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Camping And Glamping On California’s Central Coast

By Danielle Dorsey

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Popular beaches in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County, plus the allure of Hollywood’s flashing lights, make Southern California a favorite summer vacation spot. The Bay Area competes with a bursting food scene and the remnants of a free love generation that continues to attract millennial hopefuls to their cause. Often forgotten in Golden State excursions is the unmarred Central Coast, which offers barren beaches, towering redwood forests, and year-round super blooms for travelers to discover. It’s a great option for nature lovers or anyone who wants to disconnect and move at a slower pace.

Check out these camping and glamping options for exploring California’s central coast: 

Romantic Treehouse in Mossy Bench, California – $289/night

If you prefer to take modern amenities into the outdoors, the Romantic Treehouse is a great glamping option. Henry Cowell Redwoods and Big Basin Redwoods State Parks are close by if you feel like wandering, or you can take in the woodland views through the cabin’s skylight or on one of the large decks. Book during a dark moon so you can lounge in the hot tub and count the stars at night. Every morning of your stay comes with a fresh farm breakfast and complimentary chocolates, sparkling water, and fresh flowers are provided upon arrival.

The Barn at Old Morro in Atascadero Oak Groves, California – $65/night

While you won’t be sleeping in the barn, this barebones camping option allows you to set up your tent under the shade of oak trees and near an oversized sun deck. A seasonal creek runs along the back side of the barn and attracts wild turkey and deer. The Barn also has space for a trailer and firewood for an evening bonfire. The gorgeous Morro Bay is only a 15-minute walk and offers fresh seafood along the boardwalk, bike trails, surfing, kayaking, wineries and more.

Airstream + Quercus Cabin in River Ridge Ranch, California – $65/night

You’ll feel transported to another time during your stay in this vintage Airstream that is parked in a 772-acre ranch in Sequoia National Forest. Whether you’re drawn to extreme adventures like a three-mile hike to the 3,000 ft peak or wanting to casually stroll through 100 acres of pasture, there is plenty to explore. There are 33 giant Sequoia groves in close proximity to the airstream and cabin. Don’t forget to bring your own bedding or you’ll be shivering at night. 

Flying Cloud in The Tree Frog, California – $80/night

Live your best Big Little Lies life near Monterey, California, where the hit HBO show takes place. The 2015 Airstream trailer is bordered on two sides by the Elkhorn Slough Bird Sanctuary, so be prepared to wake up to the sound of chirping. In the spring, you’ll hear the croaks of tree frogs as you doze off to sleep. Walk along the shoreline and watch sea otters play in their natural habitat. While the Airstream provides shelter, you’ll have to bring your own towels and drinking water. 


Oceano Dunes Pismo Beach in Pismo Beach, California – FREE 

If you’re craving a last minute weekend (or weekday) getaway, you can set up camp at Oceano Dunes without a prior reservation. The spots are first-come, first served, so try to arrive early if it’s a weekend or holiday. Book a dune buggy to explore the nearby dunes and then cool off at Pismo Beach. Fires are allowed on the beach, but you’ll have to leave your furry friends at home.

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Danielle Dorsey

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