We interviewed 7 campervan bloggers that you should be following. In this series, we’ll be going over their best tips for places to go, things to do, and what to eat along the way!
The Escape Artists
Sydney and Davis, who go by The Escape Artists on social media, create magical content but aren’t pulling rabbits out of hats (at least not yet). This couple, living for travel and love, shows off their tropical getaways and photography skills.
What is your all-time favorite place to campervan in the US?
California – the variety of landscapes is tough to beat, and it is all within a relatively short driving distance.
What spot is on your bucket list to campervan in the US?
Oregon Coast! The views look incredible, and it is not easy to get to, so it seems like the ideal spot to experience the van life!
What is your go-to campervan meal?
We love to make what we call: Farmer’s Market Salad.
It’s a very ‘loose recipe,’ but essentially, we sauté up some fresh farm vegetables we pick up from one of the local towns we drive through and put them over a salad.
Ingredients would be any vegetables we can find on hand seasonally (like zucchini and peppers in the summer or root vegetables and kale in the winter) and put it all in a pan together.
Then add in simple spices like salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and lots of fresh herbs (like rosemary, basil, thyme, or parsley) with a splash of extra virgin olive oil.
We like to use various greens all chopped up together, such as arugula, spinach, lettuce, and kale, and then place the cooked veggies right over the salad and top with fresh diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado. Sometimes we’ll even garnish with dried unsweetened coconut, microgreens, or sprouted nuts/seeds for added texture, nutrition, and flavor!
Then finally, a squeeze of fresh lemon and another splash of olive oil to taste.
This is one of our favorites and usually pretty easy to put together as it only needs one pan and is extremely versatile depending on what we can find at the farmers’ stands.
What is the top tip you’d give to people who don’t campervan often or are headed out on their first trip?
Bring a bug zapper racket. This is probably the most recommended item we give to aspiring van travelers. Enjoying the outdoors means embracing everything that comes with it, and sometimes that means having bugs inside the van. The racket is a much cleaner and easier way to handle the insect issue once you close up the van for the night! We take it on every van trip we take and have so have never had any bug issues (not even in New Zealand with the infamous sand flies.)
Best Campervan Trips for Those Looking to Escape
Looking for a true escape? Popular spots like Yosemite, Joshua Tree, or Sequoia National Parks probably aren’t going to be a fit for you. Instead, consider a couple of California parks that are less crowded. They may just offer you the seclusion you’re looking for!
Lassen Volcanic National Park
If you’ve heard of Lassen Volcanic National Park, pat yourself on the back. While the Golden State is known for having some of the premier national parks in the nation, it also has the most of any state with a total of nine!
Open year-round, Lassen Volcanic Nation Park is sure to be a unique experience for all but the most traveled campervan adventurers! So if the idea of heading towards an active volcano (although it last erupted in 1921) sounds exciting, make the drive and strap on your hiking boots.
If you’re looking for a shorter day hike, the Bumpass Hell Trail has more bark than bite. At just 2.7 miles, the “Hell” refers to the bubbling mud and boiling pools that you’ll see on the trail, and not the difficulty of the trail itself!
Those looking for more of a challenge can tackle Lassen Peak and climb to the park’s highest point. At just over 5 miles, the elevation gain of nearly 2000 feet is where the difficulty lies. The bragging rights of saying you’ve climbed to the top of an active volcano make the trek all the more worth it, though!
When you’re ready to call it a day, consider driving your campervan to the Manzanita Lake Campground, one of the park’s more popular spots, for a good reason! If you can’t get a spot there, a good alternative is the Summit Lake South Campground.
Point Reyes National Seashore
If you’re looking for something a little more coastal, the Point Reyes National Seashore is the only federal designated seashore on the Pacific Coast. Located near San Francisco, this campervan destination is home to one of the most iconic photo spots on the west coast, the Point Reyes Lighthouse.
Never short on views, Point Reyes offers its share of scenic hiking trails like the Chimney Rock Trail, which allows hikers a view of Point Reyes’ historic Lifeboat Station, among other “can’t miss” views! At just under two miles, this out and back is great for all skill levels.
Those looking for more of a challenge can take on the 9-mile Tomales Point Trail. Elk are often sighted on this occasionally overgrown trail, so bring layers and keep your eyes out for wildlife. If you do happen to see some of the area’s elk, make sure to keep your distance!
Places to park your campervan are scarce at the National Seashore itself, although if you brought a tent, you could try your luck with the scenic Point Reyes National Seashore Campground. If you’re looking to stay in the comfort of your campervan, you can make the drive to Samuel P Taylor State Park, but you’ll want to make a reservation ahead of time. A 40-minute drive south will take you to the Bicentennial Campground, but you’ll need a reservation here. If you want to head north, 40 minutes will get you to Lawson’s Landing.
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
If you’re looking for a unique experience on the Oregon Coast, consider taking a trip to one of the “largest expanses of temperate coastal sand dunes in the world.” If that’s not enough for you already, a trip up or down the 101 highway can take you to any number of the charming coastal towns that Oregon has to offer. All of the scenic offerings of the 101 may be tempting to drive, and with free unlimited miles on your campervan rental, there’s no reason not to!
With dunes, wetlands, and beaches all around, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area has more to offer than you’ll know what to do with!
If you’re looking for a shady hike to head out on, the Siltcoos Lake Trail is a 3.5-mile loop that doesn’t get too many visitors. A moderate hike or a fun little bike ride, this jaunt through the trees allows you to get the full range of activity options beyond just a trek through the dunes.
Alternatively, since you traveled to an area with “dunes” in the name, maximize your time on the 6-mile Tahkenitch Dunes Trail. You’ll see dunes, forests, and even get to ford a stream! Also, with ATVs not being allowed to use this trail during the summer months, you’ll get to take your time and hike in peace.
Consider camping at the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park, with plenty of space to moor your campervan for the night. Tired adventurers seeking quiet may have the most luck at the Bluebill Campground. Make sure to call ahead for reservations at both of these areas, as you may not be the only one taking advantage of the Oregon Coast for your summer road trip!
Good luck on your travels!
Luckily, if you’re heading through California to the Oregon coast (or the other way around), you can drop your campervan off at the San Francisco or Los Angeles locations!
Thanks to Sydney and Davis for taking the time to sit down with us! If you’re interested in learning more about The Escape Artists and their work, you can check out their blog or follow them on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
Check out the other interviews in this series!
Interview Series: Elliot Chau
Interview Series: Cody Conk
Interview Series: Ben Leo Davis
Interview Series: Jose Mostajo
Interview Series: The Awkward Tourist—Kelly Lacy
Interview Series: Fame is a Fickle Food—Soha