There are many reasons why you'll want to visit Yuba City, California, nicknamed "The Gateway to the Gold Fields." Strolling through the community’s historic downtown area and visiting the nearby former mining towns can be great learning experience. Outdoor recreational opportunities are abundant, especially on the Feather River. Before you get there on your road trip from San Francisco to Yuba City, you will want to visit many national and state parks along the way. You will also find interesting places to stop and explore in cities like Berkeley, Davis, and Sacramento.
Yosemite National Park
When you leave on your San Francisco to Yuba City RV road trip, consider going east to visit Yosemite National Park. Go for a scenic drive along Tioga Road. Take a break at Olmsted Point to enjoy views of the iconic Half Dome. Follow the short hiking trail to see stunning views of Tenaya Peak, Tenaya Lake, and Mount Conness. Farther along Tioga Road, you will come to Tenaya Lake, which is a fantastic place to go fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming. Take the Tuolumne Meadows cut off to reach the climbing and hiking paths up Lembert Dome. Exit Tioga Road and come back into the park at the South Entrance near Wawona, California, on the Mariposa Grove Road to see almost 500 large sequoia trees. Follow the road to reach Glacier Point, where you will want to get out and enjoy stunning views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and the High Sierra. Leave time to follow the road to the Yosemite Valley. You will also want to backtrack and reenter the park at the Hetch Hetchy Entrance. The reservoir along this road is a great place to go fishing, and you can hike along paths surrounding it.
Angel Island State Park
Before you head east to visit Yosemite National Park or north to reach Yuba City, stop and visit Angel Island State Park. It is the largest natural island in San Francisco Bay, and you will need to take the ferry or a boat to reach it. Start your visit by attending the one-hour, ranger-led tour of the immigration station. Thousands of mostly Chinese immigrants first set foot on American soil at this location between 1915 and 1920. Then, follow the North Ridge Trail to see stunning views of Mt. Livermore. Following the Fire Road Trail from the summit brings you to this park’s café, which serves great lemonade and fresh-made sandwiches. Finish your visit with a bike ride around the island before catching the ferry or taking your boat back.
Caswell Memorial State Park
Stop at Caswell Memorial State Park, located on the Stanislaus River’s shores near Ripon, California. This park protects one of the few remaining riparian oak woodlands. The river is an excellent place to go fishing for bass, catfish, and crappie. There is also a swimming beach along the river’s edge. While there are many hiking trails to explore on your own, consider joining a summertime ranger-led tour to learn more about the woodlands and the unique animals, like the riparian brush rabbit. This park is a fantastic place to go bird-watching, especially if you enjoy seeing hawks in flight.
McLaughlin Eastshore State Park
Starting near the San Francisco Bay Bridge's east anchorage, the McLaughlin Eastshore State Park is located along California’s coastline until you reach Richmond, California. A 350-mile bike path runs the park’s entire length offering stunning bay views. You can go fishing at the 3,000-foot pier at Berkeley Marina without a license. Along the whole length of this park, enjoy seeing windsurfers and kickboarders perform stunts or join the fun yourself. This park is a terrific place to go birdwatching, and you may spot pelicans and snowy egrets. This park also has numerous tidepools, which are great places to explore.
South Yuba River State Park
The South Yuba River State Park starts at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park and continues to Bridgeport, California. Not all areas in between are part of the park, so respect private property. This spot is an ideal location for a hiking adventure. You will love seeing the power of the South Fork of the Yuba River as it pours over granite boulders along the way. Gold mining demonstrations occur frequently, and you may be able to try it. This park is home to the 1862 Bridgeport Covered Bridge and 1865 Purdon Crossing bridge, which are easily viewable. There are numerous riverside swimming areas.
Winchester Mystery House
Consider visiting the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, before embarking on your road trip from San Francisco to Yuba City. Sarah Winchester purchased this Victorian-style home in 1886. For the next 38 years, the young widow, who was one of the wealthiest women in the world at that time, was convinced that she had been cursed and must continually build onto the modest eight-room home to keep bad things from happening. Construction happened every day, with workers often being told to tear apart what they had constructed beautifully the day before. When you tour this home, you will see staircases that lead to nowhere and winding hallways that end in brick walls and leave you no choice but to turn around. You can also go ax throwing in the stables at this estate.
University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley
Visitors have been touring the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley since its establishment in 1890. See one of the most diverse plant collections in the world at this location as it features over 10,880 taxa of plants. Many visitors especially enjoy seeing the Chinese medicine plants, worldwide crops, herbs, and heritage tea roses.
Tilden Regional Park
Do not pass up the chance to visit Berkeley’s Tilden Regional Park on your road trip from San Francisco to Yuba City. This park contains numerous attractions, including a botanical garden, farm, lake, golf course, and plant nursery. Almost 40 miles of hiking trails are available.
California State Railroad Museum
Learn how the railroad plays a vital role in your life today and throughout history by visiting the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California. Additionally, this museum features several historical train locomotives, rolling stock, and cabooses. At various times throughout the year, they offer excursion train rides pulled by steam-powered locomotives.
Maidu Museum & Historic Site
Explore the Nisenan Maidu Native Americans' rich history by visiting the Maidu Museum & Historic Site in Roseville, California. See examples of their exquisite baskets and learn how they processed acorns. Then, hike along the nature trails to see bedrock mortars and ancient petroglyphs.
If you want to play on the beach, then there are several Berkeley campgrounds with beach access to consider. Look at Pillar Point RV Park and Half Moon Bay RV Park. There are also terrific Berkley RV dump stations available. Consider ABBA Self & RV Storage, Solano RV Storage, and Marin RV Park Inc.
Campgrounds near Vallejo, California, are fantastic places to camp while exploring California’s wine country. Consider camping at Novato RV Park with its gorgeous hiking trails or Skyline Wilderness Park. RV dump stations are available at Marin RV Park Inc., Napa Valley Expo RV Park, and Novato RV Park.
The University of California at Davis gives this community a very young vibe. You will love exploring its art galleries, Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, and its delicious restaurants. Nature surrounds many Davis campgrounds. Consider Sherwood Harbor, Sandy Beach County Park, or Snug Harbor Resort. Davis RV dump stations are available at Chevron ExtraMile, Sacramento 49er Travel Plaza, and Sherwood Harbor Marina & RV Park.
In addition to visiting California’s capitol, you can find many terrific museums to explore in Sacramento. Consider camping for a night or two in Sacramento campgrounds, like Folsom Lake SRA – Beal’s Point Campground or Sac West RV Park and Campground, where special activities occur often. Sacramento RV dump stations are available at Pilot Flying J Travel Plazas #617, Rancho Seco Recreational Area, and Bentleys Marina & RV Park.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Sacramento to Yuba City, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Sacramento or Yuba City.