Camping At Doheny State Beach!

Doheny1Well, as much as I was looking forward to Yosemite for a week, Mother Nature had something else in mind. Rain, mud, cold weather AND a 3-year-old?! I don’t THINK so!! We tent camp. So imagine all that mud in the tent after say ohhhh the first 5 minutes?  Yeah, NOT happin’!!

So, instead we loaded up the 2016 Kia Sorento and drove up the coast to Doheny State Beach for our week of tent camping.

The Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD was the PERFECT vehicle for camping!! Not only does this puppy let me load it up with TONS of gear but, once it was unloaded it was our commuting vehicle for running around site seeing!! THREE rows of seating!! Comfortable seating all three rows!! I personally rode in all three rows to test them out. MORE to love is the fact that even when all three rows are being used there is still room in the very back to carry day-packs and supplies for hiking!

One thing the Sorento didn’t help with was my gracefulness. Yup, day one BAM. Tripped on the sidewalk!! Not even on a hiking trail. A SIDEWALK. OUCH! Scrapped up my knee and hands but basically only embarrassed because; of course it had to be in front of a ton of people! Gesshhh!

The weather was perfect for our stay! Not too hot, not too cold even at night!! I love sleeping outside! LOVE IT!! HOWEVER!! We did learn that the further away from the beach the louder it gets at Doheny Campsite. We were actually butted up to the fence at the frontage road and the freeway. It was noisy! One night a homeless man chanted and had a very loud discussion with his imaginary friend. One morning jack hammers started around 7 am.  The list just goes on and on!

SO here is my advice for Doheny State Beach Camping! For a calm peaceful camping experience avoid this top row of camp sites! For the best camping experience I highly recommend that you grab anywhere from spot 45 to 89 the ODD sites!! You’ll be able to hear the ocean waves all night! Now THAT is a way to relax and fall asleep!!

Doheny offers bathrooms and showers. Showers will cost you a token for 2 minutes. 2 tokens will clean you and a fussy 3-year-old. I promise.  Tokens are 4 for a dollar. Machine is in front of the building. We never had to stand in line for showers or bathrooms. Although, Alice’s little My Carry Potty was absolutely one of my top 5 camping items!! We will never camp without it again!!


Day three the Grammie; who I found out during this camping trip is highly competitive! APPARENTLY she had to out due my falling on side-walk!! Grammie caught her foot on the way out of the tent.

Trust me days later it’s even WORSE looking now. Hands down Grammie wins!!

So, what else can you do at Doheny State Beach besides fall down?? AND besides dragging sand into the tent?? You play in the water for one, make new friends! And you apparently break-dance or maybe it’s Salsa Dancing?! Not sure. One of the best parts of Doheny is the fact they have a section of the beach and ocean, that is reserved  just for kids!! It’s not deep. There is no currents, just gentle water. It’s PERFECT!! AND the NaNa was thrilled to sit and snap a million pictures. Y’all know I love my black ‘n white photographs!

What else can you do? Well you load everyone back up into the Sorento and head over for a day of Whale Watching where we were even mugged by a Fin Whale!! I got some FANTASTIC shots!! Check this Facebook post for the Captains video of the Fin Whale. I was sitting on the bench right next to Grammie (in pink).  HOW amazing is that?!?! A FIN WHALE!! Only the second largest living thing on the planet!! Including dinosaurs!! By the way. I highly recommend Dana Wharf Whale Watching. The crew is outstanding and they truly care about you getting to see awesome sea life!!

We also saw these little guys which at first I thought I spotted a plastic bottle floating in the ocean; but then I noticed there were actually hundreds of them! They are a type of jelly fish called “by-the-wind sailors” or Velella velellaYou can even hold them!! One of the crew caught us one to hold and then released him back to the ocean. VERY COOL!! They feel very squishy and soft. Like holding jello. THEY ARE SO COOL!!!

It’s hard to top that one!! That was one spectacular day!! Seals, sea lions, birds, ocean and family! It really was a wonderful day at sea!!
Next we headed out to ZOOMARS! This has to be one of Alice’s favorite places to go in Southern California! If you are anywhere close to San Juan Capistrano with kids THIS is worth a stop!! A petting zoo like no other! From Llama’s to guinea pigs. Horse rides, train rides, climbing and corn! Yup, not a ball pit a CORN pit! SO MUCH FUN!!

S’mores late at night. Paddle boarding and kayaking during the day. Alice practiced her kayaking moves in the NaNa’s boots. Casting a fishing line, eating watermelon and climbing rocks!! More importantly we enjoyed family time. What a FANTASTIC week!!

