Sweet Oaks winery campgrounds has 16 sites available for both tent camping and RV’s (no hook-ups). It’s pretty close to grocery stores and big box stores just in case you forgot some gear/supplies. They have a beautiful well-kept property with super-clean restrooms (no showers). They do have a water hose for you to fill up your tanks or Jerry cans. They didn’t allow campfires due to high fire danger though. You’ll have to bring your own fire pit setup if they ever allow them in the future. It was a beautiful walk around the vineyards but there are also hiking trails nearby. It’s off a road suitable for road bikes but there are also mountain bike trails nearby. They have equestrian activities also available for guests. We were able to get our tin top Eurovan to fit on one of their tent sites which offered a beautiful view of Temecula valley. The wine tasting room was closed due to the pandemic but you can order wine online and they will deliver to your site. One more thing, we counted about 8 hot air balloons as we had breakfast!
My wife and daughter aren’t big fans of camping (yet) but I was able to persuade them to check out camping here in PT. Mugu. Thornhill is always booked up since it’s right on the beach but I was able to reserve a spot at Sycamore instead. We camped in June 2020, just when campgrounds were opening up again.
The rangers and camp host were pleasant. There is firewood available there. If you forget anything, you can always drive down PCH a few miles to the grocery store. A short walk from the Sycamore loop campsites takes you under the overpass to the beach. On the beach, there are numerous picnic tables and porta-potties.
The other campers here are your typical crowds, from big families with children to couples and even sole campers. Overall people are very considerate in terms of keeping the campground clean and noise levels were respected. There are plenty of the mature sycamore trees which offer plenty of shade.
We found this great dispersed site (free US Forest) just off the Tunnel Road sign for the Mt. Figueroa campgrounds. There is a dirt road that takes you there but it looks like you might need AWD/4WD during rainy seasons since the road had some deep ruts. We came when it was dry season in a 2WD Eurovan w/ regular street tires.
We camped at the end of October (high temp was upper 80s, low temp was lower 60s) and there were still many flies so be sure to bring netting or repellant. The slightly unlevel site offered a great sunrise view as well as a sunset view over Sawmill basin.
We didn’t see any other campers around us. Even though we camped by the side of the dirt road, no one passed us the whole night.
Coordinates: 34° 44’ 0.480 N 119° 59’ 26.850 W
We were there in the middle of summer in the dumpster fire year of 2020. Make sure you get the correct weather report of ‘Cachuma Village’ and not assume it is the same climate as the much cooler Santa Barbara (15 degrees difference).
There are hundreds of campsites and many have RV hookups. I found the following YouTube video helpful when reserving a space. We were glad we picked a space that was under the canopy of two mature trees. https://youtu.be/sDWHOIo66F4
Although the lake looks beautiful, it is only a boating lake. There is no swimming nor paddle boarding allowed on the lake. There were plenty of fishing boats there as well as rentable pontoon boats.
There is not much of a hiking experience at the Lake except to walk around it. As we walked around, we loved seeing how other campers set up their camps since we’re relatively new campers.
We brought our dog and she loved it despite having little balls of thorns attach to her paws like magnets. (See picture). We ended up having to just carry her.
We’d love to go back again but next time we’ll make time to rent a boat and go fishing ON the lake.
This is a California Highway rest area right off the 101 just north of Goleta/Santa Barbara. As the sign says, one is allowed to park their 8 hours. You’ll see many long haul big rig drivers there as well as campers looking for a quick respite.
We decided on a whim to check it out coming from Studio City. We made sure to get there early enough to get a spot looking over the Pacific Ocean. Coincidentally the people next to us had their first time camping at ‘free site’ as well.
We were concerned that since it was a rest area, we weren’t able to put out our folding picnic set but we were able to cook a quick meal right in front of our van before turning in for the night. In the morning, we made a quick breakfast and took a short 15 minute walk over the Amtrak bridge that passes through a special trout canal.