Feeling the call of the wilderness but not thrilled at the thought of foregoing warm showers, hauling around heavy camping gear and fussing with tent assembly? Thankfully, many of the best camp destinations around California have embraced the concept of glamping – allowing us to soak up the immense benefits of connecting with nature and exploring the vast outdoors without sacrificing the comforts of modern life. With accommodations that run the gamut from fully-stocked yurts and luxury cabins to premium trailers and safari tent bungalows, we’ve picked a few back-to-nature escapes enticing enough to make us overlook any contradiction in the word “glamping”:
El Capitan Canyon: On a shaded hillside landscape with stunning views of the Gaviota Coast and Santa Ynez Mountains, this secluded nature resort just north of Santa Barbara features 108 cedar cabins, 26 safari tents and five yurts. All accommodations are equipped with casual furnishings and comfortable bedding as well as their own outdoor picnic table, benches, grill and fire pit. The resort’s Canyon Market and heated Canyon Pool include Wi-Fi hotspot access, and campers can easily walk to the beach or bike using one of the complimentary cruisers. To learn more about what El Capitan Canyon has to offer, visit www.elcapitancanyon.com.
Ventura Ranch KOA: An ideal getaway for those who want to immerse themselves in nature while enjoying plenty of diversions, this 76-acre campground is set in the forest at the foot of Ventura County’s highest mountain. With clear starlit nights and an abundance of wildlife, it’s also only fifteen miles from the beach. The campground offers zip lining and climbing walls as well as a pool, clubhouse with kitchen and dining area, activities for kids and more. Accommodations range from teepees and deluxe cabins to Glamour Tents outfitted with a microwave, mini-fridge, queen bed and futon. RV camping sites are also located near restrooms and mature trees. Find details at http://bit.ly/VenturaRanchKOASantaPaula.
AutoCamp, Russian River: A retro-inspired luxury outdoor-lodging experience featuring new Airstream trailers, this campsite is surrounded by Redwood trees in the heart of Sonoma’s wine country. Created in the spirit of “the wanderlust of camping and the great American road trip,” it’s a convenient walk to the Russian River and downtown Guerneville. All custom-designed suites include an outdoor fire pit lounge along with boutique hotel bedding, linens and towels and spa-inspired bathrooms with walk-in showers. Learn more at http://bit.ly/AutoCampExperienceRussianRiver.
Costanoa Lodge: This eco-adventure retreat in Pescadero is an excellent choice for those who want to unwind and receive some pampering while communing with nature. Among the amenities are a hot tub with coastal views, sauna, day spa, and bar and grill featuring organic, locally-sourced and handcrafted ingredients. Costanoa also offers diverse activities from horseback trail rides to guided whale watching kayak tours. Accommodations feature fully-equipped safari tent bungalows with electricity and sumptuous bedding and Douglas Fir Cabins with a fireplace, skylights, bathrobes, mini refrigerator and more. For those who want a more traditional camping experience, the resort also offers studio cabins and RV and Pitch Your Own Tent sites.
Intrigued by the notion of glamping and looking for some financial relief that will allow you to start planning your getaway? SF Police Credit Union has an offer that can help – a SFPCU Platinum Visa with six months 0 % APR* on purchases and balance transfers for new cardholders. For details and restrictions, visit http://bit.ly/PlatinumVisafromSFPCU. And before you book your trip, don’t forget to enroll in the CURewards Program to earn points for every dollar that you spend toward brand-name merchandise, gift cards, vacations and more!