San Francisco - 14 Days Itinerary (980 Miles)
An RV holiday is a fantastic way to explore the West Coast of the US. Starting your adventure in the vibrant city of San Francisco places you within a comfortable distance to some of California's best cities, scenic attractions and National Parks.
Whether you are after a short getaway or an extended vacation, the San Francisco and surrounding area is sure to offer something for everyone. Travelling north along Highway 1 will open your eyes to the beauty of the Pacific Ocean coastline, while the quaint seaside villages and cities along the way will offer a wealth of fantastic attractions.
Spending some time in the Avenue of the Giants will leave you in awe of the true wonder of Mother Nature, while some time in the Napa Valley will allow you to relax and pamper yourself in style.
The stunning waterfalls of Yosemite Valley are also sure to please, with the return to San Francisco bringing with it an array of exciting city sights and attractions on offer.
So take the plunge and start planning your RV rental adventure around the San Francisco area today. These itineraries will guide you on the best things to see and do and will give you an idea of how long your adventure will take.
Days 1 - 4
Mendocino County (via Highway 1 North) (155 Miles, 3 hours)
Start your West Coast adventure by picking up your RV in the city of San Francisco. From here, head north along State Route 1 (also referred to as Highway 1). This route runs along much of the Pacific coast of California, past some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world.
At least two to three days should be spent exploring the wonderful towns and beaches that can be found along this route. Towns not to miss include Orange County and Los Angeles, while the Central Coast area of the route is sure to dazzle with its pristine beaches and untouched coastline.
The perfect place to stay along the way is Mendocino County, which lies north of the Greater San Francisco area and west of the Central Valley. Mendocino is known for its distinctive Pacific Ocean coastline, its Redwood forests and its unsurpassed wine production.
Several Indian reservations can also be found within the county, along with the National Protected areas of the King Range National Conservation Area and the Mendocino National Forest.
Where to Stay:
The Mendocino area offers a broad range of RV parks that are all positioned right on the edge of the coastline. The Mendocino/ Fort Bragg Campground and RV Park is the perfect California beach camping vacation destination. Boasting its own private beach, popular activities to partake in with the kids include surfing, boogie boarding, sand castle making and kite flying.
The park offers 8 premium beach RV sites, with the maximum length pull through, 60 feet, and a 50 Amp service available. It's best to reserve a site well in advance as there sites fill up quick.
What to Do:
Highly regarded as America's "Greenest Wine Region", Mendocino is a must-see destination for lovers of fine wine and spectacular scenery. It is also known for its small breweries, so prepare for your taste buds to be tantalized.
The North Coast region of Mendocino is packed full of history and culture and it the ideal spot for those who wish to immerse themselves with the artistic side of the county. Popular attractions in this area include the Mendocino Arts Centre, the Kelley House Museum and the Ford House Museum and Mendocino Headlands State Park.
State Highway 1 and Mendocino County are renowned for their stunning stretches of coastline so it makes sense to pay a visit to some of the many beaches on offer here. One of the most beautiful of these is Glass Beach, just west of Fort Bragg. This rugged beach is home to rugged cliffs and boasts crashing waves, and is one of California's most interesting beaches.
Manchester Beach is also extremely popular and is protected by sheer cliffs, boasting dark-colored, fine sand that is usually covered with scattered drift wood.
Days 4 - 6
Humboldt Redwoods State Park - Avenue of the Giants (166 Miles, 3 hours, 35 minutes)
The Avenue of the Giants is located within the Humboldt Redwoods State Park and is the ultimate vacation destination. This world famous scenic drive is a 31-mile portion of the old Highway 101, and is by far the most spectacular display of these giants in the whole park.
This popular tourist attraction is located in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which is home to the largest remaining cluster of virgin redwoods in the world. The sights you will see here never fail to amaze, and it is almost like visiting another world.
Where to Stay:
The Humboldt Redwoods State Park offers many accommodation options for RV travelers. There are four popular options: Richardson Grove Campground and RV Park, Giant Redwoods RV and Camp, Benbow Valley RV Resort and Golf Course and Redcrest Resort. All of these parks offer hook-ups for RVs, with countless other facilities for your comfort included.
What to Do:
Popular past times in the park include picnicking, hiking, swimming, fishing, rafting and cycling. Other popular areas in and around the park include, Scotia, which is home to a historic logging museum and Shelter Cove, which is surrounded by beaches, mountains and spectacular coastal views.
The Dyerville Giant is another popular attraction within the park, that offers examples of the great redwoods that are found near the South Fork and Eel River. A visit to this particular attraction will really open your eyes to the immensity of these dramatic giants.
The Rockefeller Forest is nestled on 10,000 acres of indescribable beauty and is sure not to disappoint. The most popular thing to do in this forest is of course hiking. There are several hiking trails scattered throughout the park, many of them exposing visitors to the largest trees in the area. In fact, this forest is home to the 8th, 6th, 4th and 2nd tallest trees, along with the "Champion Coast Redwood", which stands at 370 feet tall.
