hiking


China Camp State Park camping and beach

china camp state park beach

China Camp State Park is a Bay Area jewel. It’s a beautiful state park which features camping, hiking, biking, water activities, and a beach on the bay. In addition to outdoor activities, China Camp State Park offers local Bay Area history which isn’t typically taught in schools. Love!

We recently took a weekend camping trip to China Camp State Park, and it was both beautiful and fun. The campsites are flat, and well maintained. There are plenty of hiking trails, biking trails, and fabulous views of the bay. The campsite is a quick drive from the beach, which also features a museum, and several buildings that are original to the historical fishing village.

You can drive, hike, or bike to the beach from the campgrounds. Then, you can relax on the beach with your own picnic, or you can buy snacks from the shop on-site. We drove to the beach from the campgrounds, and we brought our own sandwiches. It was relaxing and fun!

China Camp State Park campgrounds are easily accessible from 101 in San Rafael. I recommend making your campsite reservations six months in advance so you can pick the site you want, and ensure you actually get a site. October was a great month to camp since it wasn’t too hot, and the campground wasn’t crowded.

The campgrounds offer bathrooms and showers. For the showers, make sure you bring quarters as they require payment with quarters. Also, prepare to store your food at night in your car, or the bear box. The racoons are very smart, and not afraid to go after your food. We kept our cooler in the car after dark, and it worked perfectly.

There is a lot of wildlife at China Camp State Park. If you need quiet while you sleep, bring earplugs. There are plenty of coyote sounds, and bird sounds, in the middle of the night.

You can learn more at FriendsOfChinaCamp.org. If camping isn’t your thing, and you are local, you can always day trip to China Camp and enjoy the hiking trails, beach, and museum!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy


Pismo Beach day 2

wearing: sunglasses / lipstick / earrings / puff sleeve tee (under $50) / cross body bag / bracelets / fall nail polish / linen joggers / espadrille mules /

On our second day in Pismo Beach, we decided to check out Cal Poly and their famous hiking trail known as the Architecture Graveyard. We woke up early, grabbed breakfast, and then by 8:30am, we were in our car heading up to Cal Poly; which my oldest daughter was excited about since it is one of twenty schools she is interested in attending next year. I am pretty sure we cannot visit them all, but I digress. . .

Poly Canyon Trail aka Architecture Graveyard Cal Poly

wearing: sunglasses / workout tee / fall nail polish / cardigan / cross body bag / wide leg leggings (old, also love this pair) / hiking boots (old, also love these) /

The Architecture Graveyard is located on the Poly Canyon Trail. This trail begins as a service road, and roughly one mile in, you will find the entrance to the College of Architecture and Environmental Design’s trail.

This trail features work by Architecture and Engineering students which dates back to the 1960s. It’s interesting to see how architecture has changed from mid-century modern to now. One thing we found disappointing was the amount of graffiti and vandalism on many of the projects. It’s sad that people would come in and harm projects students created. Despite the vandalism, we could still picture the original intent of the projects, many of which would translate extremely well into real life. Of course, some are merely artistic.

Hiking on this trail was fantastic with the kids. They were having fun checking out the works, and didn’t notice how much hiking they actually did! Our round trip hike was well over two miles; much more then I get my kids to hike on a regular hiking trail. Love that! I highly recommend checking out this trail if you visit the area.

Downtown San Luis Obispo

After our hike, we were hungry! We headed over to Downtown San Luis Obispo and to Firestone Grill for lunch. This restaurant was recommended by the valet at our hotel, Vespera Resort on Pismo Beach. He steered us in the right direction! They had delicious lunch options which were all generous in size. The side of fries alone could feed a family of five! We were very full after lunch. I highly recommend checking this place out when you are in SLO. It’s delicious and reasonably priced. Love!

With our bellies full, we took a short walk around downtown, and then did a self-guided tour around the mission; which is beautiful. I recommend checking out this important part of California history if you visit SLO.

When we were done touring downtown, we headed back to Pismo Beach, and rested for a short bit in our hotel. Then, we headed downstairs for dinner at the Somerset Grill in our hotel, which was delicious! I enjoyed a salmon dinner with lentils and mushrooms. Yum!

After dinner, we walked around the beach and pier. We discovered there was a height ruler on the edge of the “P” of the Pismo Beach sign by the pier. We had fun seeing our heights with shoes on. I love how shoes add a couple inches. We all felt so tall! haha

Shop my Pismo Beach day 2 outfit and hiking look online:

Day 2 in Pismo Beach was a great day! We got some exercise, checked out a college, and relaxed by the beach. Love!

Stay tuned for more coverage from Pismo!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy


Alum Rock Park hiking trails

wearing: adidas sweatshirt / gaiter / spring nail polish / backpack / water bottle / sweatpants / hiking boots (sold out, similar here) /

Alum Rock Park is a large outdoor recreation area in San Jose, California. This park is the oldest municipal park in San Jose, dating back to 1872. It’s located on the eastern side of San Jose and offers playgrounds, picnic areas, multiple hiking trails, and a visitor center with camps and activities where visitors can learn more about the wildlife in the area. In addition to being a great place for outdoor fun and education, there is a historic aspect to the park!

The Alum Rock Mineral Springs were very popular in the early 1900s. While the mineral springs are now defunct, the remnants can be found along the hiking trails and provide a beautiful addition to the natural surroundings.

The hiking trails in Alum Rock are not too difficult, and are perfect for families. We enjoyed hiking through the park and occasionally stopping to take pictures of each other with the ruins from the springs. It was extremely relaxing and beautiful. I cannot believe we hadn’t visited Alum Rock Park before! It’s perfect for a day of fun, exercise, and a little education.

If you are local to the Bay Area, I highly recommend visiting Alum Rock Park; especially if you have children. The park gets very busy, so I recommend going early; before 9am. This way you can enjoy the park stress-free. Love that!

Have you been to Alum Rock Park before? What are your favorite spots? We parked by the visitor center and went on the hiking trails from there.

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy