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The Best Places to Camp in Wine Country

Pitch a tent and uncork a bottle at these great camping sites. 

Hendy Woods

Hendy Woods 

 

While wineries may not take kindly to you pitching a tent in their vineyards, there are a slew of top-notch camp grounds in Northern California’s premier wine regions. Here are some of our top picks for places to camp in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Livermore Valley, and El Dorado wine countries: 

NAPA VALLEY

Camp Carneros in Skyline Regional Park is near downtown Napa and offers more than 600 camp sites and spaces for RVs. There are trails for hiking as well as a disc golf course, picnicking areas, and horseback riding. The proximity to downtown Napa makes this the perfect spot for those who want to experience Coombsville or take in a little of Napa’s nightlife. If you're looking for a place to stay during BottleRock, make your reservations now.

Bothe-Napa State Park in Calistoga is further removed than Camp Carneros, but is the spot to stay to visit downtown Calistoga. They site boasts an RV park as well as campgrounds, and if you don't feel like packing a tent, good news: They recently added yurts.

SONOMA COUNTY

On a clear day, you can see the Sierra Nevada and the Golden Gate Bridge from the 2,729-foot summit of Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. This park is close to the many wineries and vineyards in the Kenwood area.

Just outside of Santa Rosa, the Spring Lake Regional Park offers 320 acres with 31 campsites and trails for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. Take a swim in the lagoon, or get some fishing in on the 72-acre lake. The park is close to many wineries, including the acclaimed and outdoorsy Matanzas Creek Winery.

River Bend Resort is a popular spot right on the Russian River in Forestville, and very close to beautiful Armstrong Woods and Hartford Family Winery. Nearby, Burke’s Canoe Campground offers places to pitch your tent near the river or in the redwoods, as well as canoe rentals. Park there and you're only about 10 minutes from the nearest winery.

Casini Ranch Family Campground in Duncans Mills is closer to the coast than it is to wineries. While a little further away, the grounds are pet friendly and the site offers outdoor movies, beach bonfires, and hayrides. It’ll take you 20 minutes to get to the nearest winery, but it’s a beautiful drive.

Johnson’s Beach & Resort is very close to downtown Guerneville and directly on the Russian River. The site offers rustic, cabin-type accommodations, a game room, laundry, a barbecue area, and RV parking. Head to the beach below, and enjoy the snack back and kayak rentals. From here, it's a short drive to Korbel and the rest of the Guerneville wineries.

Liberty Glen Campground at Lake Sonoma is nestled into the coastal foothills of Sonoma wine country. The lake area includes 2,700 acres of land and 50 miles of shoreline. There are a ton of hiking, swimming, boating, and fishing options and plenty of room for campers and RVs. From here, it's about 15 minutes to the nearest winery.

Ocean Cove Campground in Jenner is a solid 20 minutes or more from the nearest winery, but the location is worth the drive. This scenic Pacific coastal campground is located in a sheltered cove and offers oceanfront camping on a bluff, or spots to camp hidden away in the trees.

Click here for a comprehensive list of Sonoma Campgrounds.

LIVERMORE

Lake Del Valle is the top pick for camping in Livermore Valley, and no wonder: The majority of the local wineries are about ten minutes away. If you’re looking for a place to park your RV, try the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, which are also conveniently located near a cluster of wineries.

MENDOCINO COUNTY

Hendy Woods State Park is right in the middle of the Anderson Valley Wine District and features two redwood groves, discovery trails, and a river that runs directly through the grounds. Nearby, Alexander Valley RV Park & Campground is also worth a look.

Jackson Demonstration State Forest is almost 30 minutes from the 40 wineries in the area, but it offers several main campsites and mazes of forests and trails that are accessible by truck, mountain bike, horse, or on foot. You’ll find historic walks, coastal trails, and waterfalls in this massive 50,000-acre state forest.

Russian Gulch State Park is also a bit of a drive from the wineries, but located only one mile north of Mendocino Village. This famous spot not only has waterfalls and trails, but also picnic grounds with barbecues and an ocean blowhole. If you're interested, plan ahead: Reservations can be hard to come by.

Van Damme State Park is known for its meadow campgrounds, big trees, and kayak adventures into sea caves. Cross the highway and walk in the Spring Ranch section of the park to watch the big waves and hang with the harbor seals. Like the other camping areas in Mendocino, you're about 20 minutes from the nearest winery.

EL DORADO

Although a historic wine region, EL Dorado is just now making a name for itself among wine enthusiasts. Camp at Coloma Resort, near the historic town of Coloma, where gold was discovered in California in 1848. Or, stay near Placerville at the classic KOA, which prides itself on having a little something for everyone. Either way, you'll be close to the El Dorado Wineries.

 

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