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Beach Camping Near San Francisco

Juniper Campground Mount Diablo State Park Campground

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Offering one of the best hikes near San Francisco, the summit of Mount Diablo features a view that stretches for hundreds of miles. Near the Summit Visitor Center at the park, the Juniper Campground has 32 campsites with access to flushing toilets, potable water, and coin-operated showers.

Trailers are not recommended at Juniper Campground due to narrow roads. Campsites can be reserved ahead of time at Mount Diablo, and reservations are nearly required on busy summer weekends.

The other campground at Mount Diablo State Park, Live Oak Campground, features 22 additional sites with similar accommodations. Five group campsites are also available at Mount Diablo State Park with sites that can host up to 50 people.

The Summit Visitor Center is a good place to head for historical information about the park, as well as access to the one-mile that leads to the 3,849-foot top of Mount Diablo.

Campgrounds Closest To San Francisco

TripSavvy / Melissa Zink

These campgrounds and RV parks are the closest to the city, mostly just a few minutes’ drive away.

  • Angel Island: Angel Island is located in the San Francisco Bay, between Alcatraz and Sausalito and is reachable only by boat. Camping on the island is limited to just a few sites and tent camping only, but you’ll wake up to a view of the whole bay!
  • Candlestick RV Park: This is the closest campground to downtown San Francisco, located off US Hwy 101 south between the city and the airport, on the edge of San Francisco Bay. They have about 200 sites for RVs and tents and offer a shuttle bus to the city.
  • San Francisco RV Resort: The next-closest alternative after Candlestick RV Park, it’s not in the city of San Francisco but is just 15 minutes south in the town of Pacifica off CA Hwy 1. The campground is flat with paved sites, and pets are welcome. There are lots of RV sites with full hookups .
  • Treasure Island RV Park: Don’t let the name fool you – it’s not on Treasure Island, but it is close to San Francisco in Daly City. This mobile home park takes RVs only and has a handful of spaces for short-term stays.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area Campgrounds

Why you should camp here: Small and secluded tent-only campgrounds in the Marin Headlands.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best season: Spring, summer, fall
  • Campsite type: Tents
  • RV hookups: No

Want to get away from it all without leaving the Bay Area? The Marin Headlands is one of your best bets, and the minute campgrounds of Hawk, Haypress, and Bicentennial are the best places to sleep under the stars within a 20-minute drive from SF.

Each of the three campgrounds has five or fewer tent sites to choose from, they all must be hiked into, and they all must be reserved ahead of time. For how close they are to the most densely populated city on the west coast, these three campsites are remarkably remote and primitive.

Water is not available at these locations, so make sure to pack some in, and ground fires are not allowed, so be prepared to bring a gas stove if you want to cook. This is about as roughing it as you can get without leaving the Bay Area.

Why you should camp here: Spend some time in Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best season: Spring, summer, fall
  • Campsite type: Tents, RVs, cabins
  • RV hookups: Dump Station

It would be remiss of us not to mention Big Basin Redwoods State Park when discussing camping near San Francisco, and Huckleberry Campground is one of our favorites in this grandiose park. The campgrounds collection of tent cabins turns glamping primitive again, in a fun way.

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Del Valle Regional Park

Del Valle Regional Park is a beautiful camping area in Del Valle, CA. It has a 5-mile long lake in the middle of it and is surrounded by beautiful oak-covered hills. It is surrounded by miles of beautiful scenery and tons of activities to keep you busy for weeks! This campground is great for a summer get-away trip.

Del Valle has any and all activities you can think of to do on your outdoor adventure vacation. They have horseback riding, boat rentals, boat tours, beaches with lifeguards, windsurfing and sailboarding, hiking, fishing, and more.

It is also a super accessible and comfort-providing campground with restrooms, showers, parking, a ranger stations, a visitors center, and even handicap access. It is a place that is seeking to provide luxury for any type of adventure seeker!

Del Valle Regional Park is only an hour and 45 minutes outside San Francisco, providing a great escape from the city rush, but close enough to make day trips over during your vacation for some great tourist activities if you desire.

Best Campgrounds Within Two Hours Of San Francisco

San Francisco Camping

Though theres much to experience in Americas favorite city by the bay, its equally wonderful to get out of the urban area and explore the natural wonders Northern California has to offer. From the Central Coast to the vineyards of Napa, and the gold miners of Sacramento County, adventure awaits. What are you waiting for?

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Del Valle Family Campground Ca

Del Valle Family Campground is the perfect getaway for anybody looking to explore the Bay Area of California. This RV park is situated in Del Valle Regional Park, meaning you’ll be surrounded by lakes, woodlands, and rolling hills. Del Valle Campground provides its RV campers with plenty to do. The nearby Del Valle Lake is perfect for a variety of water sports, including swimming, fishing, kayaking, and more. This campground also offers boat rentals so you can explore the lake even if you don’t own a boat. Pets are welcome at this campground, so feel free to bring your pooch along on your adventures.

Mendenhall Springs campers will love the Del Valle Family Campground thanks to its secluded location. There

The 10 Best Campsites Near San Francisco

Welcome warm spring weather with a weekend immersed in nature.

