Few states are better for glamping than California.
Thanks to its pleasant year-round weather, much of the Golden State is ideal for winter glamping, whether you prefer mild beach weather or a retreat to the snow. And that’s not to mention the fantastic weather in the spring, summer, and fall! From Northern California to Southern California to the nine national parks in between, California is ideal for all outdoor activities, including glamping in tents, teepees, yurts, treehouses, cabins, and so much more!
Here are the best places to go glamping in California.
Best Glamping in Southern California
Whether you’re a local or just visiting, there’s no denying that Southern California is a mecca for luxury camping. Your glamping options range from those within easy reach of the Pacific Coastline to those nestled in the expansive inland desert. You can glamp near a major city, like Los Angeles or San Diego, or in a completely rural area.
Here is the best glamping in Southern California:
Big Sur (Treebones Resort)
Treebones Resort is one of the best places for glamping in Big Sur, bar none.
Although this rugged stretch of California coast is known for its abundance of glamping opportunities (Ventana Big Sur is another fabulous choice), Treebones Resort sticks out as one of the very best.
This California glamping hotspot boasts a selection of stylish fully-furnished yurts as well as the option to sleep in a “human nest.” These incredibly unique structures are basically human-sized bird nests with indescribably beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. A grand glamping tent is yet another option. Additional amenities include a swimming pool, hot tub, outdoor sushi bar, and so much more!
Learn more about Treebones Resort.
Malibu (Zuma Sanctuary)
Not much spending a day at the beach before walking just a few minutes back to a comfortable glamping tent.
That’s exactly what you get when you stay at Zuma Sanctuary. Just minutes from the best beaches that Malibu has to offer (as well as both Leo Carrillo State Park and Malibu Creek State Park), this is the perfect spot to base your California glamping vacation.
Zuma Sanctuary has two Lotus Belle tents (one of our top-rated glamping tent models) set up off the ground on wooden platforms with cozy beds inside. Additional amenities include outdoor showers, modern bathrooms, and hammock stretched out beneath palm trees. Light up the barbeque at night and enjoy a delicious camping meal.
Learn more about Zuma Sanctuary.
San Diego (Roar & Snore Safari)
Head to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park for some of the most unique glamping in California.
Designed to assemble an African safari, this opportunity to spend a night at the park includes an overnight stay in one of several types of glamping tents. These include classic tents with sleeping pads, updated tents with camping cots, and even premium tents complete with queen-sized beds.
Some of these glamping tents even overlook the African Plains section of the zoo, complete with views of giraffes, rhinos, zebras, and more. In addition to a comfortable place to sleep, all Roar & Snore adventures include dinner and snacks (plus breakfast the following morning), campfire programs, guided walks, and the chance to visit the animals after hours! Although most programs are geared towards children, adult’s only (21+) programs are offered.
Learn more about San Diego Zoo Safari Park Roar & Snore Safari.
Borrego Springs (Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort)
Not only is Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort comfortable and classy, but it’s also one of the most “Instagrammable” California glamping destinations.
Located in the small and charming town of Borrego Springs, this glamping hotspot is easily accessible from San Diego and Los Angeles. It’s just over an hour to Palm Springs and Palm Desert. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is nearby and well worth exploring.
As for the Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort itself, visitors have a wide range of accommodations to select from, including vintage travel trailers and pristine airstream rentals. Or, enjoy your stay in a hotel room or even bring your own RV (check out nearby RV rentals). On-site amenities include a swimming pool, free Wi-Fi, and an excellent bar and grill. Don’t forget to look upward to gaze upon some seriously dark night skies filled with brightly twinkling stars.
Learn more about Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort.
Santa Barbara (El Capitan Canyon)
There are few better ways to enjoy a stay in Santa Barbara than glamping at El Capitan Canyon.
This beautiful collection of cabins and glamping tents is nestled among secluded rolling hills just minutes from El Capitan State Beach. All guests staying here have easy access to this oceanfront area as well as miles of backcountry trails.
As far as accommodations go, you can select from a variety of tents, from canvas wall tents supported on wooden platforms with basic furnishings to luxurious cabins complete with bathrooms and kitchenettes. A ton of activities are offered through El Capitan Canyon or others in the local area, including surf lessons, kayaking, and llama hikes. In the summer months, a regular concert series takes place on site for incredible entertainment without venturing far.
Learn more about El Capitan Canyon.
Temecula (The Pioneer’s Penthouse)
Head to Temecula for a stay at this one-of-a-kind glamping tent deep in the region’s famous wine country.
When not enjoying spectacular wine tastings or exploring nearby Palomar Mountain State Park and Mount San Jacinto State Park, you’ll love relaxing in this classic bell-shaped canvas wall tent. Luxurious furnishings, in particular the large bed, make for a comfortable stay.
Visitors to Pioneer’s Penthouse love the mix of the rustic setting combined with this luxurious California glamping experience. Peace and quiet is prevalent at this bohemian quarters. Great views abound and guests are welcome to explore the property’s 10 acres of forested hillside.
