Santa Cruz and Big Sur Camping

Santa Cruz and Big Sur Camping

One of our favorite things about traveling with a teardrop is the ability to travel on a moment's notice. We recently escaped the 110 degree heat of the Sacramento valley for a two night stay on the central California coast. Our first night, we stayed at New Brighton State Beach, just south of the quaint surfside town of Capitola. The temperatures were much more pleasant- in the 60s, and our departure from the Sacramento area after work hours on Friday put our arrival at the campsite right around sunset.

Instead of cooking a meal at the campsite as we usually do, we unhooked the trailer and headed 2 minutes up the road to Capitola to enjoy a dinner and margaritas at one of the restaurants on the beach.

We love that camping in a teardrop means that we don't have to spend hours setting up tents, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, kitchen and cooking arrangements, etc. We simply unhook the trailer, pop the galley hatch, make the bed (if we had the mattress folded up), and we're all set.

Saturday morning we woke up and decided we wanted coffee with a view, so we quickly hooked up the trailer and headed ten minutes north to the bluffs near Natural Bridges State Beach. We found parking, quickly unhooked, popped the hatch, and made some freshly ground coffee in the french press.

 Making coffee in Santa Cruz overlooking the Monterey Bay

We then hooked the trailer back up and stopped by The Bagelry in Santa Cruz for some delicious bagels and lox, then hit the road for Big Sur.

Our plan was to stay in Big Sur Saturday night and make dinner and breakfast Sunday morning at camp. On the way, we stopped in the seaside agricultural area of Moss Landing at The Thistle Hut for produce for our fish tacos we were planning that night. A Buffalo Teardrops camper in front of a produce stand in Moss Landing, CA

We then continued on to Monterey, stopping by the wharf for some fresh fish. Another great thing about traveling with a teardrop is that your kitchen and fridge are always with you, so we tossed the produce and fish into the cooler and continued on our journey.

A Buffalo Teardrops camper in front of the Wharf in Monterey, CA 

In no hurry, we stopped along the way to take in breathtaking views and make snacks as we got hungry.


Arriving at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, we were enamored by the crystal blue water in the river and redwood groves as we made our way to our campsite.


At camp, we unhooked, popped the hatch, unrolled our roof rack-mounted awning for some extra shade, and set out our chairs.


Next, it was time to kick the feet up and enjoy a drink. A favorite easy way to enjoy camp cocktails is to use a pre-prepared craft cocktail. These usually include al the ingredients, including dehydrated fruit, and only require you to add your favorite liquor and let it steep for a couple hours. In Monterey, we had stopped and added tequila to the margarita bottle and tossed it back in the cooler to soak while we drove. The results did not disappoint!


Soon, we got hungry, so I started a fire in the fire ring while Sophia began to prepare the fixings.

I grabbed the trusty cast iron and let it heat up over the fire, drizzled in some avocado oil to season the pan, and then laid in the fresh fish, squeezing in some lemon for flavor. After soaking the fresh corn (that we had picked up at the produce stand) in the ice chest, I placed that on the grate over the open flame next to the cast iron.


A few minutes later, our fresh fish tacos and corn were ready to devour. We love keeping camp meals simple and fresh, using the local offerings as much as we can. This meal was one of our favorite ones yet.


After an evening around the fire, complete with s’mores, we went to bed very happy campers.

 Sunday morning, I woke up and made some freshly ground coffee in the french press and lit a fire in the fire ring. There’s nothing better than sitting by the warmth of a campfire in the morning, coffee in hand, watching the world around you come alive.

After a while, we began to prepare an absolutely mouth watering breakfast. Again, I threw the cast iron on the fire, and as I started to cook the bacon, Sophia started prepping the french toast. As the slices of fresh toast sizzled in the pan, I couldn’t believe how picture perfect they came out. I couldn’t resist capturing the moment.


Fully rested and fully fed, we enjoyed the campsite a while longer before washing the dishes, putting everything away, hitching up the trailer, and hitting the road. Not ready to head back to the 110 degree heat just yet, we continued south down the historic Highway 1, enjoying the breathtaking views along the way, before turning around and and roaming our way back north.


On the drive home we reflected on just how incredible it is to camp with a teardrop. As a lifelong outdoorsman/ camping enthusiast, camping itself isn’t new to me. However, I’m used to it being complicated and time consuming. I’d normally spend an entire day before the trip packing my car to the brim, only to arrive at a campsite and spend hours setting up, then again hours tearing down when we leave, only to spend a day unpacking and cleaning everything when I return home. But t not with a teardrop. Everything is ready and on board. Camp is simple to set up and tear down. It takes mere minutes, not hours. We could never go back to the old ways of camping. not after a weekend as perfect as this.

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