By:The Outbound Collective+ Save to a List

Between the sunny weather, sweeping coastal views, and distinguished national monuments, finding a perfect camping location in the San Francisco Bay Area is effortless. Enjoy some foggy coastal campgrounds with barking seals, wake up surrounded by Redwoods, or drive inland for spectacular landscapes and Silicon Valley vistas. Grab some friends, snacks, and a sleeping bag and head for the hills!

Photo: Christian Arballo

Kirby Cove is a one-of-a-kind campsite in the Marin Headlands. The campsite hosts a unique perspective of the San Francisco Bay: a vantage point of the city lights and rugged coastal cliffs. The campsite is small enough to be a tranquil breath of fresh air, with plenty of nearby hiking trails such as to the Bonita Lighthouse. Make your reservation well in advance!

Photo: Austin Brisgyz

Francis Beach Campground is nestled as close to Kelly Ave, one of Half Moon Bays most popular surf spots, as you can get. This campground facilitates ample time spent in and around the ocean, with ocean entrance points just walking distance from your tent door. Bring local firewood for a beach bonfire and plenty of supplies to grill fresh fish for tacos – a dinner experience that is guaranteed to exceed any youd have in a restaurant.

Photo: Sarah Eichstedt

Photo: Miranda Leconte

Photo: Skyler Hardy

Photo: Brian Heifferon

Photo: Jason Hatfield

Photo: Wikimedia

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Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park

At 115 feet tall, Pigeon Point Light Station is one of the tallest lighthouses in the country, and a fabulous photo spot, especially at sunrise and sunset, when the sky is bathed in rich colors. At the time of writing, you cant enter the historic lighthouse, first lit in 1872, but you can tour the grounds. The lighthouse is being restored.

The grounds of the park are a wonderful place from which to view marine mammals, and sea and shore birds. Land birds can also be spotted in the scrub, especially during the fall. You have a good chance of seeing migrating gray whales in season, dolphins, otters, and seals in the water. Bring binoculars, or a bird scope for birdwatching.

You will also find hikes at Pigeon Point, with spectacular ocean views, and the opportunity to see lots of wildflowers in season. Dress warmly, as it can be breezy by the water.

Camping: Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park is day use only. But you can stay at the highly-rated HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel, located right by the lighthouse!

Driving distance from San Francisco

49.2 miles, 1 hour

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

San Francisco North Petaluma KOA Camping Resort

Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park has a 40-acre grove of old-growth redwoods. The tallest tree in the grive is 277 feet tall and 1,500 years old! Walking among these giants is a profound experience, and if you bring a flashlight, you can step inside the Fremont Tree!

Henry Cowell Redwoods State park offers miles of hiking trails, plus biking and horseback riding trails. Hiking trails take you through the various ecosystems in the park, which include redwoods, grasslands, riparian, and sandhills. Look for birds, wildlife, bright yellow banana slugs, and trout in the river.

You can swim at The Garden of Eden, a swimming hole on the San Lorenzo River. There are picnic sites in the park. Next door is the Roaring Camp Railroad, with vintage locomotives that can take you through the redwood forests or to the beach in Santa Cruz and back.

Camping: The parks forested campground has 107 shaded sites. Campers and trailers are permitted, but there are no water or sewer hookups. Advance reservations are recommended, especially in season.

Driving distance from San Francisco

71 miles, 1 hour and 11 minutes

Good to know: All of these state parks individually make for wonderful day trips from San Francisco, or great San Francisco weekend trips. But for an even longer getaway, you can combine three or four state parks that are located close together. Or do a road trip that strings together a number of state parks near San Francisco.

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Half Moon Bay State Beach

Half Moon Bay State Beach is yet another great campground in San Francisco, CA, which runs about four miles in length. The spot is a popular attraction for people who love fishing, sunbathing, picnicking, etc. The picturesque settings will amaze you with breathtaking views. If you are going to extend your stay, there is a campground accommodation.

The beach is open all days of the week and entirely accessible for those with disabilities. The Francis campground in San Francisco, CA, has 52 clean and well-maintained sites. Tent camping is allowed, and some of these sites are great for recreational vehicles and trailers. Moreover, some of the campsites also have hookups.

However, water or sewerage hookups are not available, but you will see a dump station and propane filling station. You will also see coin-operated hot showers that are clean and spacious. On the other end, Venice Beach features outside showers and flush toilets.

Half Moon Bay State Beach On-site Facilities

  • Boating facility.
  • Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve.

Half Moon Bay State Visitors Reviews

  • The beach is fantastic and looks so lovely to the eyes. It is a great place to stay in the summers.
  • We have enjoyed our stay and have a lot of fun at Half Moon Bay State Park. You will enjoy the barbeque and picnic facilities there.
  • It is a beautiful and very long place to stroll. You will enjoy staying there with your family.
  • There is no water or sewer. However, the park itself is a nice and clean place.

Sac West Rv Park And Campground

Sac West RV Park and Campground is an excellent stopover for weary road trippers traveling through NorCal. Located in West Sacramento just off I-80, this Fido-friendly campground will have you and your pal sitting pretty in the lap of luxury. Let your wagger go wild in the campground’s off-leash park before relaxing in the heated pool. The best part? Canines are even allowed to stay in the cabins.

