My husband's birthday always falls on Memorial Day weekend. It's kind of great because along with his birthday, we're always celebrating the "unofficial start of Summer"! Since he was deployed for the majority of last year, he really wanted to doing things that would bring our family closer together - and really wanted that to be in the form of camping, being outdoors or going off-road (ESPECIALLY because we were really limited on things we could do as a family due to COVID).
Throughout our relationship, he had always brought up special memories that were created at a recreational campground nearby. They do per-day camping, but also offer memberships through Thousand Trails, and Anthony started researching what it would take to become a member. We saw that they were running a special for Memorial Day (perfect timing for his birthday), and we decided to start our Thousand Trails membership to camp at Rancho Oso (and other Thousand Trails parks, if we should feel like it)! Such a great gift for not only my hubby, but our whole family!
Rumor had it that it was going to be open back up Memorial Day weekend, from closing due to COVID - so we were on the edge of our seats ready to pounce on our first use of that membership! It was Thursday and we saw a post on Facebook that they were going to open Friday. So, we made our first reservation for that Friday, asked my parents if we could borrow their trailer, got it out of storage after they said yes, went to the store for camping goodies, packed the trailer and got on our way! After being locked in the house for weeks on end... it felt STUPID GOOD and oh so liberating to get out and DO SOMETHING! I felt like I was just freed from prison!
We arrived at Rancho Oso and found a beautiful space with picture perfect views. What a treat to be nestled into the Santa Barbara County hills, right at sunset. The boys immediately took off on their bikes and were literally having more fun than I'd seen them have in a very long time. I knew that we made the right decision in purchasing that membership and on the first night, was already looking forward to many more nights ahead.
The Thousand Trails Camping Pass is a unique way to camp. Basically, you purchase an annual membership (we opted for a simple regional one - regularly $599, but we got ours on sale for 20% OFF), and you can then camp on a first come first serve basis at any of the available campgrounds available in your membership at no extra charge - all year long! If you want to add other regions, it's only $60 more. It's a pretty incredible deal if you ask me, especially if you go camping a lot. There are a lot of campgrounds to choose from, and it looks like it's going to push us to explore a lot of beautiful places that we may have otherwise, not gone.
Rancho Oso, specifically, has so many amenities available to you (well... usually when COVID isn't around). There's horseback riding, a swimming pool, a couple lodges with social activities for both kids and adults, a dog park area, tennis courts, an adorable little mini golf area, cabins, trails, a nearby calm river, and lots of freshly paved roads for the kids to bike around. But CAUTION: there is like NO cell signal out there! But - it was really great to be so disconnected and completely unplugged for the weekend. I never knew this place existed until this year, but man... it's sure going to be one of my favorite nearby escapes from now on!
If you're interested in a Thousand Trails membership, we'd love to sponsor you and give you a $100 Camping Pass credit! Simply follow this link: https://mbsy.co/39gwM9 and we'll see ya on the Thousand Trails! HAPPY CAMPING!