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San Francisco, Bay Area

Best place for group camping a few hours outside of the Bay Area?

I'm looking to arrange a weekend camping trip for about 25 people in June or July. What's a good place that's within a 2-hour drive of San Francisco that won't be completely booked? 

It would be awesome if the campsite is close to a body of water. Ocean, lake, or river are all fine. And the campsite should be drive-in and not hike-in. 


6 Answers

top answer by
Krista from San Francisco

Gosh, great question! Big Sur is my top pick, with a plethora of options. 

I recommend Andrew Molera State Park & Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. While you're down there, be sure to check out the Big Sur Bakery and RestaurantBig Sur DeliBig Sur Spirit Garden, Coast Gallery & Cafe, and Henry Miller Memorial Library.

Have a blast!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Andrew Molera State Park (attraction)
  2. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (attraction)
  3. Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant (restaurant)
  4. Big Sur Deli (attraction)
  5. Big Sur Spirit Garden (attraction)
  6. Coast Gallery & Cafe (restaurant)
  7. Henry Miller Memorial Library (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Alex from Walnut Creek, California

Del Valle Regional Park is a great spot- located in Livermore, about an hour east of the city. For good beach camping, try Dillon Beach in Marin County- North of SF. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Del Valle Regional Park (attraction)
  2. Dillon Beach (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Jake from Los Angeles

Hi Andy, Big Basin State Park is a scenic, 1hr 40min drive south of San Francisco. A huge redwood forest with a river, waterfall and extensive trails. There are group sites that can probably accommodate 25 people. It's in Santa Cruz county and is California's oldest state park.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Big Basin State Park (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Natalie from San Francisco, California

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. China Camp State Park (attraction)
  2. Angel Island (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Camis from La Unión, Chile

Hi i would suggest San Francisco North / Petaluma KOA in North petaluma. it is a great camping, like an hour away from SF, near Lagunitas Brewing Company, close to the beach, etc. It is at 20 Rainsville Road Petaluma, CA 94952

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Francisco North / Petaluma KOA (attraction)
  2. Lagunitas Brewing Company (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Fritzi from San Francisco

@Butano State Park is in a beautiful Redwood Forest close to Pescadero State Beach. As you may know, camping reservations in California state parks are made by reservations as early as 60 days in advance. So it is not too early to book. Camping is also available in Memorial State park, further east. Near Capitola, Brighton Beach has campsites within walking to the beach. It is very popular. Enjoy your camping trip.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Butano State Park (attraction)
  2. Pescadero State Beach (attraction)
  3. Capitola (city)
1 thanks

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