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Trailers you can tow with passenger vehicles or SUVs. A great way to transform average cars into adventure cars.
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Living quarters in the front with dedicated space for hauling motorcycles or other “toys” in the back.
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Popular with small families and first-time RV drivers who want a little more room than a van. Comparable to driving a truck.
The smallest and nimblest of fully enclosed RVs. Drives like a van. Loves posing for Instagram.
A formal-sounding name for camper van, but just as photogenic.
Drivers should be comfortable driving bus-sized vehicles and dealing with parking limitations. Great for delivery.
If you can drive a truck, you can drive a truck camper. Makes roughing it significantly less rough.
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Surrounded by majestic redwoods along the Big Sur River, the Riverside Campground is a family and pet-friendly RV park near the California coast. It’s situated between Carmel-By-The-Sea and San Simeon on California’s Scenic Highway #1, with beach access just 10 minutes' drive away.
RV camping at Riverside Campground includes access to their 34 RV sites and 11 cabins, which are spread over 10 acres of riverfront. Water hookups, 20-amp electrical service, and fire pits are available at each site, with guests having access to hot showers, laundry facilities, and clean restrooms.
Enjoy inner tubing and swimming in the Big Sur River or walk through the mixed forest of coastal redwoods, maples, and oaks. Catch-and-release fishing is also available from November through February, and there’s a good range of groceries, camping supplies, and souvenirs at the on-site store.
Camping at Riverside Campground is a good base for exploring the Andrew Molera State Park, which is situated at the mouth of the Big Sur River. It was once owned by pioneer John Bautista Rogers Cooper whose grandchildren, Andrew and Frances Molera, inherited the property before selling it to The Nature Conservancy to preserve the land. This relatively undeveloped park is a picturesque area for hiking through scenic meadows and along deserted beaches, as well as boasting the most reliable surf in Big Sur. It also encompasses the historic Cooper Cabin, which was built in the 1860s, and a Discovery Center with exhibits detailing the local flora and fauna.
To the southeast of Riverside Campground is the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, which encompasses around 1,000 acres around the Big Sur River and has been nicknamed a “Mini Yosemite.” It’s renowned for its redwood groves that reach their southernmost extent here, with hiking and mountain biking trails for taking in their grandeur. Follow the route that leads to the scenic Pfeiffer Falls while enjoying views of the Santa Lucia Mountains and keeping your eyes peeled for black-tailed deer, raccoons, and the occasional bobcat.
Camp in an RV near Big Sur and head to the Tassajara Hot Springs, which comprises numerous hot springs within the Ventana Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest. It’s been the site of therapeutic resorts since the 1860s, with a Buddhist monastery of the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center overlooking the hot springs today. Follow the one-lane dirt road that leads to this isolated locale to visit what is the first Zen monastery established outside of Asia and enjoy a soak in the hot springs that have been transformed into Japanese-style baths.
Big Sur campers can take advantage of the nearby gas station if you need to fill up your RV rental, with a roadside grill also a short drive away. Alternatively, make the 40-minute drive north to Carmel-By-The-Sea where you’ll find a more extensive range of services, including supermarkets and an array of eateries.
While you’re visiting Carmel-By-The-Sea, don’t miss a visit to the Carmel Mission Basilica Museum, which is one of the most authentically restored Roman Catholic mission churches in California. Dating to 1797, it’s been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its buildings now house various museum galleries that preserve the rich history of the area. Learn about the mission’s restoration in the Harry Downie Museum and discover the influence of the Munras family on the region, then see the monumental bronze and travertine cenotaph sculpted by Jo Mora in the Jo Mora Chapel Gallery.
Carmel-By-The-Sea is on the doorstep of the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, which encompasses one of the most spectacular natural landscapes along the California coast. Hiking trails lead to its small beaches where a variety of wildlife can be spotted, including migrating California gray, humpback, and blue whales. Visit the historic Whalers Cabin that was originally built by Chinese fishermen and now features a museum exploring the cultural and natural history of the region.
Drive south from Riverside Campground, and you’ll arrive in San Simeon, which is famously home to the Hearst Castle, a hilltop mansion built by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. Wander through its opulent rooms that are decorated with art and antiquities while learning about the Hollywood elite who once partied here. Visit the Assembly Room and the Refectory of Casa Grande (the largest residence at Hearst Castle) and admire the beautiful library and Gothic-inspired bedroom suite.