California’s diverse natural landscapes makes it a premier destination for glamour camping (“glamping” for short), perfect for immersing oneself in the great outdoors without sacrificing the comforts of traditional lodging options. Here is a selection of the amazing glamping destinations visitors can enjoy in the Golden State:
Bearpaw High Sierra Camp
Located at the end of an 11.3-mile hike along the High Sierra Trail at 7,800 feet elevation, Bearpaw High Sierra Camp has welcomed hikers in Sequoia National Park with hot food, comfy bedding and rugged Sierra style for over 75 years. Six canvas tent cabins feature wood floors and real beds with down comforters. The Camp’s central lodge offers home-cooked, family-style meals as well as a warm shower. Breakfast may include epicurean adventures such as tomato and cheese frittatas or oatmeal raisin French toast while dinners may include hearty options such as grilled tri-tip or Teriyaki pork tenderloin. Desserts are made from scratch and wine is available for purchase by the glass. With all of these amenities, Bearpaw offers hikers an incredible way to fully enjoy the beauty and wilderness of Sequoia National Park.
Costanoa Lodge is a coastal eco-adventure resort in Pescadero, about a one-hour drive south of San Francisco. Guests are invited to enjoy a wide array of activities such as hiking, mountain biking, music and art exhibits, educational lectures, kayaking, spa treatments and much more. The resort offers a variety of accommodations from comfy cabins with fireplaces and dry saunas to safari-tent “bungalows” complete with plush bedding, electricity and Wi-Fi. Grilling stations, picnic areas and an outdoor hot tub with views of coastal hills are also available for guests to enjoy. The resort’s Cascade Bar & Grill uses local and organic ingredients to provide fresh and sustainable cuisine. These accommodations allow for a serene nature experience in comfort and style.
El Capítan Canyon
Located 15 minutes north of Santa Barbara – nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains – lies El Capítan Canyon, an incredible resort secluded amid ancient sycamores opening onto El Capítan Beach. The Canyon offers a unique experience — one that is close to nature, but with a level of comfort that is unsurpassed in the realm of outdoor recreating. El Capítan boasts fully furnished cedar-lined cabins with vaulted ceilings and French doors opening onto a running creek. Cabins are complete with full bath, wet bar, mini-fridge, central heat, down-filled comforters and an outdoor private fire pit. For an even more immersive experience, visitors can take advantage of the safari tent options. During the day, guests can enjoy a horseback ride along the beach, hike along the 300+ acres of hiking trails, or feed a herd of llamas and goats. Combining luxury, an abundance of outdoor activities and a dash of adventure, El Capítan Canyon is the perfect getaway for a healthy dose of wellness and nature.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
The Roar & Snore Safari experience at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in San Diego’s North County enables individuals to overnight in comfy tents surrounded by the sights and sounds of wildlife. Guests can choose from several age-appropriate sleepover categories with their different themes, tent sizes and amenities. For a true glamping experience, visitors are encouraged to book the premium tent option complete with electricity, wood floors, a queen bed, two cots and more. With scenery reminiscent of the African Plains – featuring giraffes, rhinos, antelope and more – the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a great experience for visitors who want to camp without having to build a fire or pitch a tent themselves. All sleepovers include camp activities, an after-hours look at the life of the park’s animals, guided walks, a campfire program, dinner, an evening snack, breakfast and a Park souvenir.
Experience Africa in the heart of Wine County at Safari West – a truly unique glamping experience. Today, Safari West thrives as a world-renowned preserve dedicated to conservation and home to the earth’s most graceful, majestic and exotic creatures. Here you can go on a safari and see animals roaming wild and soaring free, just like they do on the African plains. At the end of the day, a safari glamping experience that is the pinnacle of luxury awaits within the African-style oasis. The richly appointed safari tents stand proudly on an oak-studded hillside overlooking a vista of browsing giraffes and prancing antelope. A night spent in the bush will change your world as you lie down to sleep serenaded by the sounds of the Sonoma Serengeti night. Sturdy canvas walls and wooden supports make up the tent structures, but you won’t be “roughing it” here. Each tent comes with plush beds, African covers and warming quilts, and ensuite bathrooms including hot showers and elegant rustic copper trappings.
Located along the astounding Big Sur coast is Treebones Resort, a premier glamping location with a variety of unique and cozy accommodations. The various lodging options include 16 yurts, five campsites, a cocoon-like tent and a “human nest,” all overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The fully-furnished yurts are complete with a queen size bed, comfortable bedding, sinks, heaters and electric lighting. Outside deck seating is also available for breathtaking views of the sunset. For a truly unique experience, stay in the “human nest” – an art piece of interlaced branches made by Big Sur artist Jayson Fann. Guests are also invited to enjoy a full restaurant, a sushi bar, outdoor yoga, private massages and much more.
KOA Tucked into the coastal hills of Santa Paula, about an hour north of Los Angeles, is Ventura Ranch KOA. This 76-acre campground offers unique glamping accommodations from teepees furnished with beds and wicker chairs to safari-style glamour tents which include a queen bed, futon, microwave and mini-fridge. Deluxe and studio cabins with partial kitchens, air conditioning and Wi-Fi are also offered for visitors seeking a more traditional lodging experiences. During the day, guests have a variety of fun and unique activities to choose from. There’s something for everyone to enjoy at Ventura Ranch KOA, with activities ranging from an exhilarating 1,400-foot/21-meter zip line to a family friendly nature walk.
By California Travel & Tourism Commission
The California Travel & Tourism Commission is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs – in partnership with the state’s travel industry – that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. Learn more here: