Tag Archives: coast

Holiday Lights Train

Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train

Holiday Lights Train Ride

Santa Cruz Holiday Train

Departs from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Vintage excursion cars, adorned with thousands of colorful lights, roll through the streets of Santa Cruz as passengers lend their voices to holiday carols, sip hot spiced cider and listen to musical entertainment while Santa visits the little ones, or the young at heart! Continue the merriment with your choice of arcade games, mini-golf or laser tag at Santa’s Kingdom at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Bring the whole family for festive fun.

Annual event, multiple days: December
Santa Cruz, CA

roaringcamp.com

Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train

train at the Boardwalk

Pumpkin Festival @ Half Moon Bay

Pumpkin Festival

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Fest

This Pumpkin Festival is the one in Half Moon Bay, up near San Francisco. Been running nearly 50 years. Traditional, wholesome, family fun outdoor weekend on the coast near the Bay Area. Plenty of Campgrounds and Lodging nearby for visitors.

Annual event; October

HALF MOON BAY CA

pumpkinfest.miramarevents.com

The Big One

PA181004

Pumpkin Festival

Abbot Kinney Festival

ABBOT KINNEY FESTIVAL 2011 (09.24.11)

Abbot Kinney Festival
Venice Beach Street Fair

30 years running, held each year on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, in between Main Street and Venice Boulevard. Promotes the vibrant creativity that makes the funky community of Venice Beach so unique. The long running street festival is best known for an array of local artisan crafts, live music, DJs, good food and entertainment. Activities and areas are designed to complement the eclectic, cutting-edge mix of over 100 boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, bookstores, design firms, coffee shops, clubs, salons, and much more along the famed bohemian-chic shopping district of Abbot Kinney Blvd.

Annual event; September
(one day only)
310-570-7059

Venice, CA

abbotkinney.org

crowd shot

ABBOT KINNEY FESTIVAL 2011 (09.24.11)

Los Angeles - Venice: The Brig Venice - Abbot Kinney Festival

California Beer Festival

California Beer Festival

California Beer Festival, Ventura

Ventura coast is the scene, beer is the topic. Celebrate BEER WEEK w/ Craft Beer Heaven – over 140 different craft beers and numerous live bands. The event of the year for any beer enthusiast!

Blues, Brews & BBQ. Teams will compete in the BBQ Cook-off and guests will be able to sample these delicious entries while enjoying some of the best blues acts in California. Craft beer will be available for purchase along with great food from food vendors.  (Event is 21 years of age or older with valid ID)

Annual event; September
805-323-5691

Ventura, CA

californiabeerfestival.com

Similar events are also held in Santa Cruz, San Dimas & Marin county.

California Beer Festival

California Beer Festival

California Beer Festival

Monterey Jazz Festival

MJF13-McFerrin-2426.jpg

Monterey Jazz Fest

MJF stands for Monterey Jazz Festival: One of the most popular, well known, Jazz Festivals in California. This special one on the Monterey Bay has been going on near 60 years. And we’re not kidding on the popularity of this event.

Annual event; September

MONTEREY CA

montereyjazzfestival.org

Willie Green

Cannonball Adderley 1970 Monterey Play Misty -  07-10-2010_0004

Montetey Jazz festival.  51st

Monterey Bay Birding Festival

Merlin (Falco columbarius)

Monterey Bay Birding Festival

Experienced guides lead participants to their favorite bird watching spots on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with special outings, workshops and presentations. Come witness this fall gathering of locals and visitors.

Annual event; September

WATSONVILLE CA

montereybaybirding.org

Egret with Fish, Whalers Cove

Startled

Monterey County Fair

fair trails

County Fair in Monterey

Over 70 years of this coastal event in California. Carnival rides, livestock show, food, live music, arts & crafts, horse races & wine tasting. This is by far the largest summer fair event in the region. Campgrounds and hotels in the area fill up fast in warmer months, so make reservations if you want to visit the Monterey Bay Area and not stay overnight sleeping in your car.

Annual event; August

MONTEREY CA

montereycountyfair.com

bred-heifers2.jpg

montereybay

Klamath Salmon Festival

Yurok salmon festival, Klamath, CA

Northern California Salmon Festival

Yurok Salmon Festival

The Yurok Tribe hosts the annual Klamath Salmon Festival. Native American salmon barbeque plus Native American arts and crafts, Indian stick games, warrior contests, parade with Yurok drums and dancers.

Klamath Salmon Festival
Annual event: August
Held @ the Klamath Township,
Hwy 101 S, Klamath CA
707-444-0433
yuroktribe.org

Klamath tribes dam removal demo

Oxnard Salsa Festival

Oxnard Festival Dancing

Salsa Festival of Oxnard

20 years of Salsa celebrations @ the annual Oxnard Salsa Festival, on the Ventura coastline. Spicy food, hot music & cool ocean breezes welcome you to the regions biggest Latin celebration. Salsa tasting & competition. Live music, dancing & great Mexican foods.

