7 Great Campgrounds for Families in Sonoma County
For families, there are so many benefits to camping. Aside from leading a healthy outdoor life and having fun, you'll enjoy each other as a group. You'll spend entire days hiking, swimming, paddling, and having adventures together, racking up all kinds of wonderful memories to carry through life.
An added benefit here in Sonoma County? Our campgrounds are located at extremely beautiful locations, with plenty of exciting things to do in the surrounding area.
Together, we can protect and preserve the beauty and natural resources of Sonoma County for generations to come. Check out our page on Sustainable Travel, and look over the Leave No Trace Seven Principles.
Here are a few good bets for camping with your family:
Just north of Sonoma Valley on the rustic edge of Santa Rosa, Spring Lake is perfect for families, thanks to a gorgeous setting, swimming lagoon with an inflatable water park, seasonal café, small boating lake, hiking trails, and many other activities. The park's Environmental Discovery Center, geared to kids and their families, is a natural science museum with hands-on displays, naturalist-led hikes and many other activities.
Spring Lake offers 31 campsites for tent, trailer, and RV camping; sites are nestled into oak trees not far from the lake and are available daily from May through September (weekends and holidays only from October through April).
By the way, Spring Lake adjoins Santa Rosa's 152-acre Howarth Park, where a kid-oriented amusement area features a miniature train ride, carousel, pony rides, and an animal farm.
Protected as it is by Bodega Bay, Doran's calm waters rank among the county's safest for swimming. You can launch a kayak or a speedboat from a jetty at the harbor's mouth, take a lovely walk on dozens of trails (including the avian fancier's favorite, the Bird Walk Coastal Access Trail), fly kites, build sand castles, go on whale-watching visits to nearby Bodega Head, or visit the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory (Fridays only) to view aquarium displays.
Consistently rated one of the nation's best camping and RV parks, Petaluma KOA campground is situated on 70 rural acres and offers more than 300 pine-covered tent and RV sites, each with a fire ring and picnic table; the large pull-thru RV sites offer 30amp/50amp, full hookups, cable and WiFi.
There is plenty for the whole family to do, with bike rentals, hot tub/sauna, swimming pool with cabanas, waterslide, off leash dog park, bocce ball court, horseshoe pits, bounce pillow, rockwall climbing, ring toss, basketball courts, petting farm, hayrides, outdoor movies, a farm-themed playground, and Friday karaoke. Guided tours to San Francisco and wine country are available for a fee.
Sugarloaf has 47 family campsites in a large meadow; sites accommodate RVs up to 27' long and campers up to 23'. Each site has a table and fire ring; flush toilets and drinking water are nearby. A few fully-furnished luxury canvas tents are also available to rent. A group campsite, capable of handling 50, is available.
The gorgeous park includes 17 miles of fabulous beaches, bluffs, and headlands that stretch from Bodega Head to four miles past Jenner. It has two campgrounds that make for great family vacations: Bodega Dunes and Wright's Beach.
Bodega Dunes offers 98 campsites with token-operated hot showers, flush toilets, and a trailer sanitation dump station. Maximum trailer length is 31 feet; no hook-ups available. Campfire and junior Ranger programs held during the summer. Day use area includes a disabled accessible boardwalk out to a classic sandy beach.
Wright's Beach has 27 developed campsites adjacent to the beach. Each site has a picnic table, a fire ring and a paved parking spur. Running water and flush toilets are available, but there are no showers (registered campers can use the hot showers 5 miles south at Bodega Dunes Campground). Maximum trailer length is 27'; no hook-ups available.
Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Liberty Glen has 96 campsites available for tent and RV camping (no electrical or water hookups, though). Each campsite contains a picnic table, fire ring, and lantern holder; firewood is for sale during summer months; restrooms, showers and potable water are available. Accessible sites accommodate the disabled.
An extraordinary diversity of activities awaits families at Lake Sonoma, including boating, fishing, and swimming; an extensive trail system for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians; an archery field; a visitor center with interesting exhibits; and a salmon and steelhead fish hatchery. Kids always enjoy the campfire, Junior Ranger, water safety programs and other special events that take place during the summer.
The 110-acre ranch is open year-round, offering 225 tent and RV sites with fire rings and picnic tables (a few cabins are also available). Many sites have spectacular views of the river; others are secluded in wooded pockets and clearings, while some are large and expansive where the entire family can gather together. Restrooms with hot showers are located throughout the grounds. Tent sites have water nearby; sites with full hookup offer electricity up to 50 amp, with water, sewer and 48 channels of CATV. WiFi is free in various locations throughout the park.
Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodriguez.