Backyard Bucket List - NBC Southern California

Owning an RV isn’t just about camping—it’s about a lifestyle of adventure. It’s about experiencing new roads and taking unfamiliar detours. Experience the endless possibilities for adventure, all from the comfort of your home state. Just grab your keys and start driving.

Sip Wine in a Cave

Discover the Golden State’s finest wines, but now with a twist. California’s many subterranean caverns act as naturally cool storage for wine barrels. From Sonoma Wine Country to the renowned Silverado Trail, you’ll find a number of impressive caverns to explore. Stop by for guided tours and tastings—perhaps even a romantic, candle-lit wine-pairing dinner. This is how the cavemen did it back in the day, right?

Shoot the Rapids on the Kern River

Take on the mighty flow of the Kern River, said to be one of Southern California’s best rafting trips. Whether you’re looking for a quick adventure or a multi-day trip, you’ll find miles of glorious whitewater fun here, just outside the historic town of Kernville. Now you can scratch that off the bucket list.

Bike in the Redwoods

The Golden State is a biker’s delight. Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the state, and explore three different reserves in the Redwoods Bike Tour. Pedal through magnificent redwoods, rustic farmlands, rugged outcrops, and black sand beaches. ‘The Lost Coast’ on this tour is the only part of California’s coastline without a major highway. Now that’s authentic beauty.

Whale Watch at Dana Point

If whale watching is on your bucket list, why not do it in the Whale Capital of the West? Get into the open ocean in just under five minutes and discover the unique beauty of marine life. From charter boats to underwater viewing pods, you’ll find plenty of ways to get a closer look at those magnificent whales around Dana Point.

Bet on Del Mar

Summer means magic at Del Mar. From Mid-July to early September, the internationally celebrated and historic Del Mar Racetrack opens up its gates to the best racehorses, trainers and jockeys. Find your next favorite racehorse, or just swing by for fun summer activities. Or if you’re not in the mood for horsing around, just cruise down the coastline on the Historic Highway 101 for spectacular CA views and vibes.

Fly to New Heights

Look at the Earth from a new perspective, with an airborne-adventure. Southern California offers world-class flying sites, where you can experience gorgeous, coastal views and pure thrill with hang gliding and paragliding excursions. Definitely a bucket list item.

Think Out of the Sandbox

Remember playing in the sandbox as a kid? Relive those delightful childhood memories with SoCal’s sandiest dunes. Check out Egyptian-esque ruins at the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes or the singing Kelso Dunes in the Mojave National Preserve. You’ll encounter a lot of heat, and maybe some rattlesnakes, but you’ll definitely feel like the first pioneer venturing into the Wild West.

Take a Hike

Hiking in the summer doesn’t have to be torturous—the Andreas Canyon Trail is a cool relief from high desert temperatures because of the refreshing stream along the way, and the abundance of vegetation. Try this for an easy one-mile journey, or if you’re looking for something more challenging, check out the Mt. Woodson trail in Poway. The epic views and a picture with the iconic, ultra-thin Potato Chip Rock make the grueling hike worth it.

Sleep by the Beach

Park your RV and enjoy the Pacific Ocean as your backyard pool. At Pismo Beach, kick back with beach bonfires and the thrill of summer camping. From hiking and swimming to bird watching and digging for the famous Pismo clam, at Pismo beach you can full immerse yourself in the best of California’s nature.