Annual event; July

OXNARD CA

oxnardsalsafestival.com

P1000046

Oxnard Salsa Fesival 2009

Silver Peak Wilderness

Hiking the Southern Big Sur Coastline

faded public lands
Sun-bleached, wooden Los Padres sign – near Salmon Creek trailhead.

Silver Peak Wilderness, Big Sur Coast

Central California Coast

31,555 acres

8 miles South of Gorda, CA
along Pacific Coast Hwy 1
near Big Sur, CA
Los Padres National ForestBig Sur Wilderness Map

Backpacking and hiking trails on the Pacific Coast, steep terrain next to ocean. Coastal redwood canyons, oaks hills, great views. The neighboring Ventana Wilderness is located just north of Silver Peak hiking trails.

Southern Redwood Botanical Area

Silver Peak –3,590′ elevation
Alder Peak –3,744′

trailheads

  • Salmon Creek Trail #5E09
  • Hwy 1 @ connection Trail #5E10
  • Alder Creek Trail #5E09

mm

mile markers along Pacific Coast Highway 1
(Monterey County)

  • Cruickshank Trailhead – 6.5 mm
  • Soda Springs Trailhead – 3.8 mm
  • Buckeye Trailhead – 2.4 mm
  • Salmon Creek Trailhead – 2.2 mm

developed campgrounds nearby –

nearby towns –

Ocean View Hikes Big Sur


View Larger Map

Oak Foothills

California Parks List

California Parks and Recreation

State Parks, State Forests, State Recreation Area, National Parks, National Monuments, National Forests – What is the Difference?

public lands

Forest, Park, Reserve, Monument, Recreation Area, BLM, Nature Preserve… arghh!

Don’t let all the park and forest names confuse you. It is all California and it is your public land! No bikes on trails, No gathering wood, No dogs here, No camping there; Now what?


Sequoia – which one?
Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Forest
Giant Sequoia National Monument

Imagine that the Southern Sierra mountains is home to 3 different public parks named Sequoia. Yep, it’s true. Sequoia National Park, Sequoia National Forest, and Giant Sequoia National Monument. Mountain Home State Forest aslso has Sequoia trees, as well as Yosemite Np.

The super scenic Big Sur coastline is home to Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park and to the similarly named Pfieffer Big Sur State Park. Leave it to the park personnel or the non-locals to create such a confusing naming system within our most-visited state.

Below is our overview graph for all California parks and forests – the basic concepts & the rules broken down for anyone to understand. Permits may be needed in certain areas. Only the government officials understand the true nature of all the ridiculous red tape.

CA Wilderness Areas California Wilderness Back country lands very protected from roads and human impact. Off limits to vehicles & mountain bikes. Only accessible by backpacking, hiking or horseback. Endangered species; Hard to reach terrains in the High Sierra. Overnight visits may require a wilderness permit.
CA National Parks California
National Parks – NPS: National Park Service
Federal lands are national parks, preserves & monuments; highly regarded as some of the most scenic in world & protected.  Very popular places and crowds often in summer. Limited use areas for camping & recreation. No mountain biking on trails. No dogs on trails. Try off-season. Drive thru entrance fees.
NM: California
National Monument
Located within the National Park System & more specific to a region. Historic buildings, geological features and deserts ruins qualify. Some National Monuments become National Parks. Many locations have entrance fees.
NRA: National Recreation Area Located within the National Park System & somewhat specific to a waterways, coastlines, lakes and reservoirs. Some locations have entrance fees.
NSA:
National Scenic Area National Seashore
Located within the National Park System & is basically scenic area worth preserving. Usually no entrance fees.
California National Parks
California NFS:
CA National Forests
USDA Forest Service
Areas of forest lands throughout state; some surround the National Parks. 18 national forests make up 20 million acres of federal land. Multiple use areas: snow skiing, mining, grazing, off-roading. OHV & SVRA Tons of small campgrounds, recreation & primitive spots for real seclusion. Best bet for finding a spot away from the crowds. Get a free fire permit & camp on back roads. No entrance fees, some parking or day use fees; SoCal requires an Adventure Pass.
California State Parks
California SP:
California State Parks
California Department of Parks & Recreation manages more than 260 parks. These smaller parks are located near cities with historical parks, as well as remote wild state land & coastal beaches. Entrance fees, day use, picnic and some have campgrounds. State Parks charge fees for day use, parking and overnight camping.
California SF: California State Forest California Demonstration Forests, areas to be protected. Redwoods & Sequoia Groves; fragile eco-systems. Handle with care. May charge entrance fee or day use fee.
California SRA:
State Recreation Areas
California Department of Parks and Recreation. Lakes, Reservoirs, Rivers. Many have boat rentals and active marina. Recreation lakes charge entrance, day use, parking or boat launch fees.
California OHV & SVRA: Off Hwy Vehicle Area and State Vehicle Recreation Areas Off Roading folks and dirt bikes can have their fun wheelin. Lands set aside for OHV use,; dune buggies, quads & 4×4 enthusiasts. Most in the desert regions; Some forest lands & Central coast, but some NFS areas allow
this vehicle activity as well. Always entrance fees.
California County Parks Desert hot springs, oak foothills and campgrounds, local hills w/ hikes, parks close to urban regions. Back roads & rural land protected from freeways & development. May require parking or entrance fees. Find these listed on the California A-Z town pages
City Parks in California Urban Parks & Recreation, inside the city limits. Usually no entrance fees. Find these on A-Z town pages
blm camps
BLM: public lands Bureau of Land Management All public lands that do not fall into the above categories. Little to no fees for day use, recreation or overnight camping. Plenty of desert & off roading areas. Camp almost anywhere out here for free, with a ranger issued fire permit.

