Why 11? Well because we tend not to follow the norm if you haven't noticed AND because we just couldn't narrow it down to 10. We are just over half way through our journey and we decided to reflect on the best camping spots we've been blessed to find thus far. There's been some real beauties and also some disappointments, but below are the ones we've loved the most for various reasons.
Hendy Woods State Park
By far our favourite site yet is the secluded Hendy Woods State Park found 40 minutes east of Mendocino California. All the sites are totally dry with no electricity or running water and the journey in and outta here takes you through some challenging levels mountain passes, but it was well worth it! Our site (like most) was set among giant Redwood trees with tons of room for the kids to explore and play. All the hiking trails were kid friendly and we even managed to find a beautiful river to splash around in when the weather got warm.
Catalina State Park
Catalina State Park near Tucson Arizona makes our list due to its amazing hiking trails through a living desert at the base of the Catalina Mountains. The campsites also sit at the base of the mountains giving you a spectacular view every day. On top of that the campground is crawling with little gofers popping their heads up all around you and the weather was near perfect when we visited in March. We were also quite lucky to have plenty of good grocery shopping and other amenities within a 5 minute drive.
Guadalupe River State Park
Guadalupe River State Park nestled between Austin and San Antonio Texas offers amazing secluded and very spacious campgrounds with plenty of things for the kids to keep themselves busy with. On top of that the river meanders beautifully for several miles and you can put a river tube in the water and float down several miles taking in all the scenery. Since the river loops around you can get off your tube and walk a short distance back up to the top and do it all over again!
Giant Redwoods RV REsort
Found in a little town called Myers Flat in Northern California is this beautiful little RV resort. While we tend not to enjoy RV resorts as much as state parks, this one is a bit different. All sites are nicely set among Redwood trees and the location even has its own river access for swimming and just enjoying the beautiful scenery. The smell of pine from the trees is everywhere and the kids thoroughly enjoyed the park as well. On top of that it's located right in the heart of the famous Avenue of the Giants and close to amazing trails, hikes and massive Redwood trees.
Half Moon Bay State Beach
Located 30 minutes south of San Francisco right on the Pacific Ocean, Half Moon Bay beach is a real scenic wonder! Our campground and site sat about 100 yards from the beach and it's biking trails were fantastic! It's proximity to San Francisco makes it a great spot to stay as the drives into San Fran are as scenic as ever along the famous pacific coast highway 1.
Silver Strand State Beach
Silver Strands Beach and campground is a gem of a spot found about 5 minutes from downtown Coronado in San Diego California. Although the sites themselves aren't very private, if you plan ahead you can get one of the spots directly on the beach and enjoy stepping out your RV right on to the sandy beach and the Pacific Ocean. It's location to Coronado and all the amazing attractions of San Diego also made this place a huge hit with us.
Oliver Lee State Park
Set in the beautiful desert landscape at the base of Dog Canyon is Oliver Lee Memorial State Park in Alamogordo New Mexico. The view of the mountains each morning and evening was breathtaking. Add to that the fact that the famous White Sands of New Mexico are a short drive from the campsite and this place is an awesome place to stay while camping in New Mexico! We also enjoyed the trails in the park and it was especially nice to find a slow moving river set among the desert landscape.
Topsail Hill State Park
Topsail Hill was the very first campground we stayed at while embarking on this journey. We really lucked out because we were met with beautifully maintained sites, a full hookup, decent privacy and within a short 1 mile walk we could enjoy a secluded part of the white sandy beaches that Destin Florida had to offer. This park was close to all the amenities of Destin and other amazing beaches along the Gulf of Mexico.
Morro Bay State Beach
A few hours north of Los Angeles and just south of The famous Big Sur sits Morro Bay State Beach. We were fortunate to find a site that was about 100 yards from the ocean and with a full hookup! Although the water here makes for difficult swimming (serious waves and cold temps) there is plenty to see from this location. Just a short drive north and we were observing wild elephant seals, sea lions and amazing pelicans. Even the famous Hearst Castle was a short drive and well worth the visit.
The Lost Dutchman State Park
The Lost Dutchman State Park sits at the base of Flatiron Mountain just east of Phoenix Arizona. Lots of gold rush and Wild West history here, but the greatest part of this campground was its hiking trails and picturesque setting. We managed to find a site where I had to maneuver our 31 foot trailer between two massive saguaro cactuses (cacti?) which made for a nice photo op albeit a stressful parking job for me!
Lake Havasu State Park
Whats better than finding a huge fresh water lake in the middle of the desert? Nothing! Lake Havasu State Park was a blessing to find in the desert. We landed here in March and the temperature was already a stifling 36C but with our trailer parked literally 20 yards from the beach and lake we weren't complaining much! Lots to see and do here if you enjoy water sports, boating, jet skiing, paddle boarding etc. At the same time, I suspect this place gets VERY busy in the summer months so plan accordingly.