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Resources: Big Sur, Sequoia & Yosemite

Big Sur, Sequoia & Yosemite

Check It Out!

Our Favorite Documentaries

4hrs | Amazon

40mins | Amazon

1hr 40mins | Amazon

Free Solo

  • A must watch before your trip!
  • Watch as Alex Honnold becomes the first person in history to climb El Capitan without ropes or a harness.

1hr 4omins | Amazon

Books – Non-Fiction

The Natural History of Big Sur

Paul Henson, Donald J Usner & Valerie A Kells

Books – Fiction

Cannery Row

John Steinbeck
The actual location Steinbeck was writing about, Ocean View Avenue in Monterey, was later renamed “Cannery Row” in honor of the book.

The Maltese Falcon

Dashielle Hammett

For Younger Readers

Family Friendly Movies for Tweens and Teens


  • Filmed in Monterey and Pacific Grove
  • Fun fact – when recruiting Tom Hanks to Play Woody in Toy Story – producers used a clip from him talking to Hooch from this movie – set to animation – to seal the deal.


  • Mostly filmed in San Francisco. However the “Sausalito Cetacean Institute” was actually the Monterey Bay Aquarium!


  • Classic Steve McQueen film shot almost entirely in San Francisco
  • Known for one the all time best car chases in a film! The scene lasts over 10 min and starts at Fisherman’s Wharf, takes you through the city past Coit Tower, and ends up at the Guadalupe Canyon Parkway in Brisbane.
  • Funny tidbit – the chase scene has been mapped out and proven geographically impossible to take place in real time


  • This children’s favorite was partially filmed in Yosemite Valley, an area which the toys believe to be their planet Gorgon


  • The penultimate battle scene between Hulk and his father used the real Pear Lake in Sequoia National Park as a backdrop.


  • Though the film is set in Wisconsin, it was actually filmed in Yosemite as well as in Bass Lake in California
  • Ducey’s Bass Lake Lodge, a rustic 1940s resort, was featured as Wally and Juanita’s Perk’s Pine Lodge


  • Classic Robin Williams comedy. He called Tiburon (in Marin County) his home – and the tunnel from the Golden Gate bridge over to Marin County is named in his honor.
  • This movie was set and filmed entirely in San Francisco – you will see plenty of famous locations.
  • You can check out the Hillard family home at 2640 Steiner Street in Pacific Heights and enjoy the incredible view down Steiner to the Bay!


  • This film dramatizes the real 1962 prisoner escape from the maximum security prison on Alcatraz Island.
  • Alcatraz was closed shortly after the true events on which the film was based.
  • Much of this movie was filmed on location on Alcatraz Island.
  • Producers paid $500,000 to restore the decaying prison. Many improvements remain intact after filming.


  • One of the most famous movies filmed in Yosemite
  • Captain Kirk spends his shore leave climbing on El Capitan and Inspiration Point


  • The rafting sequence was filmed in the Tuolumne River Rapids in Yosemite


  • This three-time Academy Award nominated film starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne was mostly filmed in Yosemite National Park in the Ahwanee Hotel.

R-Rated Films


  • Another movie filmed mostly on Alcatraz Island. Since the Island is now part of the National Park Service – the production could not shut it down – and filming had to be done around crowds of tourists.
  • The scene where Womback is thrown off the balcony – was filmed at the Fairmont Hotel. Filming led to multiple calls to the hotel out of concern for a man hanging from a balcony!


  • This award winning film is based on the life of gay rights activist Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California – to the San Franscisco Board of Supervisors
  • Much of this was filmed on Castro St., including Milk’s former storefront – Castro Camera.


  • Set in the City’s Financial District. It’s such a busy section of the city – that filming was done mostly on weekends in order to have more control.
  • The scene where the taxi drives into the San Francisco Bay was near the Embarcadero.
  • Some notable filming locations, Golden Gate Park, The Presidio, and the famous Filoli Mansion (located in Woodside). San Francisco Airport even makes an appearance!


