RV Rental Stinson Beach, CA

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The breathtaking coastlines of California are known for their unreal beauty, drawing visitors from all over. Stinson Beach is one of the best beachside communities to encapsulate the charm and soul of Northern California. The beach town was first settled in the latter half of the 19th century with the arrival of the Mount Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway. The town first operated under the name “Willow Camp” before officially becoming Stinson Beach in 1916. Stinson Beach’s name comes from Nathan H. Stinson, the man who first purchased the land.

Stinson Beach is located less than a half hour's drive north of San Francisco and it is surrounded by a wealth of natural beauty. Lush green forests surround the community on all sides, giving it an incredibly distant feeling despite its relative proximity to the cities of the Bay Area. The main reason most people choose to book an RV in Stinson Beach is for its unencumbered access to a bevy of parks, forests, beaches, and nature reserves in the area, as well as its laid-back vibes. The town even hosts a few fun events throughout the year, like the Dipsea Race, one of the nation’s oldest bicycle races, and the Cuisine on the Green, a cultural celebration of the town with delicious food and live performances by local musicians for the benefit of the community center.

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Outdoors Adventures

California is known for its legendary wilderness areas and old growth forests and the peninsula north of San Francisco adds an interesting wrinkle to this reputation. There are thousands of places that may pique your interest within driving distance when you rent an RV here, but you hardly need to venture off too far to see some epic scenery. Mount Tamalpais State Park is a natural place to start, as it is the closest state park to the community. In fact, Mount Tamalpais State Park practically surrounds Stinson Beach with over 6,000 acres of rolling green hills and dense evergreen forests. You can lose yourself hiking underneath the shade of the ancient redwood giants or climb to the summit of Mount Tamalpais which gracefully overlooks the ocean. The Muir Woods National Monument lies adjacent to the park, combining to create one of the most lovely natural areas imaginable. The monument is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and together with Mount Tamalpais State Park, it has over 200 miles of hiking trails in a vast network that weaves through the darkest and most lonesome corners of the wilderness. The monument is named for John Muir who is widely considered to be “the Father of the National Parks” for his instrumental lobbying of the government to preserve and protect the bountiful beauty of the country. There is nowhere to camp out in your Stinson Beach camper rental while at the national monument, but this should not discourage you from visiting and taking a photo next to the ancient old-growth giant redwood trees that have become iconic for their size and coloring.

Sonoma Coast State Park covers a different stretch of the coast than Stinson Beach but is a great place to check out when you feel like seeing another beach. The rocky cliffs and magnificent stone archways offer a stark contrast to the welcoming sandy beaches of Stinson Beach. The coastal prairies and towering bluffs that overlook the water coupled with the thin stretch of rocks below are home to an eclectic bunch of wildlife, like the California sea lions, harbor seals, and even gray whales which frequent the waters off the shore. The state park is famed for its historical value as well as its natural beauty, with old structures from the first settlers and ranchers, as well as archaeological sites belonging to the Pomo and Coast Miwok tribes.

To the north of town, Point Reyes National Seashore warrants a visit based off its ethereal landscapes and sublime prehistoric forests. Miles of trails connect the different forests and beaches of the park, straddled on either side by towering trees and bright green ferns. There is a wealth of places to camp when you bring your Stinson Beach camper rental to the seashore in search of private beaches, hidden waterfalls, and rocky bluffs carved by the might of the ocean’s fury.

RV Parks to Visit

The last thing you should worry about when you rent an RV in Stinson Beach is finding a suitable place to camp at. Marin RV Park is one of the closest RV-friendly campgrounds to San Francisco, a convenient place to camp out if you want to explore the city for a few days. Over 80 spacious campsites are among the things you can enjoy at this cozy park.

Novato RV Park is a bit farther away from town and is welcoming of families, larger RVs, and pets. The park has its own convenience store, deli, and seasonal pool for guests to use. The surrounding state parks and national seashores have some excellent campgrounds, but it may be difficult to find a site suitable for an RV. Olema Campground is found right near Point Reyes National Seashore and has nature guided tours for guests to get involved and out into the woods.

City Sightseeing

Stinson Beach benefits from being close to San Francisco but it has some small-town features that make it an exciting place to visit in its own right. Stinson Beach which shares its name with the town is obviously one of the defining attractions in town. Although it might as well fall under the outdoors category, it would feel wrong to omit it as an important attraction. This gorgeous beach started it all, inspiring the first campers to start their own community in the first place. There are some cozy restaurants and shops in the small village that overlooks the water, but a short drive out of town will yield lots of other places to check out when you rent an RV and feel like going for an adventure. Point Bonita Lighthouse is part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area and has safely guided ships to safety since 1855. People enjoy hiking through the woods to reach this isolated structure, which can be toured during certain times of the week.

The Bolinas Museum is an incredible art institution just a few miles from Stinson Beach, with five distinct galleries featuring different types of artwork. Photographs and paintings from local and regional artists can be seen on display, dating back as far as the early 1800s. Don’t forget the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge that connects San Francisco to the upper peninsula where Stinson Bay is situated. This iconic red bridge spans the San Francisco Bay and is among the most visited and photographed landmarks on the planet.

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Popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds

  • Hiking TrailLocation
  • Stinson Beach Trail, CAStinson Beach, CA
  • Stinson Beach to Mount Tamalpais, CAMount Tamalpais State Park, CA
  • Matt Davis Trail to Cataract Trail, CAMount Tamalpais State Park, CA
  • Dipsea Steep Ravine Matt Davis Loop Trail, CAMount Tamalpais State Park, CA
  • Dipsea Trail to Steep Ravine Trail Loop from Stinson, CAMount Tamalpais State Park, CA
  • Cataract Falls via Laurel Dell Fire Road, CAMount Tamalpais State Park, CA
  • Ridgecrest Parking to Alpine Dam, CAMount Tamalpais State Park, CA
  • Rocky Point Trail, CAMount Tamalpais State Park, CA
  • Benstein and Cataract Loop Trail, CAMount Tamalpais State Park, CA
  • Simmons Trail to Potrero Camp, CAMount Tamalpais State Park, CA

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