Days 6 - 8
Napa Valley (271 Miles, 5 hours, 48 minutes)
The Napa Valley is one of America's premier travel destinations, making it a must on your 14 day San Francisco adventure. A visit to the Napa Valley is all about rejuvenation and relaxation; it is after all a world renowned wine and resort destination.
This spot of heaven on earth is considered one of the top wine regions in the United States, with a history dating back to the nineteenth century. This contributes to the spectacular scenery that can be experienced here all year round. Absorb the beauty of the picturesque rolling hills and abundance of vineyards while you pamper yourself at one of the many spas that can be found nearby.
Where to Stay:
Vineyard RV Park
The Vineyard RV Park is situated in Vacaville, and is the ideal base for visitors to the Napa Valley Wine Country. The park is perfect for those travelling with a big rig, as the sites are rather large, offering plenty of room for travelers.
While staying at the Vineyard RV Park, a nice option is to spend some time exploring the town of Vacaville. The Jellybean factory is a popular attraction for those both young and old, while the local historical museums are also sure to impress.
What to Do:
The Napa Valley is all about sight seeing and tours. Visitors may opt to take a balloon tour above the valley, hire a bike and cycle around the valley, or take an Angelo air tour. However, if you just want to take your time and travel at your own pace, the best thing to do in the Napa Valley is to simply drive the scenic routes and pick and choose the places you wish to stop in at and explore.
Napa Valley Wine Train
Regarded as Napa's most unique restaurant, the Napa Valley Wine Train is the perfect way to enjoy America's rich history in style. The antique train will take you for 25 kilometres right into the heart of the Napa Valley, taking you past incredible scenery and unforgettable sights.
Enjoy a gourmet meal, while sampling some of the region's finest wines.
Days 8 - 12
Yosemite National Park (193 miles, 3 hours, 55 minutes)
Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant Sequoia groves and remarkable biological diversity.
Yosemite is situated in Central California's Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and spans for an impressive 1,170 square miles. However most of the 3.7 million annuals visitors flock to the Yosemite Valley area of the park.
This is one of America's favorite National Parks so be sure not to miss out!
Where to Stay:
Yosemite National Park offers a total of 10 campgrounds that can accommodate RV travelers. The Lower, Upper and North Pines campgrounds are open for the majority of the year and offer water taps and a sizeable area to park your RV.
Hook-ups are not available in Yosemite, but there are dump stations available at the Upper Pines campground. Food must also be covered at all times, and it is advisable to book in advance before arrival.
What to do:
Cycling is a fantastic way to see the Yosemite Valley as it allows you to explore parts of it that simply aren't accessible by your RV.
Over 12 miles of paved bike paths make their way through the valley, while cyclists can also ride on the regular roads if they obey the traffic laws.
The terrain is relatively flat ensuring all levels of cyclists can enjoy easy cruising, while soaking up the idyllic surrounds.
Bikes can be rented from early spring to late fall, and are available at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls and Curry Village recreation area.
Yosemite Falls is the highest measured waterfall in North America and truly is a sight to behold. The falls are at their best during the months of spring, when the ice is melting and creates a pumping waterfall that falls for an impressive 739 meters in total.
The lower falls are easily accessible from the Yosemite Lodge, while the upper falls require some strenuous hiking, accessible from the Sunnyside Walk-In campground.Yosemite Half Dome
Rising an impressive 8,800 feet above sea level, the Half Dome is an icon of the Yosemite National Park and offers a great challenge to many hikers. The hike will take you on an adventure into wilderness and the view from the top is simply unsurpassed.
Days 12 - 14
San Francisco (191 miles, 3 hours, 36 minutes)
San Francisco is a vibrant city that boasts cultural and contemporary attractions, brilliant beaches and a trendy lifestyle. Bursting with activity, San Francisco is one of California's most populated cities and is a must-see while in California.
San Francisco is one of the world's top travel destinations, with incredible sightseeing, famous tourist attractions and fantastic shopping opportunities on offer. One of the area's most popular attractions would have to be Alcatraz Island, which offers a unique glimpse into the city's history, along with some terrific views of San Francisco Bay.
Where to Stay:
San Francisco RV Resort
Located just 15 minutes out of the city, the San Francisco RV Resort offers stunning ocean views and some of the finest RV facilities in the area. The park is situated close by to attractions like Half Moon Bay, Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, making it the ideal place for a tourist to base themselves.
What to do:
The city of San Francisco is packed full of exciting things to see and do. Start your exploration by paying a visit to some of the many museums that are spread out across town, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Palace of Fine Arts. The San Francisco City Hall and War Memorial Opera are also a popular spots with tourists, perhaps purely for their architectural appeal.
The Golden Gate Bridge
This suspension bridge spans the Golden Gate, which is the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. The bridge itself is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco and is the second longest suspension bridge main span in the United States.
The bridge is steeped in a rich history and truly is a sight to behold. If you get the chance, you should definitely take the walk across it, as the views it offers are simply amazing.
Return your RV on the 14th day and start putting together the photo albums and scrapbooks.