Glamping Near San Diego
San Diego has a whole lot of great outdoors for you to explore. While there are hotels in the city and a few campsites scattered around the backcountry, the best way to go adventuring in San Diego’s wilderness these days is to opt for some glamping instead.
It’s an ideal balance having all the modern conveniences you could wish for, while also being close to some beautiful natural landscapes. Think fire pits and hot tubs.
Here’s our round-up of some of the best glamping spots in San Diego. We’ve covered everything from camping in luxury yurts to an out-of-Africa experience, and even the option to stay in your very own Hobbit house. Luxury and breathtaking nature await you!
What is Glamping?
You might have heard the term glamping but what actually is it? Glamping is basically elevated camping. A combination of “glamorous” and “camping” the trendy term has come to be a coverall phrase for a whole range of outdoor accommodation types.
The classic type of glamping is a high-end tent that has been decorated inside with homely, stylish furnishings. That means rugs, coffee tables and even the chance to spend the night under canvas in a queen bed.
But the luxury doesn’t stop there: the glamping scene has grown over the years and today there’s the chance to sleep out in nature in everything from a vintage horse trailer to a tree house.
Quick Breakdown of San Diego Glamping Spots
Glamping sites in San Diego come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You could book yourself in for a night in a polished cabin on a well-equipped campsite, or you could choose to spend the weekend in a yurt in the middle of nowhere. The choice is almost endless.
The good news is you don’t have to head all the way out to Joshua Tree National Park either — there are plenty of top San Diego spots for glamping super close to the city.
One good option for first-timers looking to try out Glamping is Urban Canvas Glamping. This locally based company will come and set up luxury bell tents in your backyard meaning you won’t even have to lift a finger to have an amazing glamping experience. The tents even come fully furnished.
For those who are looking for more of an adventure, glamping in San Diego is straightforward. Simply find the type of glamping accommodation that you want to stay in online and book it. When you turn up to the site you might be greeted by the host or they might simply leave you instructions for self-check-in when you get there.
Glamping is still like camping, and you’ll usually find yourself out in the middle of nature, so it’s a good idea to come prepared. You’ll want to make sure you have appropriate clothes for the weather, enough food and drink and other essentials like bug spray. After all, you could be staying in a teepee overlooking a mountain, but it’s no fun without snacks!
Types of Glamping
Glamping might be a high-end type of camping, but there’s actually a long list of different types of accommodation options that fall under the term. Usually, glamping spots will be in a location that is close to nature and offer the chance to get off the beaten track but with a little more luxury than a simple campsite. Staying in a rustic cabin or spending a night in a cool tiny house can also be considered glamping.
To help you get to grips with the types of glamping in San Diego, here are the types of places you can expect to spend the night.
Glamping in Tents and Yurts
Glamping in a tent or a yurt is the classic type of glamping experience. These types of places can be found all over the San Diego area and can range from large yurts and bell tents to tree tents suspended up high in the branches of an old tree.
You can usually expect glamping tents to come decorated with added extras and include comfy beds, seating areas. You might still have to use basic shared bathroom facilities however but some campsites do offer private facilities. The tents will usually come with a laid-back outdoor area, so you can sit out under the stars in the evening or enjoy a good old-fashioned grill.
Glamping RVs and Retro Trailers
Glamping is not just about staying in a tent. Southern California has a whole lot of choices when it comes to overnighting in stylish RVs or sleeping in fun retro trailers. For those who want to have the use of their own bathrooms and kitchen facilities, these are a good option. Trailers and RVs usually come fitted with all of the modern conveniences that a tent doesn’t.
There’s also the added bonus of having more solid protection from the elements. You can head inside and shut the door against any wind or rain — something that can make staying in a tent really not so fun at all.
10 Best Glamping Options in San Diego
To give you a good idea of what to expect from glamping in San Diego, here’s a selection of the best options out there, from yurts to cabins and more.
