California’s privately owned RV parks and campgrounds are ready for the 2012 camping season, according to a news release.
“Campgrounds, RV parks and resorts all over California are providing more activities, more entertainment and new amenities for their guests,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC), which hosts Camp-California.com, the travel planning website that features more than 350 privately owned and operated campgrounds.
Many of California’s campgrounds have already posted schedules of their summer activities online.
“Depending on their location,” Sipe said, “they may offer everything from gold panning to scavenger hunts and other competitive events to wine tastings, outdoor concerts, guided nature walks and even educational events, such as classes in painting, writing, cooking and wine tasting.”
Here’s a sampling of the diverse range of activities and entertainment that are being planned at California’s campgrounds this year:
- Campland on the Bay in San Diego: This park, which recently added a new gymnasium, features RV sites as well as supersites with private patios, grills and Jacuzzis and a view of a wildlife sanctuary. Campland offers an extensive activity lineup, including regular classes in arts and crafts, yoga, water aerobics as well as scavenger hunts, sand castle building contests, luau presentations, live bands and sporting events, including bocce ball, kick ball, dodge ball, soccer, beach volleyball and flag football. Ping Pong, horseshoes and adult dart competitions are also offered. The campground also has a skateboard park, bicycle and watercraft rentals.
- Casini Ranch Family Campground in Duncan Mills: This park, located along the Russian River about 60 miles north of San Francisco, has hayrides, weekend bonfires with marshmallow roasting as well as outdoor movies on holiday weekends. Canoe and kayak rentals are also available.
- Coloma Resort in Coloma: This park, which includes campsites, RV sites, park model cabins and safari tents, offers several activities, including a ropes course, gold panning and fishing along the American River. Nearby activities include white water rafting, river tubing and biking. A scavenger hunt for kids 12 and under is planned for May 27.
- El Capitan Canyon near Santa Barbara: This resort, which features luxury park models, yurts and safari tents, has a Saturday night concert series that goes throughout the summer, featuring everything from oldies and classic rock to blues, old school funk and Latin jazz. Nearby recreational activities include hiking, biking, golf, glider rides, whale watching and ocean kayaking.
- Flying Flags RV Resort in Buellton: This park, located five minutes from the Danish-themed village of Solvang, has RV sites as well as luxurious park model cottage rentals. Several activities are provided, including Friday night Tri-Tip barbecues, Saturday night ice cream socials, movies under the stars and Sunday breakfast in bed delivery service. Golf and wine tasting packages are also available.
- Frandy Park in Kernville: This park is located on the banks of the wild and scenic Kern River and offers sites for tents and RVs. Three river rafting companies are located onsite, and there are opportunities for golfing, horseback riding, hiking, biking and ATV riding nearby. Fishing opportunities also abound for golden, rainbow and brown trout as well as crappie. Nightly dancing and weekend live bands are available at local dinner houses.
- Lake Minden Resort in Nicolaus: This park, which features RV sites and rental cabins, will have its first hydroplane boat races of the season on the weekend of May 11 to 13. Memorial Day weekend activities include a family paddleboat race and a photo scavenger hunt. The resort encircles 41-acre Lake Minden, which is brimming with catfish, bass and bluegill.
- Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina in Newport Beach: This park, which features RV sites, park model cottage rentals and a secluded beach with a waveless swimming lagoon, has daily activities throughout the summer, including kids crafts, Karaoke contests, ice cream socials as well as guitar hero hours, teen pizza nights, card nights and outdoor movies on the beach. Upcoming special events include a barbecue competition and cardboard boat regatta on Father’s Day weekend; a July 4th extravaganza with music, food, carnival games, contests and tournaments as well as a cardboard boat regatta. Hot dog and pie eating contests are also being planned. Kayak and sailboat rentals are also available.
- Pacific Dunes RV Resort and Riding Stables in Pismo Beach: This 215-site RV park is next door to Pacific Dunes Ranch Riding Stables, which offers horseback riding trips on one of the only beaches in California where people can go horseback riding. Guides take riders through a lushly forested area that includes a creek that’s inhabited by beavers and frequented by deer. Riders then go along the beach for a short time before circling back on another trail that traverses the scenic Oceano Dunes, an 18-mile-long stretch of sand dunes that were once inhabited by the Chumash Indians.