From the traveling, and camping this NaNa’s point of view the Kia Sorento SXL was the perfect choice for us! There were 4 adults and one tot. The Sorento gave us each plenty of comfort and leg room.
Some of the major perks are the fact that there is rear air-conditioning with your own controls! I LOVE THAT feature!!
Dual-Zone automatic climate control. Air cooled or heated front seats, The middle seats also have heated seats.
The Sorento is Bluetooth Wireless technology. Sirius XM satellite Radio. Heated STEERING WHEEL!! Heated outside MIRRORS!!
The driver’s seat has duo memory seating which is AWESOME!!! The seat is always perfect for ME! Yeah, and whoever else… but mostly ME! The Sorento has rapid charge USB ports. An 8″ display navigation system with VOICE command!! Do you know how amazing that it?!!

Safety features that are amazing include the lane departure guidance. The Sorento will beep at you if you are too close or go over lines in the road. Forward collision warning system; which is FANTASTIC!! The car ahead of you stops short the Sorento let’s you know! Blind spot detector another amazing feature! Rear cross traffic alert. SO many safety features they are too numerous to write about. I swear this is one extremely, exceptional safe car!!

Of course one of my favorite features is the Keyless Entry system. Whoever designed this feature is a genius!! The integrated second row window shades are BRILLIANT!! No more trying to keep a sun shade on the window for Alice!! AND no more suction cup marks for when she gets her’s off the window!

Storage. WOW! Since the third and second rows of seating fold completely down there is more than enough room for ALL of you stuff! Camping or moving doesn’t matter there is tons of space! There is also extra room in the very back of the Sorento with the Under-Rear-Cargo-Floor Storage Compartment. Ohhhh and did I mention the sun roof? Stand behind the Sorento with your Smart Key and the liftgate opens automatically for you. A class exclusive—no hands or feet required.


I do have one whine for the Sorento. The 3rd row of seating offers no way out. What I mean by that is,  someone needs to slide that middle row up and lay the seat down in order for the person in the very back to get out. I learned this when the rest of the crew went in to the grocery store for s’more supplies and Alice and I stayed in the car. I was stuck in the very back; with plenty of time (MAN THOSE people shop SLOW!!) to try to find a way out other than climbing over the seats. I wasn’t a huge fan of that oversight. Although the rest of the group thought that was an awesome feature. I had to promise to behave before I was released!cc

Overall, I give the 2016 Kia Sorento SXL is by far the safest, smoothest ride car I’ve driven! The Sorento handles like a dream! I’m going to be sad to see it drive off!!! If you are in the market for a new car I promise you will NOT be disappointed in the Kia Sorento!!


  • Jane Ritz

    Bless Grammy. That’s something I would do. It looks like that was a great trip with lots of beautiful things to see.

  • Pamela Gurganus

    WOW! I love that this Sorento has three rows of seating! Other than Grammie falling, it looks like you had a wonderful time!

  • polly

    Looks like another beautiful California Beach. We are in Northern California so we have many as well. Poor Grammie…hope she is doing better!

  • Angelica

    Holy cow! I can’t get enough of those jellyfish. I’ve never seen or heard of them before, but they are soo cool! My mom took a tumble like that darling Grandma last year, tripped over her own feet and landed on a concrete floor with her face meeting a door on the way down. Less than a week later a gal from social services “dropped by” to see if she was being abused! We couldn’t believe it! It’s nice that someone had the care to be concerned though!

  • Nikolina

    Though this looks like a great experience, I keep going back to the pictures of poor Grammie… Hope she’s ok now!

  • Cathy French

    I miss camping, I haven’t gone in years. I’ve planted to bug in my boyfriends’ ear that this summer we have to go at least once.

  • Krystal Waters

    Sorry about the falls, be careful. I don’t really like camping but I absolutely love the beach. I’ve been to the beaches in Florida several times it’s my favorite place to be, it’s just beautiful to me.

  • Stacy

    I have never seen those type of jellyfish before, they look so neat. Whale watching sounds so much fun, I live in Florida and see plenty of dolphins and manatees but no whales. Hope Grammie feels better, she should come up with a good story (like she got into a fight with a bear!).

    • Connie Gruning

      Stacy, on facebook Dan posted that there was a slight altercation over the last marshmallow. Then they put a big marshmallow in Alice’s mouth and had her put her dukes up. VERY FUNNY!! I suggested that she post she fought a mountain lion to save Alice. BTW Grammie’s face is looking so much better now!!

  • Laura

    I hope Grammie is doing better! That looks so painful. Looks like you guys had a good rest of the trip though!

  • rachel cartucci

    Poor granny! That is terrible that she messed her eye up like that. Looks like there was lots to see and do and at least you guys did enjoy some of the trip. Poor Grammie……that sucks so bad.


    Poor Grammie – that looks really sore. She’s lucky che didn’t break her cheekbone. I’m just jealous of the car, the sunshine, oh, all of it!

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