RV Rental San Jose
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San Jose RV Rentals
Sitting in the midst of California’s Silicon Valley, San Jose is home to some of the world’s biggest tech giants — you can visit the campuses of Apple, Facebook, and even Google, all just a short drive away from one another. But it’s also a city surrounded by rolling hills, coastal landscapes, and California history. In San Jose, RV rentals offer you a world of history, nature, and different cultures to explore, all while traveling and camping in comfort.
Whether you’re planning an RV trip to see San Jose’s classic architecture and former gold mining towns or want to visit natural wonders like the redwood trees, you’ll find it all waiting for you. Featuring a combination of modern innovation and storied history, San Jose offers something for every traveler to explore and enjoy.
Popular RV Destinations in San Jose
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
If there’s one can’t-miss destination in all of San Jose, it’s Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. The incredible redwoods found in this expanse of nature are a once-in-a-lifetime sight, as the forest features trees that stand 285 feet above the ground and 16 feet wide — some as ancient as 1,800 years old. You can drive through the state park in your RV or camp out nearby at one of the RV parks in the surrounding area.
At Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, you’ll get a chance to explore the Santa Cruz Mountains. With 15 miles of trails, you can hike, ride horses, or even take a tour through the towering redwoods, evergreens, sandhills, and ponderosa pines. Dogs are also welcome in some areas of the state park if you’re bringing furry friends along.
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Once you’ve taken in the glory of California’s famed redwood trees, you’re going to want to direct your RV to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. As one of six wildlife refuges in the San Francisco Bay area, it offers an excellent opportunity to indulge in outdoor hobbies. You can hunt waterfowl and fish for California fish species in the waters of the refuge, and you can participate in plenty of other recreational activities like hiking and viewing wildlife too.
Since 1974, the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge has welcomed visitors, introducing them to a preserved wildlife habitat. While you’re there, you can study nature, see over 280 species of birds (including eagles, hawks, and white pelicans), and take in the gorgeous natural landscape that welcomes animals during their seasonal migrations.
Drawbridge (Saline City)
Northern California was home to the historic California Gold Rush in the mid-1800s, and you can fit in some history on your RV trip through the San Jose area by planning a visit to Drawbridge. Formerly known as Saline City, this current ghost town features an abandoned railroad station and was once a stop along the Union Pacific Railroad line. It previously welcomed thousands of visitors each weekend, but the last residents left in 1979.
Today, Drawbridge is actually slowly sinking into the marshland. Before the town disappears, you can see the remaining cabins and structures. As nature reclaims the former Saline City, you can explore a little piece of the Bay Area’s history and check out some of the unique natural sights to be found there.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Technically, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk sits outside of San Jose and in the city of Santa Cruz. But just a short drive away, this is one boardwalk you won’t want to miss. It’s both fun and thrilling, historic, and impressive. It’s home to two National Historic Landmarks: the famed 1924 Giant Dipper wooden roller coast and the 1911 Looff Carousel.
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk combines exciting thrills with kid-friendly rides for every age. No matter who you’re traveling with, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a break from the road and indulge in good boardwalk food, play some games at the indoor arcade, and even lounge along the beach. You can spend an entire day playing with all that the boardwalk has to offer.
Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve
Take in the Northern California landscape at the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve. This nature preserve located in Santa Clara County's foothills allows you to see far-reaching views of the surrounding valley and get up close with nature as you walk through California's diverse land. You can follow paths and trails through woodlands, rolling grasslands, and even chaparral communities.
You'll even get the rare opportunity to see protected wildlife species in their natural habitat. You might come across a California red-legged frog, tiger salamander, golden eagle, or gray fox. Whether you're hiking or taking in the views from behind the wheel of your RV, it's a great place for anyone who loves the outdoors.
Winchester Mystery House
The Winchester Mystery Houseis arguably the most popular tourist destination in San Jose. Filled with mystery and plenty of ghost lore, the mansion built by Sara Pardee Winchester, heiress of the Winchester Repeating Arms fortune, is one wild place to stop. While you won’t be camping out at this popular San Jose destination, it’s one that can spook and intrigue anyone — and it’s an excellent choice for travelers of any age.
Winchester began building what’s now known as the Winchester Mystery House in 1884 and continued until she died in 1922. Over 38 years, the heiress incorporated plenty of odd, mysterious, and seriously confusing details like stairways to nowhere, doors that open to walls, and more. You can check out the mystery (and the haunted halls) for yourself when you visit.
Events and Entertainment in San Jose
Monopoly in the Park
If you love board games, you will not want to miss the chance to play a life-sized version of the classic game Monopoly in the center of San Jose. Monopoly in the Park is a massive version of the game, and it’s earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records because of its enormous size. Just drive to Discovery Meadow in your RV, and you can hop onto the boardwalk yourself.
Monopoly in the Park covers 930 square feet and includes jumbo dice, gigantic tokens, and even the opportunity to dress up in jailhouse attire when you “go directly to jail.” Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, Monopoly in the Park can be a fun diversion to indulge in. And, it’s way better than playing board games inside your RV.
