Top 10 RV Parks Near the Santa Cruz, CA Area

Top 5 reasons why it’s a fun place to visit:

  1. Book a one-day Big Sur Monterey adventure
  2. See Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoias
  3. Visit the Winchester Mystery House
  4. Relax at the Municipal Rose Garden
  5. Enjoy the beach activities

List of top ten RV Parks in the Santa Cruz, CA area:

(Disclaimer: information is a compilation of researched info as published online and does not necessarily reflect the experience or opinion of the author)

The RV parks have been ranked and are listed from “Most Recommended” to “Least Recommended” based on reviews, feedback, amenities, and preference. Cost was not the primary ranking driver. Please note that weekend RV families with children might have different needs than full-time RV “snowbirds”.

Santa Cruz

1. Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park

Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park

Address: 555 Brommer St, Santa Cruz, California 95062
Phone: (831) 212-4261
Email: [email protected]
Hours: 9:00 AM-9:00 PM
Website: santacruzharbor.org
Specs
Pricing: $58/daily
Total RV sites: 12
Hookups: full (30/50, water, sewer), RVs must be self-contained
Pool/Hot tub: No
Showers: No
Pets Allowed: Yes 
Wi-Fi: No

The RV Park is about 1 mile from the harbor and has walking trails all around the harbor and to all the attractions in town. It’s a small no-frills park for a short stay that offers the convenience of access and walkability downtown Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park

What makes this park unique?

Close to beaches and restaurants, this park is in the heart of Santa Cruz. It is within 30 walking minutes of the beach boardwalk. Anyone who was able to get a reservation to stay there loved the experience. The max length for RVs is 42 feet.

What we like about it
  • Close to downtown
  • Host on site
  • 5-mile biking/walking boardwalk
Drawbacks
  • 7-day max stay limit
  • Difficult to get a site due to small size of park and popularity

2. Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort

Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort

Address: 4980 CA-9, Felton, CA 95018
Phone: (831)-335-8312
Email: [email protected]
Hours: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Website: santacruzredwoodsrvresort.com
Specs
Pricing: $80-125/daily (based on site and season), (call office for long-term stay availability and discount)
Total RV sites: 52
Hookups: full (30/50, water, sewer)
Pool/Hot tub: No
Showers: Yes 
Pets Allowed: Yes 
Wi-Fi: Yes (spotty)

Nestled in the redwoods, close to a creek and four waterfalls, this park is surrounded by breathtaking nature, clean air, and songs of birds. It is only 48 miles from the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Photo Gallery of Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort & RV Park Felton

What makes this park unique?

Whether one wants to go rock-climbing, trail-biking or surfing, this resort is close to all these activities and more. With full hookups, one can enjoy the stay and plan the day with countless things to do in the area to make memories for a lifetime.

Pro tip: Highway 9 north from Santa Cruz is NOT a recommended route for RVs and Trailers. Follow the specific directions, posted on the Website instead: Contact Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort In Felton California.

What we like about it
  • Rec room
  • Fire pits
  • Playground
  • Cable TV
  • Location
  • Quiet
  • Clean
Drawbacks
  • None

3. Smithwoods RV Park

Smithwoods RV Park

Address: 4770 CA-9, Felton, CA 95018
Phone: (831)-335-4321
Email: [email protected]
Hours: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Website: smithwoods.com
Specs
Pricing: $64-99/daily, $386-599/weekly (depending on site and season, 6 people/site), many extra charges a-la-carte, discounts available
Total RV sites: approx. 170
Hookups: full (30/50, water, sewer)
Pool/Hot tub: Yes heated/seasonal
Showers: Yes 
Pets Allowed: Yes (extra charge)
Wi-Fi: only in Wi-Fi lounge

Established in 1919, this park is close to Henry Cowell State Park, as well as venues for surfing and mountain biking. The campsite is surrounded by trees and offers a plethora of activities on sunny as well as rainy days.

Smithwoods RV Park

What makes this park unique?

This park is large and has its own amenities suitable for a long-term stay. It has raving online reviews and group sites for family or group get-togethers. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Max RV length is 40 ft.

Warning: RVs and motorhomes should avoid Highway 9 from Santa Cruz. Check website for directions.

