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Voyaging Through Northern California

Sam Leash-profile-image
Sam Leash
May 25, 2020

**TL;DR: Embark on a journey along Northern California's coastal gems with breathtaking landscapes. Explore quaint Sausalito, wilderness-rich Jenner, scenic Sea Ranch, charming Little River, historic Ferndale, and coastal McKinleyville. RV-friendly options like Marin RV Park, Wright’s Beach Campground, Bodega Bay RV Park, Gualala River Redwood Park, Handley Cellars Winery, and Riverwalk RV Park await. Discover hidden towns, diverse activities, and Harvest Hosts locations for an unforgettable adventure.

Voyaging Through Northern California

Welcome to the northern California coastal region. Rocky bluffs, crashing waves, undiscovered sea caves, and redwood forests make this region so special and unique. Similar to the coasts of Oregon and Washington, many of these beaches cannot be used for swimming. However, their tidepools are teeming with life, and there are many opportunities for wildlife watching. Some of the towns on our list are popular, but some of these are lesser-known gems. Pack your water shoes, sunglasses, and your Harvest Hosts membership, and let’s voyage through the northern California coast. 

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Sausalito, California

This quaint bayside town is located just over the Golden Gate Bridge and only thirty minutes from wine country. Many San Franciscans visit Sausalito to get away from The City and just relax. This town became up-and-coming in the 1960s due to the art-meets-industry vibes and the hippies living on houseboats before it was popular. 

The area is packed with beautiful beaches that welcome visitors. While you’re visiting the region, park your RV at the Marin RV Park. This pet-friendly campground has all the offerings of a typical RV park, such as water and electrical hookups, laundry facilities, a swimming pool, and a dump station. Marin RV Park is located just over ten minutes from Sausalito, making this a convenient home base to explore the boardwalk, swim at the beach, or grab some dinner at a trendy restaurant.

Jenner, California

45 minutes from Santa Rosa lies Jenner, California, with a population of 136 people. If you’re looking to unplug and experience some wilderness, then be sure to mark this town on your map. Jenner gives visitors the ability to see the Russian River meet the Pacific Ocean, which seasonally attracts harbor seals. Jenner is lush with outdoor activities such as kayaking and many hiking trails, and hosts a 5,630 acre wildlife reserve.

Any experienced dry campers with RVs under twenty-seven feetin length can head to Wright’s Beach Campground and enjoy a beachfront site. Campers requiring hookups can stay at the Bodega Bay RV Park, which is a short fifteen minutes from Jenner. This RV park offers full and partial hookups and can accommodate RVs of up to sixty feet in length. Before leaving town, check out Cafe Aquatica and River’s End Restaurant to eat like the locals do.

Sea Ranch, California

Just under an hour north of Jenner, visitors can find Sea Ranch. This scenic country is privately owned, but offers several public beach accesses and plenty to do. Sea Ranch guests tend to enjoy exploring the sea caves and viewing rugged bluffs on the town's beaches. Visitors seeking out a unique experience can visit Benjamino Bufano's 93-foot 'Peace Obelisk’ sculpture. Don’t forget to check out the Sea Ranch Chapel. This non-denominational chapel is an architectural masterpiece, created out of redwood that’s been shaped and molded to look like a shell. 

While there is no camping available on the beach, there is nearby camping on the Gualala River. Gualala River Redwood Park offers riverside sites engulfed in Redwood trees- talk about serene! RVers can enjoy full hookups, outdoor activities, and a general store in this park, just ten minutes from Sea Ranch.

Little River, California

Little River is just minutes from Mendocino but provides a completely different atmosphere. This tiny town is very tourist-friendly and offers several boutique B&Bs and charming inns. Most well-known is the Little River Inn, which is the perfect romantic getaway. Little River is an excellent spot for whale-watching since the town itself sits on a scenic bluff. One of the most popular activities in the area is exploring Van Damme State Park. This area is ripe with hiking, biking, and beaching opportunities.

Grab your Harvest Hosts membership to stay at nearby Handley Cellars Winery. At just over thirty minutes from Little River, this is the perfect base camp to explore the area. This beautiful vineyard is located just ten miles from the Pacific Coast and creates wines using organic methods. They offer a variety of whites, reds, sparkling wines, and even a few special editions such as a pinot noir rosé. This pet-friendly Harvest Hosts location has one reservable space for RVs up to forty-four feet in length.

Ferndale, California

Welcome to historic Ferndale, which is just twenty-five minutes south of the city of Eureka. This village is rich with Victorian architecture that provides a stunning contrast against the coastal backdrop. Here you can visit one of the three beaches, or take a ride on the Lost Coast Scenic Drive. Visitors can also fish or raft on the Eel River, which is appropriately named. 

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Riverwalk RV Park has everything you need to make the Ferndale area feel like home. This RV park is just over ten minutes from Ferndale and is tucked into a forest of Redwoods situated right on the Eel River. Riverwalk offers traditional park amenities such as water and power, a dump station, cable, a seasonal pool, and a year-round spa. Just a short five minute walk away is Eel River Brewing. This brewery serves several craft brews and has a pub and a restaurant.

McKinleyville, California

Our trip up the coast concludes in McKinleyville, California. This beautiful town is home to several beaches that provide equestrian trails and beachcombing opportunities. Visitors can also visit Mad River Beach County Park to see where the Mad River meets the Pacific Ocean. 

Harvest Hosts members looking to take advantage of this next stop must have the upgraded golf membership. Upgrading offers members access to hundreds more locations all across North America, including Beau Pre Golf Club. This golf club is situated right on the Pacific Ocean and gives players a challenging 18-hole course to play. Don’t forget to stop by their on-site Restaurant Bar and Grill!

We hope that this list has inspired you to head north during the hot summer months and explore the Lost Coast. Northern California is wild, beautiful, and offers a unique experience that is vastly different than that of Southern California. 

Have you visited any of the places on our list? If not, which are you adding to your list to visit? Tell us about it below!

About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a unique RV camping membership that offers self-contained RVers unlimited overnight stays at over 5,667 small businesses across North America with no camping fees. Boondock at farms, wineries, breweries, attractions, and other one-of-a-kind destinations throughout North America, and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that a safe place to stay is always nearby!
Sam Leash-profile-image
Sam Leash
Sam is a seasoned traveler and RVer of 4+ years. She loves adventures of all kinds and spends as much time on the road as she can. When not exploring in her RV or writing about her travels, you can find her reading a good book, cooking a delicious meal, caring for her plants, or hiking with her dogs.