Luxurious glamping site in California featuring a large safari-style tent with elegant furnishings, set amidst a picturesque natural landscape with tall trees and mountains in the background. A cozy fire pit with seating and a golden sunset enhance the serene atmosphere.

Best Glamping in California: Your Ultimate Guide

Whether you’re looking for ocean views, forest retreats, or desert escapes, California offers some of the best glamping experiences in the world. This comprehensive guide will help you discover the top glamping spots in California, ensuring a memorable and unique adventure.

What is Glamping?

Glamping is a luxurious form of camping that provides amenities and facilities not typically associated with traditional camping. Think of it as a hybrid of outdoor adventure and hotel-like comfort. This trend has gained immense popularity among travelers seeking to connect with nature without sacrificing comfort.

Why Glamping in California?

California’s vast and varied geography makes it a prime location for glamping. From the serene beaches of the Pacific Coast to the rugged terrains of the Sierra Nevada, California offers glamping experiences for every type of adventurer. Here are some reasons why glamping in California is a must:

  • Diverse Landscapes: Enjoy a wide range of environments, including beaches, mountains, forests, and deserts.
  • Mild Climate: California’s weather is generally mild year-round, making it ideal for outdoor activities.
  • Rich Culture and History: The state’s cultural and historical sites add depth to your glamping adventure.
  • Accessibility: Numerous glamping sites are within driving distance from major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.

Top Glamping Destinations in California

1. Big Sur

Overview: Big Sur is renowned for its breathtaking coastline, dramatic cliffs, and scenic beauty. It’s a top choice for glampers seeking both adventure and tranquility.

Best Glamping Sites:

  • Treebones Resort: Offers yurts with stunning ocean views, a heated pool, and an organic garden. Check rates and availability.
  • Ventana Big Sur: Luxurious safari-style tents set in a redwood forest with access to spa services and gourmet dining.


  • Hiking in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.
  • Exploring McWay Falls.
  • Relaxing at the hot springs in the Esalen Institute.

2. Yosemite National Park

Overview: Yosemite is famous for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, and giant sequoias. Glamping here provides an unparalleled experience in one of the most iconic national parks in the United States.

Best Glamping Sites:

  • AutoCamp Yosemite: Airstream accommodations and luxury tents with access to a mid-century modern clubhouse and communal fire pits. Check rates and availability.
  • Yosemite Pines RV Resort and Family Lodging: Offers glamping yurts, cabins, and vintage trailers.


  • Hiking to Half Dome and El Capitan.
  • Exploring Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point.
  • Wildlife watching and photography.

3. Joshua Tree National Park

Overview: Joshua Tree offers a unique desert landscape with its iconic Joshua trees, rock formations, and starry night skies. It’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and artists.

Best Glamping Sites:

  • Joshua Tree Acres: Vintage Airstreams with stylish decor and a communal area with a hot tub and outdoor shower. Check rates and availability.
  • Under Canvas Joshua Tree: Safari tents with private bathrooms and stunning views of the desert landscape.


  • Rock climbing and bouldering.
  • Stargazing and night photography.
  • Visiting the Cholla Cactus Garden and Keys View.

4. Napa Valley

Overview: Napa Valley is renowned for its vineyards, rolling hills, and luxury experiences. Glamping here combines the beauty of the countryside with world-class wine tasting.

Best Glamping Sites:

  • Safari West: An African tent camp experience with wildlife tours and gourmet dining. Check rates and availability.
  • Napa Valley Airstreams: Stylish Airstreams located in the heart of wine country, offering easy access to top wineries.


  • Wine tasting and vineyard tours.
  • Hot air balloon rides over the valley.
  • Exploring the Napa Valley Wine Train.

5. Santa Barbara

Overview: Santa Barbara, known as the American Riviera, offers beautiful beaches, Mediterranean-style architecture, and a mild climate. It’s a perfect destination for a coastal glamping experience.

Best Glamping Sites:

  • El Capitan Canyon: Cedar cabins, safari tents, and yurts set among the hills with access to the beach and hiking trails. Check rates and availability.
  • Autocamp Santa Barbara: Airstream trailers and luxury tents with modern amenities and communal spaces.


