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Top Glamping Options In and Around Santa Barbara, California

Chia Han Keong
Published Aug 27, 2018

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the massive urban jungle of Los Angeles, head northwest towards Santa Barbara for a much-needed reprieve from the unrelenting traffic and smog. Less than 100 miles (161 kilometers) away from Downtown LA, the seaside resort city is a great change of pace with mild climate, wide beaches, highly-rated wineries and historical attractions. And it has shed its previous reputation as a playground only for the rich and famous by offering excellent glamping options, either along the Pacific coast or around the Santa Ynez Mountains north of the city limits. So don’t just plan for a mere day trip from LA. Instead, check out these great glamping sites for a few days’ of wonderful relaxation around Santa Barbara.

1. Yurt retreat on private plot of land (from USD 249)

While Santa Barbara is justifiably renowned for its beautiful beaches facing the Pacific Ocean, there is plenty of spectacular panoramic scenery amid the Santa Ynez Mountains, just a few miles inland and north of the city center. You can find hiking trails, lookout points and recreational areas all over the mountain range, including this fantastic yurt retreat on a private and exclusive 11-acre (4.5-hectare) plot of land. You will find a DVD player and fridge inside the yurt, while there is a swimming pool, hot tub, private bathhouse and even a swing overlooking the mountain range on the premises.

STUNNING EXCLUSIVE YURT ON 11 ACRES
Santa Barbara, California, United States
272 reviews
Yurt 1 bed 1 bedroom 1 bathroom

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2. Quiet mountain getaway (from USD 75)

Santa Barbara’s main draw is undoubtedly its beaches. Its most popular beach, East Beach, is a pristine stretch of white sand framed by postcard quality palm trees, surrounding hills and nearby harbor. At the western end of the beach is the breathtaking Stearn’s Wharf, a long pier built in 1872 with one of the best views in California at its end. This quiet mountain getaway may be up in the remote areas of the Santa Ynez Mountains, yet it is only a 30-minute drive away from the beaches. The camper van has two beds and a futon and not much else, but it is housed amid a property that has cooking, toilet, and shower access.

15' camper, bathroom in main house.
Santa Barbara, California, United States
53 reviews
Private room in camper/rv 2 beds 1 bedroom 1 bathroom

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3. Trailer accommodation in Carpinteria (from USD 149)

The Santa Barbara urban area stretches along the Pacific Coast to include smaller cities like Goleta in the west and Carpinteria in the east. While Goleta is known for being home to the University of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria’s state beach is where you can find seals and sea lions basking amid the mild weather between December and May. You might even spot the occasional gray whale from the beach. This snug Airstream trailer accommodation for two guests is located in Carpinteria and is housed in a backyard with BBQ grill. There are wifi and TV inside the trailer, and the host has also provided beach essentials such as towels, umbrella and snorkeling gear.

Airstream Dream 'White Sage'
Carpinteria, California, United States
40 reviews
Camper/RV 1 bed 1 bedroom 1 bathroom

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4. Converted RV in back of property (from USD 145)

Santa Barbara has a unique urban wine trail, with a number of wineries all within blocks of downtown that are open to public for wine tasting. If you prefer visiting the rural vineyards, then the Santa Barbara back country also has a great collection of wineries near the towns of Solvang and Buellton, northwest of the city. All the wineries can be conveniently reached by car, so you can base yourself in accommodations such as this converted RV in the back of a property near Carpinteria. It hosts a king-sized bed, full kitchen, and seating area, while shower and toilet facilities are adjacent to the patio. And since there is free parking on the premises, you can go ahead and rent a car to explore the region.

Oak & Avo Grotto-Mountain Views!
Carpinteria, California, United States
138 reviews
Entire guesthouse 1 bed 1 bedroom 1 bathroom

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5. Cozy trailer in quiet neighborhood (from USD 65)

Families will love Santa Barbara’s kid-friendly attractions like the Santa Barbara Zoo, which has over 600 animals on its premises, and the city’s Museum of Natural History, an underrated attraction with an awesome life-size skeleton of a blue whale. The beautifully landscaped settings of the Botanical Gardens are also worth a visit. After a day of sightseeing, it would be great to relax amid this cozy and private trailer in a quiet neighborhood in Goleta, near the municipal airport. It has a queen-sized bed and a sofa bed, wifi, and a well-equipped kitchen.

