What are the best places to see birds around Clear Lake?
Clear Lake is home to a large variety of species. Since many of them are found in or near the water, the top places to see birds are around the lake. Clear Lake Campground is right on Cache Creek and across from Anderson Marsh State Park so you'll probably see birds from Camp. One of the best ways to get a closer look at water birds is in a kayak or canoe along Cache Creek from Camp, either in your own or renting one of ours. Book a kayak, canoe, or small motor boat.
Where to See Birds:
Why Should I Consider a Camping Vacation?
Camping on your vacation has many benefits. Whether you want to travel in a fully equipped RV or want to sleep outside under the stars, camping is a great choice for anything from a short getaway to a long road trip. Camping offers options to suit everyone, from families and groups of friends to couples and single travelers. Once you have your basic equipment, you have the freedom to explore close to home or anywhere across the country. Let's look at a few of the good things about camping:
Why camp at Clear Lake Campground?
Clear Lake Campground is right on the shore of Cache Creek, across from Anderson Marsh State Park. Campers can enjoy fishing, boating, bird watching, or just relaxing right at camp and there are plenty of things to do in the area. We offer a variety of sites with full hook-ups and a few sites for tent camping only. We also offer kayak, canoe, and small motor boat rentals.
At Clear Lake Campground we are following current Corona safety guidelines - check our Corona Update page for the current situation.
If you want to try camping in an RV before you commit to buying one, consider renting one through our affiliate, RVShare.
Do you have questions about your trip to Clear Lake Campground in Lake County, California? Find answers to guests' most frequently asked questions here:
Are you new to RV camping or have questions about getting the most out of your RV? The RV Basic Training workshop at Clear Lake Campground is for you!
Upcoming 2021 dates (click on the dates to go to the Facebook event page):
Join a fun, interactive 2 night campout for new RV owners led by Tony and Peggy Barthel of Stressless Camping. Learn all the basics of how to operate your RV, how to make it last a long time, and how to keep it looking good and in top shape. This workshop is held at Clear Lake Campground on the shore of Cache Creek, with campsites perfect for small to midsize trailers or RVs with lengths of 30 feet or less.
During the workshop you'll get basic instruction on RV systems plus tips and hints to make the most of that new RV. Topics will include using and maintaining systems and how to make every camping experience a StressLess Camping experience. You'll have a chance to ask questions and get hands on experience. Of course, social distancing and health safety will be practiced during the workshop at all times.
Camping, especially in your own RV, is considered the safest way to travel these days so more people are turning to RVs - and finding that they need help learning to operate them.
Stressless Camping says, "While RV dealers tend to cover these same topics, generally that lesson takes about an hour and is equated to drinking from a fire hose. This is a slower pace and with the individual’s own RV so they can learn to operate it with greater success and experience fewer challenges along the way."
“The good thing about the RV space is that there is something for anyone - from small tent trailers to luxurious mobile palaces,” said Tony Barthel, “RVing can be a wonderful escape from the crowds or bring you closer to friends and family. You can truly define your own experience!”
* Watch our Facebook page for workshop events as we add them.
If you want to rent an RV to try it out first, check our affiliate RVShare.
Consider adding an extra night or more to practice what you're learned, relax at camp, or explore Lake County activities and places to go.
Kelseyville, about 25 minutes from Clear Lake Campground, has a Main Street full of small town charm. It's a pleasant place to spend an hour or two browsing, eating, or drinking. If you're headed to Clearlake State Park for hiking or boating, it's a good place to buy supplies for a picnic lunch. Or buy some special foods, wine, or beer to bring back to Camp.
Please keep in mind that some businesses may temporarily close of have shorter hours. If there's a specific place you want to go, we advise calling ahead to check the current status.
Where Can I Eat, Drink, or Shop Along Main Street, Kelseyville?
Kelseyville has options for coffee, beer or wine tasting, food to go, shopping and places to eat a meal. Tip: there's a small park with picnic tables on the street behind Studebaker's where you can eat take-out meals. Businesses are listed starting from the first place you'd come to after making the turn into Kelseyville (on Main Street) from Hwy 29:
Lydell's Sports Stop and Grill, 4220 Main Street, 707-279-0123
Lydell's serves burgers, breakfast, and American foods in a casual atmosphere all day with sports TVs and an outside patio. Facebook page.
Studebaker's Coffee and Deli, 3990 Main Street, 707-279-8871
Studebaker's serves coffee drinks, pastries, and sandwiches from early morning through mid-afternoon (closed Sundays). Sit at a table outside and enjoy the atmosphere or grab something to go. Facebook page.