1. Alter Experiences Glamping in San Diego: Lions Den Mt Laguna Glamping San Diego
Alter Experiences is a San Diego company that has a selection of spots in the area. Their sites can be found scattered around Cleveland National Forest and even over in Baja California, too. The company specializes in chic glamping experiences where you can spend the night enjoying the surrounding nature but with an added layer of luxury.
They offer plush tents in forested areas of prime backcountry. These include tree tents that hang from the branches themselves, adding a whole other dimension to glamping. There are also bell tents that come with hotel-quality amenities including therapeutic mattresses, high-quality linens and heating. Their bell tents even come with their own fully-equipped kitchens!
2. Bandy Canyon Ranch
For some truly high-end relaxing glamping in San Diego, head on over to the 144-acre Bandy Canyon Ranch. Dating back to 1870, the beautiful landscape of the ranch has been carefully maintained and, alongside its offering of cabins for overnight stays, has a brand new glamping site in the works.
That’s great news for those who want to have a glamping experience within striking distance of rolling meadows and mountain views of the ranch. Naturally, this is a prime location for horseback riding, but you can also spend your time in this slice of the American west doing absolutely nothing at all.
You’ll have the chance to take a dip in the onsite pool (complete with cabanas), relax in the comfort of your well-equipped room, and dine on delicious food at the restaurant. It’s great for families and has plenty to keep kids entertained.
3. Glamping San Diego Zoo Safari Park – Roar and Snore experience at the safari park
If you’re looking for glamping with a difference in San Diego, then look no further than San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Offering a slice of the savannah right here in San Diego’s famous zoo, guests here have the chance to stay the night in a real-life safari tent.
There’s a good choice of different tents to book, from the classic tent to the premium tent, which comes with a queen bed, linens and pillows and heaters (not to mention its own deck with seating).
As standard, you’ll get the chance to go on guided walks, see the animals after hours and toast s’mores around the campfire. But you can also choose to add extras to your experience, e.g. the Supreme Roar & Snore experience, which includes ziplining and night-vision safari for a real VIP adventure.
4. Out of Africa Glamping
For another chance to have an African safari experience in San Diego, there’s Out of Africa Safari Village to consider. Complete with safari-style tents, the glamping site is situated on six acres of backcountry, making for an adventurous place to stay.
There are eight stylish tents to choose from at Out of Africa. All of these are weatherproof and include all of the luxurious touches you’d expect. Think queen bed, linens, fans and heaters, and chairs to sit out on the verandah.
When it comes to the bathroom facilities, there’s a shared bathroom tent. This has a hot shower, flushing toilet and sink, so it’s definitely not your run-of-the-mill campsite. There are plenty of board games and other fun activities to take part in around the campfire too.
5. Palm Canyon Hotel and Airstream Glamping
Staying at the Palm Canyon Hotel and Airstream Glamping Resort is a real family-friendly option. There’s a choice of various glamping experiences to book here, but the coolest of all has to be the vintage Airstream.
This iconic mobile home comes packed full of modern conveniences, including a kitchenette, double bed, TV and air conditioning. Each one of these vintage spaces also has its own private outdoor area, so you can kick back and look at the stars.
Elsewhere in the resort, there’s a restaurant, a minimart and two swimming pools. The grounds are well-kept and have amazing mountain views to top it all off.
6. Glamping in the Vines Vineyard Airstream Trailer
Here you’ll have yet another opportunity to stay in a retro Airstream trailer. This one is particularly cool, and comes packed with inspired interior design and a whole lot of charm.
Best of all? This Airstream is located within the grounds of a vineyard, tucked away in a shady spot among sycamores and oak trees. While wine lovers will naturally adore this spot, nature lovers will also have the chance to spot local bobcats, deer and coyotes around the grounds.
When the winery itself isn’t open, simply stroll around and lap up all that beautiful scenery.
7. Glamping San Diego: Tiny House with Hot Tub
Not all of the San Diego glamping spots are located on resorts or ranches. Some of them are standalone experiences. One of the best examples is this quirky tiny home. Just four miles from the zoo, the location of this place makes it a good spot to base yourself for sightseeing and adventures in the city (and beyond).