South First Fridays
You can discover San Jose’s art scene by participating in South First Friday, a monthly event that brings together local shops, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, museums, and art galleries. Hosted in the heart of the city’s downtown district, this event occurs on the first Friday of each month, allowing visitors to experience everything from live entertainment to cultural events and more.
South First Fridays features an art walk, outdoor stages, art vendor booths, and a beer garden. You can check out local artists’ creations, visit San Jose’s museums, and discover the heart of the city. It’s a fantastic opportunity to step outside your RV campground and get into the city for dinner and so much more.
Pow! Wow! San Jose
Each year, Pow! Wow! San Jose brings a celebration of arts and culture right into San Jose's downtown. This week-long festival offers a perfect opportunity to learn about cultural diversity right in San Jose and its surrounding cities. It brings together the community with live art and music—all set outdoors. This huge festival's centerpiece is the creation of murals throughout the city, which artists work on all week and unveil at the end of the event.
Throughout Pow! Wow! San Jose, world-renowned contemporary artists will come to the city. In addition to creating public murals, festival events include musical gatherings, nightlife events, educational programs and artist talks, and lectures on community engagement and city economics. If you're planning an RV trip, make sure you'll be in town for the mural reveals at the end of the festival.
Garden at the Flea
If you love a good flea market, you aren’t going to want to skip San Jose’s Garden at the Flea. As the largest open-air market in all of California, Garden at the Flea is a new addition to the San Jose Flea Market. It brings the market together with food and entertainment, and it’s one of the hottest destinations if you’re looking for something fun to try while camping in an RV around San Jose.
Garden at the Flea includes a beer cantina, live entertainment stage, and selection of food trucks and food vendors. There’s an area reserved just for playing games outdoors, and you can explore a gorgeous garden space too. Community and cultural events take place here throughout the year, but even if you pop in during a “slow” weekend, you’ll still have the chance to check out local vendors and explore a very cool flea market.
San Jose Improv
If you’re interested in catching live events and entertainment while you’re camping out in your San Jose RV rental, you’re going to want to hit up the San Jose Improv. Also called The Improv by locals, this venue has been home to some of the best world-renowned comics since it first opened its doors in 2002. Today, you can catch comedy shows as well as concerts and special events.
Designed to be an intimate comedy club, the San Jose Improv hosts headlining comedians Tuesday through Sunday nights. You can see local comedians and musicians as well as some of the best-known big names. Whether you’re in town for just a night or longer, you’ll want to catch a show in between nights under the stars.
Montalvo Arts Center
The Montalvo Arts Center is both a cultural destination for events and entertainment and an incredible architectural gem. Set on acres of land with the Santa Cruz Mountains in the background, the Montalvo Arts Center is 104 years old. It includes the stunning and historic Villa Montalvo, lush gardens on the grounds, an arboretum, and miles of hiking trails. There’s something for everyone, whether you like hiking, long walks, classic art and architecture, or fresh blooms in nature.
And there’s always something special happening at the Montalvo Arts Center. You can hike up to Lookout Point and see Silicon Valley sprawl below. You can check out outdoor art installations and then picnic on the Great Lawn — you can even catch a show with musicals, comedy, dance, and other types of performing art happening regularly in one of three venues on the center’s grounds.
Q: What are RV rentals?
RV rentals allow anyone to temporarily “own” an RV. You can rent an RV in San Jose and plan a road trip that includes all of the biggest destinations in this northern California city. You can rent an RV for a few nights, a few weeks, or as long as you’d like. It gives you all the perks of being an RV owner without the significant investment and maintenance requirements.
Q: How much are RV rentals?
RV rentals in San Jose vary in price. On average, you can expect to spend between $75 and $150 per night to rent a small camper or trailer. For a larger motorhome or camper, you’ll spend between $150 and $250 per night. Keep in mind that the per-night costs can be cheaper if you opt for a longer-term rental, like a week or even a few weeks.
Q: Do I need to be a certain age to rent an RV in San Jose?
You need to be 25 years old to rent an RV. Some RV companies may rent to individuals as young as 21 years old, but that often comes with a higher cost and additional insurance requirements.
Q: Do I need insurance when I rent an RV?
Typically, you’ll need specific RV coverage when you decide to rent an RV. The law varies from state to state, but most require you to carry insurance specifically for RVs. Your basic auto insurance policy likely doesn’t cover you, but you can check before signing your rental agreement. You can easily purchase short-term RV rental insurance when you pick up your rented motorhome.
Q: Do I need to return my rental RV with a full tank?
This can vary depending on the terms of your agreement with the RV rental company. While some rental companies will require you to return your RV with a full tank of gas, others may not. You might need to return the RV with the same amount of gas it had when you drove it off the lot. You may also be able to pay to have the rental company refuel for you.
Q: Are RVs pet-friendly in San Jose?
You might be able to bring along your pet when you rent an RV in San Jose. The rules and policies vary from company to company. Some rental companies welcome pets in their RVs, while others forbid them. Just double-check with your RV rental company before bringing your pets along.
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