Santa Barbara to Palm Springs
Updated: Jul 29, 2022
On January 16th, we arrived at Rancho Oso RV and Camping Resort near Santa Barbara for a 2-week stay. The road to this scenic park was quite challenging as it is located at the top of a very steep, winding mountainous road in the Los Padres National Forest. The campground is also a working ranch with horse stables and farm animals. We signed up for a trail ride while we were there.
The picturesque city of Santa Barbara is a 25-minute drive down the mountain. We made several trips during our stay. Located on the Pacific Coast, Santa Barbara is known as the "American Riviera". It has a European vibe with its Spanish architecture and buildings with red-tiled roofs.
On January 20th, we visited the Santa Barbara Botantic Garden. It was a great place to enjoy another blue-sky, sunny day in Santa Barbara.
The Douglas Family Preserve served as a great place to walk Myah. It is an expansive off-leash dog park with beautiful views of the Pacific as an added bonus. The park has a path that led to an amazing dog beach. Myah enjoyed it so much that we brought her a few times during our stay. There is even a convenient dog-washing station to wash off the sand and salt after playtime on the beach.
On January 22nd, we drove 25 miles to the quaint Danish town of Solvang. We had been there a couple of times several years ago, but it is such a cool place, we decided to visit again. There are several restaurants, shops, bakeries, and wineries along a few streets in the town. We spent several hours exploring the town, eating lunch, and partaking in a wine tasting. We also picked up some delicious Danish pastries to take back to the RV.
We decided to take the bikes out for a ride along the 4.5 mile Cabrillo Boulevard Bike Path. This was an enjoyable and scenic ride that bordered the beach. We stopped for lunch at a great seafood restaurant before heading back to the RV.
We really enjoyed our time in Santa Barbara. The weather, the beaches, the restaurants were perfect, and the area was stunning!
Palm Springs RV Resort in Palm Desert, CA, our stop on January 30th, was our home for the next 2 weeks. Our new view was a site in the middle of a palm tree forest. It was challenging backing into our site where Pat had to squeeze between a few very tall palm trees! The park was in a great area and convenient to almost everything we could possibly need.
Downtown Palm Springs is about 20 minutes away from the RV park. It has an artsy vibe. There are several sculptures and murals around a small park near the art museum. We didn't understand some of the art, but I guess it is up to each individual's interpretation.
Every Thursday evening there is an event, called Villagefest, where over 180 vendors set up booths along a few blocks in the downtown area. There were a variety of booths, including arts and crafts, food vendors, and entertainment. Since it was dog-friendly, we decided to check it out. It was an enjoyable way to spend the evening.
On February 4th, we visited Joshua Tree National Park, a 30 mile drive from the RV park. This park is known for their varied plants and animals. It is named after the unique Joshua tree, native to the Mohave Desert, which is actually a yucca that grows into a tree, and looks like something from the world of Dr. Seuss. We spent most of the day exploring this unusual and fascinating rocky landscape.
We had heard the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was a must see when visiting the Palm Springs area. This is a 2.5 mile ride on the "world's largest rotating tram car" to an elevation of 8516 feet where it stops at Mt. San Jacinto State Park. It's normally about 40 degrees colder at the top than from the valley floor below. There was quite a bit of ice and snow at the top. We walked around some of the hiking trails, taking in the smell of fresh pine and clean air before heading back down the mountain. We wished Myah could have joined us because she would have really enjoyed the snow, but unfortunately, no dogs are allowed on the tram.
Because we felt bad that Myah missed out on the snow, the next day we decided to drive to the closest place near us that had snow. Pat found a mountain about 1.5 hours away from the park. She had a blast rolling in the snow!
Palm Springs is a wonderful place to get away in the wintertime. Every day we awoke to blue skies and sunshine. The pool at the resort was warm and welcoming. It was fun to spend some "limited" time in the snow, especially for Myah. The 2 weeks flew by, but we needed to get back on the road to continue our journey. Next stop Las Vegas!