Glamping At El Capitan

El Capitan Canyon, located just 20 miles north of Santa Barbara, is the perfect place for families looking to relax and unwind in nature without having to rough it.   Check the box on the camp fires, the wild animal sightings, and the potential for poison oak but throw in heated cabins with queen sized beds covered in down comforters, a market carrying organic groceries, local wines, sunscreen etc, spa treatments and a kitchen serving breakfast, lunch and dinner items. Stop in for a latte or order up a barbecue kit which includes food, drinks, firewood, plates, eating utensils, napkins… even a S’mores kit. With a few hours notice, “cabin service” can even be arranged with food delivery to your campsite.  

We went with a school group and found plenty to do on the 300 acre property.  During the day, the kids enjoyed  swimming in the heated pool, running, biking, and playing ball.  We even took a kid friendly hike to a scenic spot overlooking the ocean where we fed llamas, goats and sheep.  Off property, but walking distance (across Route 101), is a gorgeous beach perfect for shell collectors. And when the sun went down and the kids could run freely with their flashlights and glow sticks in hand, all you could hear was laughter.  It's one of the few places where you can give your kids some freedom and independence and know they're okay.  

There are lots of different options for lodging.  We stayed in a cabin with a separate area that had a pullout couch. Others had cabins with sleeping lofts or bunk beds.  The properties newest, spacious and most luxurious cabin, called the safari cabin suite, boasts panoramic ocean, mountain and canyon views, has two bedrooms and is equipped with a full kitchen, large gas barbecue grill, spacious deck and outdoor shower.  Aside from cabins, guests can also choose to stay in a 12′ x 14′ safari tent furnished with either a queen bed or two double beds or a Yurt which can accommodate a family of 4 comfortably but you'll have to use a shared bathroom.  

Our cabin had everything we needed -- a coffee maker (with coffee packs), a nightlight, a sponge and dish soap in the kitchen and extra pillows and blankets.  In the back, was a firepit. If you want to grill with a group as we did, you can rent a large grill for everyone to cook on at once.  We brought grilling tools, but if you don't have them, you can get them there. 

Whether you're a camper or not, there really is something for everyone to enjoy here -- barbecues and concerts in the summer, exploring and stargazing, or doing absolutely nothing but taking the time to unplug. 




Nature Lodging on the Southern California coast: Not a contradiction in terms, but a unique reality at El Capitan Canyon.

El Capitan Canyon resort is a mere 20 miles north of Santa Barbara. Located in a seaside pocket on 300 plus acres on the picturesque Pacific coast, the nature lodging experience at El Capitan Canyon was created for those who have the desire to totally unwind, relax and commune with nature.