Iconic California Trips to Add to Your Bucket List
California is full of discoveries at every turn, from undiscovered gems like hidden beaches to well-known sites like Half Dome. But there’s a handful of destinations that top the list when it comes to planning a trip out West.
Fittingly, those destinations are home to AutoCamp locations, positioned for ultimate immersion in these iconic places. Booking an AutoCamp Luxury Tent, Airstream, or Suite situates you near the entrances to National Parks and close to wineries, delicious restaurants, and other unforgettable experiences.
For help shaping your travel wishlist (and stirring your wanderlust), we’ve rounded up highlights at four legendary California destinations—Russian River, Yosemite, Sequoia, and Joshua Tree.
Nestled in idyllic Sonoma County, Russian River is a perfect mix of natural escapism and access to local wineries and breweries.
On site at AutoCamp Russian River, soak up the serenity of your surroundings with guided experiences like a bird walk down Sebastopol’s West County Regional Trail. It’s a two-mile round-trip stroll that will teach you how to identify some of the area’s winged wildlife.
Or, slow down and commune with the towering redwood trees during an afternoon of forest bathing. It uses mindfulness and meditation practices to help you reap the healing benefits of The Grove of The Old Trees. Now a protected conservation site, it’s one of the most majestic forests in the state.
Don’t miss out on the fun that the surrounding towns have to offer, from Occidental’s famous farmer’s market, which runs through the end of October, and of course make time for a wine tour. Here’s five of our favorites, including the renowned Merry Edwards, and Dutton Ranch, famous for their classic California Chardonnays.
The closest town to AutoCamp Russian River, Guerneville is a quaint town that’s rich in character, delicious meals, and interesting shops. Fall is also a happening time for events in Guerneville, including The Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival.
And don’t leave town without at least spending one day floating down The Russian River!
If you’re feeling daunted by getting a Yosemite National Park Pass, staying at AutoCamp can help you access the park without a reservation.
Reservations aren’t required to enter the park before 6am or after 4pm, so to maximize your day, grab coffee and trail snacks from the AutoCamp Clubhouse and head into the park for a full day of exploring. To make things even easier, the local YART bus stops just a short walk from the AutoCamp Yosemite entrance, and you can ride it to the park for a reasonable fee—prices and schedules may vary seasonally, so check here for the most accurate info.
Another option is to book a tour of Yosemite’s most scenic spots guided by Wildland Trekking, a half day tour that includes the cost of admission into the park to see epic waterfalls, sheer rock faces, and crystal clear rivers.
Photography fans can follow in the footsteps of still life master Ansel Adams with an intimate private tour of the park designed to bring you to the most photogenic spots. Led by The Ansel Adams Gallery (worth a stop whether you take the tour or not!) the experience highlights some lesser-known sites for capturing incredible images, and can be tailored to include lighting or camera tips, depending on your needs. After, sample locally-made ciders with an orchard tour and tasting at Sierra Cider Orchard.
AutoCamp Yosemite is also rich in things to do without setting foot of our property—go forest bathing, dance under the stars at our Soul Galaxy concert and dance party, or ease into the day with morning meditation.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon
In the heart of Central California, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are known for deep canyons, breathtaking views, and the famous Sequoia trees (which are actually close cousins of the coast’s famous Redwoods).
As you drive up Generals Highway into Sequoia National Park, keep your eyes peeled for Moro Rock. Hike to the top of this giant granite dome via a 400-step stairway (.5-mile out-and-back trail) for truly picturesque views. Located just a half mile from Moro Rock, pass through the magical Tunnel Log, carved from a huge tree that fell across the road in the 1930s and remains intact today.
Located just off Generals Highway, Roaring River Falls is a popular hiking route at any time of the year. Marvel at views of the jagged Kings Canyon cliffs, and after a short .3 mile round-trip, you’ll be rewarded with the mist of a surging waterfall cascade that pours through the granite valley. Don’t miss a visit to Grant Grove and be sure to stop for a photo opp at the 3,000 year old General Grant Tree. Named the second largest tree in the world, it stands at 267 feet tall and 29 feet wide.
Did you know? AutoCamp Sequoia is coming soon! Autocamp Sequoia is located just outside both Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park. After a day of adventuring, head back to AutoCamp and let the sounds of the river be the backdrop to a relaxing evening by the campfire.
Famous for its unparalleled stargazing, wide-open vistas, famous Joshua Trees and cactuses, Joshua Tree offers something for everyone. As the scorching summer temperatures dip, fall is one of the best time to experience the magic of the high desert.
About those stars—you can learn more about the different constellations without ever leaving AutoCamp at our Stargazing & Perseid Meteor Shower Viewing. Whether it’s catching a meteor shower or getting a better understanding of the Milky Way, Joshua Tree’s night skies offer plenty of opportunities for seasoned skywatchers and amateurs alike. You can also make a stop at the nearby Sky’s The Limit Observatory, which hosts a Night Sky Festival, Lunar Club clinics to teach you how to use your telescope, and more.
Cooler weather signals the perfect time to tackle hikes without overheating. Head into the Mojave with our free guided hike to Samuelson’s Rock, take a fact-filled half day Joshua Tree National Park tour with a seasoned guide, or plan an all-ages afternoon of rock climbing in the park.For solo adventures, check out the old mining ruins at Wall Street Mill, or take in the subtle seasonal changes in the park from the scenic Panorama Loop, rich in plant life and native wildlife sightings.
For music lovers, folk rock meets psychedelic performances at the Joshua Tree Music Festival, held in early October. The community-centric event also hosts a craft fair, kid’s section, and meditation events.
No matter which California adventure you choose, AutoCamp offers access to the best each location has to offer. We look forward to adventuring with you soon!