20 Amazing Glamping Spots in Northern California

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Down bedding. Saunas. Private porches. Nope, it’s not the Ritz-Carlton. I'm talking about glamping in Northern Calfornia, where the creature comforts of a five-star hotel meet the great outdoors. (So arguably, these are 6-star experiences). These are great trips for just about everyone, whether you're looking for a romantic retreat with your one-and-only, a girls getaway or a gift for Father's Day.

The Northern California glamping destinations listed here vary in degrees of cushiness, but all of them let you enjoy the outdoors without getting a sore back from sleeping on the ground. Here’s where to go, from deluxe canvas tents and cabins to a treehouse shaped like a pine cone suspended 60 feet in the air. Presenting the 20 best glamping spots in Northern California.

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1. Mendocino Grove, Mendocino

Courtesy of Mendocino Grove

  • Distance from San Francisco: 3 hours

  • Best for: a home-away-from-home camping experience

  • Price: from $199/night

Need a weekend getaway? Now’s the perfect time to go glamping along the coast at Mendocino Grove, a sophisticated camping experience for those of us who prefer a real bed. Watch the sunset from a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the 37-acre property. Then retreat to your safari-style tent and keep warm under your down comforter. Freshen up the next morning at the Bathhouse with subway-tiled showers and EO toiletries while the kids busy themselves with outdoor games and a swing set in the Meadow.


2. The Autonomous Tent At Treebones Resort, Big Sur

Treebones Resort

  • Distance from San Francisco: 4 hours, 20 minutes

  • Best for: a once-in-a-lifetime experience

  • Price: from $709/night

Nestled up on the bluffs of the beautiful Big Sur coast, the exceptional Treebones Resort offers a unique assortment of accommodations, from traditional campsites and yurts to an artful twig hut and human-sized bird’s nest. But we recommend the one-of-a-kind jewel called the Autonomous Tent. You’ll get 600-square-feet of solar-powered living space with an en suite bathroom, bamboo floors and a soaring ceiling. Oh, and a private deck with a fire pit and your own view of one of Cali’s most stunning sunsets over the Pacific.


3. Inn Town Campground, Nevada City

Inn Town Campground/Facebook

  • Distance from San Francisco: 3 hours

  • Best for: family camping minus the hard work

  • Price: from $85 per night

The Inn Town Campground, located on 15 acres of land just minutes from downtown Nevada City, has a little something for everyone: a campground for tents, RV hookups and, yes, 20 glamping tents with fluffy beds, heated mattress pads and a 3,000-square-foot space called The Commons with a camp store, bathrooms and a swimming pool (all of which are now open)—so the kids can be entertained while you finish that Great American Novel of yours.


4. Lost Coast Tower, Petrolia


  • Distance from San Francisco: 6 hours

  • Best for: a bucolic escape from city life

  • Price: from $175 per night

Here in delightfully alternative Humboldt County, you're treated to a cabin on the back of a two-acre property built by a radical journalist who believed architecture should express personality. That's certainly what this one does, since it requires a steep 500-foot switchback hike through Douglas firs on a sculpture-dotted trail built especially to reach it. Once you've summited, you get to look at a striking panorama of the Mattole Valley (and bless, you've got all the creature comforts: a flush toilet, shower, electricity). So start training now, your glamping closeup is waiting.


5. Wildhaven Sonoma, Healdsburg

Wildhaven Sonoma / Facebook

  • Distance from San Francisco: 1 hour, 15 minutes

  • Best for: waterfront glamping at its finest

  • Price: from $209 per night

Ten acres of riverfront property with 30 safari-style tents just a short 10-minute drive from charming downtown Healdsburg—this is Wildhaven Sonoma. Each roomy tent has real beds, electricity and heaters, and the property has bathrooms with showers, an outdoor kitchen and general store for the perfect home-away-from-home weekend. There’s no shortage of onsite activities (yoga classes on the river bluff, wine tasting and live music), but the real draw is the private river access and beaches for all the R&R you deserve.


6. Alila Ventana Campground, Big Sur

Alila Ventana Big Sur

  • Distance from San Francisco: 4 hours

  • Best for: a rustic-meets-luxe experience

  • Price: from $240 per night

For all of the non-campers out there, this luxurious glamp-ground is for you. Choose from one of 15 safari-style canvas tents pitched in a 20-acre redwood canyon, all featuring custom-designed mattresses with premium hotel linens. Hike your way through the forest during the day and then cozy up on your private deck at night to roast s’mores over your personal fire pit.