Smiling Dogs Ranch Tasting Room, 3955 Main Street, 707-279-5000
Smiling Dogs Ranch features their locally produced wines at their downtown venue Fridays through Sundays. Due to tasting room restrictions, please call before you go. They sometimes feature live music with local musicians on Friday evenings. Facebook page.
Kelsey Creek Brewing, 3945 Main Street, 707-279-2311
Kelsey Creek is the place for beer lovers. They serve a variety of beers, including their own brews (listed on their web site). They usually open at noon on weekends and 2PM weekdays and stay open until 8PM but current hours may be shorter. Web site.
A + H General Store, 3925 Main Street, 707-279-5166
A + H carries unique gift items, gourmet foods, and local Lake County products. It's a great place to pick up some cheese, salami, and crackers for a picnic or buy a local souvenir. To order ahead for curb side pick-up see their Web site. Open Wednesdays - Sundays, 11AM - 4PM. Facebook page.
Carmelita's Cocina, 3919 Main Street, 707-279-5061
Carmelita's has good homemade Mexican food for lunch or dinner (closed Sundays). Facebook page.
Oak Boutique, 3940 Main Street, 707-281-6010
Across the street from A + H is their sister store, Oak Boutique, with clothes for girls and women of all ages plus accessories and jewelry. Open Wednesdays - Sundays, 11Am - 4PM. See what they have on their web site or visit their Facebook page for more.
Fore Family Vineyards, 3920 Main Street, 707-245-7554
Fore Family's wine tasting room is open Saturday and Sunday afternoons by appointment. Web site.
John's Market Taqueria, 3860 Main Street, 707-279-2440
John's Market is a small store with groceries, Mexican items, and take-out Mexican foods.
Saw Shop Public House, 3825 Main Street, 707-278-0129
The Saw Shop is a favorite for creative dining options. They serve lunch and dinner with a nice patio for outside dining. It's also a great place to get dinner to bring back to Camp - they feature a daily special grab-n-skidaddle dinner (usually posted on their Facebook page).
Where can I grab a bite to eat near Clearlake Campground?
Here are 5 good options for meals to go near Camp. Some also offer outdoor places to eat. Opening days and times may vary so we recommend calling to check current hours or order in advance.
Danny's Roadside Kitchen, Lower Lake:
Danny's, right on Hwy 53 just 3 minutes from Camp, is a favorite for BBQ, smoked meats and burgers. They also have sides and vegetarian options.
Phone: (707) 701-6025. Address: 9800 Highway 53, Lower Lake. Hours: 10:00 - 7:00, closed Sundays and Mondays.
DJ's Pizza, Lower Lake:
On Main Street in Lower Lake, DJ's is the place to go for pizza. Order online or by phone for pick-up.
Phone: (707) 994-4760. Address: 16135 Main Street, Lower Lake. Hours: open daily, 11:00 - 9:00.
Kour Thai, Clearlake:
On Lakeshore in Clearlake, 6 minutes from camp, Kour Thai has tasty Thai food available for pick-up at their drive-through window. They're right by Redbud Park so a picnic in the park is also an option.
Phone: (707) 995-2860. Address: 14677 Lakeshore Drive, Clearlake. Hours: 11:00 - 9:00, closed Wednesdays.
Boar's Breath Smokin' Barbeque and Burgers, Clearlake:
Across from Kour Thai, also by Redbud Park, the Boar's Breath is open at lunch time for takeaway BBQ, burgers, and salads.
Phone: (707) 995-2000. Address: 14667 Lakeshore Drive, Clearlake. Hours: 11:00 - 4:00, closed Sundays and Mondays.
The Spot Burgers and Bar, Clearlake:
With a 1950's diner theme, The Spot is the place to go for burgers and classic American fare. They're right on the lake and have a boat dock so you can get there by boat from Camp. They have a big outside dining area (call ahead to see if they're serving outside).
Phone: (707) 900-8671. Address: 14625 Lakeshore Drive, Clearlake. Hours: 12:00 - 8:00 daily.
Where can I grab a bite to eat around Clear Lake?
Here are 5 good options around the lake. Please call in advance to check current hours and policies.
Arti Natural Indian Cafe, Kelseyville:
Arti has organic Indian food for take-out and a small outside patio (call to see if they are serving outside) in Clearlake Riviera, across the street from Alexander Baking Company where you can buy bakery items to go. See their website for menu.
