An RV Trip to Napa Valley May Be Just the Ticket

Picture of a Sign for the Napa ValleyStarting the year by taking an RV trip to Napa Valley may be one of the best decisions you ever made. Where most come to sample the incredible wines, others come to explore all the outdoor beauty only to be found in this lovely section of Northern California. And there are plenty of family activities both inside and out. Of course, getting some wine tasting in while you are here is never out of the question.

If you want a wine tour, head directly for Napa, California which will make the perfect home base for a Napa Valley holiday getaway. Large and small producers are extremely proud of their delicious grapes, and you can spend your entire vacation just traveling from winery to winery. However, there is a lot more to do than just this.

You won’t be disappointed in the RV camping in the area either. For instance, the Napa Valley Expo RV Park is a great place to camp and settle in for the duration. It is close to downtown Napa and provides easy access to the special sights and sounds of this charming town.

Named after the author of Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson State Park offers visitors fun all year round. Mr. Stevenson and his new wife surely thought so when they honeymooned here in 1880. Although spring and fall are the best times to come, winter offers the best vistas. You only need to check the weather reports before your arrival.

Hike through forests of coastal redwoods at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. Some elevations are quite high, up to 2,000 feet. However there are other trails where you can stroll leisurely and enjoy the beautiful ferns and bubbling streams. The towering Douglas firs make the perfect canopy for a quiet picnic.

At Skyline Wilderness Park you can dress warmly and go for a horseback ride or perhaps engage in some nature study. Hiking is marvelous here too, with a lot of amazing views of the valley from the trails. Be sure not to miss Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park where early settlers had their wheat and corn ground into flour or meal. This historic landmark has been partially restored, certainly enough to give you a taste of life in the early 1900s. Also visit the Pioneer Cemetery. On weekends you’ll see some milling demonstrations that you sure won’t want to miss.

In the evening, make your way to the Napa Valley Opera House where you can enjoy a wide range of live entertainment that is sure to please every member of your traveling group, no matter their age. For a unique experience the next day, take the Napa Valley Wine Train, one of the most unusual restaurants you may ever see. Leaving from downtown Napa, the train moves through vineyards and over hill and dale while offering the best in food and wine. You can take a lunch train or a dinner train, depending on what meal you wish to enjoy here.

Although your RV vacation is coming to an end, you won’t want to miss Safari West before you leave Napa Valley. Get up close and personal with many wild animals, almost like traveling in Africa. After this experience as the highlight of your trip, you may find it hard to leave this lovely valley. But you can always return another day, another season. Napa Valley will welcome you!

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Close to Napa and More

Many thanks to the folks at the Novato RV Park and the Vineyard RV Park for making us aware of their fine RV Parks.

Picture of the Novato RV ParkNovato RV Park
The Novato RV Park in Novato, California gives you an excellent base of operations. San Francisco is easily accessible 25 miles to the south. Napa wine country is an easy 45 minute drive to the northeast. The wonderful beaches of Marin County can be reached 45 minutes to the west. Sonoma Raceway is also only 25 to 30 minutes away and there are numerous golf courses in the area.

Other nearby attractions include the Muir Woods National Monument, and for the kids (and adults who still want to be kids) Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo.

The park itself features a convenience store and deli, a laundry room, free basic cable TV, Wi-Fi (for an additional charge), a seasonal pool, picnic area, and a public dump station (for a fee). The park also welcomes pets and there is a dog walk area.

Vineyard RV Park
Picture of the Vineyard RV ParkVineyard RV Park in Vacaville, California is also close to Napa wine country and situated for easy access to both San Francisco to the southwest and Sacramento to the northeast. It, too, is close to the Sonoma Raceway.

Some other things to do in the area include the Jelly Belly Factory, an Anheuser-Busch brewery, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and the Cache Creek Casino.

Vineyard RV Park features two 24-hour laundry facilities, wireless Internet access, a pool, two horseshoe pits, a gazebo picnic area, and a clubhouse/group meeting facility. The park also welcomes pets and there two off-leash dog walk areas.

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Plenty to Do in Santa Rosa, CA

This is provided courtesy of our friends at the Santa Rosa Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Just 55 miles north of San Francisco, you’ll find a vibrant city overflowing with all you love about California. Welcome to Santa Rosa, where everything comes together: wine country and farm country, redwood forests and rivers, lakes and ocean. And in the center is our charming, thriving downtown, lined with intriguing shops and restaurants that delight casual diners and epicureans alike. Whether you’re into safaris or spas, golf or gardens, Snoopy or Snoop Dogg – or all of the above – you can have it all in Santa Rosa.

Santa Rosa is the largest city and the county seat of Sonoma County and home to numerous activities and attractions. Enjoy the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens where the famed horticulturist resided for over 50 years. Walk in his rose garden and visit the greenhouse where he grafted trees, plants, and flowers, creating new and wonderful plant life we still enjoy today. The world famous “Peanuts” cartoonist, Charles M. Schulz, lived in Santa Rosa for several decades and is honored with an outstanding museum highlighting his life and legacy (Charles M. Schulz Museum).

Visit one of Santa Rosa’s historic areas, Railroad Square, where you can stop and enjoy award-winning restaurants, antique shops, unique boutique shops, and quaint hotels. The California Welcome Center is located in the train depot, constructed in 1904. Nearby is the Prince Memorial Greenway, a paved walkway that follows the Santa Rosa Creek. Along this path you’ll see murals and park benches painted by art students along with other public art. The Joe Rodota Trail walking and bike route connects to the Greenway and heads west paralleling Highway 12 for about 5 miles.

But if you’re looking to do more extensive hiking, grab your walking shoes and head to Annadel State Park which is just on the east side of Santa Rosa along with two other parks. Several hiking, mountain bike, and equestrian trails await you. If you want something a little less strenuous, then visit the Spring Lake Regional Park where you can enjoy a pleasant time in their swimming lagoon. Take the kids to Howarth Memorial Park, a city park that has a playground, merry-go-round, pony rides, and a train that goes throughout the beautifully landscaped acreage.

Whether you’ve been to the African Serengeti or not, you’ll be enchanted by Safari West, a wildlife preserve where you can get “up close and personal” with graceful giraffes and romping rhinos on jeep tours that traverse the 400-acre attraction. Want to spend the night and hear the animals talk to each other in the dark? Safari West offers upscale tent cabins with a dining facility nearby.

Did someone mention shopping? You’ll find a variety of shopping adventures at the Santa Rosa Plaza, Coddingtown Shopping Center, and Montgomery Village. When you get hungry, Santa Rosa offers a wide variety of outstanding restaurants and bistros. After all, this is Wine Country, and great food goes with great wine.

Camping is available in many areas including Spring Lake Park, Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, KOA in Petaluma, and several campgrounds in the Russian River area from Mirabel to Duncan Mills. Bodega Bay and the Sonoma State beaches also offer excellent camping facilities.

We hope you have a wonderful time in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County.

If you need an RV for your trip to Santa Rosa or any other part of California, see our California RV rentals page for more information.

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El Monte RV Promoting Visiting Wine Country in an RV

El Monte RV Rentals is promoting visiting wine country in an RV. See:

If you ever have had the opportunity to check out the prices of the B&Bs and resorts in California’s wine country you would quickly come to realize that an RV rental is an excellent low-cost alternative for visiting wine country.

Additional California Wine Country Resources

RV Parks in California Wine Country (Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma)

Some places to stay when RV camping to wine country:

RV Rentals for a California Wine Country RV Vacation

To get set up for the perfect California wine country RV vacation, check out the California RV Vacation and Rental Resources page.

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