topo maps

Find California Park Maps

Wilderness with Horses Sierra Ski Maps Camping California Wilderness Rangers Snow Ski Topo Maps Mountain Biking Maps
Wilderness Hikes Wilderness Hiking Maps Wilderness Topo Maps Sierra Fishing Maps Sierra Topo Maps California Hiking Maps

California Outdoor Recreation:
All parks, forests, preserves, monuments, public lands, lakes, rivers, wilderness, historical sites and museums can be found listed separately on our super local A-Z town pages

Ventana Wilderness

ventana hikes

Central Coast California
Backpacking Big Sur

Ventana Wilderness is a 40 mile stretch of protected land located in the Santa Lucia Mountains on the Big Sur coastline in between the Monterey peninsula and the Nacimeinto-Fergusson Road #4004. Fort Hunter Liggett lies to the east side and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ancient volcano peaks called “cones” line the pine ridges – Ventana Cone,  Ventana Double Cone, South Ventana Cone, Black Cone & Cone Peak.

240,026 acres
Cone Peak – 5155′ elevation
Los Padres National Forest
San Antoni River
Sykes Hot Springs
Tassajara Creek
Tassajara Hot Springs

campgrounds bordering area –

hiking trailheads –

  • Cone Peak
  • Escondido
  • China Camp
  • Arroyo Seco
  • Bottchers Gap

redwood hikes

nearby towns –

Central Coast Big Sur Maps

ventana map

Los Padres Forest Maps

NatGeo Big Sur Topographic Map

Pinnacles National Monument Map

Ventana Wilderness Topo Map

Smaller Silver Peak Wilderness (31,555 acres) is also featured on the same map, situated south of Ventana and north of the San Simeon Hearst Castle area.

 

Ventana Wilderness Alliance
Ventana Wildlife Society

Monterey Campgrounds

Monterey Bay Campgrounds

Monterey Beach Camping

The Monterey Bay of California is located south of the San Francisco peninsula, and north of the rugged Big Sur Central Coast. This is a popular region for tourism, coastal villages w/ shops and restaurants, parks and beaches, farms and farm stands.  With Santa Cruz mountains and redwoods as the backdrop, this coastline is also highly residential.

Camping along this coast is limited mostly to State Parks and few private RV park campgrounds. No primitive beach camping is allowed on State Beaches, no hike-in camp sites, no hidden cove tent sites, nor secret dirt roads with views over the Pacific. This is a very developed beach and bay, with the 4-lane freeway, main artery US Highway 101, bordering the entire shore.

If you are looking for free and a more rugged, scenic camp – head south to the Big Sur Coast, to find a dirt road camp on the ridge. The sweetest ocean view hike-in camp sites can be found to the north, in the Marin Headlands of Point Reyes, which can be found under Marin Camping.

blue links lead to State Park pages w/ camp reservations.camp

Monterey Area Campgrounds

(listed from south to north)

Monterey Pines RV Campground (Navy)

Monterey County Fairgrounds RV Park

Marina Dunes RV Park

Sunset State Beach State Parks
South Campground

Manresa State Beach State Parks
Uplands Campground

Seacliff RV Park

Seacliff State Beach Campground State Parks

New Brighton State Beach State Parks

Santa Vida RV Park, Santa Cruz, California

Costanoa Coastal Lodge & Campground, Pescadero

Pelican Point RV Park, Half Moon Bay

Half Moon State Beach State Parks
Francis Beach Campground

camping monterey

woods

seaside towns along coast at
Monterey Bay up to San Francisco –

(listed from south to north)

Los Padres Camping

Los Padres Campgrounds
Big Sur, Mount Pinos, Ojai, Santa Barbara, Santa Lucia

Forests

Los Padres National Forest campgrounds span the length of the California Central Coast, from the Monterey Bay to Los Angeles County. Choose a desired area:

Big Sur Campgrounds

Frazier Park Camping

Mount Pinos Campgrounds

Ojai Camping

Santa Barbara Camping

Santa Lucia Camping

Bottcher Gap Campground
Lush coastal campground is Bottchers Gap near Big Sur, CA

Los Padres National Forest

see also Los Padres Group Campgrounds

maps of the Los Padres regions –

Los Padres nearby towns & cities –

Pine Mountain Club from ridge
Pine Mountain Club from ridge