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Get ready for glamping - glamorous camping at Santa Barbara's El Capitan Canyon Resort

Outdoor concert band
Outdoor concert band

There are sure signs of summer camping such as tasty, barbecue dinners enjoyed outside, kids frolicking in the grass, and the RV parked nearby. Add live, outdoor concerts; an ocean view swimming pool; spa treatments; yoga; cedar cabins, safari tents, and you have glamping.

Outdoor concert at El Capitan Canyon Resort
Photo by Heidi Young

This is not your ordinary camping experience. Located 20 miles north of beautiful Santa Barbara, El Capitan Canyon Resort and its sister site, Ocean Mesa Campground, offer what you might normally expect of a campground: RV and tent campsites in a peaceful, woodsy setting with miles of hiking trails. But these pampering partners don’t stop there; they want their guests to commune with nature in luxurious style, perhaps while enjoying a hot stone, barefoot, or herbal scalp massage.

Forget to pack the food? No worries, the El Capitan market offers barbeque kits for sale which include your choice of hamburgers and hot dogs, chicken, or tri-tip to be cooked over your grill, as well as baked beans, green salad, garlic bread, soft drinks, and for dessert, a smores kit. They even provide the cooking utensils and service items. If cooking and serving sounds like too much work, go to the deli and order something off the menu.

If hooking up and parking the RV sounds like a lot of bother, leave it at home. El Capitan offers cedar cabins with standard bathroom facilities, king, queen, or double beds, linens, kitchenette, outdoor cooking and eating facilities, individual heat control, and wireless internet. Safari tents are constructed on raised, wood platforms, come with queen or double beds, bedside tables, chairs, a desk, and are supplied with bed linens and towels. There’s no need to rough it.

A large assortment of activities are available nearby including wine tasting, kayaking, horseback riding, surfing lessons, docent-led hikes, or just lounging at the beach. Complimentary bicycles are available for use by El Capitan guests, and their staff will arrange a wide assortment of outings in nearby Santa Barbara. During the summer, El Capitan offers outdoor concerts every Saturday night, and you don’t even  need to be a guest to enjoy the music. For $10 per person you can bring a picnic to enjoy with the music, and avoid the glamping price tag. There are some gorgeous state parks nearby that offer camping at a more reasonable price, including Refugio State Beach and El Capitan State Beach.



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