  • This was shot almost entirely in San Francisco
  • The story is drawn from the real life case of the Zodiac Killer, a notorious serial killer who operated in Northern California. The film’s character seeks out a similar vicious psychopath.
  • Many well known spots can be seen – City Hall, the Hall of Justice, Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Lombard Street, and Kezar Stadium to name a few.


  • One of the few recent movies filmed in Yosemite.
  • This dramedy was entirely shot in California with several parts of the road trip being filmed in Yosemite.


  • The film was shot in various locations in Yosemite National Park.
  • The director had chosen the locations, but many of them ended up being a lot of the places that James Franco and his father had visited when he was a child


  • Mostly filmed in Hawaii – however the director didn’t like the Beach Scene. Instead of returning to Hawaii, they reshot it at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur.


  • Also included Pfeiffer Beach
  • Some scenes were also filmed at the legendary Big Sur Restaurant – Nepenthe.


  • Scenes filmed in Pebble Beach along the coastline north of Cypress Point and at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur.
  • The only film ever directed by Marlon Brando


  • Filmed mostly in and around a house in the Carmel Highlands
  • Garrapata Beach is featured in their escapades, as is Ford Ord Dunes State Park.
  • You can also see Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf, the Harbour and the Restaurant Massaro & Santos
  • The segment by Bixby Bridge where someone gets sea sick – was scripted and supposed to be fake – however 1 hour into the boat ride and with cameras rolling – he did it for real!


  • Scenes were filmed over 3 days by the Big Creek Bridge in Big Sur


  • Many scenes were shot on Hwy 1, Carmel Valley Village, Carmel Highlands and Garrapata Beach


  • Filmed throughout Monterrey, frequently at venue’s still open – most notably the Sardine Factory
  • 4 min scene was shot at the famed Monterey Jazz Festival.
  • This is Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut!


  • This HBO show is set and filmed in Monterey
  • Bixby Bridge is one of the most iconic parts of the show. The characters spend a lot of time going back and forth over the bridge (school pick-up, drop-off, to their favorite cafe, etc).
  • This is a little bit of a Hollywood stretch, the bridge is located about 30 minutes south of Monterey.
  • The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a big role. One of the main characters works there in Season 2.
  • Lovers Point, the park and the beach, figured prominently as a setting for Season 1. It returns as a pretty backdrop in Season 2, most notably as the place where the Monterey Five’s new coffee spot, the Blissful Drip Cafe, is located. The show’s creators built the set on location and actually served coffee—they then donated the set to the town when filming wrapped.

RVs on Screens

Ultimate Road Trip Playlists

We’ve curated a handful of Spotify playlists to pair perfectly with your travels!

Gear We Love

Charcoal Grill

Consider searching this out at your destination. A grill makes for a full camping experience!

Smore Sticks

These are a must have for campfire nights! You can roast hot dogs and marshmallows all night long on these!

Walkie Talkies

These are great for exploring. Give one to your kids (make sure you test it first). Then off they go!

Fairy Lights

Bring some of these solar or battery-powered lights and hang them around your campsite…instant style for the environment!

Glow Sticks

If you can find the set with connectors and headbands, you can make all sorts of wearable glow items – it will be easier to find each other at night!

Wint-O-Green Lifesavers

These are a must. Get a fresh pack, wait for night time around the campfire. Pop one in your mouth and crunch/grind it with your mouth open. You are in for a surprise! Trust us 🙂

Magnetic Hooks

Put them on the back bumper – and hang bathing suits to dry. Just remember to bring them in before you drive away!

Disposable Camera

Consider for younger children, especially if they don’t have a phone yet.

Wet Wipes

Very handy.

Hanging Toiletry Bag

Save space in the RV bathroom.

Grill Gloves

To move the hot grill off the table when you are done grilling.

Dump Gloves

Keep hands clean during this task!

AC Inverter

You can use this to charge your phone or run low-power devices on household (AC) current without running the generator or plugging into shore power. (More on all of that in your Adventure Kit!)

Meat Thermometer

Make sure your meat is cooked through on the grill!

Games For in the RV

Campsite Games