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The Bay Area's Five Best Creature-Comfort Campouts

For those who want to get away from it all—without sacrificing anything.

Safari West

Safari West 

 

Forget paying a quarter of your rent for two nights at an overpriced hotel, or schlepping heavy tents and equipment to a campsite, only to find out that you forgot campstove at home. One of the most underrated middle-ground lodging options—glamping—tends to boast prime vacation real estate for less money than you'd spend on a hotel—if you know where to look. Check out these five local glamping sites that offer all the amenities you need for a last-minute weekend trip.

Costanoa

Don’t be fooled by the unassuming dirt road that leads off Highway 1, through a eucalyptus grove, to Pescadero’s Costanoa. These tents are tricked out with heated blankets and glass windows for wind-proof sleeping, and offer views of the surrounding hills. And with heated showers, dry saunas, outdoor fireplaces, and a hot tub just a stone’s throw from your tent, there’s little need to anticipate roughing it. When you’re not roasting s’more in your adirondack chair, take to Costanoa’s private trails with mountain bikes (rentable on-site) or tidepooling at nearby Pescadero beach.

Stewarts Point Store & Retreat
One of California’s most covert camping outposts is tucked behind a century-old general store on the coastal bluffs a few miles south of Sea Ranch. Wood porches overlook the Sonoma Coast’s rugged cliffs and the Pacific while fire pits serve as an outdoor heater at night. Explore this often overlooked area by day with one of their quirky curated activities, like tree-climbing lessons.

Treebones Resort
Before the term “glamping,” there were yurts. You’ll find 16 of them perched high above the crashing waves of the Pacific at Big Sur’s Treebones Resort. But don’t be deceived by yurts' hippy rep—many city dwellers would be just fine calling these interiors home. Hardwood floors, a sofa, dining room table, fireplace, and quilt-clad beds provide homey comfort amid the Big Sur wilderness. Meanwhile, an on-site pool and in-house sushi bar offer a pretty sweet alternative to cooking beans over a campfire.

Bothe-Napa State Park
Tucked in the woods between Calistoga and St. Helena, the new camping digs at Bothe-Napa State Park feel a far cry from the Highway 29 limo traffic, even if it’s only a turn off the highway. Though basic (canvas tent, plastic windows, BYOSheets), the campsite's main perk is being within a 15-minute drive to some of Napa’s best wineries, without forcing you to pay an arm and a leg—more money for the pinot noir. 

Safari West

Substitute the 20-hour flight to Africa for a safari that’s a 66-mile drive north of the Golden Gate. African-inspired wildlife preserve Safari West has green canvass tents propped on smooth wood platforms with views of the 400-acre savannah-like space (you can even hear the flamingos squawking from your balcony). By day, open-air jeeps traverse Sonoma’s terrain, encountering the likes of giraffes, zebras, wildebeests and antelopes.

 

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