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California Glamping: 10 Spectacular Sites where Fantasy meets Reality

california glamping

Glamping, or glamour camping, is a way to experience the outdoors and appreciate nature without foregoing the basic creature comforts. There’s no shame in glamping. Whose idea was it that a night on the hard, cold ground and a sore back in the morning made camping more legitimate?

Grant yourself a relaxing reprieve from the connected world and enjoy your rapport with nature. From luxury tents to yurts, cabins, and glamour lodging, glamping is about experiencing the epitome of diversion and repose in the midst of nature’s wonder.

We’ve compiled the best, and most unique, options to give you a head start on your California glamping adventure.

SAFARI WEST

At Safari West, glamping gets wild! Deemed the “Sonora Serengeti,” Safari West offers tours and day trips through a prized wildlife conservation facility, but it’s the nights that adventure glampers truly treasure.

Stay in one of the luxury canvas tents imported from Botswana, each with a private deck, en-suite bathroom, hot and cold running water, and polished wood floors. Slumber to the sounds of the Serengeti; the nature calls and rustle of the animals. Space heaters and electric blankets are provided, as is a free continental breakfast.

safari west california glampingDining is available on-site at the Savannah Café where the South African traditional Braai (akin to BBQ), is served up from a custom wood-fired grill. This is truly a one-of-a-kind glamping experience.

Safari West
3115 Porter Creek Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Website

SHELTER CO.

The ultimate glampers dream in California is personally-designed luxury camping produced by Shelter Co. This designer event company can perform miracles!

shelter co glamping

Whether you want a romantic private escape, you need accommodations for a family reunion, wedding, or even a corporate event, Shelter Co. delivers.  Shelter Co’s experienced technicians can deliver a complete set up, including accommodations, furniture, dining configurations, optional amenities, and concierge services to turn your dream glamping experience into an unbelievable reality.

TREEBONES

Glamping in Big Sur is indicative of the rugged central California coast. The natural beauty of the area abounds with wildlife and opportunities to commune with nature. Treebones is a premier Eco-Glamping resort.

For over twenty years, guests have found their way to Treebones to experience glamping in an environmentally friendly atmosphere. Treebones luxury yurts offer comfortable queen or king-sized beds, hot and cold running water, and spacious redwood decks outfitted with Adirondack chairs where guests can savor the peace and tranquility of the hills and the ocean below from the privacy of their yurt.

71895 Hwy 1

South Big Sur, California 93920

Website

EL CAPITAN CANYON

Looking for glamping opportunities in Santa Barbara? Just 20 miles to the north, you’ll find the El Capitan Canyon Resort.

Located on over 300 acres of wooded coastal hills, this destination takes glamping to a new level. Choose from 12’ X 14’ Safari tents on raised wooden platforms or from a variety of cozy cabins, some of which include fireplaces, kitchen appliances, indoor bathrooms, soaking tubs, telephones, and more.

All glamping accommodations provide willow beds and casual western-themed furnishings. The “resort” designation refers to the wide range of available amenities and services including a general store with gourmet fare and daily meal specials, a heated swimming pool, concierge services, and all of the extras you’d expect to find in a traditional resort.

At El Capitan, nature lodgers can experience the natural beauty of stunning groves of sycamore and oak trees, enjoy the quiet meandering of the El Capitan creek (at certain times of the year), and use the cruiser bikes provided, hike, or drive to visit the glorious, sandy beach below.

11560 Calle Real

Santa Barbara, CA 93117

Website

VENTURA RANCH KOA

Located below Ventura County’s Topatopa mountain range just outside of Santa Paula, this delightful family retreat offers guests an outdoor experience with an activity-filled twist. Cozy rustic accommodations for glampers include tepees, glamour tents, and deluxe cabins which include a partial kitchen, private bedroom, and bath. Traditional KOA campsites are also available.

ventura ranch koa glamping

The Ventura KOA has made its mark with 76 acres of pristine views, area wildlife including roaming peacocks, ziplining, arts and crafts, a rock climbing tower, jumping pillow, playground area, gem mining, the Bigfoot Watering Hole, and pool. The pool is a seasonal pool, open usually from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This is a great option for active family glamping.