Phone: (707) 279-1977. Address: 9703 Soda Bay Road, Kelseyville, 15 minutes from Camp. Hours: 12:00 - 9:00, closed Mondays.
Saw Shop Public House, Kelseyville:
The Saw Shop has farm to table food and offers daily special complete meals (posted on Facebook) available for take-out. There's also outside dining on the porch (call in advance to see if it's available). Check the web site for menu.
Phone: (707) 278-0129. Address: 3825 Main Street, Kelseyville, about 20 minutes from Camp. Hours: 12:00 - 7:00 daily.
The Wholly Bowl, Lakeport:
The Wholly Bowl offers Asian Fusion bowls and wraps for take-out.
Phone: (707) 900-8534. Address: 1247 S Main Street, Lakeport, about 30 minutes from Camp. Hours:
Blue Wing Saloon, Upper Lake:
The Blue Wing Saloon, in the historic Tallman Hotel, bills itself as New American food. It has outside dining options and food to go. See the menu on their web site.
Phone: (707) 278-0129. Address: 9520 Main Street, Upper Lake, about 40 minutes from Camp. Hours: 12:00-8:00, closed Tuesdays - Thursdays.
Boathouse Bar and Grill, Nice:
Right on the lake in Nice, the Boathouse has been a Lake County favorite for many years. They offer a variety of choices at reasonable prices.
Phone: (707) 274-1100. Address: 2658 Lakeshore Drive, Nice, about 35 minutes from Camp. Hours: open daily but hours vary, check Facebook page.
Image: Take out window at Kour Thai, Clearlake
See more Lake County Food and Wine Options
What Historical Cemeteries Can I Visit from Clear Lake Campground?
Cemeteries are everywhere you go and they're often interesting and peaceful places to explore. They're full of history and often are home to birds and other wildlife, such as deer. Lake County cemeteries are rarely crowded so it's easy to find some solitude. Early settlers are buried in several of our cemeteries so they're a good place to discover some Lake County history.
Lower Lake Cemetery and Pioneer Cemetery
Herndon Cemetery, also known as Pioneer Cemetery was started in 1856 by Nathaniel Herndon for his family and friends. The Herndon family was part of the Copsey wagon train that arrived in Lower Lake from Missouri in 1854. Copsey family members were buried in Herndon Cemetery as well as members of the Hale and Grigsby families. George Patch, the last known traditional leader and shaman of the Koi Tribe (part of the Pomo Nation) was also buried here.
Herndon Cemetery later became a community cemetery and many early settlers were buried there. 29 of its burials were moved to the Lower Lake Cemetery in the early 1900's. These older tombstones can be found toward the back of Lower Lake Cemetery on the right side of the main road. Some of the burials still in Herndon Cemetery had only wooden markers or crosses that have since worn away and no formal records were kept so its not known how many burials still remain or the names of all the people who were buried there. 8 members of the original Herndon family are confirmed to be buried in Pioneer Cemetery, one of whom died in 1858 at 13 years of age, and 2 members of the Copsey family, including an infant girl named Alice. Although most of the tomb stones are gone, it's an interesting place to wander around.
Lower Lake Cemetery: 9040 Lake St, next to Lower Lake Elementary School
Pioneer Cemetery: 9022 Stagecoach Lane off Big Bear Road, 3 miles from Camp.
See Herndon Cemetery for a list of people known to be buried there.
Lake County Historical Society has a page about Herndon Cemetery restoration with a few photos.
In 1889, land for the cemetery was donated by William Good, a blacksmith. This new cemetery was owned by the Odd Fellows Lodge. Previous burials from the small cemetery at Fiege Ranch and Rabbit Hill were transferred there. 18 veterans of the Civil War and one from the Spanish American War are buried here.
Middletown Cemetery: 16357 Butts Canyon Road, Middletown, about 20 minutes from Camp
Middletown History Cemetery page
Kelseyville Cemetery and Pioneer Cemetery
Kelseyville Pioneer Cemetery, in use from 1861-1884, has about 100 graves of early pioneer families, although some of them are unmarked. Early settlers buried here include members of the Benson, Crowell, Gard, Kelsay, Kelsey, Nobles and Piner families. In 1884 the Odd Fellows Cemetery, now Kelseyville Cemetery, opened and some burials were relocated to it.
