In March, we drove South for an 11 night RV trip to the ocean. We stayed in two locations, each with a very different camping experience, from posh to primitive.
We also visited a few new places, including Sensorio (Field of Lights) in Paso Robles, the Santa Barbara Courthouse, Highway 1 to Mailbu, Point Dume, and the Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme.
Flying Flags Avila Beach RV Resort
Our first stop was a Flying Flags Avila Beach RV Resort. This is a very nice RV resort terraced above San Luis Bay.
It’s a beautiful resort with each site overlooking the ocean. A natural gas fire pit is also included at each full hook-up site and cabin, and you can get a complimentary cup of Nespresso at the camp store.
We also enjoyed the music provided each weekend. The entertainers were good, but I also liked that it ended by 7pm! Nothing to interfere with such a beautiful sunset!
Note it can be very windy there in the afternoon, but the views make up for that, in our opinion. We did all the usual things we do while in Avila/Pismo/San Luis Obispo. Here’s a link to previous trips.
Something new for this trip was an evening at Sensorio in Paso Robles.
Sensorio is a large art exhibit installed four years ago but still going strong. We arrived just before the sun set over the rolling hills and trees. As far as you can see are these dandelion-shaped lights filling the fields all around you.
They are solar powered, and always on, but as the sun sets and your eyes adjust you can start to see their glow.
As you walk through the exibit you get the sense that it is somehow alive. On a cold evening, I highly recommend a cup of hot chocolate (with or without Bailey’s Irish Cream) for the walk through the grounds.
We enjoyed our stay in Avila, but after a week, we moved down the coast to Ventura.
Ventura Rincon Parkway
Ventura Rincon Parkway is our happy place. No hookups and no amenities, but wow, what a front yard! We only spent a few nights here, but packed a lot into this short visit!
Camping parallel to the beautiful coast here, with the Channel Islands in the distance and the sound of the surf right in front of you is just amazing.
And the sunsets are among the best anywhere!
While in Rincon, there are so many nearby attractions and restaurants, it’s hard to choose. We were there 4 nights and did some of our favorites. Here’s a link to previous trips.
On this trip, we enjoyed three new ones — the Santa Barbara Courthouse, a drive along Highway 1 to Malibu, and the SeaBee Museum in Port Hueneme.
Santa Barbara Courthouse
The courthouse in Santa Barbara is one of the most beautiful public buildings in the country. It could never be duplicated today. As you can see by the artist in the photo, it’s very picturesque.
Here’s the subject of his painting.
The grounds are very interesting and ornate.
Inside, it is even more so. Here is the mural room, with beautiful painted murals on all four sides of the room.
The view from the bell tower is pretty amazing too!
Highway 1 from Ventura to Malibu
We took a drive along the coast to Malibu one sunny day.
We both grew up in the area, so of course it brought back all kinds of fond memories as we reminisced about the “old days”.
We ended our drive at Point Dume State Beach and Nature Preserve, where you can see all the way to Los Angeles. Many movies have been filmed here, including Iron Man 1 and 2, and the Big Lebowski. Parking is the hardest part, but it’s a short and enjoyable hike.
We stopped for lunch at Malibu Seafood for some fish and chips before heading back home. Their motto is “We don’t serve breakfast because we’re out catching lunch!”
Since I lived on this base for four years, I’m surprised I had never visited the Seabee Museum. In fact, my brother-in-law, Dave, was a Seabee! The museum has been in Port Hueneme in various forms since 1947! The new museum was built in 2011 and is a worthwhile stop for anyone interested in naval history.
I think you will be inspired by the construction and engineering accomplishments of the Seabees throughout the history of the military.
As you can see from the logo, they are basically a fighting construction battalion. Many times, their construction projects were in extremely dangerous environments. They also had many projects to help the credit by the wars.
Here’s a good movie to watch to get a sense of their mission. They have it on 24/7 at the museum, or you can find it online.
I also enjoyed the intricate murals of life during the war for the Seabees. Obviously a labor of love.
They also had recreations of some living structures that were used over the years.
A lesser known mission was to support the chaplain corps with churches made for the Seabees to worship in. This stain glass window came from a temporary church, also obviously a labor of love. Wow!
A final picture of a battle-scarred Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle on display at the museum. A good reminder that freedom is not free. A huge thank you to all the Seabees and the vital work they do.
After a great week on the Ventura coast, we were off to the desert for the next three weeks! See you in Arizona!
Al & Deb
Beautiful places that you’ve seen in your travels, but we always stay away from California because of that traffic and the price of gasoline.
Well, I live in CA so I can’t get away from either! 🙂 Actually, it’s a really big state and not crowded everywhere, and gas turns out to be a small percent of overall ownership costs, even for a Californian. Love your travel vlog, John! Beautiful videos! We are blessed to live in a beautiful country!
Super nice blog and great pictures! We always avoid California because of traffic and the price of gasoline.