7. Costanoa Tent Bungalows, Pescadero

Costanoa Lodge/Facebook

  • Distance from San Francisco: 1 hour, 15 minutes

  • Best for: a close and convenient kid-friendly escape

  • Price: from $137 per night

With miles of hiking and beach access, there’s no shortage of things to do at Costanoa. Canvas tent bungalows come with queen-size beds and bunks for the kids, plus electric blankets to stay toasty at night. There’s a general store and restaurant on site, plus “comfort stations” for glampers that have hot showers and flush toilets surrounding a central courtyard with a fireplace, sauna and heated concrete floors.


8. Boon Glamping, Guerneville

boon hotel + spa / Facebook

  • Distance from San Francisco: 1 hour, 30 minutes

  • Best for: a hotel experience in a glamping tent

  • Price: from $250 per night

Custom reclaimed redwood furniture, platform beds with Coyuchi organic linens, Malin+Goetz bath products and breakfast delivered to your doorstep: sounds too nice for a glampsite, right? Not at Boon, the Guerneville hotel that extends the same hospitality to its tent guests as it does to its room guests. Did we mention there’s a gorgeous pool, hot tub, lawn croquet and a full-service spa? These glamping tents are only available May through October, though, so book your spot stat.


9. Sonoma Treehouse Adventure, Occidental

Courtesy of Sonoma Canopy Tours

  • Distance from SF: 1 hour, 30 minutes

  • Best for: thrillseekers

  • Cost: From $523 per person

This one’s not for the faint of heart. Once your bags are delivered to your treehouse, the adventure begins. Think 14 zip lines, two spiral staircases, eight sky bridges and a rappel back down to the forest floor. As a reward for all your thrill seeking, you’ll be treated to a gourmet dinner delivered to your “room” and breakfast following a peaceful treetop slumber.


10. Cabin with Hot Tub, Guerneville

Glamping Hub

  • Distance from San Francisco: 2 hours

  • Best for: soaking under the stars

  • Price: from $89/night

A spacious four-seater hot tub on property and location 20 minutes from the Pacific coastline are the draw here at this cozy two-bedroom cabin under the Redwoods. There's a gas barbecue on the large deck and lounge chairs for you to enjoy the case you picked up at the local Russian River wineries as you grill.


11. Backyard Glamping With The Get Out

Rob Williamson

  • Distance from San Francisco: variable

  • Best for: a great at-home option with the kids

  • Price: tents from $750; $375

Whether you’re in the mood for retro car camping or pitching a tent in the backyard, newly launched The Get Out has you covered. Choose from an assortment of stylish, throwback-style tents and adventure-ready gear to create the perfect “glamping” setup…without leaving the creature comforts of home (like your own, very nice bathroom).


12. Rent A Tent From Shelter Co.

Shelter Co. / Facebook

  • Distance from San Francisco: varies

  • Best for: the bespoke outdoor experience of your dreams

  • Price: price upon request

If you’re intent on a truly unique experience and you don’t mind shelling out the big bucks, Shelter Co. will help you plan a glamorous getaway. Specify the location, type of trip, head count, budget and overall vision, and they’ll do the rest. Think bearskin rugs, Pendleton blankets, leather lounge chairs and catered meals for corporate retreats, bachelorette weekends and weddings. Fancy.


13. The Camp at Carmel Valley, Carmel Valley

The Camp at Carmel Valley

  • Distance from San Francisco: 2 hours, 15 minutes

  • Best for: team building, family reunions

  • Price: from $169/night

Vineyards! Pricey resorts! Sky-high real estate! That's the line on Carmel Valley for the one percenter—but the real charm isn't in any of those things (well, maybe the wine from the vineyards). The natural beauty of the rolling hills is what I love, and it's all on offer here, affordably and without pretense, at this 115-acre expanse that includes cabins of varying sizes, an outdoor gathering space, archery, yoga classes, a pool—and a pets-welcome policy.

Book It

14. The Pinecone Treehouse, Bonny Doon


  • Distance from San Francisco: 90 minutes

  • Best for: architecture and craft buffs, spry stairs climbers

  • Price: $650/night

Want to experience the redwood forest like a bald eagle? Now's your chance with this glassed-in cabin suspended in mid-air with views of the upper tree canopy. You reach the stucture by climbing one of two sets of ladders--one drops 35 feet from the upper hillside level and the other descends 60 feet to the lower level. There's running water for showers, but the toilet is a compostable model that you reach by descending the stairs and crossing a catwalk. It's advised to wear long johns for warmth and to bring just what you can carry in a backpack, but for all that you'll be gifted with awakening in the mist, seeing birds eye-to-eye and if you're lucky, experiencing a storm from the middle, like a cloud itself.

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15. Tiny Forest Home, Nevada City


  • Distance from San Francisco: 3 hours, 14 minutes or 90 minutes from Reno

  • Best for: history buffs

  • Price: from $111/night

You're staying in the middle of 200 acres of protected forest, in the Yuba River canyons with access to miles of hiking/biking trails on the land, 360 degree views of the valley and mountains—with a queen mattress made up in organic linen. Best of all, you feel secluded, but you're only three miles from Nevada City, the old Gold Rush era town that's a crash course in California history, rural hospitality and Victorian architecture.

