This combination of camping and glamour is true to its promise. You can find examples at Glamping Hub and SF Gate to whet your appetite before making reservations. Here are some local opportunities that caught our eye. Of course, there are many single cabins and spots to choose among as well, but we were thinking of camping, which usually means sharing sites in campgrounds and parks with communal amenities like showers and restrooms. Glamping calls for a whole lot more, and these examples show what that might entail.
The Metro Hotel's Airstream Experience in Petaluma
Playing at Camping
If your pleasure is not to go too far out from the Golden Gate Bridge, the Metro Hotel in Petaluma has installed four Airstreams in its next-door lot. They offer all of the amenities of the hotel, and "the Honeymoon" goes beyond: it’s one of only 50 ever made with a contemporary, special-edition interior. Here you can imagine camping from staying in a travel trailer that is not going to take you outside of your interior comfort zone.
How About Tent Glamping?
The Sonoma Coast’s Terra Glamping property in the town of Annapolis offers a step beyond. Its 10 tents are perched above the ocean and offer your own private patio, an open-air kitchen and grill, a community tent with games and showers, and a fire pit for group socializing. Breakfasts are “on the house,” so to speak, with local café favorites like sweet sticky buns, granola, and fresh berries, besides coffee and tea—all served by the owners. The tents, by the way, do not have electricity, but they do have lanterns. And true to camping, you have to make a trip to the community tent for the toilets.
Luxe Tent at Terra Glamping
For a Little More Protection, Try a Yurt
These circular tents have heavier exterior structures and sheathing, and the inside is typically more spacious, as they were designed for nomads to withstand the climate of Central Asia. Yurts have become very popular as comfortable indoor living areas in the outdoors today. There are many single yurts for rent in California, but for the true glamping experience you might try the yurts available in Groveland, with easy access to Yosemite Park.
In addition to yurts, this site offers a large swimming pool, volleyball court, and deli, as well as a petting farm, playground, and outdoor picnic area with barbecue. Perfect for the family with small children. There’s also a general store and laundry room and nature trail on the property.
Getaway Cabins Offer Most of the Comforts of Home
California is dotted with the opportunity to stay in one cabin or in a conclave, so you can realize your dream—at least for a while. We found two that offer distinctly different experiences. Steep Ravine is a favorite hiking trail in Marin, but it’s also home to the rustic Steep Ravine Cabins and Camp Ground on Mount Tamalpais—above Stinson Beach and the hot springs in between it and the cabins. At the Steep Ravine environmental campground you’ll find tables and a fire pit as well as spaces to pitch a tent—all a 15-minute walk from the springs.
The Orange Cabin at Westerbeke Ranch
At Westerbeke in Sonoma, you’ll be staying at a ranch owned and run as a guest retreat by the same family for four generations. Built in the 1930s, it has all of the alluring charm of that period. As Wendy Westerbeke says, “The Ranch wears its history well. The buildings glow with the lovely patina of age, built in the Mission style of old California and Mexico. Made of brick, clay tile, stone, and redwood, they are well-built and well-worn.”
Guests stay in five cabins differentiated by their color palettes and decor. Because they are reserved months and even years in advance (for large groups), the ranch offers "glamping tents" on its 11-acre property. Those who "tent it" may enjoy all of the amenities of the ranch, including the pool and hot tub and the gourmet meals offered in the spacious dining room.