The tiny home itself is situated in its own enclosed backyard, which has been nicely designed and manicured. It comes with a lawn, garden furniture, a fire pit, and even an outdoor hot tub. Perfect for evenings relaxing after a day of exploring in San Diego.
Inside the tiny home, you’ll find some cute design details. Think bright, colorful walls, vintage furnishing, and clever use of space. There’s a seating area with a TV, a double bed, a kitchen, and a tiled bathroom — pretty much everything you need for a comfortable stay. It even includes free Wi-Fi.
8. Secluded Hobbit House Glamping San Diego
Going off-grid has never been more fun than at this lovingly crafted glamping option in San Diego. Fans of The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings will absolutely love this unique Airbnb.
You don’t have to travel far from San Diego to visit The Shire, though the location of this place is a closely guarded secret (all we know is that it’s hidden in the hills of San Diego).
This amazingly curated hobbit house is straight out of the pages of Tolkien’s novels. Enter through the round, wooden doorway and into a cabin with a difference. Everything here is natural: think carved wooden furnishings, wonky, wooden windows and stone walls and floors.
Here you can spend your night chilling in the rocking chair in front of the wood-burning stove, or head outside and cozy up in the storybook-esque garden. There’s even an outdoor bathroom, so you can shower surrounded by nature.
9. Houseboat on Beautiful San Diego Bay
Glamping in San Diego doesn’t have to mean staying on terra firma. With this option you can stay on the water itself — and just a stone’s throw from Downtown San Diego. Situated at Marina Cortez on Harbor Island, this modern houseboat makes for a stay to remember.
Inside you’ll find bright, contemporary interiors across two bedrooms, a kitchen and seating area, plus a bathroom. There’s also a sunny deck with seating so you can spend hours enjoying long meals.
10. KOA San Diego Metro Resort
Located just 15 minutes from Downtown San Diego, this campground has a lot to offer. In fact, it’s more than just a campground, with a long list of amenities and different types of accommodation that you can choose between.
The KOA Campground Safari Glamping Tent is perfect for those looking to elevate their glamping experience into an adventure. The stylish tents don’t have bathrooms, but these polished places have queen beds and bunk beds, meaning you can fit the whole family in. Linens are also provided, plus there’s a veranda with a seating area and a well-equipped kitchen.
On-site you can make use of the resort’s multiple swimming pools, the chance to sit around the campfire toasting s’mores, and they even have hot tubs. Elsewhere you can rent bikes, tackle the climbing wall or play a few games of ping pong with your family. Even though you’re camping, you won’t be cut off from the world: there’s Wi-Fi for guests to use.
FAQ about Camping in San Diego
What is the Difference Between Glamping and Camping?
To put it simply camping is spending the night sleeping in a tent, you can choose to hook up to electricity or go off-grid but usually you can expect simple facilities. Glamping offers a greater level of comfort and usually means arriving at a campsite with all of the camping facilities already set up for you.
Glamping often includes proper beds, plush bedding, seating areas and little added extras like fresh coffee in the morning and bathrobes.
How Much Does it Cost to Go Glamping?
The cost per night for glamping in San Diego varies depending on the level of comfort and the time of year. The more luxurious the accommodation choice, the more it will cost. Expect to pay anywhere between $50-$200 per night.
Does Glamping Have Electricity?
As glamping is a high-end camping experience the accommodation usually comes with electricity. That being said, it’s best not to simply expect the glamping site you have booked to come hooked up to the grid. Make sure to double-check if electricity is included with the glamping experience before you book if it is something that you really need.
Final Thoughts on Best Glamping in Southern California San Diego
Glamping in San Diego has to be one of the best ways to soak up all of that incredible southern California landscape. It’s a dreamy option for couples and families alike who want to spend some quality time together in a unique setting. Forget about motels and sleeping in flimsy tents on solid ground — your next adventure is going to be a memorable one!