The Most Gorgeous Glamping Spots in California
Nail-head leather sofas. High-thread-count sheets. Soaking spas. Private decks. Is it the Four Seasons? No, it’s glamping, and there’s a little bit of luxury in these outdoor experiences all over Cali. Here are our favorites, at every budget.
1. FLYING FLAGS RV RESORT & CAMPGROUND (2 HOURS AND 20 MINUTES FROM L.A. BY CAR)
Best for: Exploring Santa Barbara wine country
Cost: Under $200 per night
Stay in a safari tent that sleeps four (and includes a leather sofa) smack-dab in the middle of Santa Barbara wine country. After a day spent galloping on horseback or swimming in the huge pool (with Jacuzzi), unwind over a bottle of local Alma Rosa sparkling rosé, while your kids nosh on hand-dipped cones from the Campfire Café. And of course there’s Wi-Fi and cable television.
2. WARNER SPRINGS SAFARI CABIN TENT (2 HOURS AND 20 MINUTES FROM L.A. BY CAR)
Best for: Dog owners
Cost: Under $200 per night
Bring the dogs with you (it’s fenced in) to this desert escape outside San Diego. The raised cabin has a queen bed with a heated mattress pad and is outfitted with hand-hewn willow furniture crafted by the artisan owners and… Huh? Oh, sorry. We drifted off there, daydreaming of counting stars while lying back in the hot tub.
3. MALIBU AIRSTREAM (1 HOUR OUTSIDE DOWNTOWN L.A. BY CAR)
Best for: An epic staycation
Cost: $235 per night
You’re staying in a rehabbed 2016 Airstream set on a secluded hilltop with 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean, Catalina, Santa Barbara Island and the Santa Monica Mountains. There’s a queen-size bed and Wi-Fi, but what you’ll really enjoy is hiking the extensive trails and flipping lazily through the Sunday L.A. Times (yep, it’s delivered).
4. SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST YURT (5 HOURS FROM L.A. BY CAR)
Best for: Disconnecting from the world
Cost: $111 per night
While there’s a comfy queen bed and a kitchenette, there are no private bathing facilities (you have to go to a nearby trailer, where showers cost $6 per person, including a towel). But what you give up in amenities you gain in fresh air and quiet. After all, you’re staying steps from a pristine lake in the Sierra National Forest. Time to journal and “find” yourself.
5. LE HAUT DESERT AERIE (2 HOURS AND 20 MINUTES FROM L.A. BY CAR)
Best for: Exploring hipster-y Pioneertown
Cost: From $129 per night
Prepare to get real groovy, real fast at the (sort of) Bedouin-influenced house and safari tents in this artsy desert community. Don’t worry, though—you’re not roughing it too hard. You’ll sleep on a fluffy queen bed, get clean in an outdoor shower (swoon) and hike and bike to your heart’s desire. Plus: that fantastic soaking spa.
6. EL CAPITAN CAMPGROUND (2 HOURS FROM L.A. BY CAR)
Best for: Beach camping without the hard work
Cost: From $170 per night
Willow bed frames, puffy duvets, Western-print blankets and the rustling water of the El Capitan Creek—that’s what you get at this campground located just across the street from the ocean, about a half hour past Santa Barbara. Choose either a cedar cabin with French doors that open onto a deck overlooking the creek or a safari tent on a wooden platform. For a premium, opt for a steamy deep soaking tub or gas fireplace, and try not to be deafened by the frogs.
7. THE AUTONOMOUS TENT AT TREEBONES RESORT (6 HOURS FROM L.A. BY CAR)
Best for: A once-in-a-lifetime experience
Cost: $595 per night
The exceptional Treebones Resort has a yurt village, a restaurant and even a “human nest” that an artist built from twigs, but the one-of-a-kind Autonomous Tent is the crown jewel. You get an outdoor fire pit, 500 square feet of living space, a claw-foot shower and a compostable toilet. Oh, and a private deck with a view of one of Cali’s most stunning sunsets.
8. AUTOCAMP YOSEMITE (5 HOURS FROM L.A. BY CAR)
Best for: Nature newbies
Cost: From $229 per night
It’s just 45 minutes from the central valley of Yosemite, with its waterfalls and jaw-dropping views, but these places are appointed like a Silverlake guest house. A collection of 102 Airstreams, cabins and canvas tents is built around a swimming pool, a pond and a central two-story clubhouse that’s outfitted with sleek tiled bathrooms with Malin + Goetz amenities. Don’t know your compass from your hiking pole? Add on a guided day hike from REI.
9. RENT A TENT FROM SHELTER CO.
Best for: The bespoke outdoor experience of your dreams
Cost: From $2,000
Imagine the twee sensibility of Wes Anderson combined with the money-is-no-object tech know-how of Bill Gates and you’ll get the tents of Shelter Co. This glamping outfitter will send you one of its minimalist tents and accoutrements (like cowhide rugs and leather butterfly chairs) to set up wherever you want for a minimum order of $2,000. We like this splurge if you’re going in with a group, but if you want to bite the bullet, you can just buy a tent ($250 and up).