What we like about it
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Nature/scenery
  • Laundry
  • Playground
  • Billiards
  • Cable TV
  • Firepits
  • Basketball
Drawbacks
  • Pricey

4. Cotillion Gardens RV Park

Cotillion Gardens RV Park

Address: 300 Old Big Trees Road, Felton, CA 95018
Phone: (831)-335-7669
Email: [email protected]
Hours: 9:30 AM-5:30 PM
Website: cotilliongardens.com
Specs
Pricing: $58-70/daily or $384-420/weekly, $1100/monthly (Oct-Mar only), (based on site and season)
Total RV sites: 80 (55 full hookups and 25 electricity and water)
Hookups: full (30/50, water, sewer) or partial
Pool/Hot tub: Yes, heated
Showers: Yes 
Pets Allowed: Yes 
Wi-Fi: Yes 

From Henry Cowell State Park to the Santa Cruz Wharf, this park offers access to all the local things to do while providing the comfort of “home away from home”.

Cotillion Gardens RV Park

What makes this park unique?

This park is the only one with direct access to three different hiking trailheads to Henry Cowell State Park. As a bigger park, it is well-laid out and has many activities to choose from.

What we like about it
  • Family-friendly
  • Clubhouse
  • Horseshoes
  • Pavilion
Drawbacks
  • Rate increase
  • Militant about the Covid-19 regulations (see website), including all social events cancelled
  • Tight sites (too close to another)

5. Santa Cruz Ranch RV Park

Santa Cruz Ranch RV Park

Address: 917 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066
Phone: (877)-570-2267
Hours: 9:00 AM-8:00 PM
Website: santacruzranchrv.com
Specs
Pricing: $58-93/daily (based on site and season)
Total RV sites: 117
Hookups: full (30/50, water, sewer) 
Pool/Hot tub: Yes
Showers: Yes 
Pets Allowed: Yes 
Wi-Fi: Yes 

Just minutes away from Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley, this park is surrounded by trees and nature. This park is a go-to place for anyone who loves watersports.

Santa Cruz Ranch RV Park

What makes this park unique?

This park is in a great location to all that Santa Cruz has to offer. The staff is very friendly

Max length of RV is 42 ft.

What we like about it
  • Library
  • Laundry
  • Game room
Drawbacks
  • Extremely tight sites (no privacy)
  • Several long-term residents
  • Run-down/unkept landscaping
  • Spotty Wi-Fi

6. Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA

Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA

Address: 1186 San Andreas Rd, La Selva Beach, CA 95076
Phone: (831)-722-0551
Hours: 8:00 AM-7:00 PM
Website: koa.com
Specs
Pricing: $120-175/daily
Total RV sites: 230
Hookups: full (30/50, water, sewer)
Pool/Hot tub: Yes, heated
Showers: Yes 
Pets Allowed: Yes 
Wi-Fi: Yes 

Close to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Capitola Village and Roaring Camp Railroads, this park is within driving distance to all the area has to offer. With over 300 sunny days a year, there are so many outdoor things to do!

Santa Cruz Monterey Bay KOA

What makes this park unique?

This KOA has all the extras for an entertaining fun-filled getaway for the whole family. Being a Holiday KOA, it is meant for longer-term “experience and destination” vacations. This is a big RV park close to all the tourist attractions in the area.

What we like about it
  • KOA Jumping Pillow
  • KOA Express Fun Train
  • Horseshoes
  • Clubhouse
  • Campfire activities
  • Outdoor movie cinema
  • Firewood
  • Propane
  • Bike rentals
  • Airstream trailer rentals
  • Dog wash area
Drawbacks
  • Expensive

7. Seacliff State Beach Campground

Seacliff State Beach Campground

Address: 
Phone: (831)-685-6500
Hours: 8:00 AM- sunset
Website: parks.ca.gov
Specs
Pricing: $55/daily
Total RV sites: 64
Hookups: full (30/50, water, sewer)
Pool/Hot tub: No
Showers: Yes 
Pets Allowed: Yes 
Wi-Fi: No

As a California State Park, this one is truly a gem. Located right on the beach with full hookups, this is a rare find and a wonderful experience. One can walk for miles along the beach to various places, such as Rio Del Mar or New Brighton.

