Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back to Jalama Beach

Exploring beach caves

What a busy summer I've been having! It is probably the busiest I've had in years. I've had tons of family staying with us at different times. Right now my son Jullien is here from NY. I decided we needed to do another Jalama Beach (Santa Barbara County) camp/surfing trip since it's been a couple of years. It's not only beautiful but it's isolated with no cell phone service. This allows me to have quality time with my family. I can't begin to tell you how nice it is to sit around and have everyone actually conversing instead of faces pressed into their phones.

Hiked over slate rocks and came upon this hidden wood hut
Jalama Beach is one of the only places that doesn't require reservations...which for me is perfect! I'm not a planner and usually decide to do things at the last minute. Two years ago I did my research to make sure that our three hour drive wasn't in vain (it gets pretty busy in the summer.) So I'll let you in on our little secret to make sure you get a spot on the weekend...shhhh don't tell anyone:)

We were planning on doing the whole tent camping thing when one of our friends at church told us we could use his motor-home. WOOT WOOT! SCORE! Well kind of...I wasn't prepared for the gas prices to go up just before we left...yikes, those things take a LOT of gas!
The gang

Well we ended up leaving on Thursday night at midnight. After you turn off coast Hwy 1, you drive down a long narrow road for about 30 minutes (be careful not to miss the turnoff.) They will have a sign posted which usually reads "Camp Full." Don't worry...people leave by 2:00 pm so don't get deterred. You don't want to miss this...
Good Morning Jalama

We arrived at Jalama around 3:45 am as planned and we were second in line (perfect!) We slept until 5:45 am. My hubby got out to stand in line (some guy parked behind us actually tried to cut in front of him to get a better number) The park rangers arrive at 6:00 am and we got a number and paid for a day pass (this is how it works.) We ended up being #22 (people had already gotten numbers from the night before and went to stay in Lompoc until the 3:00 pm roll call.) We were pretty confident that we'd get a spot. We parked and slept for most of the morning, waiting around for the roll call to see what spots were available. We ended up talking to one of the rangers who assured us that we'd definitely get one because he'd just driven around and counted the open spaces. He also gave us the scoop on the best spots to try and get. He marked it on the map that they gave us when we entered.

At 3:00 pm we headed to the front of the park and waited for the ranger to call our name and number (thank goodness we knew to get there early because I'm sure some people weren't getting spots. Which puts them on the list until the next day.) I know it sounds like a hassle, but if you do it right you will have no problem getting a spot. The spaces are $25.00 a night for no electricity and $40.00 a night for electrical hook ups. Beach front spots are all $40.00 a night. They also have cabin rentals (which takes reservations in advance) & group beach front sites (which also takes advanced reservations.) Note: It is a dog friendly park/beach and they allow dogs on the beach. You will need to bring your rabies shot records with you and there's a $3.00 per night fee.
Allie found this crab on the beach & thought it was her toy. She howled & barked at all the dogs who came near it!

The spots are a little close together but you can't beat the price, view, surfing and family time. We ended up getting a great view spot at the top of the hill.
Elijah enjoying the sunset view

Jullien & Josh crashed out after a full day of surfing

It can get very windy and the water can be a little cold. I'd definitely recommend going in August or early September. We had perfect warm weather with no wind and the water was about 60 degrees. Surfing tip: You need to walk about 1/2 mile south down the beach and you'll come to "Cracks." Further down is "Cracks II" & "Tarantulas." All are great known surf spots. We've actually only gone to "Cracks.".

We spent our days exploring the beach, surfing, eating, beach baseball, card games and just enjoying QUALITY family time. This is definitely one of the most beautiful beaches around.

So if you're looking for the perfect family vacation spot...Jalama Beach is the place.
Hmmm...what's he writing?
Awe...he found this heart shaped rock & used it to proclaim his love for me :D
I love this guy!!:D

Oh & I forgot to HAVE to get a famous Jalama Burger. People drive there just for the day to have a burger. If you've been looking for the perfect beach camping spot...Jalama's the place!


k come karolina said...

fantastic style! stunning!!!

xoxo from rome

Dixie Mom said...

Oh, I'd love to go.