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10 Unique Glamping Experiences in Southern California

by Davina van Buren  |  Published June 9, 2021

Southern California may be known for its bustling metro cities, but there is stark beauty  to the natural side of this scenic desert landscape. Read on to discover 10 of the best glamping spots in Southern California. 

Photo: Glampinghub

Camping is fun, but not everyone deals well with its challenges: heat, bugs, wind, rain, cold, and limited cooking abilities can quickly put a damper on a good time if you’re unprepared or don’t have the proper gear. Then there’s the whole not-having-a-bathroom thing. Glamping—a combination of the words glamorous and camping—solves these problems by providing traditional camping experiences with a touch of luxury.  You can still enjoy spectacular nature views, but retreat to a more substantial shelter with  amenities when necessary. 

Glamping is a great way for those who are new to the outdoors to ease into the lifestyle. You can do it in any season, and since you’ll likely have electricity and running water, you can travel light and concentrate on having fun—not trying to keep yourself alive! Glamping also offers protection from the weather and wildlife, which can bring new campers peace of mind. The options are endless, from traditional structures like safari tents and tiny cabins to one-of-a-kind experiences in tipis, treehouses, sailboats, and more. 

Southern California—which consists of the state’s 11 southernmost counties, including the metro regions of Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Barbara—has a wide variety of unique glamping stays. Here, we share 10 of Southern California’s most unique glamping experiences.

Photo: Glampinghub

Eco-camps Temecula

This eco-community of canvas cottages is located on six acres 30 minutes south of Temecula, an old cowboy town. Each spacious, walk-in tent is approximately 200 square feet with laminate hardwood floors, a comfy queen-sized bed, custom furniture and a private ensuite bathroom with a toilet and walk-in shower. Kids and pets stay free—up to two extra beds for kids are available at no extra charge. Complementary coffee, tea and bottled water is also included. An outdoor picnic area features cookware, picnic blankets and throw cushions, a propane grill, and a cooler, so you have everything you need to cook up tasty meals. Bonus: there’s a winery across the road. 

From $159 per night / Book at Glampinghub.com

Tipi in Pioneertown

Grab your closest friends and head to the Yucca Valley desert to experience glamping in a gorgeous tipi. Sleeping five people, this sturdy and well-appointed structure includes a king size bed, extra long sofa, and two cots. Located on a glamping property in Pioneertown, you’ll have neighbors, but plenty of privacy. A separate shared living space includes a bathroom with toilet and shower, a full kitchen with outdoor grill, an outdoor shower and a plunge pool. Cell service is limited, but there is running water and electricity inside the tipi. Bonus: breakfast is included. 

From $372 per night / Book at Glampinghub.com

Yurt in Joshua Tree

Yurt glamping is an experience like no other. These portable, round tents have been used for centuries by nomadic peoples in central Asia, and are traditionally covered with skins, fur, or felt to provide natural insulation. Inside, they typically feature angled latticework that can be used to hang art, cookware, utensils, or everyday items that need to be accessed easily. This pet-friendly property near Joshua Tree houses five private yurts, each of which features a different brightly-colored and adorned door. Each yurt can sleep four people and comes with a sink, a heated shower, solar lighting, air conditioning, and a composting toilet. Outside, guests will find a cooking area with a sink, grill and fire pit. There’s no Wi-FI, but most cellular service works.  

From $195 per night / Book at Glampinghub.com

(Photo: GlampingHub)

Retro camper near San Diego

The coolest thing about this adorable retro camper is that you can take it with you. Pick up the rig in San Diego County, then tow it to the location or campground of your choice. (Dropoff can also be arranged.) Original wood paneling, diner-style booth seating, and baby-blue appliances are the standout features in the fully-equipped kitchen, which comes with a sink with 16 gallons of freshwater, a stove, an oven, an icebox, plates, utensils, and cookware. Linens and bedding are also provided. The trailer does not have a bathroom, but a portable toilet and shower is provided by the host upon request. You can also rent other amenities like an awning tent, a propane grill or fire pit, camping chairs and gear, and beach supplies such as surfboards and coolers. Check the listing to make sure your vehicle meets towing requirements. 

