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Lonely Planet Writer

Glamping in California: 5 spots to sleep comfortably under the stars

With such an incredible variety of landscapes, California is the perfect place to reconnect with nature. But what if you just don't like to tough out chilly nights in a sleeping bag on the ground? We've rounded up five of the best glamping sites for the perfect combination of the great outdoors and a good night's sleep.

Silver airstream trailers shine in the sun under palm trees
Chill out under the palms in Ojai © Emily Sargent / Lonely Planet

Caravan Outpost, Ojai

The hip little oasis of Ojai, just two hours' drive from Los Angeles and nestled amongst lush, green hills has a fittingly cool, chilled out glampsite. The 11 vintage airstreams at Caravan Outpost sit in a lovely garden space and are fully decked out  – they even include their own record players. A community fire-pit beckons friendly gatherings where you can exchange stories of your favorite cycle-track or surf spot and enjoy the famous pink-hour where the sunset adds a magical pink hue to the atmosphere.

Best for: City break

Cost: $179/night

A white tent overlooks a verdant valley next to a large leafy tree
For family-friendly fun check out Costanoa in Pescadero © Emily Sargent / Lonely Planet

Costanoa, Pescadero

The family-friendly Costanoa resort in Pescadero has everything from luxury suites to camp sites for your own tent. However, glamping in the tent bungalows provide the perfect combination of outdoorsy and comfort. The fire pits are the perfect place to roast marshmallows after a day of hiking, sea kayaking, biking or horseback riding and the lush beds are exactly what your body needs to rest up for the next day's adventures.

Best For: Families

Cost: From $92/night

Adirondack chairs surround a fire pit with a safari-style tent in the background
What better way to indulge in nature than with a luxury tent in Big Sur © Emily Sargent / Lonely Planet

Ventana, Big Sur

The epitome of luxury camping is a kitted out safari tent nestled on the forest floor beneath towering redwoods – this is glamping at its finest. The babbling stream and gently rustling leaves lull you to relaxation as you dose under your heated blanket. The tents have hot and cold running water, which is amazing while camping, but there is also a tap that spits out perfect tea-ready water, perfect to brew a cup to wrap your hands around while you sit back in your Adirondack around a fire. The rest of the Ventana resort has a luxury spa, swimming pools and a fabulous restaurant to enjoy up on the cliff overlooking Big Sur's stunning coast line.

Best for: Romantic get-away

Cost: From $225/night

A geo-dome house in a desert next to a Joshua Tree
Stargazing just got a little more comfortable in this geo-dome in Joshua Tree © Emily Sargent / Lonely Planet

Dome in the Desert, Joshua Tree

While this isn't a tent, we think a tiny wood dome in the desert counts as glamping and if stargazing in Joshua Tree isn't on your bucket-list yet, it should be. Staying in this bohemian geo-dome just a short drive from town takes contemplating the cosmos to a whole new level.  The dome is equipped with personal telescopes to get up close and personal with the solar system from the comfort of your two-room abode – there's even a glass panel in the roof. Go in the spring when the wildflowers carpet the area in brilliant violet and yellow. Pro-tip: do the 20-minute drive to Joshua Tree National Park at sunset for the best views and to avoid the crowds.

Best for: Stargazing

Cost: $406/two nights

A small white tent is dwarfed by towering trees.
A tent in Half Dome Village allows you to wake up to views of the jaw-dropping Yosemite National Park © Emily Sargent / Lonely Planet

Half Dome Village, Yosemite National Park

It's unlikely you will find a view to wake up to that is more spectacular than being greeted with Yosemite's impossibly huge sheets of rock face. It's nothing short of life changing. While these tents are a bit more rustic than the others, there is just a simple camp bed inside, but the jaw dropping location more than makes up for the lack of creature comforts. These well-appointed tents in Half-Dome Village, right at the heart of Yosemite National Park, are the perfect landing spot for exploring the many wonders of the park.

Best For: Adventure

Cost: $133/night

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