On your road trip from San Jose to Eureka, you will be traveling along Highway 101 through one of the most beautiful areas in the country. You will enjoy stunning forested areas, views of the San Francisco Bay, and scenery along the Pacific Coast. The ocean air will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired. Get ready to enjoy nature, wildlife, and a serene drive.
San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park
The San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park is a highlight of the Fisherman's Wharf area of San Francisco. Drop by and explore the historic fleet of ships, the museum, and the research center. The collection features ships from the 1800s, including a square-rigger, a schooner, a steam ferryboat, and a paddlewheel tug from 1914. The museum is located in the Aquatic Park Bathhouse. Be sure to enjoy the beautiful murals lining the walls on the inside of the building.
Rosie The Riveter National Historical Park
Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front is a wonderful place to learn about the sacrifices and war efforts of American civilians on the home front. You will discover stories about their lives, including the story of the famed "Rosie the Riveter." You can also visit the SS Red Oak Victory Ship, which is docked in the Richmond Shipyard. Bring your camera and get some fantastic pictures of the Rosie the Riveter Memorial. It honors the labor of American women during World War II and will help you learn about an important piece of history.
Alcatraz Island National Park
Alcatraz Island National Park is a beautiful area full of rich stories. It used to be a fort and later a military prison. Then, it was a maximum-security federal penitentiary. In 1969, it was occupied by the Indians of All Tribes as a protest. A group of 89 Native Americans and supporters of theirs took over the island for 19 months to demonstrate for Native American rights. Of course, since it is an island, you will need to park the RV and take a boat over there. Check-in at Pier 33 in downtown San Francisco to get set up. Then, you can enjoy a guided tour behind the scenes to see a lot of the lesser-known areas. Be prepared for cool temperatures and many steep walkways and stairs.
Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park
Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park was the main residence of General Vallejo. Rancho Petaluma was the center of ranch activity back in the 1800s. It was a rich private estate years before California became a state. They ran cattle, raised sheep and horses, and farmed on the property. The large adobe building contains exhibits and authentic furniture telling the story of the early rancho life.
Richardson Grove State Park
Richardson Grove State Park is in Garberville, California. This became one of California's first redwood parks in 1922. You will definitely want to get out of the RV and explore the 300-foot redwoods and beautiful river that they grow beside. The park has expanded from 120 acres to 1,800 acres over the years. In the summer, this is a fantastic area to go wading and swim or try some catch-and-release fishing. There are around 9 miles of trails, including a tree big enough to walk through, a can't-miss stop on your road trip from San Jose to Eureka.
Humboldt Lagoons State Park
Humboldt Lagoons State Park is in Trinidad, California. The park was established to care for three lagoons with wetlands and estuaries at the edge between sandy dunes and forest. This variety gives you the perfect area to see an abundance of wildlife, including elk, whales, salmon, and a variety of birds. This area is also perfect for hiking or just taking a break for a picnic.
Hamilton Wetlands, located at the edge of Novato, is a wonderful historical site where you can enjoy a taste of nature just outside the city. It is a little over 4 miles and is perfect for walking, running, and bird watching. You can access this area by driving through the former Hamilton Air Force Base, which is a fascinating historical area itself. When driving through, you will recognize a lot of historic buildings that were once barracks. There are still huge hanger buildings, and even the observation tower is still standing. At the back of the property, the old airstrips have been removed and opened to a wide expanse of wetlands. Quickly, you go from the big city to a large natural area where you can watch a wide variety of birdlife.
Avenue of the Giants
The Avenue of the Giants is a stretch of highway in Humboldt County about 31 miles long, lined with spectacular redwood trees. The area boasts gorgeous forest hamlets, areas to picnic, campgrounds, and points of access to the Eel River for fishing, swimming, and paddling. There are trailheads where you can park and wander through the breathtaking forest of huge redwoods. They even include the famous drive-through tree.
Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge
The Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1971 to protect the habitat for a variety of mammals, birds, fish, and other nature. It contains mudflats, meadows, wetlands, and marshes. This area supports more than 316 bird species and 40 different kinds of mammals. Stop to stretch your legs and explore the serene area, just teeming with wildlife. If you enjoy photography, this area will keep you busy exploring and discovering the scenic beauty right on the Pacific Ocean.
Oakland is the busiest port in San Francisco Bay. It is the county seat of Alameda County. This is one of the most populated areas on your San Jose to Eureka RV road trip. Oakland is home to a variety of museums, including the African American Museum and Library, the Oakland Aviation Museum, and the Oakland Museum of California. Lake Merritt in Oakland is the oldest bird sanctuary in North America. You can also visit the Oakland Zoo and a variety of parks.
If you need a dump station in this area, you can find the service for free at the Vallejo Flood and Wastewater District in Vallejo. They are open year-round until 4:00 p.m. If you are looking for an area to camp, there is RV camping available at Anthony Chabot Regional Park.
Petaluma is a beautiful little town north of San Francisco that sits tucked between the rugged coast and green farmlands. The area is full of beautiful vineyards and offers wine tastings. If you enjoy the outdoors, try paddle boating on the Petaluma River or exploring a wide variety of hiking and cycling areas. The city also contains plenty of beautiful parks to wander through, and of course, you can make the short jaunt over to the coast.
If you need a dump station in Petaluma, check out the Baywood Gas Mart. You will not have to journey too far off your route to find it. This is a beautiful area to park for the night since there is plenty to see and do. If you would like to spend the night, check out the San Francisco North/Petaluma KOA Campground.
Santa Rosa, California
Santa Rosa is famous for its wide collection of quality wineries. It is also the home of the Charles M. Schultz Museum that celebrates the "Peanuts" cartoonist, creator of Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Be sure to explore the Children's Museum of Sonoma County, where you can visit a miniature train station. There is so much to do in this little town, including a walking tour that shows you the history and architecture of the region. Safari West is another fun attraction where you can experience the Serengeti with giraffes and other animals roaming through the 400-acre park.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from San Jose to Eureka, 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 San Jose or Eureka.