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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Location Help, S. Ore., N. Cal.

    Planning one hell of a roadtrip for the whole fam, plus a couple extra kids. The crew will be me and SWMBO, two 15-y-o boys, two 10-y-o girls. The plan is a shitload of mountain biking around Bend and elsewhere in Southern Oregon while making our way westerly to the coast for a few days of surfing. Trying not to waste too much of our limited vaca time in the car, and could really use some help picking a spot on the coast.

    Our requirements/desires are kind of like this: a decent campground, close to a nice but not too aggressive beach break (we're all beginner surfers), with a shop that rents gear (baords and, if necessary, wetsuits), that is also close to some decent mountain biking trails so we can change things up, and somewhere between Coos Bay, OR or so south to Crescent City, CA or so. Time frame is the second week in June.

    Currently at the top of my list is Crescent City, where South Beach is supposed to have a small but dependable beach break that puts up the kind of long rides beginners really need to get better. But I'm not finding much info on MTB trails in the redwoods around there. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    SFCA
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    866
    So, I was hoping someone would chime in here with some better info than I have. July is likely to be flat, cold and blown to bits. Big Sur has far better options for surf for that time of year. Not especially beginner friendly, but July in NorCal isn't surf time.
    "Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"

  3. #3
    Kied's Avatar
    Kied is offline Inconsiderate Tree Killer
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    Feb 2005
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    Tahoe
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    1,248
    Yeah no good beta either. I usually surf SoCal and about the furthest North I like to go is Santa Cruz or Stinson. Just moved to Portland so feeling Northern OR out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    risin up to paradise...
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    Crescent City is my "home break" and I've spent some time there over the years. Summer can be fickle, but you can definitely score some fun waves at South Beach, the closer to the jetty the mellower the wave, great for beginners. Crescent Beach can be fun as well as Pebble Beach to the north.

    Best campground is Jedidiah Smith 8 or 10 miles north up on the Smith river. It will get you out of the summer coastal fog layer and there are some awesome swim holes on the river as well as good fishing and boating. There must be good mountain biking around there, I'll check with my amigo who lives there.

    Boards and suits can be rented at Rhyn Nolls surf and skate shop in town.

    Crescent can be a little funky and gritty, but makes for great entertainment, it's worlds apart from SoCal

  5. #5
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    Jan 2011
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    Manuel's Cantina
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    Contact this place. I'm sure they can help out. Just a little south of Crescent City, so they probably know the scene.

    http://www.adventuresedge.com/

  6. #6
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    Nov 2011
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    Stilltele'n, that's great info, thanks.

    I realize we may not be hitting the north coast at the best time of year, but all we really want is waist high swells. My kids have spent exactly two days on boards, and their friends that will be with us have never ridden. So it's going to be starting with me pushing them into waves.

    As for "gritty," hell, I live in Idaho.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Cruzing
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    I know you are looking at the border, but only hundreds of miles south is SC/SM. Great MTB and surfing all within a few minutes of each other. Camp at Costanoa and have an empty beach break just short mile walk through sand dunes, and MTB right out the back door.

    Or get the newbies down to town and in lessons. Surf Pleasure. Camp at New Brighton. Bike at Wilder or Nisene.

    And down here in SoCal, we think that starts a bit further south than us.

    If you do decide to head further south, there is actually a lot of beta I can share on surfing and camping.

    Another option is Billings, but I don't have details.

  8. #8
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    Nov 2011
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    Ottime, thanks, I'll give it some thought and revew the itinerary. There'd be a certain cache in biking where MTB was basically born (or at least grew up). Also, I have an old friend who both bikes and surfs in SC, so that might work out well.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2011
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    Ottime, plans changed and Snata Cruz is the new destination (one of them at least). Would appreciate any help.

    Looking for a surf shop recomm. for rental gear and possibly lessons; campground options; possible trails for mountain biking. Any help appreciated.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    New Brighton State Beach has camping right in Capitola. At low tides, you can catch small longboard waves a mile walk north. Or you can pack the car and drive the few miles to Pleasure Point. 38th Avenue would be the easiest beginner spot. It is at the end of 38th. If the waves are big, they decrease in size as you head down the point toward Capitola and NB. Chances are you will want to be on the main point in summer.

    Nisene Marks State Park is just a few miles in the other direction, which is a good starting point for MTB.

    Camping
    Costanoa is up the coast 35 minutes in San Mateo. Open ocean beach break a mile walk through the dunes. Nice beach (Gazos Creek). Decent MTB up Gazos Creek Road at Butano State Park. Mostly fire road, but good ocean views once you climb. Kind of far away from town, so it might not be ideal. Ano Nuevo State Park is near by, if you want to check out the seal breeding grounds. Not too many seals in summer

    New Brighton SB is the only one in town I know of.

    KOA Santa Cruz/ Monterey Bay is south of town near the coast and Manresa SB. Decent mellow summer beach break. Not crowded. It is a drive to get back to town. Nisene Marks is still the closest bike area.