  • Beachcombing and surfing.
  • Visiting the Santa Barbara Mission and Botanic Garden.
  • Wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley.

6. Lake Tahoe

Overview: Lake Tahoe is famous for its crystal-clear waters, alpine scenery, and year-round recreational opportunities. Glamping here offers a blend of adventure and relaxation.

Best Glamping Sites:

  • Fireside Lodge: Cozy cabins and glamping tents with easy access to the lake and ski resorts. Check rates and availability.
  • Fallen Leaf Lake Campground: Offers yurts and cabins in a serene lakeside setting.


  • Boating, fishing, and swimming in Lake Tahoe.
  • Hiking and biking trails in the surrounding mountains.
  • Skiing and snowboarding in the winter months.

7. Mendocino

Overview: Mendocino’s rugged coastline, charming villages, and lush forests make it an ideal glamping destination for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

Best Glamping Sites:

  • Mendocino Grove: Safari tents with heated beds, private decks, and ocean views. Check rates and availability.
  • The Inn at Newport Ranch: Luxurious cabins and glamping tents set on a 2,000-acre coastal ranch.


  • Exploring the Mendocino Headlands State Park.
  • Whale watching and tide pooling.
  • Visiting the local wineries and art galleries.

Planning Your Glamping Trip

When to Go

  • Spring (March to May): Ideal for wildflower blooms and mild temperatures.
  • Summer (June to August): Best for coastal areas and mountain escapes.
  • Fall (September to November): Enjoy fall foliage and fewer crowds.
  • Winter (December to February): Perfect for desert and coastal glamping, as well as skiing in mountainous regions.

What to Pack

  • Clothing: Layers, as temperatures can vary greatly. Comfortable hiking shoes and weather-appropriate gear.
  • Essentials: Sunscreen, insect repellent, reusable water bottle, and a first-aid kit.
  • Technology: Camera, portable charger, and any necessary camping gadgets.
  • Extras: Binoculars for wildlife watching, books or games for downtime, and local maps.

Safety Tips

  • Research: Understand the location and climate of your glamping site.
  • Emergency Kit: Always have a basic emergency kit and know the location of the nearest medical facility.
  • Wildlife Awareness: Familiarize yourself with local wildlife and proper safety protocols.

The Glamping Experience: What to Expect


  • Yurts: Round tents with sturdy frames, often featuring beds, furniture, and sometimes private bathrooms.
  • Airstreams: Vintage trailers renovated with modern amenities.
  • Safari Tents: Spacious canvas tents with comfortable furnishings and sometimes ensuite bathrooms.
  • Cabins: Wooden structures ranging from rustic to luxurious, often equipped with kitchens and bathrooms.


  • Comfort: Expect comfortable beds, linens, and often climate control.
  • Facilities: Many sites offer communal fire pits, hot tubs, and lounge areas.
  • Extras: Some glamping sites provide guided tours, outdoor activities, and gourmet dining options.


  • Outdoor Adventures: Hiking, biking, kayaking, and more.
  • Relaxation: Enjoy the peaceful surroundings, read a book, or simply unwind.
  • Local Exploration: Visit nearby attractions, towns, and cultural sites.

Final Thoughts

Glamping in California offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience the state’s natural beauty without sacrificing comfort. Whether you’re seeking a coastal retreat, a mountain adventure, or a desert escape, there’s a glamping destination to suit your needs. By planning your trip carefully and choosing the right glamping site, you can enjoy a luxurious and unforgettable outdoor experience.

For the best glamping gear and accessories, check out these recommended products on Amazon:

Explore the great outdoors in style and comfort with these top glamping spots in California. Happy glamping!

Raphael Dume
Raphael Dume

Raphael Dume is a passionate outdoor enthusiast and the visionary behind Outdoor Doer is a passionate community of outdoor enthusiasts dedicated to inspiring and equipping adventurers. We offer expert advice, unbiased product reviews, and comprehensive guides on camping, hiking, fishing, and more. Our mission is to promote outdoor accessibility, holistic well-being, and sustainability through high-quality, engaging content and top-tier gear. Join us to explore, discover, and thrive in the great outdoors.

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