California Road Trip Allergy-Friendly Travel Itinerary


Hi, I’m Lisa Horne of the blog Food Allergy P.I., and host of the Food Allergy Talk podcast. My oldest son has anaphylactic food allergies to peanut, tree nuts, shellfish, oat, garlic, sweet potato, watermelon, and pear. I also help my husband manage fibromyalgia along with his food allergies: pea, mushroom, avocado, mustard, sesame, onion, and lima bean. Our most recent journey took us up the historic Pacific Coast Highway, through a small Danish Village, and to a stop on the way home that was recently made famous in a Netflix kid’s movie. Browse all of my reviews on the Spokin app @foodallergypi and Instagram @foodallergypi. You can also find my tips, tricks, recipes, and more on my blog,


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For most breakfasts and lunches, we ate a simple menu of foods in the RV on-the-road to our next destination. This was cost-efficient, but also easier and safer for us while traveling with little prep since we packed what we knew to be safe.

Some of our top snacks were Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Entemann Variety Donuts, Thomas’ Plain Mini Bagels with Philadelphia Whipped Cream Cheese, Bare Cinnamon Apple Chips, Honey Maid Graham Crackers, Kraft Marshmallows, and Hershey’s Chocolate for s’mores!

Note: See all of Lisa’s food reviews on the Spokin app!


Shopping: Walmart

We submitted Walmart online orders beforehand and on the road at Walmarts on the route. This is especially friendly for those with multiple food allergies, and allergy situations that make traveling and dining out hard. You are self-contained in your own safe RV space, with all your own safe food. 

Lunch: McDonalds Blythe, CA

We stop here frequently heading from AZ to California. So many locations for road trips and great go-to items for our allergens of peanut, tree nut, shellfish, oat, garlic, sweet potato, watermelon, pear, pea, mushroom, avocado, mustard, onion, sesame, and lima bean. My significant other gets plain burger and plain bun hamburgers and a vanilla soft serve.

Campground: Bolsa Chica State Beach

This was our first stop and it was a beautiful, fun beach! We would go back again and stay longer.



We visited Elephant Rock Beach Stop, Pacific Coast Highway, and Big Sur!

Campground: Big Sur Campground

The Pacific Coast Highway drive was amazing. There was a shop at Big Sur campgrounds with a small cafe. Due to cross-contact and actual ingredients we didn’t feel it was safe to have the ice cream, however the campground was amazing and we brought our own food in our RV. Beautiful Redwoods.


Coffee: Big Sur

Big Sur has a gift shop with some convenience store items, and he was not able to get ice cream from their ice cream shop/small cafe due to cross-contact, as well as their bakery items—same issue. However, in the actual gift shop there was a freezer with pre-packaged ice cream and he was able to get a Nestle Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich.


We visited Big Sur Campground, went on a Big Sur Nature Center Tour, and visited the Big Sur Gift Shop!



We visited Buellton, California!

Campground: Flying Flag RV Resort & Campground

They have a little convenience shop with pre packaged foods, both shelf stable and refrigerated. We brought our own food as well. They have resort style facilities for weddings, a huge resort style pool, and more. We would stay here again for sure.



My husband had traveled to Solvang previously and knew of the Solvang Restaurant, home of Arne’s Famous Aebelskivers. They were fried in peanut oil, which was an immediate no for us. Then we went inside and they had mixes so you could make them yourself, but the cross-contact was an issue. We continued to peruse the store at the front of the restaurant, and to our great joy and surprise, we not only found special Aebelskiver castiron skillets, but also Danish cookbooks with the recipes so we could make them safely at home upon our return from vacation.

Campground: Faria Beach Campground

Beautiful RV camping along the rocks and beach front with a little shop for breakfast and lunch with packaged and labeled foods as well both shelf stable and frozen foods. We avoided made-to-order food due to a garlic allergy, but with more common allergies, we would have felt more safe so we stuck to pre packaged.


Dinner: McDonalds in Quartzsite, Arizona

With allergies to many in the top 9 and outside the top 9, we are able to get something for all in our family safely. Great for road trips as there’s so many McDonald’s across US. My son gets plain burger and plain bun, no condiments. He can also have plain vanilla soft serve.


We visited the Faria Beach Campground in Ventura, the Cabazon Dinosaur exhibit (made famous recently in a kids movie on Netflix “The Mitchells vs. the Machines”), and drove through Quartszite, Arizona!

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