I have a weird hobby. I can get lost for hours in travel apps like Airbnb and Skyscanner, in search for the next adventure. I simply love everything about trip planning, from finding the best deals and recommendations to creating a well thought out itinerary.
During this trip hunt, I couldn’t help but notice a new vacation style that’s becoming more popular. I’m talking about Glamping; glamorous camping. It has the charm of sleeping outdoors, without all the things that made you swear you’d never be found in a tent ever again. Shivering through the night, no dry clothes after one night, not being able to find your damn keys anywhere; I totally get it if that’s not your definition of vacation.
I have a love/hate relationship with camping, especially after having done it A LOT (thanks dad). I remember heating up rocks in a campfire to put in my sleeping bag to keep me warm, and ‘showering’ in a remote lake for a lack of running water in the surrounding 20 miles. That’s the real deal, it’s wilderness at its best.
However, most of my vacations are happening in between work weeks, which means I want to be able to step in my car on a Friday afternoon to start my weekend trip later that night. Ain’t nobody got time to dig through your garage to find camping gear and stock up on granola bars.
Since the flu knocked me into bed this week, I had plenty of time to go on a digital Glamping Hunt. I found ten options that are in or around Northern California that I will put on my wanna-go list. I haven’t tried them yet, so all pictures are from the listed websites, but I will let you know as soon as I have my own stories and photographs from staying here.
- Train Caboose in the Mountains (Dunsmuir) (Dunsmuir, CA)
Wait, I can sleep in a vintage train caboose within a 30-minute drive from my house? How did I not know about this? Many mornings I suppress the urge to pass the exit for the office and keep driving north on the I-5 North. There’s just so much beauty up there, from snowy mountain tops, to incredible hikes to majestic waterfalls, to splendid views of the lake. Somewhere along the 5, there’s a little town called Dunsmuir that isn’t anything to write home about, but it apparently hosts a Railroad Park Resort. Look at these cute wagons! This motel is definitely worth stopping for.
(Not a fan of Dunsmuir but still want to sleep in a train? I found another Railroad bed near Clearlake here. It’s slightly weirder, definitely more luxurious and a bit pricier with 190 dollar for 2 people, but Lake County is a great place to chill out for a few days.)
Most caboose rooms are 120 dollar per night for 2 people, or $140 for 4 people.
Every kid dreams of having a tree house. My brother and I spent many hours in and around the branches of the tree next to our house, lost in games and fantasy worlds only we knew about. The dream can now become reality through this awesome AirBnB just north of San Fransisco.
I have only one concern… I might never want to leave.
They have a second tree house on their property, listed here.
Both tree houses are around 270-290 dollar a night for 2 people.
Vineyards, redwoods, spring fed swimming pool and miles of hiking trails. I know Napa is known for her fancy restaurants, world-quality wine and luxurious hotels, but I wouldn’t mind trading those for a picnic basket, hiking shoes and one of these cute Yurts and experience best of both worlds in this valley.
Yurts starting at $55 a night for up to four people
Anybody else in love with the rugged Northern California/Southern Oregon coast? I’ll take these passionate waves crashing on dark rocks over palmtrees and white sand any day. Harris Beach State is a camp ground that has cabins, tent sites, RV hook-ups and… yurts. Welcome to my 2017-travel list, Harris.
Yurts: 43 dollar per night for 2 people. (there are six available, so this might be fun for a group of friends!)
Nothing like a Sequoia tree to make you feel oh so small. Exploring the redwoods is such a great way to spend your weekend, no matter where in California you are. This camp site is on a great location, in the middle of the Redwoods, close to surfer-city Santa Cruz and the blue-watered coast. These tent cabins give you the comfort of a bed, and the fresh air of sleeping outside.
85 dollar per night (cabin sleeps 4, but you’re also allowed to pitch a tent on the same site that sleeps up to 4 extra people). There are also camping packages available if you don’t feel like packing your own bedding, towels, wood and pots and pans.
This is the only one I’ve been to, and I LOVED IT. This prayer cabin conquered my heart so much I never wanted to leave – and I decided to come back here at least once a year for a prayer retreat. You watch the sunrise right from your bed, hike in the forest, find God in the quiet and take long walks along the gorgeous coast line. There’s a Weekend Trip post coming up about the time I spent here, but I couldn’t resist putting this YWAM-base on this list.
Sleeps up to three people, donation based.
This grass-roofed earthen hut is one of a kind. It looks cute, weird, magical and outdoorsy all at the same time. I’m not sure my ‘feelers’ could handle sleeping on a temple resort, and the ‘earthing’ bed is supposedly not very comfy; but it is definitely an unique sleeping experience for the adventurous!
The Hobbit Hut is 125 dollar for two people. They also have a gingerbread house for 110 dollar for 2 people. Fairytale weekend, anyone?
This is what I picture when someone says yurt. Colorful patterns, lots of rugs on the floor and plenty of room for people to sleep. This Mongolian Yurt is situated in the Sierra foot hills, close to Sacramento, but with your own ‘resort’ including a swim-up bar and personal hot tub, I don’t think you’ll need the city.
Ranging between 200-380 a night, depending on how many people (up to 6).
Arcata: adorable town meets coast meets redwoods. Add a cute and affordable yurt to the occasion and you have a perfect weekend get-away.
175 dollar a night for 3 people.
Rather stay in a yurt close to Tahoe National Forrest? There’s one listed here.
Not quite as magically high up in the trees as the other tree houses, but a lot more affordable and at a beautiful location. If the tent cabins of #5 don’t work for you, there’s a bed waiting for you in the trees!
Bonus: the #1 AirBnB in the world: the Mushroom Dome Cabin.
This wouldn’t technically be called a tree house, but with its awesome design and large deck in the middle of the woods, it’s no wonder this Mushroom Dome is the number 1 AirBnB in the world. Even though you’re close to Santa Cruz and the redwoods, I’m pretty sure you won’t want to leave this cabin.
$190 for 3 people, but all weekends are already booked until november 2017.
Which one is your favorite? Have you stayed in any of these before, and what was it like?
I can’t wait to get out there and go on a Glamping weekend. Who’s with me?
In the Weekend Trip series, I share recommendations, travel tips and stories to inspire you to plan your next adventure. Every featured location is in the North California/Oregon area and every recommendation keeps in mind that we want to keep travel affordable.
Currently featured: Eureka, Portland. Coming up: Sacramento.