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Drive Time: 18 Minutes

If youre in a time crunch and are looking to stay relatively close to the city, look no further than Rob Hill, which is less than 20 minutes from city center.

These campgrounds come with some great perks like food storage lockers, bike racks, and a free-standing charcoal barbecue setup in case you want to fire up the grill.

The history buffs in your group will love the proximity to the World War II West Coast Memorial and Battery Chamberlin. And those in your crew looking to sunbathe can head over to Baker Beach.

This site is a little more pricey, with $100/night during peak days and $75/night for off-peak days .

For a unique daytrip, try hiking through the Presidio to The Palace of Fine Arts. If you stop by in the summertime, you can get a ticket to see some outdoor theater!

Angel Island State Park Campsites

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Location: Tiburon

Amenities: Campsite tables, picnic tables, dock, group camping options, drinking water, and toilets

Activities: Camping, fishing, picnicking, biking, boating, paddling, hiking, swimming, and wildlife watching.

Dogs allowed: No dogs are allowed on the island.

For an exceptional camping experience, head to the largest natural island in the BayAngel Island State Park. Its accessible from the city and is a popular choice for locals, so we recommend booking your campsite in advance and coming early to secure a parking spot. There are four main camping areas to choose from: East Bay, Ridge, Sunrise, and Kayak Camps. Within these four camping areas, there are 16 campsites, three of which offer incredible views of the city skyline. As you trek along the trails, youll be captivated by the wildlife and phenomenal scenic vistas. But if you get the urge to explore the Bay and its main attractions, catch a ferry ride from Tiburon.

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Drive Time: 32 Minutes

When winter sets in, its hard to not dream about enjoying the sun and lounging on the nearest beach.

If youre looking for a beach near San Francisco, Venice Beach is home to locals and tourists alike who enjoy the sun during the winter months.

If youre heading there but want to escape the crowds, this California state parks camping site is for you.

After a long day spent fishing, hiking the Coastside trail, or catching some waves on your surfboard, the beaches of Half Moon Bay are the perfect place to park your roof top tent for the night.

You wont be able to pitch a fire at this site, but youll hardly miss it with the breathtaking view of the open ocean. On a nice day, the trails along the shoreline are excellent for horseback riding or geocaching with the family.

While youll want to book in advance as space is limited, a reservation will only run you about $40.

Mount Tamalpais State Park

Located in Marin County, just north of San Franciscos Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Tamalpais State Park is a super popular getaway from SF. With hillsides covered in redwoods, oak, and chaparral, and areas of open grasslands, the park is extremely scenic.

Mount Tamalpais is 2,571 feet tall, and you can drive to the top for panoramic views. When the famous fog is not in evidence, you can see as far as the Farallon Islands, the hills of Marin County, San Francisco , East Bay, and Mount Diablo.

Mount Tamalpais State Park offers unparalleled opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, from hiking the many trails to mountain biking, horseback riding, stargazing, fishing, wildlife viewing, picnicking, and even hang gliding. Mountain Theater hosts performances in May and June each year.

Camping: Group campsites, rustic cabins, or seaside campsites can be reserved in advance. In addition, first-come, first-served camp sites are available at specific campgrounds.

Driving distance from San Francisco

14.5 miles, 28 minutes

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Coast Camp Point Reyes National Seashore

The only designated national seashore on the West Coast, Point Reyes is a sprawling coastal peninsula approximately an hour drive north of San Francisco. No car camping or RV camping opportunities exist at Point Reyes National Seashore, but the park does offer four hike-in campgrounds. Located 1.8 miles from the nearest trailhead, the Coast Camp at Point Reyes is popular for its vicinity to the beach and ocean.

With 12 individual sites and two group sites available, Coast Camp provides a vault toilet and water faucet. Reservations are required to stay at any hike-in camp at Point Reyes. The other hike-in campgrounds at Point Reyes include Glen Camp, Sky Camp, and Wildcat Camp. Point Reyes also has a boat-in camp at Tomales Bay, where 20 permitted vessels can beach camp in designated areas.

Address: 1 Bear Valley Visitor Center Access Road, Point Reyes Station, California

Back Ranch Meadows Campground China Camp State Park

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On the Marin County coastline adjacent to the city of San Rafael, China Camp State Park entices beachgoers, history buffs, and overnight campers. First settled by indigenous cultures of the region, this coastal site later became a major Chinese fishing village following the California Gold Rush. Visitors today can see remnants of this once-bustling era at the historic China Camp Village within park boundaries.

The Back Ranch Meadows Campground at China Camp State Park features 33 developed sites that visitors must walk up to 300 yards to access. Wheelbarrows are available to haul gear from the parking area to the campsites. Potable water and flushing toilets are also available at the campground.

Hiking and bicycling are popular activities at the state park, and campers can reach the China Camp Village and China Camp Beach with a six-mile hike on the Shoreline Trail from the campground.

Address: 100 China Camp Village Road, San Rafael, California

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