While Southern California may attract visitors with the Hollywood glamour of Los Angeles and sprawling deserts of Joshua Tree National Park, Northern California is known as an abundant outdoor mecca, with virtually endless terrain to explore and challenge even the most experienced outdoorist. Anchored by the free-spirit-meets-techie-meets-outdoor-broski-city of San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area, NorCal has something for everyone, all surrounded by Jurassic-like nature.
Along the California coast to the West, you'll find Santa Cruz, Monterey Bay, and Natural Bridges State Park. Up north, there's Mendocino and Mendocino National Forest, the infamous Sea Ranch for design-heads, and the ancient trees of Redwood National and State Parks.
Further inland, you'll hit the vineyards of Sonoma County, and the winery-rich city of Santa Rosa, while the Eastern-most border is home to the Sierra Nevada, West Lake Tahoe, Mt. Shasta, Yosemite National Park, and a parade of national forests, among other attractions. We did say there was virtually endless terrain to explore.
And with endless terrain, comes endless glamping options. From luxury tents in the mountains, MCM-inspired campers, and bungalow rentals in the Redwood forests, glamping experiences in NorCal are just as unique and in some cases, hard to get to, as its outdoor attractions.
Below, we've gathered the 18 best glamping spots from which to explore this vast wilderness for your next California glamping getaway.
[Editor's Note: Looking to explore but not into glamping? Check out our local's guide to car camping in the Eastern Sierra, and our top picks for the best cabin rentals in Idyllwild & Big Bear.]
The 18 Best Spots to go Glamping in Nothern California
Vibe: Mid Mod in Nature
Decked out in midcentury design, the airstreams, cabins, and safari tents of AutoCamp Yosemite welcome you with open arms after a day of exploring. Nearby, the quaint town of Mariposa is a great spot for wine-tasting and shopping, and of course, Yosemite National Park is a short road-trip away.
Vibe: Classic & Laid Back
With both standard and wheelchair-accessible glamping tents outfitted in a Wes Anderson-like campingcore style, Mendocino Grove is pure class. Each tent features a bed made up with down comforters and quality linens, and basic furnishings for storing gear. Outside, there's a deck with seating, picnic table, and a fire-ring for relaxing. Elsewhere on the property, two bathhouses contain hot showers stocked with organic bath products, and bonus, dog wash for cleaning up muddy pets.
Vibe: Riverside Relaxation
Although Wildhaven is located in the Bay Area's stunning Sonoma County, you'll never want to leave the 1-acre riverfront glampsite. On the banks of the Russian River, Wildhaven offers up cozy safari-style tents, yoga classes, wine-tasting, bathrooms and hot showers, and private river access, all surrounded by the area's renowned vineyards.
Vibe: Raise your Vibrations
Explore Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park from the comfort of Sequoia High Sierra Camp. Perched among the mountains of the High Sierra Wilderness, the campsite offers up canvas tents with mountain views, and an impressive lodge based on a Vitruvian Etruscan Temple.
Vibe: Group Trip
Outfitted for a larger group of glampers, this NorCal glampsite is equipped with a canvas tent cabin, an extra 5-person pop-up dome tent, and campsites for those who want a more traditional camping experience. An outdoor grill, Coleman Sun Shower, outhouse, heater, and over 100 acres to explore will keep the whole group comfortable and entertained.
Vibe: Seaside Perch
In the Bay Area, Treebones Resort offers up yurts, off-grid glamping tents, or an artisanally-crafted human twig nest for the more adventurous glamper. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, fall asleep to the sea breeze, then awake to a day full of hiking, biking, beach walks, whale watching, or relaxing with an on-site massage.
Vibe: Over the Bridge & Through the Woods
Made of salvaged materials and built over the expanse of a small creek, the Wilderness Bridge is a bridge/cabin/treehouse hybrid overlooking a sheep farm. Furnished only with the necessities of a comfy bed, shelving system, and outdoor "humanure-type bucket toilet", get back to nature at this unique property.
Vibe: Secluded Grotto
Located on a family farm, these secluded off-grid glamping tents offer up peaceful retreats under the Redwood canopy. Each tent features a queen-sized bed and basic furnishings, and an outdoor kitchenette for cooking up some grub. An outdoor hot tub and shower provide some peaceful luxury, but if you're itching to explore, Redwood National Park is just up the coast.
Vibe: Creekside Calm
Two miles from downtown Nevada City, this tastefully decorated yurt sits on the banks of a creek, with access to hiking trails, a claw foot bathtub, fire pit for s'mores, and a large deck. The Yuba River is a 20 minute drive away for swimming, hiking, or just relaxing.
Vibe: High Times
A cannabis farm, Sol Spirit Farm doesn't offer personal fire pits for safety reasons, but a stay at one of their pristine glamping tents do come with farm-fresh local eggs, meats, and produce in exchange. The surrounding area is also home to world class whitewater rafting, swimming, and wineries.
Vibe: Moonrise Kingdom
Surrounded by Jackson State Forest and seven minutes from downtown Mendocino, Heartwood Mendocino Camp is home to a number of cozy wall tents with comfortable beds, an outdoor kitchen with a large washing sink, a tastefully designed bathhouse, custom redwood picnic tables, and a cool outdoor shower made in the hollow of a lightning struck tree.
Vibe: Blast from the Past
Just outside of Sacramento, this renovated tiny trailer is located on a family ranch. While the inside features a full-size kitchen with an original 1970s stove and comfortable bed, the surrounding property is the main draw here. Outfitted with a small solar-heated swimming pool, propane grill, lounge area, fire pit, and hammock, its got everything you need for a relaxing glamping weekend.
Vibe: Rustic Realness
This hand-built A is a rustic but charming outpost on 20-acres of land. A kitchenette, a woodstove, a fold-away table, and a loft-bed make up the pared down interior, while outside, there's a private bathroom, shower, and seasonal fire pit.
Vibe: Lovely Lavender
Stay in an private, platform glamping tent at Running Springs Ranch and experience the rolling vistas of a lavender farm. Cozy up in the antique beds with quality linens, relax on the deck, or explore nearby Orr Hot Springs and Montgomery Woods.
Vibe: Down by the Pond
Voted Hipcamp's 1st Place in Glamping 2021 and 2022, Twisselman's Ranch Glampsite is situated around a pond for some front yard bass fishing, paddling, canoeing, and pondside relaxation. For some more outdoor exploration, Carrizo Plain National Monument and Las Padres National Forest are a 20 minute drive away.
Vibe: Classy & Colorful
Recharge amongst the colorful mid mod decor of the Red Oak Yurt on the grounds of an organic farm, where guests can learn about veggies and flowers, or even do some farming themselves. A one-hour drive to Lake Tahoe and Sacramento, there's plenty to explore in the surrounding area too.