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!

 

CHIPOTLE GARLIC BUFFALO CHICKEN LEGS RECIPE

 

While RVing in the Pacific Northwest, I was having a massive craving for Buffalo Chicken Legs. Normally people cook chicken wings with buffalo sauce, but I love having them with legs because they are meatier. Thus, the Chipotle Garlic Buffalo Chicken Legs recipe was born!

 

Now, you are probably thinking that chipotle and buffalo will be too hot together for the average person. You would be correct. However, what if you made a campfire bleu cheese dipping sauce with it?

 

That would be legit and quench the fire from my Chipotle Garlic Rub and the homemade buffalo sauce. Let’s do it!

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I RV SO I CAN TEACH MY KIDS HANDS-ON

Did you know that we have the ability to recall only 10% of the information that we read after 3 days vs having the ability to recall 70% of the information after experiencing what we learn?

 

After realizing that as a child every experience has been easier to remember vs whatever I learned in a book, I was convinced there was a better way to teach our kids. I just didn’t know that RVing was going to be our answer shortly after having children. Never in a million years did we think we would be our children’s teachers.

 

 

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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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