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Walnut Creek Magazine

Eight Unforgettable Places To Go Glamping

Jul 07, 2022 02:13PM ● By Fran Miller

If the idea of pitching a tent and getting down and dirty in the wilderness leaves you less than excited, we have good news for you. Glamour camping­––known as glamping––is an alternative way to experience the great outdoors. We’ve scoured the state from north to south to bring you some of the best. Make your reservations, get out there, and glamp. 


What makes it glampy: An outdoor sushi bar. 


Perched on the spectacular Big Sur coast, sixteen yurts (tent-like circular fabric structures with wood lattice frames on redwood platforms) come with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Swanky touches include queen-size beds, cushy couches, heaters, and electric lights. Outside, deck chairs are positioned to take in awe-inspiring sunsets. But for the ultimate posh retreat, book an off the grid Autonomous Tent situated on the resort's edge equipped with private decks, outdoor fire pits, in suite showers, and leather lounging chairs. Treebones also sports a full restaurant, a heated pool and spa, and an outdoor bar. Yurts start at $360/night. 


WELLSPRING RANCH


What makes it glampy: Hot tub soaks in mineral-rich waters followed by a massage. 

Located on the Central Coast in Cayucos, Wellspring Ranch is a couples-only sanctuary that sits on 160-acres of rugged pastoral land close to kayaking, surfing, horseback riding, and wine tasting. At this “no cell phone” retreat, explore miles of hiking and biking trails, appointed gardens and ponds, picnic spots and yoga facilities. Refined bedroom lofts feature king beds, fireplaces, and private bathrooms. Cabana yurts nestled under ancient oaks come with king memory foam mattresses, luxury linens, fireplaces, and private bathrooms. Ranch fresh meals are served al fresco year round. Rates start at $495 per night. 

 

What makes it glampy: An on-site market filled with gourmet foods and artisan wines. 


Just north of Santa Barbara on the Central Coast, El Capitan Canyon is a rarity, one of the only Southern California spots where you can sleep in a coastal canyon beneath a canopy of trees. Surrounded by El Capital State Beach, this secluded location boasts cabins with Chumash decorative details, soaking tubs, and kitchenettes, as well as wired yurts and safari tents. Each has its own fire pit for charring tri-tip and marshmallows purchased at the onsite general store. Bike on a complimentary cruiser to the sandy beach and tide pools, take a surf lesson, or swim in the heated pool before retreating to your plush cedar cabin. For traditionalists, spacious furnished safari tents with screened windows are equipped with linens, towels, and electric lamps. Rates vary greatly. 


 SEQUOIA HIGH SIERRA CAMP

What makes it glampy: Housekeeping service! 


Located in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Fresno on a steep, wooded hillside with views of mountain peaks, dramatic creeks, and peaceful meadows, this slice of paradise offers stunning canvas tents that comfortably sleep two to four. Each features plush beds and bedding, artisan furniture and décor, along with gourmet meals prepared by the on-site executive chef. Kick-back in the evening by the campfire after a day of exploring the stunning sequoia and redwood trees buried within Sequoia National Park. Take part in bird watching, horseback riding or fly fishing, then return for a hot outdoor shower and a dinner of wild-caught king salmon served in the open-sided dining pavilion. Rates start at $350 per person and includes three daily meals.

 

What makes it glampy: A welcome basket filled with goodies plus a stocked fridge. 


Cradled in the rolling hills of Point Reyes, Windsong is located on four remote acres where guests sleep in an elegant yurt featuring a large round room with a ceiling skylight, a full kitchen, a California King bed, a private garden and a hot tub for star gazing. Other amenities include cable TV, free high speed WiFi, and a wood burning heat stove. Rates start at $240 night.

 

BOTHE NAPA VALLEY

What makes it glampy: Spend your days wine tasting and your evenings star gazing.


This beautiful Napa Valley campground has it all: 1,900 acres to explore, ten miles of trails, campsites, and yurts. While a bit more rustic, the Bothe yurts make this a certifiable glamping site. Each is equipped with a queen bed, table and chairs, outdoor fire pit, picnic table, nearby bathrooms, plus a lockable door. Bring your own sleeping bag or bedding, cooking utensils, food, and towels. Hike local trails winding through impressive redwoods where you can catch a glimpse of Mt. Saint Helena. Reward yourself with a dip in the spring-fed pool. Rates vary seasonally. 


VENTANA CAMPGROUND 

What makes it glampy? Curated coolers and premium linens.


In a 20-acre canyon below Big Sur's exclusive Ventana Inn & Spa lies a luxury camping experience with safari-style accomodations, custom-designed mattresses, premium linens, and curated coolers. Spacious campsites at Ventana Campground are well-groomed, equipped with fire rings picnic tables, and a stunning landscape. Campsite rates vary by date.

 

COSTANOA

What makes it glampy: An on-site day spa for massages and body treatments. 


The tent bungalows at this coastal Pescadero escape are scattered throughout the property with plush bedding, electricity, sliding windows, and locking doors. Comfort stations include a central courtyard with fireplace, sauna, heated floors, and private showers. An outdoor hot tub, WIFI, and a day spa help cement Costanoa’s designation as a top California glamping destination. Cook your meals on the outdoor grills or head to the Cascade Bar & Grill for a locally sourced dinner. Spend your days mountain biking, horseback riding, or exploring tide pools. Rates vary.


INN TOWN CAMPGROUND

What makes it glampy: Linen-clad beds, a bathhouse and artist-designed lighting. 


Nevada City's campground promises a plush place to relax after a day of play in the Sierra foothills. Opened by Erin and Dan Thiem, Inn Town has easy access to the Yuba River, exceptional routes for cyclists, and miles of hiking trails. The year-round campground has 20 customized glamping tents that come with private balconies among the trees. Bonus: some sites are pet-friendly. Rates start at $85/night.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

 WEATHER: Conditions vary from day to night. Do your research and pack accordingly, but plan for unexpected heat. For most of our suggested locations, expect cool mornings, warm days, and chilly evenings. 

GEAR: While some locations have it all, others require traditional camping gear. You’ll never go wrong with an extra flashlight. 

FOOD: On-site restaurants and chef created meals are a bonus, but remember their are alot of critters attracted to gourmet coolers.

RESERVATIONS: With kids going back to school in early August this year, fall bookings are opening up. 

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