Camping in the Redwoods, Butano State Park

Butano State Park… I love this place! It’s a short drive from our home in the San Francisco East Bay, as it takes us little over an hour to reach Pescadero. The campground is small, quiet, tucked away in a canyon filled with redwoods. Camping here is an annual tradition for us, and is usually something we like to do early in the summer. It’s a great way to ease us into camping mode and to find out how our equipment has held up over the winter. Some might call this “glamping”, as we like to make this trip as simple and fun as possible.

A quick overnight trip is a great way to check on the status of the camping equipment. We found out our rain fly is missing four stakes. Great to know before we get stuck in a thundershower in the Sierras! Which could happen on our next outing (Yosemite!)…

Kids love to ride their bikes around and around campgrounds!

Now here is why you might consider this outing to be “glamping”… we didn’t cook ourselves dinner on a camp stove. Part of our tradition on this trip is to enjoy a meal at Duarte’s Tavern. Now this place might look like a dive, and, well, it may be. But it’s also an incredible restaurant. Don’t believe me? Check out these awards! If you’re ever in the area, you have to eat here! My favorites? The artichoke cream soup, the crab sandwich, and the ollalaberry pie.

Lastly, we always head to the Swanton Berry Farm to do some strawberry picking. See my post from yesterday – Strawberry Picking Fun! Swanton Berry Farm U-Pik).

Interested in going? Check out the California State Parks website…

By the way, this would be a fun spot for parents in the Bay Area to go for their first camping trip with the kids (it fits my criteria). See my post here… First Time Camping with Kids? 5 Tips!


  1. Angela says:

    Oh, I had no idea there was camping there! I’ve been there on a backpacking trip, but had to hike in my water. Thank you for the idea!


    1. A Nature Mom says:

      This would be a gorgeous area for backpacking!


  2. Alex Jones says:

    Last time I went camping it was two nights out, and an order was made for fish and chips on both nights.


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