, Crossroads Redwood RV, Forest River Cardinal

9. On the Horizon

The On the Horizon category focuses on new and developing technologies that have been incorporated into RV life. For example, the new Airstream Classic Smart RV contains a new technology that allows you to control your RV’s temperature and other features with a remote control, so that you can prepare your RV to be as comfortable as possible for your return.

Spotlight: Airstream Classic Smart RV

Judge’s Choices: Keystone Fuzion 427 FW w/Onboarding Weighting System, Keystone Raptor 356 w/Pneumatic Suspension, Winnebago All Electric Zero Emission, Winnebago Micro Mini Fifth Wheel 2405 RG

Not only was the RVX reveal an educational experience for someone like me who didn’t know much about RVs before attending, but it was also an inspiring experience that has already gotten me counting down the days until my RV trip this summer. Whether you’re a serious camper or have never experienced RV life before, why not partake in Go RVing’s Kickoff to Camping Season and see where your summer adventures take you?

ROAD TRIPS WITH KIDS: WHY THEY’RE BETTER IN AN RV

My family has taken many road trips and they’ve always been quite the adventure. This fall we embarked on our first road trip in an RV and I don’t know how we’ll ever go back to the way it was before.  Here are six reasons a road trip with kids is better in an RV.

 

Your Kids Will Feel at Home

Some kids really like routines and feel comfortable in safe spaces. On an RV road trip instead of constantly moving from one hotel to another you’ll sleep in the same space every night. This gives your kids a sense of home even on the road.

 

When we picked up our RV our girls immediately claimed their areas. Even though our RV only provided one enclosed bedroom there were four beds and they felt as if they had their own space just like at home. Just as we each have our own spots on the couch at home they stuck to the same spot on the couch in the RV and even sat at the same seat at the table too!

 

 

You Just Have to Unpack Once

As mentioned before, on a typical road trip you’re going from one hotel to another. This means you’re constantly packing and unpacking, which to many is the worst part of travel. On an RV road trip even though you’re able to see multiple places you only have to unpack one time.

 

This allows your family to really get settled and decreases the chance of you leaving things behind at the various hotels. I can’t be the only one that tends to forget things in hotel rooms, can I?

 

 

 

 

Your Kids will Make Friends at the RV Parks

When taking a road trip with kids you don’t often have the opportunity to meet other families. Most people stick to their hotel room when they’re not going out for the day. However, on an RV road trip you’ll be staying at various RV parks where there are tons of families with kids.

 

Each time we pulled into a campground kids were outside playing. As soon as we parked the girls were outside introducing themselves. We in turn would also meet the parents and we connected with one family so much we’ve even kept in touch since our trip.

 

Your Kids Will Have Space to Run Around

Space inside an RV to run around? Ok so while the space your kids have will depend on the size of the RV, your RV park will for sure have a lot of space. Our girls were outside at the end of every day running around. A lot of the RV parks even had pools and/or playgrounds for the kids to play.

 

 

On an RV Road Trip You Don’t Have to Worry about Bathroom Breaks

One of our least favorite parts of road trips with kids are the constant bathroom breaks. The worst thing is when you ask who has to use the bathroom before the last exit or rest stop for the next 26 miles and everyone says no but as soon as you pass it someone has to go.

 

On an RV road trip, you always have a nearby bathroom. Just pull over at the safest time and your kids can use the toilet. Not only will you always have that option but most importantly you know your bathroom is clean. When making random stops on road trips you never know if the gas station will have a working restroom or if it’s clean. We saved a lot of time not having to stand in long lines at rest stops and loved the convenience of having our own toilet.

 

 

RV Road Trips Save Time and Money When You’re Hungry

While on most road trips with kids you’ll have snacks and drinks with you, but depending on how long your trip is you might run out. We loved how much storage our RV had for us to stock up on everything with needed.

 

Not only did it provide storage, but we had a working fridge, freezer, stove and microwave. There are only so many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we can take so having the option to make a quick meal or warm up leftovers from the night before made a huge difference. We saved so much money by not stopping to buy something every time we got hungry.

 

 

 

Our RV road trip provided our family with such a unique experience. Driving and sleeping in the same space proved to be really fun. It will be very hard going back to regular road trips, so we definitely see another RV road trip in our future!