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16. Autocamp Russian River, Guerneville

  • Distance from San Francisco: 1 hour, 45 minutes

  • Best for: active campers, luxury bath lovers

  • Price: from $211/night

Join a leader teaching forest bathing (aka “Shinrin-Yoku” in Japan, it's a mindfulness meditation technique). Enjoy chardonnay tasting under the redwoods. Paddle along with a naturalist narrating an estuary. These and more activities are add-ons to the experience of staying at Autocamp along the Russian River, the Sonoma County destination that offers Airstream trailers and kitted-out tents to stay in, all arranged around a handsome modernist clubhouse with outdoor fire pit, bikes to borrow and a spa-like communal bathing area in the clubhouse. Pack your tech founder vest and get ready to blend right in.

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17. Safari West, Santa Rosa

Safari West

  • Distance from San Francisco: 90 minutes

  • Best for: families, animal lovers

  • Price: from $525/night

You're in the savanna of Africa, spotting giraffe, rhinos and more on a safari drive in an open-air Jeep. Or, you're a short drive from one of the world's centers of tech. Both are true at this unique wildlife encampment where cheetahs and doves coexist in harmony (well, protected harmony) with guests overnighting in 30 tents imported from Botswana. You'll hear the calls of the animals overnight and greet the day from your private elevated wildlife viewing deck.

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18. Treehouse, Los Gatos Mountains


  • Distance from San Francisco: 90 minutes

  • Best for: architecture buffs, solitude lovers

  • Price: from $200/night

Want to escape into the woods, hermit-style, but in comfort? Here's your escape, this 300-square-foot treehouse that's hidden amid old growth redwoods on 72 acres of the Santa Cruz Mountains. You need to be able to climb down the spiral staircase to the queen size bed, and you have a tiny porch to enjoy the filtered sunlight and deer, hawks and wild fowl that trek nearby. Most unique feature? Outside, bath in a vintage clawfoot bathtub in hot spring water under a canopy of redwood branches and bay laurel.

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19. Hot Tub Glamping, Garberville


  • Distance from San Francisco: 4 hours

  • Best for: weed tourists, off-grid enthusiasts

  • Price: $102/night

The owners of a small family farm offer part of their land to guests to enjoy living off the land, as they have done for 20 years. Since you're in Humboldt County, famed as the center of California cannabis growing, it would be a shame not to take advantage of a cannabis tour by day, before coming home and settling into the 5-person hot tub and sleeping in your queen-sized bed.

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20. Microcabin, Loomis


  • Distance from San Francisco: 3 hours

  • Best for: quiet contemplators

  • Price: $99/night

Your sweet little cabin has electricity, air conditioning and a queen bed, as well as big windows looking out onto a small deck and the eucalyptus grove beyond. It's a short walk to the shared bathroom, but so pleasant from your site on a canal that feeds the organic citrus grove, past friendly goats and ducks. And a short drive away, you're at Folsom Lake, where you can enjoy all the water sports or sunbathing the late summer sun offers.

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How I Chose the Sites on This List

Glamping is a pretty soft term—the best definition I found came in USA Today: “Glamping is a luxury camping experience in which campers spend time in semi-indoor locations as opposed to the normal tent or sleeping bag. Glamping typically offers the indoor amenities that regular camping lacks: beds, electricity and indoor plumbing.” That might mean cabins, safari-style canvas tents or even in one case, a giant pine cone-shaped structure suspended between giant redwood trees. Sometimes the accommodations are quite rugged—in mid-state, I once slept in a covered wagon that was parked on the side of a river—or super-luxe, as in the case of high-thread count sheets covering a bed and spa-like bathrooms. I chose these properties by poring over reviews from guests, determining a close proximity to nature and of course, double-checking their availability in season, which for Northern California means summer through fall.

Why is Glamping So Popular?

Glamping, a portmanteau of "glamorous" and "camping," has surged in popularity in recent years—market researchers estimate the global industry is currently hovering around $3 billion, and the business is growing 15 percent year-over-year in the U.S. alone. Where did this zeal to sleep in nature, but luxe, come from? I see its uptick starting in the late aughts, when an economic downturn meant many travelers had less disposable income to spend on fancy accommodations and expensive flights. Then, by the end of the next decade, the Covid-19 pandemic made breathing uncontaminated air out-of-doors a premium travel experience. And even prior to these market- and health-based motivations, travelers have been seeking unique and authentic experiences when they travel…and there’s nothing like being in close proximity to unpredictable wildlife and weather in a tent or a cabin for a bragworthy, once-in-lifetime experience.

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