- Redwoods River Resort & Campground in Leggett: This park, which has RV and tent sites as well as cabin and motel room rentals, features movie nights, rock painting, ice cream socials, Karaoke nights and “Find the Rock” games in which children search for brightly colored rocks in exchange for a prize. Numerous events are also scheduled for July 4th weekend, including a chocolate pie eating contest, a canoe race in the pool, a tug of war and water balloon toss as well as Karaoke by the campfire and an ice cream social. Labor Day weekend activities include a “Find the Rock” hunt, Karaoke by the campfire, a movie night, an ice cream social and bingo.
- Sacred Rocks Reserve and RV Park in Boulevard: This 163-acre resort and wilderness preserve, located at the 3,500-foot level near the oak- and pine-dotted town of Boulevard, offers a variety of activities this spring and summer, including geocaching events, wildflower walks and stargazing activities. Writing workshops are also being planned.
- San Francisco Petaluma KOA in Petaluma: This park, which features park model cabin and RV rentals as well as RV sites, features a petting farm with goats, chickens, miniature donkeys and horse; a 30-foot rock climbing wall; horse shoe pits, a bocce ball and ring toss area, a jumping pillow as well as a huge swimming pool. Organized activities include Karaoke nights, hay wagon rides, pancake breakfasts and outdoor movie nights. The campground also has some themed activities planned, including Harry Potter themed activities from June 26th to July 1st and a prom flashback and ugly bridesmaid dress week July 30th to Aug. 5th, with a tacky tuxedo contest for men. The campground is also close to several regional events, including the Sonoma Jazz & Music Festival on May 20th to 22nd; the Petaluma Jazz & Blues Festival on Aug. 7 and Wings over Wine Country, an acrobatic flying event on Aug. 18 and 19 at the Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa.
- Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA in Watsonville: This park, which features park model cabin and RV rentals as well as RV sites, has a fun train on site as well as a jumping pillow and an outdoor theater with live entertainment, including talent shows and game show re-creations. The park also has tie dyed T-shirt classes and ice cream socials and themed weekends.
- Shady Oasis Campground, Victorville: This park is planning organized events and entertainment over Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends, including family bingo games, movies for the kids. A vintage tin Car Show is planned for June 23 and 24.
- Smithwoods RV Park in Felton: This park’s summer activities include outdoor movie nights, ice cream socials and scavenger hunts. Other special events this summer include a July 4th patriotic parade, in which campers are invited to decorate their bikes, trikes, scooters and wagons in red, white and blue. The park will have its annual dog show competition on July 28, a vintage trailer rally on Aug. 4 and a wiffle ball tournament on Labor Day weekend.
- Sorensen’s Resort in Hope Valley (near Lake Tahoe): This resort features 35 cabin rentals and 25 campsites for tent or RV camping plus a vintage 1947 trailer and a three-bedroom, two-bath house for rent. The resort also offers variety of on-site and off-site classes for an extra fee. Upcoming classes include a starwatching class on May 12 with astronomer Adrienne Cool and Ron Marzke of San Francisco State University; classes in birding on May 26 and Aug. 4; classes in the art of fly tying on July 2 and Aug. 27, which will be taught by Judy Wickwire of Horse Feathers Fly Fishing School; and a class on landscape photography will be offered July 22 and Oct. 7, which is being taught by Terry Nathan, a professor at UC Davis and teacher at the Davis Art Center.
- The Springs at Borrego RV Resort in Borrego Springs: This desert resort has added another massage therapist and expanded the operating hours of its wellness center, which now features four specialists with expertise in acupuncture, acupressure and Ayurvedic massage. The resort offers daily activities through April, including water aerobics, Hatha Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Pilates as well as evening wine tastings and ice cream socials. Activities wind down with the beginning of the summer season. However, the wellness center will be open throughout the summer. The park will also have a summer solstice celebration and Native American medicine circle ceremony on June 16 and 17.
- Tahoe Valley Campground near South Lake Tahoe: This Encore park serves RV and tent campers in a forested 84-acre park with a heated pool, horseshoe pits, tennis, pickle ball, basketball courts as well as a children’s playground, game room, camp store and laundry. The park also offers live music on holiday weekends as well as Wednesday night ice cream socials followed by Karaoke and Saturday night movies. Weekend children’s activities include crafts, games, nature hikes or bike rides, dog parades and candy bar bingo.
- Thousand Trails Idyllwild: This park will have a special Mother’s Day craft and a “Take Mom to Dinner” event at the café on the weekend of May 11 to 13.
- Ventura Ranch KOA in Santa Paula: This campground, which features park model cabin and tipi rentals, recently installed an 800-foot-long zipline. The park also features arts and crafts activities, scavenger hunts and nighttime bigfoot adventure walks.