Northern California campground operators expect to stay busy well into September and October, thanks to a record salmon run, a later than usual wine grape harvest and some of the best weather they’ve had all year, according to a news release.
“This is the time of year when the North Coast has some its sunniest weather,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC), which operates the Camp-California.com travel planning website. “And while inland nights will gradually start to cool off, the days are typically bright and sunny.”
“We call this our Indian summer,” said Scott Adams, owner of the 78-site Bodega Bay RV Park in Bodega Bay, which has been family owned and operated since 1967. “You’ll see less fog, less wind and more sun. It will be nice here until the first rains of December,” he said.
Adams added that are festivals and special events taking place at wineries throughout Northern California. “They’ve already started harvesting some of the white grapes. The red grapes are still on the vine.”
Cooler weather has delayed the wine grape harvest slightly, but visitors from the Bay Area, Sacramento, Stockton and elsewhere are coming into wine country to check out the festivities.
“We’ll have some foreign tourists who come here from France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark. We also get some snowbirds working their way down the coast,” he said.
Many of California’s wineries from the Sierra foothills to the famous vineyards of Napa and Sonoma counties have special events for the next several weeks, including festivals and grape crush events ranging from the Annual Cruisin’ Calistoga Beer & Wine Festival Sept. 22 to Amador County’s Big Crush Harvest Festival Oct. 6, which involves 37 local wineries.
Late summer and fall are also big times for music festivals, such as the 6th annual American River Music Festival, which takes place Sept. 14-16 in Coloma.
Meanwhile, scores of fishing enthusiasts are heading north to the Klamath River to take part in the largest salmon run on record, which is resulting in three to four times as many salmon as the Klamath River had last fall.
“It’s incredible,” said Aaron Funk of Kamp Klamath in Klamath, adding that his park is filling up on weekends with people hoping to catch King salmon. “We’re going to be seeing this last into October. We have kids out fishing and catching. It’s becoming a family activity,” he said.
Other Northern California campgrounds also report surging business this fall.
“We’re looking a lot better compared to last year,” said Dusty Dillon, owner of the 24-site Sportsman’s RV Park in Fort Bragg.
“We’ve got a lot of return clients and people stopping by to check us out,” he said, adding that people are fishing for both salmon and halibut.
Other park operators are similarly upbeat.
“We’re actually pretty full the next few weeks,” said Vince Moreno, a customer service manager for the 32-site Riverpoint Landing Marina Resort in Stockton.
Consumers can find private campgrounds in their area by checking www.Camp-California.com, the travel planning website of CalARVC in Auburn, Calif. The site includes links to RV parks and campgrounds, which provide their own “activities” or event calendars, which can help you figure out which parks have activities your family will enjoy.