    Inland a few miles is Henry Cowell SP. Redwoods, and MTB right from the campground. You can actually access the Rincon Trail, which can bring you up over UCSC, and into Wilder. Or you can take any of the sick illegals trails back toward Felton and camp. This would put you a bit further from the surf, but could be great for riding.

    MTB:
    Wilder State Park is where I usually MTB. It is a few miles from my home. Decent fire road and single track. A lot of mild climbs and cross country type runs. The best trails are the illegal ones, but there are a few smooth single tracks through the forested parts of the park. Eucalyptus Loop is fun. Emerald Loop is fun, but has a crazy up hill on the exit.

    Demonstration Forest is awesome. It is behind Nisene Marks, and usually accessed by driving up to the summit. Long climbs on an old fire road, followed by long single track down hills, then a mild climb out of the forest tot he car.

    This book is a great starting resource.

    SURF
    Cowell\\\'s Surf Shop has rentals and lessons.

    Freeline on the eastside (near Pleasure Point) has rentals.

    Club Ed also has lessons and rentals

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Thanks, man, that's precisely the type of info I was looking for.

    If you don't mind, a slightly different set of questions. Just paid myself a bonus at work (self-employed), and now my wife is pushing to rent a house/condo instead of camping. I dearly love this woman, but she has expensive tastes. Houses in Capitola are cheaper than SC, and Aptos is even cheaper than Capitola. Aptos is right under Nisene Marks from my refview of maps, so seems like it would work well as a MTB base. But what about surf? From what I'm able to find it seems like the surf is smaller and less dependable as you head southeast from SC, is that about right?So if we stayed in Aptos, are we going to just end up driving back to SC for surf? A decent meal? Nightlife?

  12. #12
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    Aptos has a few places to eat and a few bars. Not bad in that respect. It is not like SC is NYC or anything.

    As for the surf, it is all beach break once you get south of Capitola (or rather New Brighton). South swells hit SC much better, but if no south is running, the little wind swell we get in summer will be hitting the beaches. The beaches are way less crowded. Only problem with Aptos is there are rarely sandbars. So you will generally be driving north to SC or south to Manresa to surf. But, with a little luck, you could get surf right in front of a beach house in La Selva and MTB a few miles away at Nisene. Summer surf is not all that dependable in general.

    Best luck for surf out the door, with favorable winds, would be getting a place on Pleasure Point. Especially if you longboard. But then again, you will generally have crowds as well. Capitola is only about a mile down the point from Pleasure Point proper, so that could be good. My parents love Capitola, but I find it kind of cheesy touristy.

  13. #13
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    Nov 2007
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    they tell me it's paradise
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    as said, it's all beach break.

    there isn't much in Aptos for food and there's no nightlife. imo the bars are shitty. Santa Cruz ain't NYC (and doesn't have much of anything for nightlife) but has more choices for food and booze and if you are asking you likely don't want to be in the aptos burbs
    Lord King of the Beater-Kooks

  14. #14
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    Nov 2011
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    Thanks, gents. Found a place near Pleasure Point, with access to Privates. Lining up some bike rides and loaner boards with old friends. Trying hard to get my sorry ass in shape before the trip.

  15. #15
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    Hugh is probably right on Aptos. I worked there for a year, but never hung out. My buddy lives near State Park and swears there is a decent small selection of eateries and night life in that area. I worked at Sparrow, which had a good brunch, but that was about all I was into. Otherwise, psuedo French.

    In the area you are staying, toward Pleasure, at Portola and 41st.

    Chill Out Cafe - breakfast burritos and lunch
    Verve - expensive but killer coffee
    Pink Godzilla - sushi
    Pleasure Pizza - popular, but not my style
    Vallarta - big burritos. decent, but not great. good salsa bar
    Paula's (up Portola toward SC) - cheap breakfast, quirky, and very SC/PP
    Coffetopia - good coffee on Portola
    There is a donut shop on Portola

    Up 41st @ Capitola -
    Dharma's (if you prefer vegetarian foods)
    Taco's Moreno - great tacos

    Surf Shops
    Freeline, Paradise, Ripcurl

    that is all i can think of right now

  16. #16
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    Nov 2007
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    they tell me it's paradise
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    good listing by OT.

    best nerd beer selection w/best kept stock around there is 41st Ave Liquors (right off highway 1)
    the place on the corner or 32nd & E. Cliff has good breakfast burritos
    Lord King of the Beater-Kooks

  17. #17
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    Nov 2011
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    Excellent info, gents, thanks very much.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    sf, ca
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    25
    also, just a good thing to keep in the car (but not on your dash), is the Surfer Magazine's Guide to Northern and Central California.

    Well organized, and has good info about all the breaks to the northern border and how to access them

    http://www.amazon.com/Surfer-Magazin.../dp/0811849988

  19. #19
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    Jun 2007
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    Cruzing
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    How was the trip?


    I visited friends for a bbq at there site in Bee Brighton last night. Still one of the best campgrounds in Ca imo. Kirk Creek may be the only one that tops it.

    For future reference in this thread. Tuesday night is locals night at the Seabright Brewery. 1/2 price apparel and $5 pitchers. After, you can walk across the trellis to $1 rides and snacks at the Boardwalk.

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