Crystal Cove Beach Cottages: Located in Crystal Cove State Park Historic District, these restored cottages were built as part of a seaside colony in the 1930s and '40s. Available for rent are 11 individual cottages with different floor plans and designs and three dorm-style cottages. Most have kitchens and views of the ocean in Newport Beach.
Details: www.crystalcovebeachcottages.com; 800-444-7275; individual cottages from $125; dorms from $65 for two people.
Details: www.sacredrocksreserve.com; 619-766-4480; tent sites from $18 offseason and $22 peak, RVs from $36/$45 and vacation homes from $78.
Emerald Desert RV Park: This gem in Palm Springs for RVs only is a resort in disguise. There's a driving range and two-hole putting green, tennis courts, two pools, a fitness center, indoor and outdoor spas, a video library and event catering. Golf and tennis clinics are offered seasonally. Two-bedroom condos with luxury furnishings are available to rent.
Details: www.emeralddesert.com; 877-624-4140; standard RV sites from $47.50; condos from $125.
Manhattan Beach: The biggest draw here is direct access to a five-mile stretch of beach. Like other KOA sites, Manhattan Beach offers tent and RV sites, cabins and cottages, but it also rents stationary trailers for guests who want a more traditional camping experience (without the tent). Amenities include an 18-hole disc golf course, two bocce ball courts, food court, pool, arcade, volleyball court, two playgrounds, dog park and peddle carts for rent. Television and DVD rentals also are available.
Details: www.manhattanbeachkoa.com; 707-882-2375; tent sites from $28 offseason and $35 peak; full RV sites from $48/$56; cabins from $62/$70; cottages from $152/$168; stationary trailers from $109/$129.
Santa Cruz KOA: There's little chance of being bored at this park at La Selva Beach. Intriguing attractions include a mechanical bull, mechanical surfboard, fun train and agility course for pets. There are outdoor movies, a game room, pool, espresso cafe, volleyball and basketball courts, climbing wall, bounce pillow and playground, as well as golf carts, bike rentals and mini golf for an extra charge. The campground also has a pizza parlor with campsite deliveries, Sunday pancake breakfasts and Saturday barbecue lunches. And in addition to cabins and lodges, guests can rent classic Airstream trailers.
Details: www.santacruzkoa.com; 800-562-7701; tent sites from $57 offseason and $64 peak; RVs with full hookups from $78/$84; cabins from $89/$115; lodges from $180 and Airstreams from $165; plus a $2 a night resort fee.
The Springs at Borrego RV Resort and Golf Course: The 90-site RV resort located just outside Anza Borrego State Park capitalized on its hot mineral baths by opening a wellness center last month. Services include massages, acupuncture and acupressure. It was named Small RV Park of the Year last year by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. The reason: a 9-hole golf course, dog park, saltwater swimming pool, fitness center, tennis courts, pond with catch-and-release fishing and an astronomy park with an 11-inch telescope. The Springs also rents RVs.
Details: www.springsatborrego.com; 866-330-0003; RV sites from $35.
Campland on the Bay: The park in San Diego offers a private getaway called the Super Site — private patio, grill and hot tub, all tucked away from the other campsites. For everyone, there's a pool, marina with 124 slips, watercraft and bike rentals, game room, restaurant, new skate park and activities that include sand castle building contests, concerts with live bands and scavenger hunts.
Details: www.campland.com; 800-422-9386; RV sites from $36 offseason and $46 peak season; Super Site from $166/$268; primitive sites available in the summer from $41.
(c) 2010, Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.).
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Camping restyled: Modern campgrounds now have loads of extras
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