The California Bucket List is your daily guide to essential California adventures, from easy to edgy. Check in every day for a new must-do adventure, each tried and tested by one of the Travel section's staffers and contributors. Or use the filters in blue below to seek out great spots in each of 12 California regions: North Coast, Shasta Cascade, Gold Country, S.F. Bay Area, High Sierra, Central Valley, Central Coast, Deserts, Inland Empire and the counties of L.A., Orange and San Diego.
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Why: Sometimes, it’s like looking out at the North Sea. Montaña de Oro State Park is misty 1,400-foot bluffs, crashing waves and wildlife. If you’re looking to hike California's craggy jawline, or for a moody place to paint, pack your favorite old sweater and head off to this dramatic beach campground.
What: Montaña de Oro State Park is a half day’s drive north of Los Angeles, near Morro Bay. The park's main, 50-site campground offers primitive sites with picnic tables, fire pits, toilets and nearby drinking water for car campers. The park's hike-in environmental sites have pit toilets and picnic tables but no water. Spooner's Cove is the most popular beach, right across from the campground. Dogs are permitted in campsites and on park roads and must be on a leash no longer than six feet. Except for Spooner’s Cove, dogs are not allowed on the trails or beaches.
Be sure to bring your own firewood or buy at the camp host site (campsite 22). Campsites 18, 19, 20 are closest to the beach; 40, 41 and 42 offer a little more privacy. Interested in having an RV delivered to your site? Paso Robles RV Rentals is the approved vendor: (888) 898-2267
Where: On Pecho Road, 6 miles southwest of Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County, 205 miles northwest of downtown L.A.
How much: Campsites start at $20 a night, plus an $8 reservation fee.