Learn more about The Pioneer’s Penthouse.
Best Glamping in Northern California
Luxury camping in Northern California is just as abundant as in the southern portion of the Golden State. Camp near major cities like San Francisco and Sacramento or head away from the crowds to the redwood forests and Sierra Nevada mountains. Choose from cabins, glamping tents, yurts, and so much more.
Here is the best glamping in Northern California:
Lake Tahoe (Basecamp Hotel South Lake Tahoe)
A stylish and yet surprisingly affordable boutique hotel, the Basecamp Hotel in South Lake Tahoe brings all the best parts of glamping to an indoor setting.
Although a wide variety of rooms are available, including rooms with king beds, queen beds, and full beds, all decorated in a rustic and outdoorsy atmosphere, the best bet for fans of glamping are the “Great Indoors” rooms.
The “Great Indoors” experience consists of a comfortable king bed inside of a spacious indoor tent – all within your hotel room. Camping chairs and string lighting add to the experience. You can even light up the faux log fire for a close parallel of true outdoor glamping.
Learn more about Basecamp Hotel South Lake Tahoe.
Yuba River (Yuba River Retreat)
Although there is a larger forest homestead available to rent on the same property (with room up to 22 guests), the two Yuba River Cabins are ideal for glampers. The round stone cabins are constructed with rocks gathered from the very property! They each have a queen bed, mini kitchenette, and barbeque. The two cabins share a nearby bathhouse.
In addition to the unique glamping cabins, the main draw of the Yuba River Retreat is its proximity to the river. Nearly private beach access is available just a 10-minute hike away from the cabins. This is an excellent place to sunbathe and swim in deep swimming holes.
Learn more about Yuba River Retreat.
Mendocino (Mendocino Grove Tent Camp)
Glamping in Northern California doesn’t get much better than a stay at Mendocino Grove Tent Camp.
Centrally located in the coastal woods of Mendocino county, this sprawling glamping complex has several “neighborhoods” of tents. These groupings of tents, generally 8 to 10 in each with 6 groupings in total, offer the perfect place for individuals and large groups to stay while exploring the Lost Coast.
All of the tents are durable canvas wall tents propped up on wooden platforms, capable of standing up to inclement weather. Most fit two people, although some are suitable for four or six guests each. All beds are comfortable with fresh linens and warm blankets. Fire pits and picnic tables are also provided. This is truly a stylish California glamping experience for the ages!
Learn more about Mendocino Grove Tent Camp.
Sonoma Coast (Terra Glamping)
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more peaceful place for glamping in Northern California than Terra Glamping on the Sonoma Coast.
Notable for its amazing stretch of coastline along Highway 1 and the world-famous Sonoma Valley wine region, it’s no wonder that Sonoma County draws so many campers, glampers, and other visitors.
When you’re not enjoying beautiful beach views or tasting delicious wines, you’ll love hanging out at your Terra Glamping tent. A variety of canvas tents are offered, boosted up on wooden platforms and outfitted with large beds, for increased comfort. Many of these glamping tents boast absolutely phenomenal
Learn more about Terra Glamping.
Monterey (Treehouse Vineyard)
Monterey has a lot to offer adventurous travelers and this Treehouse Vineyard is one of the best places to stay overnight.
Arguably the best Northern California glamping in Monterey, this unique treehouse boasts awesome views from its lofty setting. Built on a giant Douglas fir tree, the treehouse is clean, modern, and comfortable. It’s outfitted with a queen bed plus electricity and free Wi-Fi!
Rather than a typical wood treehouse, this one utilizes a wooden platform (accessed by a ladder/stairs) with a canvas wall tent on top. So, you get a legitimate camping experience in a one-of-a-kind setting. The same owners also have a glamping yurt available for rental on their property.
Learn more about Treehouse Vineyard.
Santa Cruz (Star Redwood Treehouse)
Not everyone wants to go glamping in a tent, yurt, teepee, or similar shelter…for those that prefer a little more in the way of luxury, the Star Redwood Treehouse is hard to beat.
Tucked away near Santa Cruz, this elevated treehouse cabin is situated in a dense grove of trees high above the forest floor. The treehouse itself is nearly brand-new, made mostly from beautiful oak and redwood for a warm and cozy glamping atmosphere.
Several treehouse cabins are offered in this complex. Each is limited to two guests only. Don’t forget to check out nearby Santa Cruz beaches or even venture down to Big Sur for a California beach experienced unlike any other.
Learn more about Redwood Tree House.
Best Glamping Near California National Parks
California is famous for having the most national parks of any state with nine in total. Although you’ll be hard-pressed to visit all of these in a single California national park road trip, glamping is an excellent way to enjoy one or more at a time. Some are located within the national parks themselves while others are just a hop, skip, and a jump away.
