We left early on a Friday morning to head to our first destination in Pismo Beach, but we wanted to take a quick detour and stop in Solvang.
First, parking. I did a little research beforehand and found that the Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall has a big parking lot and allows RVs free daytime parking! You can find more info in the FAQs here.
We didn’t want to get to Pismo too late so we knew we couldn’t stay in Solvang more than 1 ½-2 hours. Since we had our dog with us, we needed to eat somewhere outdoors so we inquired at the visitors center and they were very helpful. One of their recommendations was the Copenhagen Sausage Garden. It was just right for us – outside with picnic tables, a variety of sausage/hot dog choices, and they even had dog bowls for the pups.
After walking around a few blocks and visiting some cute shops and bakeries, we got back on the road.
This was our first time staying at a private facility, Pismo Sands RV Resort. It was definitely different from the State Parks where we usually stay. On the positive side, it was full of amenities: clean bathrooms/showers (no extra charge), laundry facilities (coin operated), swimming pool, grass, and a mini convenience store. Some of the sites have fire pits, and if you don’t have one you can just ask and they’ll try to find one for you.
A little side note: When I made the reservation – by phone only, no reservations online – the woman on the phone was a little short with me. I asked if there would be a confirmation email and she said (in a very annoyed tone), “No, that’s why I gave you a confirmation number!” Mmm, K. Conversely, everyone on site was wonderful, from the woman who checked us in, to the grounds gentleman who found a fire pit for us. We had a few problems with several dogs that were off leash, and he kept a close eye on them and made sure they kept them tied up. And they all keep the place nice and clean.
We definitely prefer being in a more nature-like campground, at State and National Parks, but we enjoyed the contrast for something different. The RV park kind of felt like we were just staying in a parking lot, and being a private facility, they have rules about what you can have on the grass, including not having any kind of little fence on or around your site. We love our fence! (Click here to get info from Amazon)
The morning after we arrived we drove about 6 miles to Margo Dodd Park. I had read great reviews but it exceeded our expectations. The views from the cliffs are amazing! Then, after we enjoyed the cliff views, we took the stairs down to the beach. There are little cave-like areas and rocks to climb on, and dogs are allowed. Our fur-girl loved it! It was windy and cool, but sunny, so really just perfect. We stayed there for quite a while just exploring.
Check out the slideshow below!
Right next door to Margo Dodd Park (you don’t even have to move your car!) is Dinosaur Caves Park. It has a little play area with things for the kids to climb and play on, but there’s also a nice grassy area all around if you wanted to have a little picnic. It was nice to relax and play after our beach exploring. Oh, and restrooms!
We went back to “camp” and left the next morning for Part 2 of our Summer Vacation!