When you camp, RV, or pull your trailer of 5th wheel, do you prefer rustic, remote ventures, or a facility that has a lot to offer as far as amenities and activities, maybe because you have children in tow?
If you prefer the latter and seek beautiful scenery with the sound of the ocean's crashing waves in the distance, then we have a place for you. Nestled on California's Central Coast, 25 miles south of Half Moon Bay, and 25 miles north of Santa Cruz, lies the enclave of Costanoa Lodge, resort, and KOA campground. There is an abundance of wildlife among the rolling coastal hills and secluded beaches.
It is a "bit" confusing when looking up Costanoa because it does lie under a few titles. Costanoa is a KOA campground, and then there is the lodge and they manage all other accommodations. There are a few accommodations to choose from, something for everyone's budget and a preferred way to relax.
At Costanoa, you can choose to simply pitch a tent and camp, or, on the more luxurious end of the scale, stay in their rustic lodge. We chose the lodge because we don't camp or own an RV. There is also the option to stay in a cabin or tent bungalows (Glamping). Then, for you who own an RV or travel trailer, there are a number of sights with full hookups.
There are 39 lodge rooms located in either their North or South buildings. All rooms include bathrobes, mini-refrigerator, coffee station, heat, amenity-filled bathrooms, and complimentary wifi in select locations, and the wifi is "iffy." There is a patio or a porch in every room to enjoy a cocktail and the scenery.
There is NO television in any of the rooms. Costanoa is more of a "get back to nature" stay. Unplug. There is also a community hot tub at the lodge.
At Costanoa, maybe staying in a cabin is something you prefer. There are four styles of cabins to choose from. The first is the Douglas Fir Cabins. These cabins overlook the canyon and Ohlone Ridge. They have half bathrooms, sink, and toilet only. There are "comfort stations" all around the property that include showers and toilets accessible to guests.
The Coastal Deluxe RV cabins are more for larger groups. They can sleep up to 7 people in two rooms and these cabins do have a full bathroom. They also have three flat-screen televisions, a stove, and an oven.
The Coastal Studio RV cabin can accommodate up to 5 people. They too have a full bathroom and two televisions with a full refrigerator, stove, and microwave.
Finally, there is the Campground Cabin, good for two adults and two children. These come with a kitchenette and full bathrooms.
Pets are only allowed in a few of these cabins as well at any RV site. There is a $50 pet cleaning fee. Because of the sensitive nature of this coastal area, pets, again, are only allowed in certain locations.
There are a number of "Glamping" bungalows spread out through the property. All of the bungalows are wood or metal frame with waterproof canvas tent walls. There are four different configurations of these bungalows. All tent bungalows include electricity and lighting, sliding windows and locking door, Adirondack seating, and complimentary wifi in some. Some bungalows are bigger than others, and some more remote than others for that romantic stay. None of these bungalows have restrooms as that is where the Comfort Stations come in where you can shower and use the restroom.
Things to do
At the beginning of this article, I asked if amenities are something you look for, or, things to do. There are endless hiking and biking trails, horseback riding, kayaking, or even taking a yoga class. Costanoa offers guided bird watching tours, camera classes, tie-dye workshops, and even wine tasting events. There is a nice playground for the kids, and when we were there, it was near Halloween, and they had pumpkin carving and literally, there were pumpkins everywhere!
Franklin Point and Gazos State Beach are nearby. You can certainly take a walk to the beach. It is a two-mile loop that you can take. You do have to cross over Highway 1, so you do need to be careful. These beaches are so secluded. If you want to have a "beach day," you may want to drive and park in the small parking lot at Franklin Point, or if safe, park on Highway 1. It's still gonna be a bit of a trek to get to the beach with all your beach gear, but it may be well worth it.
Costanoa provides fast-casual dining or a fine dining option. The Cascade Restaurant & Bar provides fine dining. Their local, organic, and handcrafted ingredients provide just the epic California coastal cuisine. We very much enjoyed dinner there. The ribeye steak and mashed potatoes were to die for, and the breakfast was splendid. Maybe the best bacon I have ever had!
The Pine Tent offers fast-casual dining. Located at the center of the property, the Pine Tent features an open kitchen and covered bar with a large outdoor deck. The Pine Tree is seasonal, whereas the Cascade Restaurant is open year-round.
There is also a general store on location full of wine and beer, smores makings, ice cream, and just about anything that you forgot.
Costanoa is all-inclusive. You never have to leave. There is everything there to make sure your stay is epic. There are ocean views, a spa, premier deluxe RV sights, and picnic areas. Take a hike. Go to the beach. Relax.
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