Summer is here and we are ready to get camping again. If you are starting to make plans and those plans include traveling with kids, we have rounded up some Northern, Central and Southern California summer camping spots we guarantee the kids and the whole family will love!
Summer is the best season to visit the Redwoods with kids. It’s the driest time of year and doesn’t get too hot because the trees keep everything so cool. The Redwoods National and State Parks are actually four different parks spread out along the Northern California coast. Comprised of Redwood National Park and California’s Del Norte, Jedediah Smith and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks. The four parks, together, protect 45% of all remaining Coast Redwood trees.
We love this destination with the kids because in addition to great hiking amongst these giant trees, there is a whole cottage industry of roadside attractions to keep everyone in the family entertained. We think the three must-visit sites are The Trees of Mystery, Klamath Tour Thru Tree, and for a scenic drive, The Avenue of the Giants.
The Trees of Mystery has been operating since 1946 and offers easy accessibility to see the trees with self-guided tours as well as the amazing gondola ride they call the SkyTrail.
Just south of the Trees of Mystery is another roadside gem the kids will love: The Klamath Tour Thru Tree. For a $5 fee, you can take your car up a short drive and directly through a giant redwood. They don’t have much of an online presence, which made it all the more fun to find and experience this unique roadside attraction.
At the south end of the Redwood National and State Parks is The Avenue of the Giants. This is a scenic highway running through Humboldt Redwoods State Park and is an amazing drive as the Redwoods tower over both sides of the road.
For places to camp with kids while visiting the Redwoods, we recommend the Ancient Redwoods RV Park for great access to the Avenue of the Giants. If you decide on a more northern basecamp, Crescent City has great options like Redwood Meadows RV Resort. No matter where you stay, you’ll likely have an excellent view of the massive Redwoods.
Looking to camp with kids in California and your family prefers the beach over the forest? Santa Barbara is sometimes known as the American Riviera and is a great option for beach lovers. The area has miles of sandy beaches, amazing sunsets and, terrific dining. It is also a great spot for kids with lots of activities like a world-class zoo and exciting museums.
Any camping trip with kids to Santa Barbara must include a beach trip and there are miles of beaches to choose from. Just south of Santa Barbara, the City of Carpinteria claims to have the “World’s Safest Beach” because the surf breaks farther out and there is no undertow. Carpinteria City Beach has been rated the #1 swimming beach in California, due mostly to its Southern exposure and its protection by the Channel Islands.
After that beach trip, when everyone is starving the whole family will enjoy a bite to eat at the Shoreline Beach Café. Located right on Leadbetter beach in Santa Barbara, Shoreline Café is the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of Santa Barbara while enjoying a delicious meal.
Are you camping with kids that love animals? If you answered yes to this one, don’t miss out on an opportunity to visit Santa Barbara’s first Cat lounge, Cat Therapy Cat Cafe. Cat Therapy helps rescue cats by fostering them in a cage-free environment that you can take the kids and visit. For a fee, you can book a regular or private visit and help improve the lives and adoption rates of the cats they are helping. Visiting is great fun and any animal lover is sure to enjoy!
There are many great spots to camp with kids in Santa Barbara. We prefer Ocean Mesa at El Capitan. They have hiking trails, a heated swimming pool and jacuzzi, and the sunsets over the Pacific make for some epic end to a summer’s day of camping with kids.
With Disneyland set to reopen in July 2020, we expect RV Resorts in Anaheim will be setting similar re-opening strategies. If you are heading to Disney with your family and your RV, there is nothing like camping with kids right in Mikey’s backyard at Anaheim RV Park.
Camping near close to Disneyland is a great way to enhance a summertime Disney visit. It is easy to get up early and beat the crowds when you are camped just down the street. Hungry for lunch but don’t want to spend a fortune feeding the family? Simply head back to the RV to make lunch and rest up before heading back to the park to see the fireworks or better yet, watch them from your campsite!
We like Anaheim RV Park because of its proximity to Disneyland. The resort is less than a mile from the park. Thanks to its closeness, it is also a stop on the Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) Shuttle line. ART is a hop-on and hop-off service that you can use to get to Disney and many other Anaheim area attractions. You can find rates and travel plans for ART here. If the kids just can’t wait for a shuttle that runs every 25 minutes, Uber is a great option to get to the park quickly without having to deal with parking your own vehicle.
If you have pets and want to spend all day at Disney, the great staff at Anaheim RV park has you covered. They offer a dog walking service and will also fill food and water bowls while you are in the park with the family.
California Summer Spots to Hit when Camping with Kids
California has excellent options for camping with kids this summer. The outdoorsy family can explore the famous Redwoods and kitschy roadside attractions. Those families that would rather relax at the beach have miles and miles to choose from in Santa Barbara on California’s Central Coast and for the theme park fans, you can’t go wrong with a camping trip with kids to Disneyland in Anaheim. Whatever you choose, California has great spots to hit this summer so pack up the kids and the RV and go camping!