TIPS FOR VISITING NATIONAL PARKS

 

From the tiny Hot Spring National Park (a mere 5550 acres) to the unbelievably massive Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve (13.2 million acres), our nation’s 61 national parks are a wonder of splendor just waiting for you to explore. An RV trip is the perfect way to see these treasures.

 

 

Peer deep into canyons, hike up mountain peaks, walk in the steps of history—whatever your passion, you can pursue it at a National Park Service (NPS) site. Since 1916, the NPS has been tasked with overseeing our public lands, which now include over 400 sites with a wide range of designations, including national parks, seashores, parkways, historic trails, and more.

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BEACH CAMPING 101: PREPARING FOR A VACATION IN PARADISE

Our very first RV trip was to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, and we have returned to those same beautiful beaches many times over the past 6 years. Beach camping is an annual tradition for our family. Even though we love hiking in the mountains and kayaking on lakes, there is something about sun, waves, and sand that relaxes and rejuvenates us more than anything else.

 


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I RV SO I CAN MEET LIKE-MINDED, OUT OF THE BOX THINKERS

 

According to Merriam Webster thinking outside of the box is ”to explore ideas that are creative and unusual and that are not limited or controlled by rules or tradition.” This is a HUGE reason why we RV.

Let’s be real anyone who RVs full time is totally an outside of the box thinker. Seriously who chooses to move into an RV and travel around with only the essentials?

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I RV TO LIVE DEBT FREE

 

Did you know that 63% of millennials that have bought a home to live the American Dream have regrets? 50% of Gen Xers and 35% of baby boomers feel the same way.

It’s no surprise that the biggest reason is the upkeep that comes with owning a home. Many are finding themselves in a financial strain barely able to afford mortgage, utilities, and maintenance.

When we decided to sell almost everything we owned, buy an RV, and live in it full time it was because we didn’t know where we wanted to settle, and we were also on a mission to live debt free.

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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!