Glamping in California gives the lifestyle-hobby a whole new vibe and a brand new meaning. Where better to camp in style than the most glamorous state in the country?
Still, there's more to California than just Hollywood, just as there's more to LA than just the movies. Anyone who's been there can tell you that, as well as others who've merely dreamed of it. North of the hazy streets of Los Angeles and its accompanying cities, there are rolling hills, mountains, and forests that tell the story of what the state used to be.
There are beautiful coastlines, national parks where you can find just about any habitat in the county, ancient trees, and a sense of serenity rare to this side of the 21st century. A century where everything is about electronics and interconnectedness with people and the world through a veil of emoji and cat videos. There's peace in nature; a peace that allows us a chance to breathe.
What's so Great About Camping?
That's a good question, dear reader, and one I have an answer to.
Camping used to be an activity that was purely for pleasure, but now, its benefits outweigh services offered by spas, gyms, or even nightclubs. Going camping can open the world to so many possibilities, and how many of us would know the game "Never Have I Ever" without beers around the campfire. Or the story of the hookman who haunts lover's lane for his next, unsuspecting victims.
To camp is to formulate a brand new bond with those you're already close to. It's to get out of the city and connect with nature, examine the star constellations overhead, and, for a couple of days, just exist outside of the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Yeah, camping is a wonderful experience.
It's a shame that some of us don't enjoy some of the stuff that goes with it. I include myself in this. Assembling the tents after actually carrying the tents to the perfect spot you've had to wander for hours to find, the mud, the chance of rain, the fact that showering in natural springs isn't as clean as one might think... I mean, to name a few.
Luckily for us, some great soul—plural, if you consult the Turkish Ottomans mentioned in the article History of the Glamping Movement—came up with the idea that to get all of the benefits of camping, you don't necessarily have to do it the traditional way.
What Exactly is "Glamping"?
In short, glamping is like camping if the tent and heavy rucksacks are replaced by yurts, cabins, bubble tents, or camper vans. Essentially any structure that provides shelter outside of traditional camping facilities, while still being able to take in your surroundings on a personal level, is considered glamping.
The first time I heard the term, I actually muttered something along the lines of, "Are you serious?" I'm all for plays on words, but didn't people go camping to be one with nature?
That didn't last.
After a moment or two of digesting the fact the things I personally hated about camping were what the glampers were trying to eradicate, I realized that actually, glamping was kind of a genius idea.
If you couldn't tell already from my waxed poetics about Spica in Virgo or fresh air and dew-coated grass around dawn on a midsummer's day, it's the meaningful parts of camping that I always thought about when stating how much I actually hated tents and dirt.
When I first heard the term glamping, I pictured diamante-covered tents and those weird, round chairs from the 60s. Why I can't say, but I can say now that I couldn't have been more wrong.
Why Should I go Glamping in California?
The California coastline has the benefit of receiving some of the best sunsets in the known world. To see the sun disappearing over the horizon of the Pacific Ocean is to experience the end of the old day more meaningfully than ever before.
Ancient, towering trees in the north leading up to neighboring Oregon lay the ground for some of the best spots to lay down your head for the night, and that's not even getting me started on the beauty of a night sky void of artificial light.
California also offers some of the best glamping destinations out there. Whether you're the hippie type who dreams about Ayahuasca from the comfort of your yurt or writing the next great piece of music from your cabin, there's a glamping experience for everyone. It doesn't matter what walk of life you come from.
(As an aside, speaking as a writer, it's so much easier to write when I'm not in a water-logged tent).
Glamping is more popular on the West Coast than it is anywhere else in the world. So much so, you're spoiled for choice.
Where Can I go Glamping in California?
While it depends on what kind of experience you're personally looking for, there is indeed something out there for everyone; each brings different things to the table.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park offers an all ages "Roar & Snore" adventure that includes getting to sleep in safari-style tents that surround a grazing area full of real-life giraffes, antelopes, and more. Picture Jurassic Park with yellow and brown-spotted dinosaurs. San Diego Zoo will never be the same after you've seen it before it opens to the public.
California is synonymous with its expansive canyons, and El Capitan Canyon's hidden compound way up in the coastal hills is one that rivals the better known. Close enough to the coastline that you can walk or cycle, and concealed enough that you feel like you're in your own vast secret spot.
Tucked away in Kings Canyon National Park is Sequoia High Sierra Camp which offers the finest, most bourgeois of glamping experiences. Champagne, five-course meals, luxurious bedding supplement the views of the Sierra Nevada mountains right outside of your tent.
So, why should you go glamping in California?
Well, why would you go glamping anywhere else?
For more info about camping, click here.