There's nothing better then packing up the van and hitting the road. Sometimes you have a destination planned, sometimes you just drive. But you always find adventure. Here's a few of our favorite road trips to date.
Olympic Peninsula, Washington
We've done this trip a number of times from Portland Oregon. It's usually a two day trip each way. We like to drive the first night and park the van in the Aberdeen Washington Walmart parking lot. Such a weird scene in those parking lots, but you can legally park overnight without getting hassled by the cops. Plus it comes in handy if you need any supplies for the road.
From Aberdeen, the rest of drive North is mostly coastal, winding in and out of secret coves, thick forests and strange feeling Indian reservations. Once you get into the Forks area, you quickly realize you are knee deep in the real life movie plot made famous from the Twilight series. It's no joke either... the rivalry between werewolves and vampires is alive and well in Forks.
La Push, Washington is an amazing place to set up camp right on the beach. There's great waves for surfing, lots of hiking potential, and has a super chill vibe. Just be wary of the reservation dogs.
North Coast, Oregon
We drive out to the Oregon coast as much as we can. It's a fairly close drive from Portland, and hosts a bunch of alternative spots depending on the weather, swell, or time of year. The swell can be huge in the winter, but if you know where to go, you can find coves that block the harsh storms that come down from the North.
If your lucky and know where to go, you can score clean waves. Locals can be unruly in Oregon though. I've had more than a few run in's with surly locals with a lot to prove. Don't go there with California plates.
There aren't too many places where you can easily park overnight in the van on the Oregon Coast without paying. But if you search hard enough, there are a few sneaky zones. I can't disclose anything here, but if you search hard enough, you will find something.
I grew up in Northern California wine country, so I know this zone well. We make a yearly pilgrimage and try to road trip down as frequently as we can. Fall is harvest in the wine world, and it's an amazing time of the year to be in California. There's a buzz in the air unlike anywhere I've ever been. The weather is amazing and the scenery is breathtaking.
There are tons of places to pull off and van camp all over the place. Especially in the wine country. We slept in the van parked in the middle of a vineyard on this trip, and fell asleep with crickets chirping all around us and a bright moon overhead.
From there we drove south through San Francisco and spent some time in the Sunset District. I lived in SF for 10 years, and learned how to surf at Ocean Beach. So I always have to go back and get my ass handed to me in OBs powerful beach breaks. You can park on the Great Highway next to coffee shops and Chinese restaurants. Defiantly one of my favorite places of all time.
Next on the list is the central coast. The road between San Francisco and Santa Cruz is my all-time favorite stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway system. So many great little towns to check out in that zone. From Pacifica, Montara, Half Moon Bay, to Davenport Landing. Tons of sneaky surf spots too.
Once into Santa cruz, the point breaks there are amazing. It's pretty easy to park on the road along the beach overnight too. Pretty amazing to be able to wake up and cruise straight out to the many point breaks. Tons of coffee shops and restaurants to check out, and cruising the coastal route on a skateboard is a deal breaker. Late fall is the best time from San Francisco to Santa Cruz.
A. La Push, WA
B. Indian Beach, OR.
C. Portland, OR.
D. Forestville, CA.
E. San Francisco, CA.
F. Half Moon Bay, CA.
G. Santa Cruz, CA
H. Los Osos, CA.
I. Santa Barbara, CA.
J. Venice, CA.
K. Joshua Tree, CA.
L. San Clemente, CA.
M. Oceanside, CA.
N. Luecadia, CA.
O. Cardiff, CA.
P. La Jolla, CA.
Q. Point Loma, CA.