Imagine turning traditional vacationing and getaways on its head. Imagine instead of staying in a hotel room and going out to see the surrounding beauty, you surround yourself in the beauty.
That, in a nutshell, is glamping. It foregoes generic vacations. It creates an immersive experience that embraces local culture. It’s not seeing nature, it’s living it. And doing so in luxurious splendor.
The raw elegance of glamping is hard to describe. To get a better idea, let’s explore the best glamping in California, a state famous for camping and living well.
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Best Glamping in California – Northern California
Ventana Big Sur
Big Sur, CA
For some of the best glamping in California, check out Ventana Big Sur. An adults-only attraction, every spacious room offers a private patio or balcony that overlooks the ocean, forest, canyon or meadow.
While you certainly have every opportunity to appreciate the area’s serene naturality, the resort itself is a world of pleasures. Free WiFi, a pair of heating pools, a Japanese hot bath, flatscreens with DVD and sound system, mini-bar, coffee machine, game room, fitness center and spa.
AutoCamp Russian River
AutoCamp Russian River is a boutique luxury lodging. Its tents have BBQ and tools, a kettle, a private fire pit and a grill. You also have queen-sized beds with heated blankets.
The refurbished Airstreams come with a flatscreen, refrigerator, microwave, walk-in shower, patio, and French press. You’ll be in the lap of nature with access to tennis, use of free bikes, golfing, hiking, and visits to wine country. The Russian River winds across northern California.
Treehouse in Vineyard Overlooking Monterey Bay
Los Gatos, CA
Taking things up a knotch, we found the perfect opportunity to combine glamping and living out your childhood fantasy by staying in a treehouse. Overlooking a vineyard and Monterey Bay, the lodgings consist of a treehouse built in Douglas Firs. It’s a tent sitting on a 400 square foot platform! You have a complete view of the bay.
The host also offers yurts. They’re adjacent to the Tierra Madre Vineyard Block. Located on 44 acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains, you can easily reach the Silicon Valley and many of the region’s major beaches.
Three Rivers, CA
Out in Three Rivers, The Perch has no Wi-Fi and limited cell service. You’re approximately four miles from civilization. Not far, but it will certainly seem like that when you step out of your trailer and see nothing but blue oak trees and vast meadow.
The cottage, a 40-foot travel trailer, has two bedrooms good for a couple and a couple of kids. It’s been redesigned with a European vibe. There’s a private outdoor clawfoot tub and shower, as well as a hammock.
Best Glamping in California – Central Coast
Blue Sky Center
Blue Sky offers elevated and cozy huts neck-deep in starry skies, inspiring vistas, expansive landscapes and Cuyama Valley ambiance. And you’re free to explore the high desert mountain ranges of Caliente and the Sierra Madre.
Blue Sky Center consists of five huts circled around a fire pit, each unique in design. Each hut has one or two beds and floor space to accommodate sleeping bags or cots. There are front and rear walls of glass and wood. Click the photos below to learn more about each of these beautiful, unique huts.
Luxe Airstream at Wellspring Ranch
Wellspring Ranch is for serious glamping. It’s perched off the coast in a no-cell zone. Can you handle that? The site has five miles of trails and picnic-perfect vistas. There’s a movie room and outdoor showers surrounded by oak trees.
Refurbishing a camper, Luxe Airstream has created a quiet and private venue for couples. Perched on a hillside, the camper’s 27 feet long and surrounded by 160 acres of natural pristine views. Along with the Airstream, you’ll also get your own private luxurious yurt living room. Wellspring also has yurts, barn houses, and a B&B.
Iconic 1974 Airstream
Santa Barbara, CA
Another Carpinteria spot for best glamping in California. This unique Airbnb stay is an iconic refurbished 1974 Airstream. Nestled in an avocado orchard, the vehicle’s hard metal veneer’s been softened by tan leather and cowhide. A patio sits outside the front door.
The space has a living room with smart TV, Netflix, a/c, fan, and views of the mountains. There’re a full kitchen and queen bed, as well as a washer, dryer, full bathroom, rain, and walk-in shower. The backyard has a terrace
Santa Margarita, CA
Ranch Bungalow has a tiny house for two, a remote spot on a 50-acre ranch with no urban lighting. During your strolls, you may come across a deer foraging in a pasture.
Tiny houses are taking the world by storm. They prove that bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to living spaces. Ranch Bungalow shows how intimate and personal these tiny houses can be, especially when set in the perfect region for glamping.
You won’t believe how cozy and BIG this intimate space feels. Outdoor seating, hot showers, kitchen, bed, barbecue and propane fire pit. All waiting at the end of a personal walkway.
Tents do not have heat but they come with a dual-controlled electric blanket. An excellent option for couples, recreation includes a seasonally heated pool, private hiking, Foosball, and everything else the campground offers.
Cedar TreeHouse in Aptos Mountain Retreat Center
Cedar TreeHouse, or Om Oasis, is a luxurious retreat atop a remote and serene mountain. They have Wi-Fi but limited cell reception. But you shouldn’t be too concerned. It’s about getting off-grid and glamping in California. Om Oasis won’t let you down.
Beneath the shadows of surrounding redwoods, accommodations at the center include king-sized beds in a sleeping loft, domed skylight and a cedar ceiling. Quiet and reflective views make it perfect for solo adventures or a romantic getaway.
Ocean View Tiny House
Santa Barbara, CA
Ocean View is a mile outside Carpinteria with its recently constructed 400 square foot tiny house designed to relax, comfort, and relieve you of urban stress and rush. There’s a 400 square foot deck, high ceilings, two sleeping lofts, and brand new appliances.