Seacliff State Beach Campground

What makes this park unique?

Located next to a sunken shipwreck, this park offers interesting views and amazing part of history. This park is right on the beach, with some sites with hookups and some for dry camping only. It’s an amazing place to watch the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean.

Max length of RVs is 40 ft.

What we like about it
  • Location
  • Price
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Geocaching
  • Windsurfing
Drawbacks
  • Popular (and therefore challenging to book)

8. Sunset State Beach Campground

Sunset State Beach Campground

Address: 201 Sunset Beach Rd, Watsonville CA 95076
Phone: (831)-763-7063
Hours: 8 AM to sunset
Website: parks.ca.gov
Specs
Pricing: $35/daily
Total RV sites: 86
Hookups: none
Pool/Hot tub: No
Showers: No
Pets Allowed: Yes 
Wi-Fi: No

This park is located about 16 miles South of Santa Cruz and is right on the beach of the Pacific Ocean. It has numerous sites, but it is only conducive for dry camping with a shorter camper.

Sunset State Beach Campground

What makes this park unique?

The park is in a beautiful location, as it is right on the beach. Get ready for bonfires at night under the stars and watching the sunrise and listening to the crashing waves while sipping your coffee. Max RV length is 31 ft. make sure you book well in advance.

What we like about it
  • Right on the beach
  • Camp host on site
Drawbacks
  • Fills up fast
  • Dogs not allowed on beach

9. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Address: 101 Big Trees Park Rd, Felton, CA 95018
Phone: (831)-335-4598
Hours: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Website: parks.ca.gov
Specs
Pricing: $35/daily
Total RV sites: 107
Hookups: none
Pool/Hot tub: No
Showers: Yes (coin-operated)
Pets Allowed: Yes 
Wi-Fi: No

This 4,650-acre park is home to a 40-acre grove of old-growth redwood trees and a variety of flora and fauna. The tallest tree is 277 feet tall and 16 feet wide.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park  

What makes this park unique?

This park’s “backyard” has the amazing and famous ancient redwoods and offers a plethora of outdoor opportunities for the hiking and biking enthusiasts. There are over 30 miles of trails for hikers. It’s a rugged campsite that has flush toilets and coin-operated showers only.

Caution: Poison Oak is prevalent in that area, so if you are sensitive to it, take extra precautions. Max RV length is 35 ft. generators are allowed to run from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

What we like about it
  • Nature store
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
Drawbacks
  • No hookups

10. New Brighton State Beach Campground

New Brighton State Beach Campground

Address: 1500 Park Ave, Capitola CA 95010
Phone: (831)-464-6329
Hours: 8:00 AM to sunset
Website: parks.ca.gov
Specs
Pricing: $35/daily (call for weekly or monthly rates)
Total RV sites: 11
Hookups: (sites 46-56) electric only (water and dump station available on site), $10 dump station fee (separate from camp fee)

Pool/Hot tub: No
Showers: Yes 
Pets Allowed: Yes 
Wi-Fi: No

This is a 95-acre park right on the beach. It is located east of Santa Cruz and is adjacent to the Seacliff State Park. One can walk between the two parks.

New Brighton State Beach Campground  

What makes this park unique?

The Pacific Migrations Visitor Center is located at this park. The park is right on the Pacific Ocean and one of the most favorite parks on the coast. Generators can be used from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM. This is a mostly tent-camp site with 100 tent sites and only 11 RV spots (electric hookups only).

Max RV length is 35 feet.

What we like about it
  • Location
  • Price
  • Fishing
  • Beachcombing
  • Swimming
Drawbacks
  • Can be loud with larger groups staying

TIPS TO GET TO SANTA CRUZ

Santa Cruz is a coastal city located on Highway 1 that goes along the Pacific Coast. This Highway is very scenic (and thus, on the bucket list of many travelers), but it is a challenging route to take with a longer RV. When traveling from the San Francisco area, one can take the I-280 S toward San Jose and then take US-35 S to Santa Cruz. When traveling from Los Angeles or Sacramento, the I-5 is the connecting Interstate between those cities, with exit onto 130 or 152 when traveling to Santa Cruz.

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