7400 Pine Grove Road

Santa Paula, CA 93060

Website

MENDOCINO GROVE

Dog friendly, Mendocino Grove goes above and beyond to provide glampers and their families the comforts of a truly delightful, pleasure-filled vacation without all of the hoopla. Accommodations include fully-furnished classic (12′ x 14′) and family (16′ x 20′) tents situated on wooden platforms.

Mendocino Grove camp

Tents come with comfortable beds and warm, comfy bedding including down comforters. Rustic redwood decks boast relaxing, leather butterfly-chairs to cradle you as you witness the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the area and the mammoth trees surrounding your campsite.

A quarter of a mile from your campsite is the Big River Beach and trail, and a two-minute drive will get you to the quaint village of Mendocino where you’ll find fantastic food options and shopping. Mendocino Grove is contentment personified.

9601 CA-1

Mendocino, California 95460

Website

RUSSIAN RIVER AUTOCAMP

Just minutes from the Russian River, this trendy, forested camping retreat offers customized Airstream trailers with all of the comforts of home. Here, you camp among the tall redwoods in a quaint, unassuming setting, curated to be a true concept experience.

While the AutoCamp concept takes you back to a bygone era, the retro airstreams are tricked-out like a comfy-cozy hotel room and include flat screen TVs, spa bathrooms, walk-in showers, kitchenettes, and have free Wi-Fi for your enjoyment and convenience. Right outside your front door you’ll find a patio with a small table and chairs, lounge chairs, and a fire pit.

There are tents available for the fall and Airstreams for the winter. Tents come down on November 1, but Airstreams are available all year round.

Autocamp Russian River

Photo courtesy of Aubrie Pick

Property amenities include the mid-century modern clubhouse, fire pits (indoors and out), the on-site Canteen with food and beverages, free bike rentals, picnic area, and hammock among the redwoods. The friendly staff are happy to provide plenty of intel on area activities from hiking, kayaking, dining options, day trips, and more. AutoCamp takes concept glamping to an 11!

14120 Old Cazadero Rd

Guerneville, CA 95446

Website

JALAMA BEACH CAMP

The Jalama Beach Campground is about as far away from civilization as you can get and still be on a California beach. A beautiful spot, the campground is off of a one-way road fourteen miles off of Highway 1, just south of Lompoc.

Once settled in one of the seven cabins, there’s only one place to go … the beach. The cabins, operated by Santa Barbara County, overlook the stunning Jalama beach, a habitat for a wide variety of marine wildlife. If you’re lucky, you might see whales or dolphins swimming off-shore, or catch a glimpse of the sea lions sunning on the coastline.

The general store is well-equipped and includes a grill which produces some great food and is famous for its clam chowder and hamburgers. The cabins are newer and provide all of the comforts of home including television but you’ll need to bring your own bedding, towels, and food stuffs. Reserve early! Cabins are booked at least six months in advance.

9999 Jalama Rd.

Lompoc, CA 93436

Website

WELLSPRING RANCH

Shangri-la is has come to San Luis Obispo County, California on the enchanted Central Coast in the form of the Wellspring Ranch Bed & Breakfast. A beautiful eco-retreat on a 160 acre secluded parcel of wooded splendor, this glamping couple’s sanctuary is a great mix of the outdoors and high-end amenities.

Wake with the sun to a hearty fire and breakfast and then head out to visit wine country, go hiking, to the spa, yoga, and more or just stay and lounge in your comfortably appointed accommodations. This quiet retreat has 6 lodging options from bedroom lofts and cabana yurts, to the Luxe Airstream.

There is a maximum of fourteen guests at any one time. Don’t miss your chance to visit Wellspring Ranch for glamping B&B style.

9150 Santa Rita Rd.

Cayucos, CA 93430

Website

SIERRA MOUNTAIN LODGE

Come the Sierra National Forest and savor the pleasure of nature without all of the hoopla that goes with so many other locations. Sierra Mountain Lodge is an all-suite facility just twenty-four miles from the closest entrance to Yosemite National Park.

Studios and one & two bedroom suites feature flat-screen TVs, kitchenettes, and separate living rooms. Roomy and comfortable with everything you need to be at home while visiting Yosemite, this lodge is just the ticket to restore balance between nature and the busy world beyond these mountains.

45046 Fort Nip Trail

Ahwahnee, CA 93601

Website

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