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Brannan Island State Recreation Area is a 329-acre park located on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Located around four miles away from the town of Rio Vista, this lovely area consists of sloughs, marshes, levees, rivers, and channels. It's no surprise that fishing, swimming, and boating are among the most popular activities for campers and day-use visitors here.
Thanks to its habitat and diverse wildlife, the park always has a lively atmosphere, even during the off-season. The park has amazing RV campgrounds as well, so book an RV in Sacramento County to make the most of your Brannan Island State Recreation Area camping trip.
Whether you want to unwind with the sounds of nature in the background, have a nice picnic with family and friends, or beat the heat during summer, Brannan Island State Recreation Area has what you need.
Guests who love to swim, fish, and paddle will definitely love spending time here. Cast your line into the delta for a chance to reel in sturgeon, bass, migrating salmon, bluegill, and shad. Bear in mind, though, that if you're over 16, you'll have to carry your California fishing license. The park also has a designated swimming area which is off-limits to powerboats. Speaking of which, boaters will be glad to hear the park has a boat launch as well as boat camping sites.
Avid wildlife watchers should pack their binoculars in the camper rental. Sacramento River is an ideal feeding ground for birds like sandhill crane and Swainson’s hawk, and the park’s marshes are where you typically see river otters, herons, and turtles. You may also see some of the rare plant species here.
The park has four charming picnic areas where families like to gather, enjoy cookouts, and socialize with other Brannan Island State Recreation Area campers. There are barbecue grills, restrooms, drinking water picnic tables, and shade ramadas, making it an ideal place to spend the day if you're not planning to camp at Brannan Island State Recreation Area.
There are three RV campgrounds at Brannan Island State Recreation Area. Cottonwood and Willow Campgrounds feature over 100 primitive sites with no hookups, offering a true off-the-grid motorhome camping experience. If you need your creature comforts, the Olympic Loop RV Campground has around a dozen sites that feature both water and electric hookups.
The park's dump station is conveniently located near the campgrounds. The maximum length for RVs is 36 feet, so keep that in mind before renting an RV for this trip. If you're camping in the primitive area, you're allowed to use your generator, so long as you respect the quiet hours.
One of the perks of camping at Brannan Island State Recreation Area is the proximity of Rio Vista. This is a convenient place to buy food and fuel or dine out if you'd prefer something other than camp food. If you're a fan of Chinese, Mexican, or seafood, you'll have several dining options in Rio Vista. You can also grab a pizza or some burgers.
Rio Vista is home to a history museum as well, opened in 1975. The museum is a converted blacksmith’s shop, and its exhibits tell the tale of what life was like in the pioneer days. Some of the items displayed here include newspapers, old photos, and farming equipment. Be sure to check out the exhibit schedule to see what's on display during your stay.
If you enjoy fine arts, instead of going to Rio Vista, you can head 20 minutes south of the park to the city of Brentwood. Depending on the route you take, you can also stop by Antioch and Oakley. Brentwood has an amazing art gallery featuring different crafts, events, and workshops. Once you've finished admiring the art, head into the cozy downtown area for a day of shopping and dining. Brentwood is also home to a number of historic sites and wineries. No matter what you like to do, this charming city has got you and your camping crew covered.
History buffs should venture into the nearby town Pittsburg and see the exhibits at the history museum there. Spend an hour or two perusing the artifacts exhibited in each themed room, then head into Pittsburg proper. Treat the kids to a day at the city's amusement park, or quench your thirst for adventures in the great outdoors at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve.
There's no shortage of activities on offer in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, so rent a camper and gear up for a road trip you'll never forget.