Ever since we decided to stay put here in Modesto instead of moving to Oakland next year, my mind has been simmering with ways for us to make the most of where we live. Residents of Modesto often joke that our town is ‘two hours from everywhere’ in California, so one of my only resolutions going into 2016 is to take advantage of our Central California location for some weekend adventuring.
Now, I’m not necessarily the type of person you’d peg as a camper at first blush. I like my creature comforts, but I’m invested in devising a system that brings the convenience of home (air mattress, hot plate, restrooms, pop up tents) to the beautiful, healing outdoors. I think I need to disconnect way more often than I do.
Here’s a list of all of the places I’m dreaming of visiting on our impending camping adventures. Some are just a couple of hours away while others are more of a hike that we could fold into a visit to see my family in Arizona.
Big Sur – I fell in love with Big Sur on a day-long drive down the Pacific Coastal Highway last year. The views are breathtaking and there is camping right in the Redwoods. Swoon.
Lake Tahoe – I’ve been to Lake Tahoe numerous times and I just love, love, love it. The hotels are pretty expensive unless you stay at the casinos, so I’d like to experience camping right on the lake.
Pinecrest – A little bit closer to home, Pinecrest is an awesome spot nestled in the Sierra Mountains. I wrote about a day trip we took with the boys there a couple of years ago, but I’d like to stay the night one weekend and enjoy a few brewskies in the fresh mountain air.
Stinson Beach – I did a couple of photo shoots on Stinson beach at my previous job and I fell in love with this awesome little beach town. This amazing campsite seems almost impossible to get into, but I want to stay there so badly. Another plus: we could pick up the kids on our way through the bay area to get to Stinson and hit up Muir Woods for a hike one morning.
Pismo Beach – I’ve never been to Pismo, but I’ve heard only good things from friends. When people think of California, I think they picture Pismo Beach, so why not spend a weekend at the quintessential California beach town from the comfort of your tent?
Yosemite National Park – I mean, how could I mention camping in California without mentioning one of the most famous landmarks in the entire state? Camping, here we come…
Knight’s Ferry – About an hour from home, I envision Knight’s Ferry being one of our go-to camping spots. Easy, peasy.
Grand Canyon – Yes, I love this famous landmark in my home state. Who wouldn’t want to camp next to this world wonder?
Oak Creek Canyon – Just a short drive from my hometown, Oak Creek Canyon is just breathtaking. I’d love to drink my morning coffee in this beauty.
Sedona – Last but most certainly not least, my favorite place in the entire world, my happy place, Sedona, Arizona. Since I can drive there in fifteen minutes from my mom’s house, I’ve never thought about camping there. But, seriously, why not? Did I mention it’s my happy place??
What do you think? Are you a camper? Or, would you rather just pay for a hotel and call it a day? I’ve always been more the hotel-type, but my insistence on paying for expensive hotels makes it a bit difficult for us to do quick weekend getaways.
Image sources: Intro, Big Sur, Lake Tahoe, Pinecrest (my own), Stinson Beach, Pismo Beach, Yosemite National Park, Knight’s Ferry, Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona