Filed under: Campgrounds & RV Parks, Holidays on the Road, State & National Parks, Tent Campgrounds, Uncategorized
How do you spend your Thanksgiving weekend? Camping in your RV, at the beach, in the mountains, or elsewhere? Do you spend it with extended family or close friends?
My family has some fantastic Thanksgiving traditions, including a 33-mile bike ride, a camp-out on the beach in the RV, basketball and chess tournaments, followed by a competitive race on the bike ride home (for another 33 miles).
The weekend of fun begins on Thanksgiving Day when we meet up for a delicious turkey dinner, complete with tons of mouth-watering homemade side dishes. My younger sister famously bakes these “Out-Of-This-World” Pecan and Pumpkin pies and we finish off the last hours of daylight with a basketball game at a nearby park, while the annual Chess Tournament takes us into the wee hours of the night. The following morning, we get up early and take a brisk 33-mile bike ride, along the scenic Southern California coastline, to Carpinteria State Beach. Those who choose not to ride, trail closely behind us with all of our camping gear in the RV.
Just 12 miles south of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria State Beach boasts picturesque, beachfront spots with a mile-long stretch of wide, sandy beach just steps from your camp site. With over 200 RV (up to 30 feet long) and tent camping sites available, many offer beachfront camping with gorgeous views of the islands, sunsets, and marine life (dolphins, seals, and even gray whales). There is also a lot to see and do within easy walking distance. The tide pools are fun to explore at low tide and are teeming with interesting marine life, including sea anemones, octopus, and starfish. While the charming downtown area is must-see with its quaint boutique shops and excellent dining options. My favorite things about Carpinteria are the ideal climate year-round, the fact that the town is small enough to experience in a short period of time, and that there are always fun things (such as the Avocado Festival) going on to keep you entertained. Even if that includes simply chilling in your RV, listening to the surf, and watching the rolling waves; you’ll feel right at home here.
Upon waking the next morning, after our 33-mile ride, we grab some breakfast and head out on our bikes to what we nostalgically call the “Artsy Fartsy” Fair, which is technically called the “Carpinteria Arts and Crafts Fair.” Here, you can easily spend hours walking along the (blocked off) streets, enjoying live music, eating and shopping for homemade arts and crafts. My favorite way to experience the fair is to just meander through at my own pace, relishing in the warmth from the morning sunshine on my face. Once we have had our fill of the “Artsy Fartsy” Fair, we load up, hop back on our bikes, and ride the 33 miles back home. The ride home also happens to be an unofficial race– no real prize involved, just bragging rights for the rest of the year, until next Thanksgiving!
What does your traditional Thanksgiving look like?
Last 5 posts by Cynthia Baum
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