7 Best California Glamping You Need To Know For The Perfect Getaway

If you love the outdoors, glamping is a great way to spend more time in nature. California is one of the best places for glamping, and you’ll find many options across the diverse landscapes here.

Glamping is often loosely defined, but essentially anything that is luxurious camping. That could mean you have a fancy canvas tent or an airstream, and sometimes also resort-style services. There are various styles of glamping in California to suit various budgets and destination preferences.

In this article, I’ll share the best glamping sites in California you need to know for your next trip. To help in your planning, I’ve also grouped them according to various must-see destinations.

This article uses affiliate links where I make a small commission if you make a purchase through my links. It will be at no additional cost to you, but will really help to support Where’s Janice.

Big Sur California Glamping

Big Sur is a stretch of coastal cliffs stretching from Carmel to San Simeon, and offers untamed views of the Pacific Ocean. Located along Highway 1, Big Sur is no doubt one of the must-see places in California.

Personally, I love visiting from the northern end as you get so many amazing views right away. There’s the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge, the bluff trails in Garrapata State Park, and the unique McWay Falls.

Since most of Big Sur is left untouched, there aren’t many amenities along this stretch of Highway 1. It’s the perfect getaway for those who want a quiet retreat in the midst of these stunning views. There are several resorts and glamping sites where you get to enjoy nature and even sleep under the coastal redwoods.

In the day, you can go hiking in various nearby state parks and take a leisurely drive to search out secret beaches. To make your trip extra special, grab dinner at a restaurant that faces the ocean for a truly unforgettable sunset.

Here are the best Big Sur Glamping resorts you need to check out.

1. Treebones Resort

For a unique experience, consider staying in one of Treebones Resort‘s yurts overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It’s an eco-friendly resort that blends comfort with nature. You can also opt to camp in the unique “Human Nest” or “The Twig Hut”.

Guests need to be above 13-years-old, as the resort aims to create a peaceful ambience for the best experience. The ocean-view restaurant serves fresh, locally sourced cuisine, offering a unique dining experience with breathtaking sunset views over the ocean.

Treebones Resort ($$)

260 miles from Los Angeles

Treebones Resort - Best California Glamping
Yurts in Treebones Resort
Source: Treebones Resort

What you’ll love

  • Unique yurts with ocean views
  • Heated pool and hot tubs
  • Eco-friendly practices and a cozy lodge

Distance to notable attractions

  • Sand Dollar Beach: 8 minutes
  • Limekiln State Park: 15 minutes
  • Hearst Castle: 44 minutes
  • Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery: 47 minutes

Note for 2024: Highway 1 may be closed between Limekiln State Park and Lucia so the northern parts of Big Sur cannot be accessed from this resort without a detour.

2. Big Sur Campground and Cabins

For those seeking a touch of comfort without sacrificing the camping spirit, the cabins at Big Sur Campground provide a delightful retreat. The campground’s proximity to the Big Sur River adds an extra layer of tranquility to your stay.

As the sun sets and the stars emerge, the campground becomes a magical place. Gather around a crackling campfire, share stories with fellow travelers, and enjoy the crisp night air. What a perfect way to end a day of outdoor adventures.

Big Sur Campground and Cabins ($ – $$)

145 miles from San Francisco

Big Sur Campground and Cabins - Best California Glamping
Cabin in Big Sur Campground and Cabins
Source: Booking.com

What you’ll love

  • Cabin experience in a redwood canyon
  • Proximity to the hiking trails and nature activities

Distance to notable attractions

  • Ventana Wilderness: Short drive
  • Pfeiffer Beach: 14 minutes
  • Andrew Molera State Park: 11 minutes
  • McWay Falls: 23 minutes
  • Bixby Creek Bridge: 16 minutes

3. Ventana Campground Glamping

For the perfect combination of luxury and a nature retreat that doesn’t break the bank, Ventana Campground Glamping is the perfect choice. It is located in a canyon and you get to sleep under the trees. You’ll have a propane fire pit right at your deck as well as a picnic table to enjoy your meals.

With the Hyatt brand name, you can be sure of the quality of service and professionalism. The bathroom facilities are amazing for a campground, and even though there are other campers around, there’s enough space for it to feel private.

Ventana Campground Glamping ($$)

150 miles from San Francisco

Ventana Big Sur Campground - Best California Glamping
Tent Cabin in Alila Ventana Big Sur Campground
Source: Hyatt.com

What you’ll love

  • Private and luxurious safari-style tent
  • Surrounded by trees in the peaceful canyon

Distance to notable attractions

  • Ventana Wilderness: Short drive
  • Pfeiffer Beach: 14 minutes
  • Andrew Molera State Park: 18 minutes
  • McWay Falls: 19 minutes
  • Bixby Creek Bridge: 24 minutes

Yosemite National Park Glamping

A California road trip is not complete without a visit to the epic Yosemite National Park. The landscapes here are stunning as you look up from Yosemite Valley towards the granite peaks. It is truly beautiful in every season, with summer being the busiest.

There are many things to do in Yosemite, including hiking, going on valley tours, having a picnic in the meadow, and more. You’ll need at least 2 days to experience this amazing destination, such as seeing both Yosemite Valley and the high roads leading to Glacier Point.

There are various accommodation options both inside and outside Yosemite National Park. Campers will be happy to know there are campgrounds within Yosemite Valley and along Tioga Road, while the best Yosemite Glamping is just outside the park.

After a day of exploration, a cosy glamping experience is the best option to recharge. Here are some glamping gems you should check out for your next trip to Yosemite.

4. AutoCamp Yosemite

Located in the quiet town of Midpines along Highway 140, AutoCamp Yosemite is the perfect hideout. A stay here comes with free bike rental, access to the outdoor pool, hotel grill, and even a bar for you to grab a drink after a long day.

