Camping is the ultimate getaway for those looking to escape the rigors of daily life and recharge in nature. Some people thrive off sleeping in a tent and cooking over a campfire, while others prefer to experience the great outdoors without forfeiting creature comforts. If you fall in the latter camp, there’s no better weekend getaway than California glamping.
Glamping is a rising trend as of late. If you’re still not privy to it, it’s glamorous camping—and the West Coast is a stellar location for it. Home to 840 miles of coastline, redwood forests, towering mountain ranges, and stark desert landscapes, California glamping is the crème de la crème. Here, we’ve rounded up seven of our favorite glamping experiences in the Golden State.
7 Picturesque California Glamping Destinations for Luxury Campers
1. El Capitan Canyon
Where: Santa Barbara
Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ynez Mountains, El Capitan Canyon is home to 350 acres of hiking trails. Accommodations in the historic canyon comprise cedar cabins, adventure yurts, and safari tents, so there’s certainly something for everyone. Cedar cabins are available in a variety of sizes and offer an en suite bathroom and kitchenette. Adventure yurts include a queen-sized bed, twin trundle, and basic kitchenette. Safari tents (12’x14’) are furnished with either a queen or two double beds. All sites have a private picnic table and fire pit, perfect for cooking meals or roasting s’mores under the stars.
Aside from hikes, El Capitan Canyon has free cruiser bike rentals, a swimming pool, full-service spa, a market/deli, seasonal wine tasting, and also a summer concert series, making it perfect for families. In addition to canyon activities, a short bike ride will deposit you at El Cap, a famous right-hand surf break.
2. The Trailer Pond
Where: Paso Robles
Located in the heart of Paso Robles, aka wine country, The Trailer Pond is situated on a 130-acre organic vineyard. The Central Coast gem is home to five vintage trailers, but additional bell tents, Sioux tipis, and trailers can be added to accommodate larger groups. Dating back to the ’50s and ’60s, each trailer is unique and features boutique décor. All include a double bed and a fully equipped kitchen. Although the trailers don’t offer an en suite bathroom, there are two bathhouses onsite, complete with plumbing and a shower.
Upon booking a stay at The Trailer Pond, guests are granted full access to the property. Go hiking, bird watching, stargazing, or have a picnic on the Sundowner Deck. Wine tasting tours, vineyard massages, yoga, and private tastings are also available for an additional fee.
3. Mendocino Grove
Located on the picturesque northern California coast, Mendocino Grove is a modern camping experience with a variety of luxury safari-style tents, ideal for couples or families. The pet-friendly destination is home to 37 acres of redwood forest overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There are 60 luxury tents situated on wooden platforms. Each boasts a heated bed, down comforters, wool blankets, and cotton linens. Post up around a fire ring or picnic table for drinks under the stars. In contrast to traditional camping, the campground offers comprehensive bathroom facilities complete with hot showers.
Mendocino Grove has a number of communal areas, guided nature hikes, yoga (for a small fee), and a collection of outdoor games, including bocce ball and horseshoes. The property is also a short walk from Mendocino Village for easy access to nearby hiking trails, beaches, and rivers.
4. Ventana Big Sur
Where: Big Sur
The sea, mountains, and redwoods align at Ventana Big Sur, creating a stunning, tranquil outdoor environment. At Ventana, guests have the option of staying in a guest room at the resort, camping, or glamping. If you go the luxury route, choose to sleep under redwoods or hike into the canyon to glamp. Tents feature a plush bed, heated blankets, electric lamps, handheld lanterns, power outlets, and a s’mores kit. Each campsite also provides instant hot and cold potable water, a wood-burning fire pit with complimentary wood bundles, an ice chest, Adirondack chairs, a picnic table, and a welcome basket (more s’mores, tea, and a cutting board/cheese knife).
Upon booking a glampsite, guests get full access to the resort, which includes a heated pool, infinity-edge hot tub, Japanese hot baths, fitness facility, ocean-view restaurant, and evening happy hour. The dog-friendly adult destination includes daily guided hikes, yoga, and meditation. For those looking for a more unique experience, art classes, foraging hikes, photography workshops, garden tours, and a falconry experience are available for an additional fee.
5. AutoCamp Yosemite
A short drive from world-famous Yosemite National Park, AutoCamp Yosemite is located in Midpines, just outside of the historic town of Mariposa. The largest of all AutoCamp’s properties, opt among converted Airstream trailers, classic cabins, and luxury tents. The modern Airstream is what it’s most famous for: Suites include a queen-sized bed with plush linens, a fully equipped kitchen, flat-screen TV, and a spa-inspired en suite bathroom. There’s also a convertible sofa and private deck with a fire pit and grill.
A family-friendly destination, the property includes a clubhouse, community fire pit, outdoor games, a freshwater pool, and complimentary bikes. Daily YARTS shuttles are available to transport guests to Yosemite National Park, where they can glimpse the towering rock faces and cascading waterfalls.
6. Treebones Resort
Where: Big Sur
Located on the southern end of Big Sur, Treebones Resort sits on a hilltop overlooking Highway 1, offering sweeping views of the Pacific. The glamping-specific books a number of different lodging options. One-of-a-kind autonomous tents deliver 500-square-feet of indoor living space: a king size bed with luxurious cotton linens, gas fireplace, en suite bathroom, private deck, and an outdoor fireplace. Yurts have a more boho vibe with comfortable quilt-topped beds and a redwood view deck with Adirondack chairs. The most unique accommodation is something called the human nest (pictured above). The hand-woven structure was built by Big Sur artist Jayson Fann; lounge in a futon or grill something on the outdoor cook station.
The resort welcomes families and provides easy access to neighboring beaches and trails. For guests who wish to stay on the property, there’s a pool/hot tub, yoga, hikes, and massages available for a fee.
7. Joshua Tree Acres
Where: Joshua Tree
Located just outside the national park, Joshua Tree Acres is a desert oasis. The property is home to four vintage Airstreams, a 1970 vintage Shasta, and an original 1947 home. Of the four vintage Airstreams, two have been fully gutted and remodeled to accommodate modern tastes; the other two sport original styling with a few updates for comfort. Both the Airstreams and the vintage Shasta include a luxurious Casper bed, as well as a private deck, and swinging chairs. The JT Villager is an original 1947 home with retro, modern, and local artistic touches. The one-bedroom home comes with a queen bed, kitchen, and private hot tub.
Communal spaces on the property include a saltwater pool and hot tub. Additionally, there’s a Clubhouse where guests can gather to cook, relax, and listen to vintage vinyl. Joshua Tree National Park is just a short drive away with hiking and rock climbing adventures aplenty.
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