From $129 per night / Book at Glampinghub.com

Eco-Camps Santa Barbara

This 50-acre eco-centric retreat is located just 20 minutes north of Santa Barbara on the grounds of a former orchid farm. The setting offers spectacular views of the Pacific ocean, with steps leading down a cliffside to its own private beach. Each 200 square feet, walk-in tent features laminate hardwood flooring, custom-made furniture, and an en-suite bathroom with a toilet and shower, while an outdoor dining area has a propane grill, cookware, picnic blankets and cushions, and a picnic table. Complementary coffee, tea, and bottled water are included in the price.  

From $249 per night / Book at Glampinghub.com

Photo: Glampinghub

Safari tent in Vista 

Situated on a two-and-a-half acre property in Vista, California, this eco-friendly safari tent offers the quintessential glamping experience. African-inspired decor is modern and plush, with a variety of textures to stimulate the senses. Cozy armchairs beside the wood-burning stove beckon guests to curl up with a good book. The entire structure sits on an elevated wooden deck and boasts an outdoor lounge area where you can enjoy morning coffee or dine al fresco. An outdoor bathroom features a composting toilet, sink, solar hot water shower, fresh linens and curated toiletries. This space works best for a couple as there is only one queen bed. 

 From $205 per night / Book at Glampinghub.com

Shipping container in Joshua Tree 

Tiny living meets sleek design and stellar views at this Joshua Tree glamping spot made from a repurposed shipping container. With one queen bed, this spot is a great choice for a romantic retreat. Amenities include custom-made furniture, Wi-Fi, a television, two sinks, a microwave, a mini fridge, and a fire pit. There’s also a small shared outdoor swimming pool. The listing’s standout feature is the rooftop deck, which spans the length and width of the entire blueprint. It’s the perfect spot to pour a beverage and take in those incredible desert sunsets. 

From $347 per night / Book at Glampinghub.com

(Photo: GlampingHub)

Three-level dome in Crestline 

Perched in the forested mountains of Crestline one hour from Los Angeles,, this three-story geodesic dome sleeps up to 15 glampers and is ideal for family gatherings and celebrations. Built with movement and flow in mind, it boasts four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and tons of amenities. The living room offers views of nearby Lake Gregory, and opens out onto a private deck where guests can meditate, do yoga, or enjoy a massage (a Chi massage table is provided). Indoor entertainment includes a karaoke machine, Apple TV, a DVD player, playing cards, and games, or take the trails down to the lake to savor a fiery sunset. Bonus: there’s a washing machine so you can do laundry if needed. 

From $456 per night / Book at Glampinghub.com

Tiny living complex in Joshua Tree

Perfect for group gatherings or creative endeavors, this Joshua Tree retreat is a bohemian dream. The complex, which can sleep 18 people, includes a decked-out Airstream, a camper van, a bell tent, and two small campers.  Multiple outdoor seating and gathering areas provide space to connect with others amidst a stunning California desert backdrop. At night, the property has lit pathways to navigate between structures. You’ll have Wi-Fi, electricity, running water, multiple kitchens, and a grilling area, plus there’s an outdoor pool for guest use. Note: no children, pets, parties, or events are allowed. 

From $2,245 per night / Book at Glampinghub.com

(Photo: GlampingHub)

Sailboat in the Channel Islands

Sailing with Captain Dan is part relaxing rejuvenation and part learning experience. A former teacher, he’s always eager to impart sailing knowledge and allows guests to participate as much or as little as they like—sit back and watch him skillfully maneuver the vessel, or take the helm yourself. Quarters are small but comfortable, sleeping two people: there’s a grill, a stove, and an icebox, plus a bathroom with shower head in the bedroom. Captain Dan treats every guest like the VIPs they are,with meals and wine included in the price. Don’t forget to look out for dolphins, whales, and seals along the way. Note: children under 10 are not allowed. 

From $2,670 per night / Book at Glampinghub.com