There are several types of unique Glamping options here, including airstreams and luxurious canvas tents. For a communal experience, hang out at the lounge and fire pit as you chat with other travellers about their adventures.

To stock up for the day ahead, head over to the General Store which is conveniently located on the property. You can also dine at The Kitchen throughout the day for an easy meal.

AutoCamp Yosemite ($$)

175 miles from San Francisco

Autocamp Yosemite - Best California Glamping
Airstream in Autocamp Yosemite
Source: Autocamp.com

What you’ll love

  • Complimentary bike rentals
  • Modern and luxurious while also catering to accessibility needs

Distance to notable attractions

  • Yosemite Valley: 37 miles (1 hr drive) via Arch Rock Entrance
  • Tuolumne Meadows: 78 miles (2 hr drive)

5. Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort

If a cosy hostel-style Glamping retreat is your thing, consider staying at Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort. This is relaxing resort is located on a forest hillside in Midpines. Aside from the usual rooms, Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort also has affordable tent cabins. You can choose from the heated or unheated tents, depending on your budget.

Amenities include spa services, and you can play table tennis and darts in the lounge area. For the perfect hostel atmosphere, head out to the communal fire pit. June Bug Cafe is also on site, serving vegan and vegetarian cuisine.

Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort ($)

180 miles from San Francisco

Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort lounge area
Source: Booking.com

What you’ll love

  • Fun and relaxing hostel-style atmosphere
  • Affordable tent cabins

Distance to notable attractions

  • Yosemite Valley: 37 miles (1 hr drive) via Arch Rock Entrance
  • Tuolumne Meadows: 78 miles (2 hr drive)

California Coast Glamping

If you’re looking to go off the beaten track in California, there are more amazing places along the coast that are perfect for Glamping. Some of California’s best and hidden Glamping spots are located along the famous Highway 1.

You don’t have to travel far from San Francisco to find hidden small towns like Pescadero and its nearby beaches. This stretch of Highway 1 between Santa Cruz and San Francisco is often sped through, but there are so many gems to check out. For example, you’ll see a historic lighthouse, some local farm stands, stunning ocean viewpoints and hikes.

Aside from Big Sur, you can also head up to the northern coast past Point Reyes National Seashore to the quiet Glamping town of Mendocino. Even during the rainy winter months, it’s a popular destination for whale watching as they pass through during this time of year. With lush forests surrounding the area, there’s no shortage of unique Glamping accommodations here.

6. Santa Cruz North/KOA Costanoa

KOA, also known as Kampgrounds of America, operates over 500 private campgrounds across North America. One of the locations I recommend is Santa Cruz North/KOA Costanoa near Pescadero. This is almost in the middle between Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

Right in front of the campground is a gorgeous sandy dune beach where you can hike to Franklin Point or go tide pooling along the bluffs. It’s an amazing feeling to watch the sunset by the ocean, and then cross Highway 1 to get back to the campground.

Costanoa’s Tent Bungalows come in a few variations of wood or metal framed canvas tents, and are situated across the grassy hill. Wifi is provided in each Glamping tent, along with electricity and lighting. Some even include heated electric blankets and hot tub access.

Santa Cruz North/KOA Costanoa ($ – $$)

55 miles from San Francisco

Santa Cruz North/KOA Costanoa - Best California Glamping
Source: Costanoa.com

What you’ll love

  • Huge campground with restaurant and bar on site
  • Communal fire place and sauna facility in the shared bathrooms
  • Walking distance to the beach and nearby hiking trails

Distance to notable attractions

  • Pie Ranch: 5 minutes
  • Pigeon Point Lighthouse: 7 minutes
  • Ano Nuevo State Park: 8 minutes
  • Pescadero: 15 minutes
  • Davenport: 18 minutes
  • Santa Cruz: 35 minutes

7. Mendocino Grove

Stay in one of these luxurious safari-style tents in Mendocino Grove along the Northern California coast. The Glamping season usually starts in April and reservations open up in January each year. Each tent comes with an outdoor deck where you can sit in these butterfly chairs and relax. You’ll also be sleeping on heated mattresses, making it extra cosy.

There are hiking trails nearby that you can explore, and you’re just minutes from the beautiful ocean views. If you want to socialise, there’s also a communal area to hang out with others. You can also look forward to the variety of events organised here at Mendocino Grove, including live music and Farmers’ Dinner.

Mendocino Grove ($$)

155 miles from San Francisco

Mendocino Grove
Source: mendocinogrove.com

What you’ll love

  • Heated mattresses to keep you warm through the night
  • Private deck with chairs
  • Seasonal events organized

Distance to notable attractions

  • Russian Gulch State Park: 8 minutes
  • Fort Bragg: 16 minutes
  • Glass Beach: 18 minutes

How much does glamping cost in California?

Overall, it costs anywhere from just under $100 to about $300 before tax. Depending on the level of service and amenities provided, as well as the location you may be able to snag a good deal.

Winter time is one of the best times to book a Glamping stay because of the rainy season and shorter daylight hours. In my opinion, this is a really magical time of year to go Glamping since you get to relax in your Glamping tent while enjoying the rain. Do bring a rain jacket or umbrella too if the bathroom is a short walk away.

Where to find more of the best California Glamping stays?

Hipcamp has many great options for private camping and Glamping stays, and the platform includes reviews and ratings to help you pick the right one. You can even find some really cosy cabins and unique accommodations via Hipcamp as well. Trust me when I say you’ll be scrolling endlessly and browsing through a ton of destinations!

If you’re going to book your first Glamping trip with Hipcamp, make sure to use my invitation link so that you’ll get $10 off! You can also use my code “WHERESJANICE”.

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