Kelseyville Cemetery: 3375 Bell Hill Road, Kelseyville, about 20 minutes from Camp
Kelseyville Pioneer Cemetery: 4830 Renfro Drive, Kelseyville (temporarily closed in summer, 2020)
List of names buried in Pioneer Cemetery
Named for Henry Hare Hartley, the cemetery in Lakeport opened around 1860 as the Masonic Cemetery. Henry Hare Hartley was an attorney who would have become the Grand Master of Masonic Lodges in California but he died of a heart attack at age 41 in 1868. He's buried in Sacramento but the cemetery was renamed in his memory.
Hartley Cemetery: 2552 Hill Road E, Lakeport, about half an hour from Camp
Upper Lake Cemetery
Although Upper Lake Cemetery was established in 1855, the oldest tombstone is dated 1849. Some older, unmarked burials may also be here. It's said that the Pomo Indians used to cremate their dead in this area prior to the arrival of white settlers. The oldest part of the cemetery is on the east side of Clover Valley Road.
Upper Lake Cemetery, 780 Clover Valley Road, Upper Lake, about 40 minutes from camp
Image: A Copsey family tombstone in Lower Lake Cemetery, one of the burials moved from Pioneer Cemetery.
What Can I See and Do on My Way to Clear Lake Campground?
Whether you want to hike, visit a winery, shop, or just enjoy a scenic drive, routes to or from Lake County offer several options. Most wineries are currently open by reservation only so be sure to call ahead. Other places suggested may also be closed or have limited hours so we advise you to check in advance.
These are our suggestions for your drive to Clear Lake Campground, depending on which direction you'll be coming from - or on your drive home (just reverse the directions).
From Sacramento area:
Instead of taking I5 to Hwy 20, take the Hwy 16 exit near Woodland and follow the slightly longer but more scenic route through the Capay Valley. Along Hwy 16 you'll pass small farms, olive groves, and almond and fruit orchards as you drive through the tiny towns of Esparto, Capay, Brooks, and Guinda. Just before Brooks is the huge Cache Creek Casino Resort, the only big development in this rural area. In Brooks, stop at Seka Hills Olive Mill for olive oil and other local products. Capay Valley Vineyards, also in Brooks offers visits by appointment (530- 796-4110). The historic Commons Farm Kitchen in Guinda is a roadside eatery dating from 1926 with outdoor dining or food to go. Cache Creek runs through the valley along Hwy 16 to Cache Creek Regional Park, a good spot for a picnic. It's also a popular place for inner tubing on the creek. When you get to Hwy 20, turn left.
Along Hwy 20 from I5:
Coming from either south or north, take Hwy 20 west. The exit is near the town of Williams where you can stop at the historic Granzella's Restaurant for take-out or food shopping in their store. Continuing on Hwy 20, or if you're joining Hwy 20 from the scenic Hwy 16 route, hikers can stop at the Redbud Trail hiking area in the Cache Creek Management Area on the left side of the highway as you're heading toward Lake County. You'll get great views and may even see Tule Elk. Two wineries are along this route (call ahead for reservations to visit): Cache Creek Vineyards and Brassfield.
* Note: If you like these options, you can also take this route to/from Fairfield, Concord, or Oakland although it's longer.
From San Francisco and the South Bay on the 101 Freeway:
From 101, you have several options depending on how much extra time you have. But if you want to spend the day on your road trip, you could visit some places along the coast on your way (note that traffic may be bad along the coast on weekends though). Popular coast destinations include Point Reyes National Seashore, Bodega Bay, or Jenner. But here are more convenient options, depending on how long you want to spend on the road:
From the East Bay and San Francisco through the Napa Valley:
From Highway 80, exit at Highway 37 in Vallejo. You'll pass Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, a place the kids might enjoy. Turn right onto Highway 29 toward Napa, then you have 2 options:
Whichever way you decide to drive, we look forward to welcoming you at Clear Lake Campground:
Like most places in Lake County, Clear Lake Campground and the city of Clearlake do not allow fireworks of any kind. If you're coming to Camp for 4th of July weekend, absolutely no fireworks will be permitted. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy a fireworks show over the lake. Two safe public fireworks displays are planned to celebrate the 2020 holiday:
City of Clearlake: Austin Park
Fireworks will be launched from the Austin Park area in Clearlake at 9pm, thanks to the Lakeshore Lions Club.