Private space in Goleta
Goleta, California, United States
82 reviews
Camper/RV 2 beds 1 bedroom 1 bathroom

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6. Tent provider for camp-outs (from USD 100)

You have found a great campground around Santa Barbara, but do not have a comfortable tent for glamping? No worries, thanks to this tent provider based in the community of Montecito, just east of Santa Barbara. This tent is spacious and well crafted for most terrain, and the host has also included amenities such as beds, futons, lighting and outdoor cooking supplies. All you have to do is to give the host a call, and the tent will be delivered and set up at the location of your camp-outs.

Tent Glamping -delivery & set-up only
Montecito, California, United States
Campsite 3 beds 1 bedroom 0 bathrooms

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7. Comfy camper-van in seaside community (from USD 57)

On the last week of July or first week of August every year, Santa Barbara hosts its biggest festival, the Old Spanish Days Fiesta. This is a celebration of the city’s Spanish, Mexican and Native American history, and features plenty of music and dance events, equestrian parades and food booths all over town. This makes a great occasion to visit this city, and you can base yourself in this comfy camper van in the seaside community of Toro Canyon, just east of downtown. It has all the amenities you need: queen-size bed, a refrigerator, a four-burner gas stove, air-conditioning, separate shower, and toilet.

Cozy RV Hangout w/ Private Room to Sleep
Carpinteria, California, United States
253 reviews
Camper/RV 2 beds 1 bedroom 1 bathroom

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Santa Barbara and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Santa Barbara

8. Bright trailer in Summerland (from USD 85)

In addition to overlooking a great coastline, Santa Barbara’s downtown area is also a shopping and eating paradise. The main thoroughfare road, State Street, offers more than a mile stretch of all kinds of retail stores, from trendy boutiques to popular chain stores. The city’s cultural status also attracts high-powered chefs from all over the world, and the selection and sheer variety of food is astonishing. This bright and clean trailer accommodation is in the Summerland neighborhood just east of downtown and has air-conditioning, wifi, private fire pit and DVDs for your recreational enjoyment. It is just a few blocks away from the coast, where you can enjoy great views of the Pacific Ocean.

Explore Summerland!
Summerland, California, United States
133 reviews
Camper/RV 2 beds 1 bedroom 1 bathroom

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9. Trailer housed in backyard with pool (from USD 180)

Within the city limits, Santa Barbara is well known for its California Mission-style architecture and historic buildings. One great example is the Santa Barbara Mission building, which was built way back in 1786 and is well worth a visit to understand the native culture. There are also picturesque parks with great hiking opportunities around the city, and this glamping accommodation in a silver 1964 Airstream trailer is located near the Laurel Canyon Park, near the Santa Barbara Mission. It is housed in the host’s backyard, which has a pool and jacuzzi, viewing decks, a private yoga deck, and even a private park and hiking trail access.

Santa Barbara Airstream Getaway
Santa Barbara, California, United States
76 reviews
Camper/RV 1 bed 2 guests 1 bedroom 1 bathroom

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10. Retro van for glamping at the lakes (from USD 175)

There are two lakes near Santa Barbara that make for great day trips or campouts. The gorgeous Lake Cachuma is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of the city and offers activities like fishing, boating, sailing and lake cruising. No swimming though, as the lake doubles up as a reservoir for Santa Barbara. The other lake is Lake Casitas, about 25 miles (40.23) east of the city, and there is a small water park which is great for family outings. If you wish to go glamping in these lakes, you can try booking this retro camper van, which can be delivered to your preferred camping areas for a fee. It comes fully stocked with firewood, ice, drinks and snacks, beach towels, a portable speaker, solar charger, a propane grille and all the utensils you will need.

Urban/Mountain Glamping in a 70's VW Bus- "Fiona"
Santa Barbara, California, United States
Camper/RV 2 beds 4 guests 0 bedrooms 0 bathrooms

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Effortless cool amid beautiful backdrops

Santa Barbara exudes a kind of effortless cool amid its picturesque setting. Beaches, palm trees, mild climate, this intimate city has it all and knows it, with the relaxed vibe spreading all over the region. Whether you hit the seaside or hike the mountainous backcountry, you can be sure of beautiful backdrops and breathtaking views. So leave all your urban anxieties behind, and enjoy a whale of a good time in Santa Barbara.

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Han Keong is a former sports journalist in Singapore whose lifelong passions are travel and music.

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