the bay area has a reputation for having a city-vibe, but is there any great camping within an hours drive too? Looking to camp instead of an expensive hotel in the city.
Hey! Depends what kind of camping you want to do! There are some tent campsites in North Bay in Golden Gate Recreation area. They are very limited and fill up fast but the views of the Golden Gate Bridge are stunning. You can try other places in Marin or Sonoma County. Or head south along the coast to Pacifica, Half Moon Bay or Santa Cruz. There are plenty of places you can car camp and there are tent campsites around there too.
There are also quite a few parks in the East Bay, Mt. Diablo being one of them. The Santa Cruz Mountains host California’s first state park, Big Basin Redwoods, which has stands of old growth redwoods.
The closest sights are in Marin - China Camp State Beach, Angel Island, and Samuel P. Taylor. Along with the sites in the Marin Headlands previously mentioned.
I’ve explored many spots within the Bay Area, here are my top three favorites close to home:
Butano State Park
Portola Redwoods State Park
Samuel P. Taylor State Park
Beautiful spots but typically full, I’ve had the best luck at Butano for last minute, close to home camping.
Bodega Bay is a bit of a distance, (1.5-2hours) but Bodega Dunes is a great campground.
just north of the city there’s plenty around Point Reyes! https://thedyrt.com/camping/california/near/point-reyes-national-seashore