Named for the sandy, crescent-shaped beach south of town, Crescent City is the county seat of Del Norte County, as well as its only incorporated city. The land around Crescent City was always and still remains inhabited by the Tolowa and Yurok natives, although Jedediah Smith was the first European American to set sights on this gorgeous area and the western edges of the continent. This occurred in the early 19th century, and by 1854, Crescent City was an incorporated city.
These days, you can book an RV in Crescent City and enjoy this spectacular area just south of the California-Oregon border. The main draws of this gem of a city are its stunning coastlines and pristine beaches, responsible for a great deal of its tourism. When you rent an RV in Crescent City, there are lots of ways to make the most of your time, from heading out to one of the many parks and forests to driving down to Sacramento or San Francisco to make a real road trip of it.
In town, you can pass the time at charming local restaurants and taverns, check out one of the many historic lighthouses or homes, or simply stare out into the ocean while the last rays of sunlight disappear over the horizon. The Del Norte Airport and Route 101 ensure that Crescent City is easy to access, so you won’t get lost finding this northern California paradise.
The Great Outdoors
It can be overwhelming to arrive in Crescent City and figure out where to go first when you rent an RV. This part of the state is known for its dazzling collection of state and national parks, scenic beaches, coastal mountain ranges, and isolated campgrounds where peace and quiet reign supreme. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is the perfect place to kickstart your trip, just a few miles east of Crescent City. The park is named for the same man who first founded what is now Crescent City two centuries ago. This incredible park is one of many places in the northern region of California where you can see the iconic redwood trees in their natural habitat. These towering giants are among the largest trees on Earth. There are lots of fish in the Smith River, the last undammed river in all of California, and other amazing wildlife like black bears, raccoons, and black-tailed deer. Furthermore, there are nearly 20 miles of hiking trails and over 100 campsites.
Tolowa Dunes State Park is north of town along the Pacific Coast, named for the Tolowa natives who call the region home. This migratory bird sanctuary is a stellar place to see and photograph a variety of birds in a natural setting. You can swim in Lake Earl, Lake Tolowa, or surf in the Pacific Ocean if that floats your boat. Beachcombing and sun tanning are also possible at this white sand beach park.
Klamath National Forest essentially dominates the area around Crescent City, so it is quite hard to avoid. Well over one and a half million acres comprise this lush wonderland, with alpine lakes, seas of evergreen conifers blanketing a stunning mountain range, and hundreds of miles of hiking trails flowing through its borders. Around ten percent of the forest is considered old growth, and there are wilderness areas to trek through when you stay at one of the forest's many campgrounds with the Crescent City RV rental.
Redwood National and State Parks consist of several state parks, as well as Redwood National Park itself. These epic natural settings are managed by the state of California and the National Parks Services to preserve an important temperate rainforest with bounties of natural flora and fauna.
Crescent City is surrounded by Mother Nature, and finding a campground to accommodate you and your Crescent City campervan rental should be no problem at all. Shoreline RV Park sits right on the ocean, with epic views and beachfront access. This city-run park can provide a basic but satisfying camping experience.
The Ramblin’ Redwoods Campground & RV Park is full of camping sites. There are also basic and luxury cabins and cottages on site. A putting green, a playground, a volleyball court, and more await you when you stay in this heavily wooded nature park with the travel trailer rental from Crescent City, CA.
Bayside RV Park is also near the water in the heart of Crescent City, with an array of unique amenities inside the park, and even more wonderful restaurants and attractions within walking distance. Bathrooms, laundry facilities, a convenient location, and extraordinary views of the ocean make it a good spot to consider parking the Crescent City camper rental.
Crescent City offers an array of activities and landmarks you can see during your vacation. Historic buildings are scattered throughout the city, but the two historic lighthouses in the area are some of the most fun places to visit, photograph, and see. St. George Reef Lighthouse sits in a particularly turbulent stretch of coastline, once known for its treacherous rocks and features. The lighthouse now sits unused but still standing. Battery Point Lighthouse provides a place to learn, read, observe, and see artifacts from the old lighthouse that now operates as a museum. It is a long walk to get to the distant bluff overlooking the ocean, but definitely worth it once you see this postcard-worthy imagery.
The Del Norte County Historical Museum is also great for learning about the past, with lots of valuable resources pertaining to the establishment of the county, the hectic relations with the natives, and the first pioneers’ journey to get to the west coast. The museum tells the story of the tsunami-prone city, why it is heavily impacted by these powerful waves, and the damage these swells have unleashed on Crescent City. There is a large depository of Native American artifacts on display too, helpful for learning about the ancient cultures that inhabited the land far before the European settlers arrived.
The Ocean World Aquarium is a fabulous place to bring your family. This fantastic place was once a moving aquarium situated on a barge in Seattle, but it has since been moved to dry land for stability’s sake. This smaller, more intimate setting is more about rehabilitating animals rather than putting on a show, so smaller crowds and more up-close views of these magnificent creatures are possible. From sea lions to sharks, Ocean World is a memorable place to check out.
Crescent City, CA is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Crescent City. Outdoorsy's Crescent City RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.