Urban Camping in California

Published on September 17th, 2021

Urban camping is the practice of camping close to urban areas, often in order to access urban amenities and attractions. California is home to many sites of interest, including nine national parks that are adjacent to major metropolitan areas. You can visit iconic parks like Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Death Valley and others and easily plan on where to urban camp in California. The Pacific Ocean and accompanying coastal shores are dotted with large urban areas, and you can visit sites like Disneyland in Anaheim and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Northern California has several parks that contain giant redwood trees, many of which are more than 1,000 years old. 

Brightly lit skyscrapers sparkle amid a sea of city lights with wispy clouds in the sky against the reddish glow of dawn.

Urban RV Parks in California

Caswell Memorial State Park

Caswell Memorial State Park is located near the cities of Modesto and Stockton and is home to stands of riparian oaks, which are in decline in the state of California. San Francisco North/ Petaluma KOA is only 34 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. It offers great access to the beaches and to giant redwoods besides being close to convenient urban localities. The park has a pool, a store, a snack bar, propane, bike rentals, a camp kitchen, a playground, a ball pit, outside games, a bounce pillow and even a petting zoo. There are seasonal activities as well. 

Chino Hills State Park

Chino Hills State Park is a nature preserve in the Chino Hills foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains and is near Los Angeles in the northern Orange County city of Chino Hills. It has 14,102 acres of varied biomes that are home to both resident and migrating wildlife, and it is a link to the Chino-Puente Hills Wildlife Corridor. Visitors can hike, bike, and ride horses on over 90 miles of trails, many of which are multi-use, and there is an equestrian staging area and corrals. While in Chino Hills State Park, you have a good chance to see some of the more than 200 species of animals and birds, thousands of insects and invertebrates, and numerous amphibians and reptiles. Many of these species are rare, like the coastal cactus wren and the California gnatcatcher. 

Campland on the Bay

Campland on the Bay is located on Mission Bay in San Diego and provides waterfront camping. The camp has been offering family recreational fun for more than 50 years and continues to add new features to its already numerous amenities. Recently, the camp added an Open-Air Study Hall, which is equipped with Wi-Fi and distanced tables and chairs for kids to use while completing schoolwork. The camp has a marina, a pool, a hot tub, a restaurant, and watercraft and bike rentals. There are also outside games and sports and scheduled live entertainment.


SacWest is near Sacramento and offers easy access to this large urban area. The park has family-friendly amenities that include a heated pool that is open year-round, a recreational room, train rides, grills, a dog park, bike rentals, a laundry, Wi-Fi, cable, propane, movie rentals, and more. Weekend activities are planned throughout the year, like ice cream socials, campfires with s’mores, bingo, a monster waterslide, arts and crafts, and holiday-themed events.

Where to Urban Camp in California

California is the third-largest state in the United States and is the most populous state. It also possesses a diverse landscape of mountain ranges, ocean coastlines, deserts, savannahs, and temperate forests. Many of these habitats are located next to highly populated areas. If you want to camp out in nature without giving up city conveniences, then there are a number of urban RV parks in California that are located next to cities like San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and other famous cities.

Urban Camping in California

Once you decide which city and area of California you would like to explore, finding urban RV camping in California is simply a matter of preference. California has many national and state parks that are within close driving distance to metropolitan areas, and you will have no trouble finding either public or private RV parks that are near both cities, nature preserves, and historical sites. 

Even though you will be close to a city that will have supplies and services you may need, it is still a good idea to pack certain necessities for your trip. You should pack a range of seasonal clothes because the evening temperatures can be low in California, even in the summer months. You should also pack a first-aid kit, food and drinks, bug spray, flashlights, a tool kit, detergents, and linens. 

Since you may be visiting a large city while urban camping in California, it is a good idea to acquire maps of the transit systems and the local parking options. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for more RV travel tips and ideas.

With an RV rental, your urban vacation will be a little more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day exploring the city, you can relax around the fire at your campsite. Then, retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home onboard your RV. Plan your perfect urban getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.

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