Exploring Santa Barbara and Solvang (11/30-12/14 2016)

Our visit of San Francisco came to an end the same day our visitors from Austin TX went back home. On the 30th, we took off on the road once again, this time making our way down to Rancho Oso RV park, which is about 30 minutes from Santa Barbara and from Solvang. We drove down the Pacific Coast Highway, taking our time, taking in the gorgeous scenery πŸ™‚

If you ever get a chance, you must take a road trip on the Pacific Coast Highway, you won’t regret it! We actually have been enjoying it all the way from Oregon, a little bit at a time πŸ™‚ … There are several stops along the way but unfortunately, when pulling a travel trailer, is not a very easy task to stop everywhere you want to, and explore 😦 We did manage to stop several times between San Francisco and Santa Barbara to checkout some cool spots… even ended up spending the night right on the side of the highway, which is a no no, but hey, I preferred getting a ticket then driving at night on this twisty road pulling a travel trailer. The drive itself is an extremely enjoyable and as mentioned already, we highly recommend it, even if you are traveling in an RV.

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There are not many RV parks along the way, specially in the Big Sur area. We were actually looking for a place to stay the night, but couldn’t find anything close to where we were at and had to make the decision to stop on a spot on the side of the road to spend the night. It was pitch black when we stopped and just made sure the area was big enough for us to stay there safely, hoping that the area wouldn’t be so bad the next morning when we woke up and actually got to see where we ended up stopping at…. and oh we were pleasantly surprised the next morning when we opened our door and saw the view right from the travel trailer’s door!

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Once we were at Rancho Oso RV Park, we spent a few days riding the MTBΒ trails around the area. We actually hadn’t ridden our bikes since our trail ride up in Oregon 😦 … But this place was perfect for riding. There were several trails that actually passed by the rv park, which made it very convenient πŸ™‚ Took us a ride or two, to start getting back into a good riding pace. The area in general was pretty nice, but had been hurting with a heavy drought over the last few months 😦 The river that passed close to the park was almost dry and there had been some nasty fires not too long ago around the area.

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The main reason we stayed at this RV Park was because it was closed to Santa Barbara. We stopped by Santa Barbara a few years ago, but just for a few hours, and this time we wanted to actually spent a few days exploring it… and that we did! We even road around the city with our bikes, hiked along the beach, got to see the X-Mas parade the first day we visited it.

Before coming to this area, we had no idea there was another beautiful town close to Rancho Oso, it was a total surprise to us, Solvang! We felt in love with that small Danish village πŸ™‚ We visited several times during the daytime and in the evenings. The town was so beautiful, so colorful!

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Overall, we had almost no time off while staying here, there was always something to do. The park itself is nice, has a big horse stable and several horse trails (which are also the ones used for biking) … Only big drawback for us about this park, was the lack of cell phone reception… it was pretty much non-existent.

And as usual, after exploring this area for a while, our time here came to end and we took off on our way to another Thousand Trails, this time, close to LA, Soledad Canyon… and another unexpected surprised awaited us there πŸ™‚

Here are two albums from our Flickr Account, one is from the drive down to Rancho Oso from San Francisco and the other album is from Santa Barbara, Solvang, and Rancho Oso area. Enjoy!

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Thanksgiving in SF, CA (Nov. 22-30, 2016)

After leaving Oregon, we headed down to San Francisco to meet up with our nephew and his girlfriend, who were coming to spend Thanksgiving with us in San Francisco πŸ™‚ We left a few days early, hoping to stop along the way on the Pacific Coast Highway to explore a bit on our way there. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy as we had thought, to stop anywhere we wanted to explore, pulling our trailer, so we focused on the spots that we

We stopped just past the California border to spend the night at a casino parking lot (yeah, those are awesome places to spend the night) From there, we headed to Russian River RV Park, about 90 miles north of San Francisco where we spent 2 nights while it was time to head to San Francisco and check in at the RV park there. Unfortunately we couldn’t escape paying for the RV park in San Francisco … and it wasn’t cheap 😦 but it was the least expensive option.

The RV Park was just a big parking lot, very very tight spaces… nothing fancy, but it was right by the ocean and not too far from downtown San Francisco… But as we mentioned before, it was a better option then paying for a Hotel or something similar to that.

We did enjoy the time in San Francisco as much as we could with our visitors from back home πŸ™‚ Got to visit Muir Woods National Monument, San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Point Bonita Lighthouse, Alcatraz, and of course Downtown San Francisco.

Muir Woods and San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park do have an entrance fee of $20 per person… but you can get in without paying if you happen to have the National Parks Pass, which is a pass that pretty much anyone that loves visiting national parks should have. Muir Woods was pretty awesome, we did struggle to find a parking spot because it was PACKED!!! but at the end, it was well worth it.

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While visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, we took a crazy, twisty road from there to Point Bonita Lighthouse… thankfully it is a one way road because oh it is pretty nerve wrecking! The area around the lighthouse was pretty to walk around, a lot of history for all of you history buffs out there.

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And talking about a lot of history, we also got a chance, thanks to our visitors from Austin, TX, to visit Alcatraz on one of their tours. The tour of Alcatraz was a pleasant experience. Got to learn a lot more of its history thanks to the audio tour guide πŸ™‚

Lastly, we got to enjoy the downtown area as well. We tried it one day but it rained on us 😦 … But we went back of course! Rubi and I had already visited San Francisco a few years back while taking a road trip around California but this time was different because we took everything at a much slower pace (last time we only had two days to explore the city).

Now for the bad… traffic, parking costs, and golden gate bridge toll costs! That toll across the bridge it’s pretty expensive for us RVers 😦 since they go by axle. And around the city, traffic is pretty bad. Parking is plenty but it’s a bit expensive as well. Best option was for us to drive to one of the big train stations and take the train from there to downtown and the bus around the city.

But overall, we had an amazing time exploring not just the city of San Francisco, but the cool spots around the city, and with great company!

After our guests from Austin flew back to Austin, we also left the RV Park and headed towards San Barbara, planning on taking two days to get there to enjoy the scenery along the Pacific Coast Highway!

Check out all the photos from our visit below. If you want to see them in full resolution, just click inside any of them and you will be taken to our Flick Page. Enjoy.

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