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California is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. This is particularly true in the Bay Area. There are plenty of beautiful campsites in the area that allow you to take in all the beauty that the area has to offer from your tent or your RV.

However, because there are so many campsites in the Bay Area it can still be overwhelming trying to find the perfect one for your camping trip. In this article, we have compiled a list of some of the best campsites in the Bay Area to give you some inspiration.

1. Angel Island State Park

If you are looking for a truly remote campsite, you can’t go wrong with Angel Island State Park. This campsite is located on the largest natural island in San Francisco Bay.

The park offers views that you can’t find anywhere else. There are also miles of hiking trails for hikers of all abilities. In addition to hiking, there are also chances to go biking, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and boating among other water sports.

At the campsite itself, there are plenty of options for families and large groups of campers. There are also some essential amenities that the site offers to all guests.

There are restrooms available and an on-site store where you can stock up on essentials. There is also a cafe on the island that serves delicious food and refreshments.

The island also has some incredible historical significance. There is a museum and guided tours of the island for history buffs.


  • Scenic hiking trails
  • Unique island location
  • Plenty of physical activities available on-site
  • Site of historical interest with museum and tours


  • The site is only accessible by ferry which can be inconvenient for some people

2. Sonoma Coast State Park

If you enjoy camping near bodies of water but don’t want to have to take a ferry to get to and from your campsite, Sonoma Coast State Park could be the perfect option for you.

The park covers seventeen miles of beautiful Californian beach, complete with grassy headlands and secluded coves to make up Sonoma’s coastline.

Near the campsite, there are plenty of hiking trails, some of which lead to whale-watching points for unique experiences. Bodega Harbor is also close by where you can partake in some crabbing.

Along the coastline from the campsite, you will come across Goat Rock Beach which is home to a colony of seals. There is also Shell Beach which is perfect for exploring tide pools.

There is a campsite in the park that is dedicated to hikers, backpackers, and bikers only. There are three additional campsites that are drive-in and equipped with primitive campsites.


  • Stunning coastal location with fresh sea air
  • Plenty of local beaches to explore during your trip
  • Multiple types of campsites to help avoid overcrowding


  • There are very few amenities close to the campsite

3. Butano State Park

If you prefer woodland over coastlines and islands, Butano State Park is the perfect place to go camping with your friends and family. This park covers 4,000 acres of upland and canyons.

It is filled with stunning redwood trees and calming babbling brooks. There are over 40 miles of hiking trails within the park that you can explore during your stay.

No matter what your hiking abilities are, there will be plenty of trails that are suitable for you.

The flora and fauna of the area are extremely diverse which makes it an interesting place to hang out and watch the magic of nature.

Throughout the park, there are a total of 18 walk-in campsites and 21 drive-in campsites. There are a further 8 campsites along the backcountry trail.

The park and campsites feature restrooms with running water and there is drinking water available throughout the park.

However, there are no showers on the site. The park offers guests Junior Ranger programs, campfire programs, and some guided nature walks.


  • Stunning redwood forests and canyons to explore
  • A huge range of campsites to choose from within the park
  • Organized programs and guided walks to keep your group occupied


  • No showers on-site which can be inconvenient, especially for longer trips

4. Castle Rock State Park

Castle Rock is another beautiful state park in the Bay Area of California. There is a stunning campground located a 2.5-mile trek from the parking lot.

Within the campground, there are around 20 different campsites that offer different amenities. Most campsites within the Castle Rock State Park offer trash bins, restrooms, fire pits, and picnic tables.

It is important to note that there is no cell phone service within the state park.

Despite being cut off from the outside world by a lack of cell phone service, there is plenty to do during your trip to Castle Rock.

There are often interactive displays within the park that help to tell the story of the history of the area. There are also miles of dense forests, sandstone walls, and breathtaking vistas that you can explore.

There are 34 miles of rugged trails for hikers and horseback riders. There are also some rock walls and caverns that can be explored by climbers.


  • Plenty of hiking trails and climbing routes to explore
  • Interactive displays to help you learn about the area’s history
  • A very remote area that allows you to completely switch off from the modern world


  • There is no cell phone reception within the park which may be off-putting for some people

5. Costanoa Campsite

Costanoa is a self-proclaimed eco-adventure resort that brings a whole new meaning to the term “glamping”. The campsite itself is surrounded by acres upon acres of pristine wilderness and some of the state’s most stunning secluded beaches.

On the site, there are campgrounds where you can hook up your RV or pitch your own tent.

There are also lodge quotes, cabins, and tent bungalows that are available if you want more comfort.

The Costanoa Campsite boasts 5-star amenities for all of its guests. There is a comfort station available within the campground where you will find restrooms, indoor and outdoor showers, a sauna, a courtyard fireplace, and a laundry room.

If that wasn’t enough camping luxury, there is also an on-site spa, a general store, and an organic garden restaurant.

You can access 30,000 acres of State Park from the campsite and indulge in hiking, biking, kayaking, and yoga among other activities.

There are also plenty of activities for the younger members of your group including youth rock climbing walls, a barn petting zoo, tie-dye crafts, and much more.


  • 5-star amenities that bring luxury to camping
  • An on-site spa, sauna, and organic garden restaurant
  • Plenty of activities for children to do on-site
  • Access to thousands of acres of the state park


  • This resort may be a bit too luxurious for some campers

Choosing The Right Campsite For You

Consider The Location Of The Campsite

When you are looking for a campsite for your trip, it is important to consider the location of the campsite.

While it is easy to get caught up in stunning views and amazing surroundings, this isn’t the only thing that you need to think about before making a reservation or travel plans.

Some campsites are located in extremely remote locations, some of which are so remote that cell phone reception does not reach them. This may be ideal for some campers but a nightmare for others.

Information such as this is generally available on campsite websites so you can make an informed decision.

Consider The Amenities Of The Campsite

Something that is important to almost every camper is the amenities that a site has to offer. The amount and type of amenities that you want will vary depending on the type of camping you enjoy.

For some people, they will want plenty of high-quality amenities that are more in line with glamping sites and traditional camping sites. For others, ensuring that there is some form of restroom and shower is enough for them.

There will also be people who feel that manmade restrooms and drinking points make camping unnatural and who will prefer as few amenities as possible.

Consider The Type Of Campsite

Finally, it is important to think about the type of campsite that you will enjoy. There are many different types of campsites that can be found within the Bay Area.

For a stripped-back experience, you will want to find a primitive or dispersed campsite where you will have to bring all your own resources and follow Leave No Trace principles.

For a more traditional family camping experience, you will want a basic campsite that offers drinking water, restrooms, and perhaps showers to keep you as comfortable as possible during your trip.

If you are new to camping or know that you dislike many aspects of it, a glamping resort could be the perfect option. You will be able to enjoy the surroundings and scenery that camping offers with more creature comforts.

Final Thoughts

There are so many different places that you can camp within the Bay Area. However, the sites mentioned in this article are some of the best sites that you can choose from. There are different types of camping sites depending on your needs and preferences.

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