Central Coast Road Trip

With gas prices at $5.00 per gallon, relatively local road trip adventures are an exciting option for the family vacation. Here is a five-day, four night road trip that will please all the members of your family. The highlights included Hearst’s Castle, the Winchester Mystery House, and a steam train in the redwoods.

By taking advantage of the proximity of California’s central coast, we packed the Prius with camping gear (if you don’t have the gear, REI rents anything you need) and set out for two campsites with two nights in each. There is plenty to do in each spot so you cut down the driving and only set up and tear down camp twice. We chose San Simeon State Park and Henry Cowell State Park (near Felton, CA, in the costal redwoods). Both have flush toilets and hot showers. Reservations are available online through Reserve America,  I have included information on potential motels near the end of this article for those so inclined.

Before you go:

Get directions from GoogleMaps. Even if you know the way or have GPS in your auto, kids love to help by reading the instructions. While you are on the website, take advantage of the turn photographs as it helped us in traffic in San Jose (by seeing the shopping center sign on the corner)

Check the weather. You can use a variety of websites, we use MSN.com. Regardless of what they say, bring extra warm clothing, as the central coast can be foggy and cold at any time of year.

Get your reservations. Use Reserve America for both campsites and for Hearst’s Castle. For the castle tours, go on tour number one early in the day (the drive is 15 minutes from the campsite).

Use a checklist to pack.  Here is one that I use, Master Camping Checklist.doc.

Begin your trip on Day One

DoAble Road Trips