There's nothing quite like camping right on the water's edge. Whether it's along the California Coast, the Russian or Gualala rivers, or Lake Sonoma, Sonoma County offers abundant opportunities to enjoy setting up camp on or near a beach. Options vary from primitive, tent-only campgrounds that bring you close to nature, to sites with full RV hook-ups, to cabins (for those who think "roughing it" is a hotel without room service.
Whether you pitch a tent, lay your head down in a luxury RV, or sleep under the stars, camping remains the best way to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and explore Sonoma County. Here is a quick round-up of beachside campgrounds.
River or Lake Beach Camping
Located near the Russian River in scenic Alexander Valley, this campground offers access for swimming, fishing, and bicycling, and has a convenience store on-site. Pet friendly.
2411 Alexander Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, 707-431-1453
(Photo at right.) Camp near the river or in the redwoods, then rent a canoe and paddle along the Russian River. Tent camping only with hot showers and clean restrooms.
8600 River Road, Forestville, CA 95436, 707-887-1222
RV and tent sites plus a few cabins are available in this nicely laid out campground, situated on the Russian River just four miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. Campground activities include outdoor movies, beach bonfires, and hayrides. There is also a convenience store on-site. Pet friendly.
22855 Moscow Road, Duncans Mills, CA 95430, 800- 451-8400
A longtime fixture in Sonoma County, Johnson's Beach is located on the Russian River in downtown Guerneville. The beach below the campground has a snack bar plus canoe, kayak, and paddle boat rentals. The resort offers rustic cabin-type rooms, a game room, a laundry, and a barbecue area. RV and tent sites available.
16241 First St., Guerneville, CA 95446, 707-869-2022
With more than 2,700 acres and 50 miles of shoreline, this popular recreational area is nestled in the beautiful coastal foothills of wine country. There is plenty of hiking, swimming, boating, and fishing. The drive-in campground is available for tents and RVs, but there are no electrical or water hook-ups. Boat-in and hike-in primitive campsites are also available. Pet friendly. Advance reservations required.
13005 Rockpile Road, Geyserville, CA 95441, 707-431-4533
(Photo at left.) This RV and tent camp is located on the Russian River, near Korbel Champagne Cellars and Armstrong Woods in the Russian River Valley. Pet friendly.
11820 River Road, Forestville, CA 95436, 707-887-7662
Tucked into the redwoods near Korbel Champagne Cellars, this family-run campground is part of the original Ridenhour Ranch. Tent camping only. Pet friendly.
12600 River Road, Guerneville, CA 95446, 707-869-2311
Pacific Coast Beach Camping
Stay on the Pacific coast in this full-service RV park, in a wind-protected area just a five minute drive (or half-hour walk) from the beach. No tent camping available. Pet friendly.
2001 Coast Highway 1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, 707-875-3701
Part of the Sonoma Coast State Park, which stretches 17 miles along the coast, this campground offers 98 campsites with hot showers, flush toilets, and a trailer sanitation dump station. Maximum trailer length is 31 feet; no hook-ups are available. The day use area includes a disabled accessible boardwalk out to a classic sandy beach. No dogs, no fires.
2485 Highway 1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, 707-875-3483.
With a two-mile stretch of sandy beach, Doran Beach is a popular place for visitors to picnic, build sand castles, fly kites, surf, fish, and stroll. A parking lot is located near the boat launch and can handle 30 vehicles with trailers. Individual campsites, restrooms with electrical outlets, flush toilets, and coin-operated showers ($1.50 for five minutes).
201 Doran Beach Road, Bodega Bay, 707-875-3540
Located where the Gualala River enters the Pacific Ocean, this campground nestles under redwood trees beside the river, within walking distance of the crashing surf. The campground includes drive-in campsites, walk-to sites, and sites reserved for hikers and cyclists. Pet friendly.
42401 Highway 1, Gualala, CA 95445, 707-785-2377
(Photo at right.) Situated around a sheltered cove, this scenic Pacific coastal campground offers a choice of oceanfront sites on the bluff or secluded camps tucked in the trees. It includes a boat ramp, and there is a store nearby. Stillwater Cove Regional Park and Salt Point State Park are close. RV and tent sites available. Great place to watch a sunset. Pet friendly.
23125 Coast Highway 1, Jenner, CA 95450, 707-847-3422
This RV park includes a boat launch, dry storage, open slips, and waterfront sites. No tent camping. Pet friendly.
1500 Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, 707-875-2354