If you have a boat, you can launch it from Camp and head into the lake to enjoy the show, otherwise there are two viewing options presented by the Lions Club: A "drive in" experience for those with vehicles and a "picnic in the park" experience for those walking in. Due to a lack of fundraising opportunities, we will be welcoming a $10 fee to park your vehicle. The "drive in" experience will allow for you and your family to park your vehicle and enjoy the fireworks display just as you would enjoy a drive in movie. Vehicles will be parked with adequate space between them to adhere to social distancing. The "picnic in the park" experience will allow those on foot to come and sit on the grass in designated areas, again adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Entrance to the parking area: Austin Drive and Uhl. Food vendors will be on site from 4-8PM and restrooms and hand washing stations are available. Masks are required when not in your vehicle. Please maintain social distancing. Alcohol, glass containers, and smoking are prohibited and pets must be on a leash. This event will probably draw a large crowd. Note: The annual parade, carnival, and car show have been cancelled for 2020.
Facebook event page
Konocti Vista Casino: Lakeport
Konocti Vista Casino and Resort will host a Community Fireworks Extravaganza beginning at 9PM. The best places to view the fireworks will be around the southwest part of the lake. Library Park and the area along the waterfront from 1st to 5th Streets in Lakeport (about 35 minutes from Camp) or the smaller Lakeside County Park in Kelseyville at 1985 Park Drive (about 30 minutes from Camp) are possible options (please maintain social distancing and wear masks when outside your car). There will be no public party at the Casino this year and the marina access is limited to hotel guests only.
Konocti Vista address: 2755 Mission Rancheria Road, Lakeport
Facebook event page
More notes about fireworks: Fireworks are sold in Lakeport, however they can only be used legally in the city of Lakeport but not in public parks. Fireworks shows usually held in Lakeport and Clearlake Oaks are cancelled for 2020.
July 5: Old Time Fiddle Music
Celebrate the 4th of July with music at the Ely Stage Stop Fiddlers' Jam on Sunday, noon - 2PM. Bring your own chairs, wear masks, and find a shady spot at least 6 feet away from others! Burgers, hot dogs, and root beer floats will be for sale. Attendance limited to the first 100 people.
Address: 9921 Soda Bay Rd, Kelseyville, 20 minutes from Camp (between Lower Lake and Kelseyville)
Web site: Ely Stage Stop
Where Can We Swim in Clear Lake?
Although Clear Lake Campground is on the shore of Cache Creek, the creek itself by Camp is not a good place for swimming due to boat traffic. You can sunbathe, fish from shore, or enjoy the creek from a kayak or boat though. But if you want to take a dip in the lake there are several places around Clear Lake with beaches from where you can swim. We recommend these 5 Lake County spots for beaches and swimming:
Clear Lake State Park:
Clear Lake State Park, on the lake shore 20 miles from Camp, has a great beach with lake access for swimming. On the beach there are picnic tables, ramadas for shade, and restrooms. In the park you'll also find other picnic areas, boat launches, fishing areas, and good hiking trails. You may see a variety of birds and water fowl from the beach. Glass bottles and dogs are not allowed on the beach although dogs are allowed on leash in other parts of the park. Clear Lake State Park is a great place for families to spend the day. There's a fee for day use.
Address: 5300 Soda Bay Road, Kelseyville
Web site: Clear Lake State Park
Highlands Springs Recreation Area:
Highlands Springs, about half an hour from Camp, is one of the most popular places for families to enjoy a day at a beach. Although not on the lake, the large beach area and calm reservoir make this a favorite place for swimming in summer. Boat access is restricted to non-motorized boats only. Visitors can use the picnic areas with BBQs, restrooms, a large grassy area, horseshoe pits, fishing spots, and hiking and biking trails too. Be sure to bring water as there is no potable water available.
Address: 3600 E. Highland Springs Rd., Lakeport, off Hwy 29 (left turn coming from camp)
More information: Highland Springs
Lakeside County Park:
In Kelseyville, 25 minutes from Camp, Lakeside County Park has a small area with lake access for swimming. It's also a good place for bird watching. There are picnic areas, a boat launch, spots for fishing, horseshoe pits, and a playground. Dogs are allowed in the dog park area only.
Address: 1985 Park Dr, Kelseyville
County Parks Along Highway 20:
Going north from Clear Lake Campground, then west on Highway 20 toward Ukiah, some county parks along the lake's north shore have places to swim in the lake. You'll have some good views of the lake along your drive, too.
Note: Austin Beach in Clearlake is only a few miles from Camp, however we don't recommend swimming there because Cyanobacteria shows up often in testing. If you want to go, please check with camp staff first for the latest reports.
More Activities Near Clear Lake Campground: