Date of Stay: August, 2008
It appears that all but two of the reviews below pertain to the Richardson Grove Campground and RV Park - NOT Richardson Grove State Park. They have been incorrectly posted. Therefore you may disregard the comments about the store, pool, etc. because there aren't any. Richardson Grove State Park offers a lovely camping experience in the woods. Typical for the vast majority of California state parks, there are no hookups, and there is no dump station. (You can pay to use the one at Richardson Grove Campground and RV Park.) However, there is a very nice swimming hole on the Eel River, although the beach is somewhat rocky. Just deal with it. There is plenty to do for people who actually like to be outside when they're camping. Walking among the redwood trees is an awesome experience. They have ranger programs and lectures. It gets very dark and quiet at night. We go back to this state park whenever we get the opportunity. I gave it a 9 because the sites are tight. Not tightly spaced, but tight maneuvering through the trees.
Date of Stay: August, 2008
Pismo Coast Village (PCV) is a top-notch destination resort. It is extremely popular and is at 100% capacity the entire summer. Getting reservations here is not easy. There are plenty of things to do and see in the area. The entire Pismo scene is not one of relaxation. It is a very busy place from Avila Beach down to Oceano. And yes, Pismo Coast Village is crawling with pedestrians, kids on bikes, scooters, everything. You need to know what you're getting into. Now having said all that, let me add that this is one of our favorite destinations, you just need to have the right mindset going in. PCV offers shares of its stock for sale, which come with a guarantee of X numbers of days camping availability per year, and I believe it also gets you the wider sites. It's tempting.
Date of Stay: July, 2007
Airplane lovers, this is for you! Jets on short final for 16L at RNO fly right over your head. You can almost make out the rivets. Fortunately this doesn't go on 'round the clock (I think the Reno airport has a curfew) - in fact, the one big fault I have regarding this place is not airplane noise, but the lack of picnic tables. Obviously they'd prefer everybody eat out and drop some money at the casinos, instead of sitting around and barbecuing dinner at your site, like we did. But the place is pretty clean overall. It's essentially a parking lot with hookups and some trees. It will do for an overnighter, and yes the river park tends to attract the derelict crowd so keep an eye on your kids down there. Like another reviewer said, some increased police presence would clean up that little problem.
Date of Stay: April, 2007
I really like this place and would have given it better than a 7 if not for the road noise. It is *not* US-101 as stated in a previous post, rather it is CA Hwy 1 which is a 4-lane freeway through this area. Great for visiting Monterey though.
Date of Stay: April, 2006
I found it hard to get very excited about this place. Our location in the park wasn't the greatest. Some sites are just over the fence from Morro Bay's sewage treatment plant and ours was one of them. When the wind is blowing just right, you get a lovely ocean breeze. But when it blows the wrong way, you get the sewage plant aroma. The "sites in the back" seemed to be less prone to the sewage aroma so if you can get one of those sites you'll be in good shape. All that aside, it's an easy stroll to the beach and although the town is a walkable distance, we just drove there. Great beach town, restaurants, fresh fish market, all good. Having said all that, if we ever go to Morro Bay again we'll probably stay in the state park unless we can get a guaranteed "back" site here.
Date of Stay: August, 2005
This was the third time we've stayed at Pacific Dunes Ranch. It is not a bad place overall. My biggest complaint goes for the incredibly narrow spaces. We had a "regular" site as opposed to a "premium" - maybe the premiums are wider? Don't know, but we were right on top of our neighbor. He literally had to go under our awning to dump his tanks, which of course meant that his sewer connection was just outside our window. There are literally no trees or grass. All the sites are a combination of sand and gravel. Our site was so unlevel, we had to lower the trailer's tongue almost to its limit of travel in order to get the trailer level. Which meant the rear end was sticking way up. The inner sites (as opposed to the outer perimeter where we were) are level though. It was very quiet at night. The fog rolls in and everybody heads inside their rig. Overall, if you don't mind the close quarters, it's a good alternative to your "typical" Pismo area parks which tend to be booked solid during the summer - just try to get a premium site toward the back, away from the outer perimeter.