If you've always wanted to stray from the beaten path, be immersed in the wilds, and get a taste of what it felt like for the first pioneers who crossed the Continental Divide into the promised land of the Pacific Ocean, glamping in California has you covered. It's a type of accommodation that promises to have you treading hiking trails, waking to the sound of roaring waves, and gazing at clear night skies in the desert.
Amazing places to go glamping California
There's certainly no shortage of incredible regions and wildernesses that lend themselves to glamping in California. Read on for some inspiring places to head to with your sleeping bag in tow, ranging from the salt-washed Pacific Ocean to the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada.
A surfer's glamping trip to sunny Santa Barbara
You can live the SoCal lifestyle to the full by opting to go glamping in California's Spanish-styled surf mecca – Santa Barbara. With intriguing missions from centuries ago to your back, alluring ranches and vineyards up the nearby Santa Ynez Mountains, and some seriously gnarly breaks for expert wave riders crashing into the shores from Rincon Point to Ventura, it's easy to see why the pod for you could be in these parts.
Luxury camping in California right by Yosemite
Put the breathtaking outline of El Capitan and the Half Dome right outside your door by choosing to go glamping in what's arguably the most jaw-dropping region of inland California. That's Yosemite National Park, where you'll be able to channel your inner John Muir between sessions of wondering at the majestic Bridalveil Fall and spotting mule deer hopping through the pine woods.
Glamping options near the Big Sur
Get up close and personal with the jewel of the Central Coast by zeroing in on glamping in California's iconic Big Sur region. There are a number of places worth considering between San Simeon and Monterey, all of which cling to the bends of the bucket-list Pacific Coast Highway, offering access to awesome bays like Pfeiffer Beach and the whale-watching lookouts of Point Lobos.
A jaunt to the Joshua Tree National Park
Out past the Inland Empire and the glitzy country clubs of Palm Springs, the vast Joshua Tree National Park is a curious land of sculpted rock formations, alien-like flora, and brown-paper valleys. It's a haven for hikers and climbers, but there's another reason why glamping pods are so popular here – the night sky is said to be one of the clearest on Earth.
Get your glamp on in Tahoe
It's not all sprawling mansions and winter chalet escapes up around Lake Tahoe. There are options that slip into the glamping category that can provide an alpine escape by the glimmering waters of the lake, too. Look for them in pockets of pine forest around the California banks, and don't be surprised to find some with steaming hot tubs on their porches – a real treat when the snows come in winter.
Glamping California – what travelers will love it
There's no hard and fast rule about what travelers will enjoy a glamping trip in California the most. The promise of adventure and luxury in one is usually enough to enchant a whole cross-section of globetrotters.
Couples who like an adventure
Don't be put off by the prospect of the camping element when you come to consider glamping in California as a potential couple's escape. The whole point of luxury camping in California is that these stays put the rustic and rough aspects of being in the wilderness on the back burner. That makes them top picks for loved-up duos, because you get the seclusion of being out there, only with plenty of creature comforts.
There's no question that glamping in California is a great way to reduce the impact of your traveling on the environment. These compact huts rarely use much energy and are often built from ethical timbers and stone. They also put nature reserves and parks right on the doorstep, so there's always room to fit in some eco pursuits while you’re vacationing.
Booking cheap glamping in California
Keeping things affordable on the glamping front shouldn't be too hard. These sorts of stay regularly come in at lower price tags than their cottage or villa cousins. And there are other ways you can watch the cents, too…
Opt for cheaper glamping pods
Not all Californian glamping pods are made equal, you know. Some really are luxury camping in California. Others prefer to champion the pastoral and simple side of being surrounded by nature. By picking places that don't tout hot tubs and plush bedspreads, you can usually reduce the price tag of a trip considerably.
Book summer trips early
Glamping in California goes into overdrive when the summer swings around. Folk flock to conquer the Half Dome and the hiking paths of the Pacific Crest, the surf swells and the sands, between May and August. You might want to book early if you're thinking about coming at this time of year, when the most attractive deals can sell out fast.