The weekend after Labor Day in Southern California at Emma Wood State Beach is a wonder weekend. No, not because its just another sunny and warm weekend, but because Emma Wood turns into a 1st come, 1st served campground. Being a short 45 minute drive from my house, it makes a perfect weekend get-away very close to downtown Ventura and all it’s culture, food and sites.
This year, the weekend happened upon my birthday as well. So my buddy, Rick, and I took our respective rigs to work Thursday, and took an extended late afternoon lunch to find two perfect spots at the beach. After a brief settling in, I took my buddy back to work a short 5 minutes down the freeway (seeing as he has an RV, and no toad) and went back to my trailer to finish off my work day. Luckily for me, my company has supplied me with an AT&T 4G air card and laptop… business as usual! After Rick was finished for the day, I picked him up and we waited for his wife to arrive, enjoying the surf and sunset right off our campsites. We enjoyed a nice dinner and adult beverage at a local Mexican cantina named Yolie’s. Later we sat by the camp fire and relaxed.
Friday morning was beautiful. The campground has generator hours of 10am – 8pm… good thing I have a load of batteries and a large inverter to power my coffee maker! I spent the day mostly inside unfortunately as I had several conference calls to attend, and the loud surf and occasional train (more on that later) where far too loud to allow work outside. Late in the afternoon I started dinner for us all, a large freezer lasagna, as more of our friends arrived (THA’s Editor in Chief, Terry Gluckman and his wife Vickie). We picked up Rick after work again and dinner was ready soon after we got back. A bit later, Rick’s wife arrived after picking up my family and we all enjoyed the sunset and evening around the camp fire once again.
Saturday morning consisted mostly of relaxing around camp, and exploring the beach and coastline. In the afternoon we all headed into downtown Ventura for a stroll around the historic main street area. There are many shops and eateries around the area, along with a museum and historic Spanish Mission. We ate an early dinner at a local brewery and retired back to camp to finish off the evening.
Sunday morning was pack-up time. Check out is noon, but it can get crazy leaving the campground at checkout, so we both where packed and gone well before that. There is a pay dump site just one exit down the freeway at the Ventura Beach RV Resort which as of now, charges an astonishing $25 dump fee!!! I payed it and dumped, feeling like a chump for not putting in sewer access on my storage pad at home. We where home shortly, and enjoyed the rest of a great SoCal summer day.
Emma Wood State Beach:
Located on a disused section of the original Hwy 1 Pacific Coast Highway. All sites are beach front access, and back in or back out. There is a maximum length 45′, with parking at most spots across the access road for auxiliary vehicles. There are may pros to this campground; it’s location to nearby Ventura, beach access at every site and wonderful views being the primary. Cons include tight turn-arounds, making it difficult to leave (so just stay forever!) and VERY close proximity to the railroad track. The RR track is literally 50′ from every camp site, and there are trains traveling the section several times a day and night. They DO NOT sound their whistles or horns anywhere near the campsites however, which makes the rumbling past bearable.