The Anza Borrego Desert State Park in southeastern California is a dramatic desert terrain full of hiking, camping, badlands, slot canyons, and off-roading trails. Star-gazing is top notch and if it’s been a wet winter you just might catch the desert in bloom in the early springtime. One of our favorite free campsites is the Carrizo Badlands Overlook at the very southern end of the state park.
We had such a glorious stay last week in Cardiff by the Sea but with a maximum 7 day stay allowed at San Elijo State Beach it was time to change campgrounds. Luckily we only had to move just a few miles up the coast for a stay at the lovely South Carlsbad State Beach Campground. So similar to San Elijo yet oh so different – it’s just a completely different vibe. The Carlsbad campground was just more quiet, more relaxed, and they had a lot more available campsites. We’re not quite sure why so many more people gravitate towards San Elijo but we’ve got some guesses: it connects to a dog friendly beach, there are several great surfing spots nearby, and it’s a short walk to some nice shopping and groceries. Up in Carlsbad you aren’t nearly as close to the city and the beaches maybe aren’t quite as inviting, but it is equally as beautiful and since it wasn’t fully booked we had several days with an open view of the ocean, even from our ‘back row’ campsite!
As much as we love to boondock in the middle of nowhere, we still find ourselves drawn to certain destinations and we’re definitely willing to spend a little cash to be there. Whenever possible, our favorite option is to stay in state park campgrounds – there’s usually plenty of natural beauty, you’ll typically find much better rates than private RV parks, they are often close to bike paths, and when you’re along the California coast it’s just one of the best ways to be able to stay beachfront. We lived in North San Diego County for two years before we hit the road and we still love what the area has to offer: that laid back surf town vibe, beautiful beaches, healthy restaurants, great breweries and so much recreation.
Community. It’s something that nearly every person craves and you might think that moving into an RV and hitting the road sounds like a lonely endeavor – well, like many things in life, it will be what you make it to be. There are so many options for meeting other travelers: you might meet people at your campground or your neighbors out in the boondocks or you can go straight to the source and join an RVing group.