by Dan Ketchum
When it comes to glamping, California is tailor-made. No one does glamor like the Best Coast, and we’ve got the comfy climes, coastline views, mountain majesty, desert starscapes, and outstanding weed to complete the experience.
Let’s work our way down that 840 miles of coastline from top to bottom, visiting some of our favorite glampgrounds along the way – just don’t forget to pack your pen.
Northern California Glamping
From the absolute majesty of the redwood forests to the dramatic waves crashing along Highway 1 to the zen-like chill of the Sierra Valley, NorCal is home to some of California’s most sublime natural wonders. Pair these places – and these luxury campsites – with our Houdini indica blend to emphasize feelings of calmness, relaxation, and focus.
Mendocino Grove (Mendocino)
A famed point on the Emerald Triangle, Mendocino is like Napa for cannabis. In between exploring the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens and the Redwood National Park, crash at Mendocino Grove’s electric-powered, full bed and fire ring-equipped safari-style tents, where your personal wooden deck overlooks 37 acres of coastal forest.
Wildhaven (Sonoma County)
At Wildhaven, it’s all in the name. You’ve got access to wild Russian River tubing, cliffside hiking along the Sonoma Coast State Park, and views from the highest peak in California wine country at Robert Louis Stevenson State Park. At the glampsite, you’ll find a haven of hot showers, outdoor yoga, free wifi, and the communal outdoor kitchen that comes with your canvas tent.
Belcampo Farms (Gazelle)
Belcampo Farms offers Northern California glamping done a little differently. Nominated by Hipcamp as one of the best glampsites of 2022, the chic canvas tents here rest on a fully operational certified organic, certified humane regenerative agriculture farm in Gazelle, CA (about 25 minutes from Mt. Shasta). Nearby, the views at Castle Crags State Park and Klamath National Forest look best when you’ve had a pull of Herijuana.
Central California Glamping
Yosemite National Park? The awesome natural dignity of the Giant Forest? The rugged wonder of Pinnacles National Park? And need we mention the legendarily renowned camping destination that is Big Sur? You don’t need luxury camping to appreciate the grandeur of Central California and you don’t need a balancing CBD blend to heighten your sense of harmony here – but both are pretty nice to have.
Ventana Big Sur (Big Sur)
Ventana in Big Sur sports some of the most stylish and secluded canvas tents you’ll find at a glampsite. The resort-style glamping experience also hosts swimming pools, spas, fitness studios, and various restaurants – including the oceanside private dining experience at Glass House – on-site. They’ll even include pre-packed s’mores ingredients and picnic kits for an extra fee.
Treebones Resort (Big Sur)
It takes a special sort of glampsite to live up to the legendary camping spot that is Big Sur, and Treebones rises to the challenge (did we mention that we also love trees?). Take your pick of a yurt village, 600-plus square foot autonomous tents equipped with bamboo floors and tiled walk-in showers, a two-story twig hut handwoven by Big Sur artist Jayson Fann or just plain old campsites, but don’t forget the onsite sushi bar or yoga retreat.
Stonum Vineyards & Winery (Lodi)
Central California isn’t all about glamping Big Sur. Nestled among a farm garden at the family-owned and operated Stonum Vineyards & Winery in Lodi, this affordable yurt spot not only welcomes you to cozy up under wool blankets with free wifi and a picnic area, but it also welcomes you to gather your own produce for fresh outdoor cooking. And that’s before you stroll 15 acres of vineyards or sample the award-winning Estate Zinfandel. (Though we’d humbly recommend checking out our guide to pairing wine and weed before you go.)
Southern California Glamping
If you want to hit up as many dazzling biomes as possible in a single trip, glamping Southern California is like cheating. Anza-Borrego has you covered for serene deserts, Malibu for iconic beaches, Big Bear for pristine lakes and mountains, Idyllwild for alpine hiking…the list just doesn’t stop. We recommend the combo of pine and tropical terps in our Over the Rainbow sativa blend for clear, euphoric highs while you soak up SoCal.
El Capitan Canyon (Santa Barbara)
Take your pick of cedar cabins or adventure yurts at El Capitan – either way, you’ll have access to 350 acres of sycamore groves, tucked away where the Pacific Ocean meets the Santa Ynez Mountains. Don’t miss the Saturday Canyon Concert series during the summer, seasonal wine tastings, or the complimentary beach cruiser bikes.
Alter Experiences (San Diego)
While we refrain from making an “altered experience” joke, you can enjoy the remote and biologically diverse San Diego backcountry, an underrated spot when it comes to SoCal camping buzz. You can’t miss the epic forest backdrop, hiking trails, and meadows of this Cleveland National Forest resort, but the glamping gem here has to be the Tentsile tree houses, living spaces suspended far above the ground among the branches of giant oaks and pines.
Caravan Outpost (Ojai)
Two pro tips for glamping Southern California: 1) don’t sleep on Ojai, and 2) don’t sleep on Airstreams (but do sleep in them). In a landscape dominated by rustic yurts, Caravan offers classic, vintage-style Airstream trailers that are eminently Instagrammable among garden-in-the-city grounds for a retreat that is natural and urban all at once. For those who like plants, but who also like shopping for handmade incense, leather boots, and woven blankets at the on-site boho general store.
Desert Sky Escapes (Joshua Tree)
You can’t talk about glamping California without glamping in Joshua Tree. Apart from easy access to the hiker’s paradise that is Joshua Tree National Park, Desert Sky encapsulates the whole spirit of the glamp. Under the crystal clear desert stars, you’ll find a 2.5-acre campground featuring meticulously decorated pastel-colored yurts with half baths, 360-degree mountain views, and solar illuminated pathways.
It feels good to wrap up our California glamp quest on a quintessential glamping note, but it’ll feel even better to take a pull and start booking your next adventure.
Dan Ketchum splits his time between Dallas and LA as a freelance lifestyle, fashion, health, and food writer with more than a decade of experience. He’s been fortunate enough to collaborate and publish with companies such as FOCL, Vitagenne, Livestrong, Reign Together, Out East Rosé, SFGate, The Seattle Times, and more.
Mendocino Grove – Home
Wildhaven – Home
Hipcamp – Certified Organic, Belcampo Farms
Alila – Ventana Big Sur
Treebones Resort – Home
Hipcamp – Yurt Tent on Organic Farm & Winery
El Capitan Canyon – Home
Alter Experiences – Home
Caravan Outpost – Home
Airbnb – Desert Sky Escapes