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5 ridiculously nice glamping spots within a few hours of SF

Five people under a canopy enjoy a scenic sunset view over rolling hills. Two stand looking out, while three sit by a modern outdoor fireplace, with drinks.
Glampers watch a sunset at Valley Overlook at Wildhaven Yosemite in Mariposa. | Source: Courtesy Wildhaven Yosemite

When the glamping trend first took hold, an elevated night in nature usually meant a string of fairy lights, some s’more fixings, and a stylishly draped Hudson Bay blanket. Not anymore. 

It’s been nearly a decade since the clunky portmanteau earned a spot in the Oxford English Dictionary, and since then, savvy outfitters have ditched the gimmicks for resort-worthy perks. With next-gen glamping experiences popping up around Northern California, your latest camp itinerary is likely to include a soak in an outdoor redwood tub, Vinyasa yoga, and an upscale dinner over cocktails. 

From Half Moon Bay to the Sierra Nevada, here are five of the newest glamping spots within a few hours’ drive of San Francisco to head to this summer.

1. Wildhaven Yosemite in Mariposa (rates from $99)

The newly opened Wildhaven Yosemite features something you’re not likely to find elsewhere: tents with views. While most glamping properties seek out flat, low-lying land, Wildhaven’s second locale—the original is in Healdsburg—encompasses 33 acres of rolling hills with tents set atop cantilevered platforms that afford views not just of the property, but also of adjoining ranch land and distant mountain peaks. 

Situated within the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, 34 miles from Yosemite’s Arch Rock entrance, the spiffy camp features 30 canvas tents with wood floors, electricity, and heated mattress pads for a toasty warm bed on cool nights. Spotless communal restrooms and showers are steps away. 

A wooden deck features two reclining chairs facing a small fire pit. Behind is a view of trees and a distant valley, framed by a rustic, open wooden structure.
The newly opened Wildhaven Yosemite, 34 miles from Yosemite’s Arch Rock entrance, features 30 canvas tents with wood floors, electricity, and heated mattress pads. | Source: Courtesy Wildhaven Yosemite

There are also 12 custom-designed cabins with kitchens, private bathrooms, and huge picture windows to take advantage of the sweeping vistas. A trail leads to a hilltop set with picnic tables and Adirondack chairs, and The Californian Commissary market in nearby Mariposa can set you up with a locally sourced charcuterie board. The quaint Gold Rush town is also where you can catch a YARTS shuttle into Yosemite (advance tickets required). Wildhaven’s informed staff can point you to lesser-known nearby spots, including Lake McClure and swimming holes along the Merced River. Open year-round.

2. The Highlands in Guerneville (rates from $159)

When Chef Crista Luedtke and hotelier Christian Strobel purchased the adults-only Highlands Resort in 2019 and rebranded it as The Highlands, they told longtime guests they were excited to see their new bathing suits. In other words: The previously clothing-optional pool now requires coverups. What didn’t change was the fun, social summer camp vibe. This year, the property debuted Coyote Camp, a seasonal glamping encampment (note: it’s for adults only) within its 3-acre, redwood-shrouded setting. 

Eleven canvas tents sit atop wooden platforms and are outfitted with king beds, USB ports, and porch chairs (note that communal showers are outdoors, and toilets are of the port-o variety). With a chef-owner, you know the complimentary breakfast is a cut above with freshly baked pastries, homemade granola, and Flying Goat coffee. As in the resort’s previous incarnation, you’ll often find a lively scene at the heated pool, yet with access now limited to registered guests, you can still lose yourself in a summer read. Pack an inner tube and roll it down the hill to Johnson’s Beach for a lazy float along the Russian River. Glamping reservations are available through Sept. 30.

3. Oceanfront Airstream in Half Moon Bay (rates from $589)

Set on grassy coastal bluffs with front-row views of the Pacific, this ultra-luxe 28-foot Airstream almost feels like cheating. There’s a real queen bed, hot water, and separate rooms for the shower and toilet—but the luxuries outnumber the basics with bathrobes, pour-over coffee, and an extravagant bar with a built-in wine cooler. The trailer is also stocked with milk, fresh water, and a bundle of firewood for the outdoor fire pit. There is no need to settle for weenies on a stick with an outdoor pizza oven and a gas grill, in addition to a standard stovetop, oven and microwave. 

Enjoy al fresco meals on the outdoor, pergola-shaded dining table, or settle into the built-in banquette with the trailer’s rear panel flipped open to let the outdoors in. There’s Wi-Fi for the work-from-camp set and streaming TVs if you must. But if you’re craving something good to watch, grab a blanket and head to the Adirondack chairs around the fire where you can marvel at a star-filled sky against the rhythmic crashing of the nearby waves. Available year-round.

4. Huttopia Wine Country in Lower Lake (rates from $170)

With nearly 50 properties spread across France’s countryside, Huttopia (pronounced hyoo-topia) is slowly starting to reach into the states. Its newest offering is a ready-to-camp resort in Lake County. While the “Wine Country” moniker may seem a bit of a stretch, referring to the region’s less hyped vineyards rather than those of neighboring Napa Valley, the easy-on-the-eyes property still wows with a sea of natural blond wood and a clean Scandi aesthetic. 

Huttopia’s signature tents are completely solar-powered, including electricity and hot water, and feature BBQ grill-equipped decks, and in most configurations, private bathrooms. They’re also roomier than the usual glamping tents, ranging between 350-450 square feet. Families will dig the outdoor movies and game-stocked rec center, and pet owners can bring their pups (for an additional fee). 

A pool offers respite from Lake County’s summer temps, but don’t let the climate deter you from snagging an electric mountain bike, and exploring the trail-laced property. The resort leases land from Six Sigma Ranch & Winery, so ​​rosé is never far from reach. And, because it’s a French company, neither are the crêpes. Reservations are available through Nov. 11.

5. Dawn Ranch in Guerneville (rates from $250)

Set along the redwood-dotted banks of the Russian River, the newly reborn Dawn Ranch, a Guerneville mainstay since 1905, is a stylish update on the classic camp-themed resort. Think canoes, nightly s’mores, and since the remodel, a contemporary rustic-chic design. Add an upscale dining room and destination day spa with outdoor soaking tubs, and it transcends the standard glamping experience. 

The image shows two white canvas tents set up on a lush, green grassy area with trees in the background. Inside one tent, furniture and a fan are visible.
Source: Courtesy Dawn Ranch

While lodging primarily consists of cabins, the six seasonal glamping tents situated within a 120-year-old fruit orchard are newer favorites. You can choose from two configurations: a standard king-bed tent or an upgraded queen with climate control and an in-unit bathroom. Interiors rival those of the cabins, yet a personal fire pit and Adirondack chairs are exclusive to the tents. Glamping guests enjoy access to all resort amenities, including yoga classes, Retrospec bikes to pedal into downtown, and at the risk of hearing “Wonderwall” strummed all night on snazzy Fender acoustic guitars. Glamping reservations are available from May through October.