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Overview

A former Chinese shrimp-fishing settlement, China Camp State Park provides outdoor adventurers with a multitude of activities on sunny San Pablo Bay, just north of San Francisco in Marin County. Locals whisper about the park as a place to get away from the crowds and explore the intertidal salt marshes, spot wildlife, and picnic under the oaks. Camping is also popular at the Back Ranch Meadows Campgrounds, though you'll want to book early in summer as spots fill quickly. Visitors often ride horses through the meadows, launch boats or kayaks depending on the tides, hike the Turtle Back trail or mountain bike. History buffs will want to check ...

A former Chinese shrimp-fishing settlement, China Camp State Park provides outdoor adventurers with a multitude of activities on sunny San Pablo Bay, just north of San Francisco in Marin County. Locals whisper about the park as a place to get away from the crowds and explore the intertidal salt marshes, spot wildlife, and picnic under the oaks. Camping is also popular at the Back Ranch Meadows Campgrounds, though you'll want to book early in summer as spots fill quickly. Visitors often ride horses through the meadows, launch boats or kayaks depending on the tides, hike the Turtle Back trail or mountain bike. History buffs will want to check out the visitor center in China Camp Village, which details the Chinese community that called this shore its home in the 1800s. Another noteworthy stop is the Quan Brothers' Snack Shop for ice cream and light food as well as some local lore from one of the Quans, a fisherman who has been snagging fish to fry in these waters for years.

Michele Bigley
About the Expert

Michele Bigley is the author of Northern California: An Explorer's Guide and Great Destinations Kauai from Countryman Press.

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Michele Bigley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer, fall, spring