The windows let in natural light during the day and let you take in the stars at night. (Though you’ll probably do more of both on the deck.) Pets are welcome!
Enjoy a cozy glamping experience in Soquel, a town close to nearby Santa Cruz. This campsite is uniquely located in the forest and 10 minutes from the beach, giving you a wide range of day activities to take full advantage of everything the beautiful outdoors has to offer. The campsite has everything you need from BBQs, fire pits, and Adirondack chairs for an ultimate relaxing weekend.
Best Glamping in California – Southern California
Dome in the Desert in Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree, CA
Featured in the likes of Esquire, Apartment Therapy and Condé Nast Traveler, the Dome in the Desert is bohemian-inspired.
Accommodations are awash in stone and natural wood. There are antique games and books. Step outside and be in awe of a landscape awash in sprawling mountains and wide vistas.
With minimalistic flair, the dome is bright with furnishings both modern and personal. There are two bedrooms, hanging chairs, discreet plants, a wood-burning stove, and space heaters.
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles is a mere 10 minutes away but visit Skyfarm and feel like you’re in uncharted territory. It’s glamping on an urban farm. It’s an alluring brand of country-in-the-city crossed with a bohemian vibe.
Gardens and farm animals (pygmy goats, chickens, a massive tortoise), fresh air, an outdoor kitchen and a clawfoot solar-powered bathtub await. Your lodging is a circular room inspired by Mongolian nomads, all big windows and white interiors.
The Black Carriage
Hidden amid the Santa Monica Mountains is a lovely gypsy wagon. The carriage is connected to a bridge, a portion of that combination being the guest bed. There’s a living room and full bathroom with a copper tub.
The dark exterior keeps your location a secret in a world of massive oak trees. The Black Carriage invites you to live out a nomad life not just with nature, but in the finely detailed carriage interior. You’ll feel like reining the horses and riding off!
Malibu Airstream Eco Retreat
Your stay at Malibu Airstream from the start will consist of breathless panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Your airstream lodging consists of a huge studio, frameless glass panels and an ample deck overlooking the Santa Monica Mountains.
You’ll have a kitchenette, eco-bamboo sheets, outdoor cinema and an ocean-facing swing. Wellness activities include massages and shamanic ceremonies. Make sure you’re free when the sun begins its descent.
Stargazer Yurt on 40 Acres
Yucca Valley, CA
Yurts are a classic and ancient form of portable shelter originally used by nomads. Your yurt would sit on 40 acres of gorgeous high desert. Soak in the outdoor tub or step into the outdoor shower. Sleep in the round and take in the starlight pouring through the roof dome!
Besides the shower and tub, there’s an enormous fire pit and sink area. The dome is above your Brooklyn Bedding queen-sized bed. You’ll literally sleep under the stars — on a comforting mattress. Glamping doesn’t get any better!
The Castle House Estate
Joshua Tree, CA
Family and couple friendly, The Castle House offers spectacular views of the mountains. Enjoy them from a sun terrace. A neighbor of Joshua Tree, Castle House guests can enjoy all the recreations offered there, including cycling and hiking.
Accommodations include tents (queen bed, futon), guard towers (queen bed, futon), container home (queen bed). Each holds between two and six guests.
The Wonder Valley Yurts
Yucca Valley, CA
Wonder Valley Yurts is the option for off-grid glamping. These yurts are newly built with full-sized beds, cabinets, chairs and outdoor hammocks.
Each yurt design is reminiscent of a modernized tribal setting with coordinating shades of brown. You’ll be surrounded by natural nothingness even as solar energy powers your lights and personal devices. Bath in an outdoor shower, set up a campfire and wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.
The Moon dust
Yucca Valley, CA
Settle into a 16-foot tent with outdoor amenities like a fireplace, tub, charcoal BBQ facilities, lounge area, sink, hammock and heated rainfall shower.
You may get a peek at the kangaroo mice that populate the area. There’s plenty of stargazing and opportunity to rest. The Moon Dust is an outstanding opportunity for glamping in California.
Love Stream Romantic Nature Getaway
Their vintage airstream accommodations are six decades old but Love Stream Romantic has turned them into wondrous sanctuaries. If you love animals, go down to Topanga’s Love Stream Romantic and surround yourself with sheep, pigs, llamas and giant African tortoises.
The lodge has a converted Airstream/gourmet food trailer. Nibble while you relax in the Jacuzzi or sip wine at the fire pit. The trip promises to be a romantic staycation.
Glamping Sites with Limited Availability
Forest Camping Hut
Beautiful, peaceful, stylish, clean, all these descriptions have been applied to the Forest Camping Hut experience. Climb up into a treehouse and enjoy a broad range of amenities.
It’s rustic and calming. This is the spot for disconnecting and reconnecting. Decompress and unplug on the patio or balcony. Stroll the garden or relax in the backyard.
Mendocino Grove is a brilliant campground with the lushest tents you’ll ever come across. Both couples and families can have as private and intimate a getaway as you choose.
There’s hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, cycling and other recreational activities. Both the Mendocino Art Center and Temple of Kwan are in the vicinity. You’ll stay in an expansive, furnished tent and have access to a sun deck, BBQ facilities, and outdoor furniture and fireplace.
The kids will love the library of books, DVDs, puzzles, board games and music. The Mendocino has all the amenities of camping with the attraction of modernized lodging.