We had planned on a trip to the gold country two weeks ago, but the weather decided not to cooperate. We’ve had great luck with weather, and that was the first RV trip we cancelled due to rain and wind. Instead we thought we would try our luck in booking another site two weeks later. In California, that can be next to impossible, but we managed to snag a cancellation at our favorite beach, Half Moon Bay State Beach, with just a few days to spare!
My wife had plans to get together with Friends at Jack London Square in Oakland the morning of the trip, so we decided she would meet me at the campsite. I am so used to traveling with her, it seemed strange driving there myself. The only issue I had was forgetting to put the bridge transponder on the dash before I left. I had to stop at the toll booth, get the transponder, and then drive. No biggie.
Our favorite site was not available, but we still had a nice view of the ocean, even if obstructed by a few campsites.
It was cold and windy, but we love being close enough to the ocean to hear the surf.
We took a walk along the Coastside Trail from Francis Beach past the visitors center south to Poplar Beach a little over a mile away.
There is a bike trail and horse path along much of the beach in Half Moon Bay State Park, so if hiking, biking, or horse riding sounds like a good time to you, then you would like it here. The water is pretty cold, but we saw plenty of families playing in the water, fisherman casting lines, and surfers in their wet suits riding the waves.
The next day was Easter, arguably the biggest holiday of the year for Christians. We were lucky to have good wifi and were able to watch the service form our home church inside our RV. How great is that!
We then rode our bikes the length of the bike trail, first pedaling south to Poplar Beach and then north all the way to Pillar Point, about 15 miles round trip.
Just off Pillar Point is the famous Mavericks surf competition, but this weekend the waves were too small for that kind of action.
Also at Pillar point is Sam’s Chowder House, a great place for clam chowder and seafood in general. We stopped here for lunch and sat outside to have a great view of the marina and pillar point. The service was great and the clam chowder was awesome, with clams, cream, bacon, onions, and thyme. I highly recommend this place! I also had the fish and chips, which was very tasty, too!
We rode all the way to the end of the road to the Air Force installation. We call it the big golf ball. There is a good view of the harbor from there.
In the afternoon, we got in the car and drove to Half Moon Bay Coffee for a good cup of joe and some pastries. They have a great selection, and we like the mini pies.
That evening, we grilled New York steak and had a wonderful non-traditional Easter dinner together.
Our daughter, Kaylee, was camping in Death Valley, or we would have enjoyed spending time with her and her boyfriend, Jon. I understand they had a great time and you can follow their adventures at bayareaweekend.com.
The next day, we headed back home early to prepare for the big week to come.
We are already looking forward to visiting Point Reyes next month!
Al & Deb
Thanks for letting us join you on your weekend RV trip. We loved it. Mom & Dad
This is definitely an itinerary I will follow when visiting my daughter in San Francisco. For Easter I stayed in the San Elijo state beach RV campground at Cardiff-by-the-Sea. I use my electric Specialized bike for local commuting. What would be the mileage to hit these restaurants by bike? Is there a Trader Joe’s like grocery store near the campground for supplies? Thanks!
Thanks eeltinge, I’ll have to check out San Elijo state beach.
Let’s see, Sam’s Chowder house is about 3-4 miles away on the Coastside trail. HMB Coffee is about two miles away on Main Street . If walking or riding a bike, just stay on Kelly across highway 1 and turn left on Main Street. There is also a Peets and Starbucks nearby. For groceries, there is a New Leaf Market at highway 1 and highway 92 that we stop at a lot. They have organic and local foods. It’s more pricy than the nearby Safeway but more interesting. Hope you enjoy your stay there! Happy traveling!
Al and Deb
Wish I could have gone! Looking forward to joining you in Point Reyes 🙂
Looking forward to it!
The massive antenna array on the hills leading to the Point Reyes lighthouse is the Coast Guards. We built it there as this point juts farther out into the Pacific then any other in the continental USA. Gives us line-of-sight radio communications with our cutters from AK to Central America. Somewhat obsolete now with satellites. Also, it’about 300 slippery steps down and up to the lighthouse. Get there before it closes for the day.
Love Monterrey Bay…and I have ate at the Chowder House….you really lucked out wit the weather….I lived in Point Reyes so I look forward to your post about it….I lived out at Limantour. Beach..my father was part of the National Park Service years ago….Enjoy!!!..
The weather was clear, but cold and windy. Having lived in Northern Ca, you know that dressing right for the weather (in layers) makes all the difference between a comfortable and miserable time. 🙂 wow, living in Limantour…what a great place to grow up! We plan to visit the beach, lighthouse and kayak while there…I hope we can get it all into the weekend! I’m also looking forward to your posts on New Mexico…been there dozens of times on business, but rarely get to stop and smell the roses. Take care!
Thanks….we lived in one of the houses (if they are still there) up on the hill….I was raised in National Parks…we moved down from the Olympic National Park, Port Angeles and Kalaloch back in the 70’s….I feel like a had a very special childhood….kat
The San Mateo County coastline is a beautiful area. I know because I worked the coast as a Deputy Sheriff for many years. When we retired we moved to Auburn but return there several times every year with our motor home and boat to fish for salmon. We camp in the parking lot for the boat ramp in Princeton for a week at a time. That area is excellent for just about anything you want to do including a lot of great restaurants to dine, Our favorite is a small restaurant by the Princeton fishing pier called ‘Ketch Joann.” If you go back there you have to try it.
Thanks for the tip on Ketch Joann. Sounds like great food and we’ll try it next time we are in the area. Any recommendations for us the next time we are in the Auburn area?
We downsized our home and Moved to Lincoln a few years ago. There’s a campground in Auburn off Rt. 49 about three miles from I-80. It’s not the resort type but they have hook-ups. In fact we lived there in our motor home for over 8 months because we sold our house within two weeks and hadn’t found a new home yet. That was quite an experience considering we left a very large house. There is a little restaurant in Auburn on Rt. 49 right off of I-80 called ‘Katrina’s’ that serves good food but only breakfast and lunch and are closed Monday & Tuesday. There is an old restaurant in Lincoln on Lincoln Blvd. called ‘Kim’s Country Kitchen’ that we frequent often for breakfast usually on Sundays, They have a lot of taxidermy and antiques on the walls; very interesting place. They serve exotic extras like buffalo and antelope meats. Kim’s husband is a hunter and fisherman. There’s an old still-working Placer County Courthouse in Auburn antique, Native American artifacts and local gold on display and has a gift shop. If you’re ever in the Lincoln area feel free to drop by to fill your water and dump if you need to. email@example.com. JIM
Jim, thanks for the suggestions in Auburn. We plan to visit the gold country soon and appreciate the ideas. It sure songs like you are enjoying retirement, and thanks for the generous offer. Take care!
Al and Deb