‘Glamping’ Catches on in California RV Parks
Today, the great outdoors is filled not only with pools, game rooms and horseshoe pits but giant movie screens, inflatable bounce pillows, cappuccino carts and, of course, Wi-Fi. Tent sites and recreational vehicle parks sharing space with cabins and fully appointed lodges, according to the Contra Costa Times.
Here's a closer look at a few California sites that have redefined camping in a style that has become known as "glamping":
— El Capitan Canyon: About 20 miles north of Santa Barbara, this luxury campground offers fully appointed cedar cabins — some of which look bigger and nicer than a house — and raised canvas safari tents with willow beds and linens. There's a restaurant and deli selling barbecue kits. During the summer, guests can enjoy free concerts on Saturday nights. Beach cruise bikes are also complimentary.
— Petaluma KOA Camping: The 70-acre campground has tent and RV sites, cabins and Wine Country lodges with a private bedroom, bunk bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, television and DVD, fire pit and deck. The campground has a playground, basketball and volleyball courts, pool, arcade, movie theater, dog park and themed weeks during the summer. San Francisco and Wine Country tours also are available.
— Crystal Cove Beach Cottages: Located in Crystal Cove State Park Historic District, these restored cottages were built as part of a seaside colony in the 1930s and '40s. Available for rent are 11 individual cottages with different floor plans and designs and three dorm-style cottages. Most have kitchens and views of the ocean in Newport Beach.
— Sacred Rocks Reserve: The tent and RV park in San Diego County's Boulevard has a mile-long labyrinth for meditation, a pool, clubhouse with movie nights and a dog run. Also available for rent are a bunkhouse that sleeps 14, and two show models of its eco-friendly vacation homes. Home to an artists' colony, the reserve hosts workshops in writing, poetry, photography and crafts and holds occasional geocaching events.
— Emerald Desert RV Park: This gem in Palm Springs for RVs only is a resort in disguise. There's a driving range and two-hole putting green, tennis courts, two pools, a fitness center, indoor and outdoor spas, a video library and event catering. Golf and tennis clinics are offered seasonally. Two-bedroom condos with luxury furnishings are available to rent.
— Manhattan Beach KOA: The biggest draw here is direct access to a five-mile stretch of beach. Like other KOA sites, Manhattan Beach offers tent and RV sites, cabins and cottages, but it also rents stationary trailers for guests who want a more traditional camping experience (without the tent). Amenities include an 18-hole disc golf course, two bocce ball courts, food court, pool, arcade, volleyball court, two playgrounds, dog park and peddle carts for rent. Television and DVD rentals also are available.
— Santa Cruz KOA: There's little chance of being bored at this park at La Selva Beach. Intriguing attractions include a mechanical bull, mechanical surfboard, fun train and agility course for pets. There are outdoor movies, a game room, pool, espresso cafe, volleyball and basketball courts, climbing wall, bounce pillow and playground, as well as golf carts, bike rentals and mini golf for an extra charge. The campground also has a pizza parlor with campsite deliveries, Sunday pancake breakfasts and Saturday barbecue lunches. And in addition to cabins and lodges, guests can rent classic Airstream trailers.
— The Springs at Borrego RV Resort and Golf Course: The 90-site RV resort located just outside Anza Borrego State Park capitalized on its hot mineral baths by opening a wellness center last month. Services include massages, acupuncture and acupressure. It was named Small RV Park of the Year last year by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. The reason: a 9-hole golf course, dog park, saltwater swimming pool, fitness center, tennis courts, pond with catch-and-release fishing and an astronomy park with an 11-inch telescope. The Springs also rents RVs.
— Campland on the Bay: The park in San Diego offers a private getaway called the Super Site — private patio, grill and hot tub, all tucked away from the other campsites. For everyone, there's a pool, marina with 124 slips, watercraft and bike rentals, game room, restaurant, new skate park and activities that include sand castle building contests, concerts with live bands and scavenger hunts.