Here is the best glamping near California’s national parks:
- Yosemite National Park – The Yosemite High Sierra Cabins are the perfect backcountry glamping destination for those that don’t mind hiking in. These canvas cabins are located at 5 campsites within the national park. Hike to just one or do a full backpacking loop to each. Each camp serves hot meals so you don’t have to pack along heavy cooking equipment during your trip.
- Sequoia National Park – The Sequoia High Sierra Camp is another first-class hike-in glamping location. Spacious cabins with comfortable furnishings greet weary hikers and horseback riders. Although the camp itself is nice, it’s the beautiful views and secluded location that really make this Sequoia National Park experience so special.
- Kings Canyon National Park – The best place for glamping in Kings Canyon, the Grant Grove Cabins are a real treat. Rustic yet comfortable, guests have the option to choose from timber cabins or canvas tents. All cabins are within quick walking distance of the famous General Grant Tree and other towering giants.
- Joshua Tree National Park – Dome in the Desert is not only some of the best glamping near Joshua Tree, it’s some of the best glamping in California, bar none. The Instagram-famous bohemian dome is not only highly photogenic, but super comfortable! AC keeps you cool while a wood-burning stove keeps you warm. The modern exterior is so nice this barely counts as glamping!
- Death Valley National Park – The secluded “eco-pods” at Mojave Pod Rental, basically self-sustainable micro cabins, are furnished with comfortable queen beds. They all have air conditioning and private bathrooms. Star gazing at night is absolutely breathtaking thanks to the remote location.
- Lassen Volcanic National Park – The Manzanita Lake Cabins promise a comfortable place to stay near Lassen Peak. The rustic cabins have comfortable beds, propane heat, and fire rings. No bedding or linens are provided. Many of the cabins have magnificent views of Lassen Peak.
- Redwood National and State Parks – Enjoy exploring towering redwood trees and dense forest with a stay at Otter Space Riverview Yurt. The comfortable and well-furnished glamping yurt is surrounded by 50 acres of meadow, forest, and orchards all ripe for exploring. Plus, it’s just a quick drive to the national park and state park!
- Pinnacles National Park – Salinas/Monterey KOA is one of the best campgrounds near Pinnacles National Park. Plus, they have plenty of glamping cabin rentals. Also, the amenities offered by KOA are hard to beat, especially for family camping!
- Channel Islands National Park – The Malibu Caravan Rental isn’t on the Channel Islands but it makes for a good nearby basecamp. A double bed plus a bunk bed are able to accommodate up to 4 guests. The vintage remodeled caravan blends retro style with modern comfort.
Winter Glamping in California
No matter where you live, there’s no reason why you can’t go glamping in the winter!
Most glamping shelters are built to stand up to all weather conditions, including wind, rain, and even snow. In fact, many glamping tents and yurts come with a built-in wood stove or tent heater – and that’s not to mention how warm a glamping cabin will stay!
However, California is a particularly great place to go winter glamping thanks to its pleasant year-round weather in many parts of the state.
Although pretty much anywhere you can find an open glamping rental is ideal, a few of the best places for winter glamping in California include Napa Valley, Big Sur, Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave National Preserve, Death Valley National Park. Lake Tahoe is another popular California glamping destination, especially for those that prefer a snowy setting with skiing opportunities just steps out the door.
Do remember that wherever you go proper preparation is key. Although your shelter is more robust than a traditional camping tent, it’s wise to pack warm winter gear, not limited to just winter clothing. A warm winter sleeping bag is a must, especially if you’re glamping in a tent or similar shelter.
While searching for the perfect winter glamping site, keep your eyes open for an outdoor hot tub – few experiences are as magical as watching the snow fall while soaking in hot water before retiring to a warm and luxurious room.
DIY Glamping in California
Glamping means different things to different people…
For some, it’s as simple as a more luxurious form of camping, sort of a high-end version of car camping. Your set-up might consist of a spacious tent on a platform, a comfortable cot, and a portable power source.
For others, however, glamping is nothing short of a stay in what could be a five-star hotel suite, except that it’s in a beautiful, natural setting. This is most commonly a cabin, treehouse, trailer, or something of the sort.
And, of course, there’s dozens of different options in between.
For DIY glamping in California, most people settle on something closer to the luxurious car camping end of the spectrum.
A quality glamping tent is perhaps most important. Our guide to the best glamping tents will help you pick the best model for your needs. Popular choices include wall tents, dome tents, yurts, and teepees.
In addition to a glamping tent, you’ll need a warm and comfortable place to sleep, so a camping cot, winter sleeping bag, or even a camping hammock work well. The best camping lanterns keep things bright while the best camping coolers keep your food refrigerated. You might even want to bring along a winter tent heater if you’re glamping in cold conditions.
For DIY glamping in California, you have the option to build a permanent or semi-permanent shelter on your own land or haul your glamping gear and equipment to one of the best campgrounds in California.
* Don’t forget to check our favorite items to turn camping into glamping for luxury gear to kick the experience up a notch!
Find the Best Glamping in Other States!
Stay tuned for future guides to the best glamping in other states!