Matt Johnson

Big Sur Glamping: The Best of the Best

Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthornePublished: Feb 16, 2023Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Big Sur, California, is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Located on the central coast of California, Big Sur offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and lush redwood forests. And of course, some of the best glamping can be found at Big Sur.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing glamping experience or an outdoor adventure filled with hiking and kayaking, there’s something for everyone in Big Sur. From Point Sur State Historical Park to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to Henry Miller Memorial Library, there are plenty of sights to explore and activities to enjoy. And don’t forget about Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea, where you can find unique shops, delicious restaurants, and sandy beaches!

With so much beauty around every corner in this region of California, it’s no wonder why camping in Big Sur is such a popular activity among travelers from all over the world.

However, what places are the best ones to stay at? Don’t worry. We’ve traveled the west coast extensively and have come up with a few of the best glamping Big Sur offers.

What is Big Sur, and where’s it located?

You might’ve heard of Big Sur, or perhaps you’ve been fortunate enough to visit it yourself. Either way, Big Sur is one of the most majestic places in California. And, glamping near big sur will change your world!

Located along the Central Coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Big Sur has awe-inspiring redwood forests, rocky coves and cliffs, and some of the best ocean views in the world.

Big Sur has become a popular destination for glamping with its breathtaking views. Glamping combines camping and luxury – it offers all camping fun without sacrificing comfort or convenience. Be prepared to be amazed, from deluxe tents to stylish Airstreams and luxurious forest cabins.

Our favorite glampsites in Big Sur.

There are countless glampsites throughout California, but some of the best we’ve found have been in Big Sur. It’s almost like it’s a magnet for glamping experiences. From luxury tents to RV sites, canvas tents, and even tree houses, Big Sur truly offers something for everyone.

With that, we’re sure a Big Sur location is perfect for you. Here are the places we loved the most and we’re sure you will too.

Saddle Mountain Ranch.


Experience the beauty of nature and the stunning views of Big Sur, Carmel Valley, and the Pacific Ocean at Saddle Mountain Ranch. Located on 89 acres of forest land off Carmel Valley Road, just 5 miles from Hwy 1, this RV and campground offer a peaceful getaway for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of life.

Saddle Mountain Ranch features various accommodations that provide all the comforts of home. Guests can choose from cabin suites, RV & travel trailers, camping sites, or luxury tents. All equipped with plush beds with linens, BBQ/chairs, electric & wifi access, and more. The ranch also features an outdoor pool (like most swimming pools in NorCal, it’s only open from May to October), hot showers/bathrooms for campers to use, recreational activities like ping pong and badminton, as well as a variety of hiking trails through its enchanted forest leading up to the tippy top of the mountain.

There are also options for larger groups looking for a destination wedding or family reunion.

Glamping Tents at Saddle Mountain Resort

What we loved most about our stay at Saddle Mountain Ranch was the true sense of relaxation combined with the adventure it provided. Enjoying Mother Nature’s beauty while having plenty of amenities available made our experience even more enjoyable. We’re already planning our return trip to this delightful resort.

Cozy Cabin Retreat.

Cozy Cabin in Big Sur California

Experience the charm and rustic ambiance of ‘Cozy Cabin Retreat‘ located in beautiful Carmel Valley Village, just a stone’s throw away from local wine-tasting rooms.

Perfect for couples, families, or solo adventurers, this cabin provides an ideal home away from home with all the necessary amenities for a relaxing vacation.

The one-bedroom cabin comfortably sleeps four people and features a wood stove that provides warmth to the entire house. It also has central heating, a fully stocked kitchen including dishwasher, brand new stove and microwave, washer & dryer on-site, and a patio with lovely garden setting offering privacy & enchanting mountain views.

Guests can also look forward to playing with local wildlife like deer, bunnies, and wild turkeys while exploring nearby hiking trails at Garland Ranch and enjoying the beauty of nature found in Carmel Valley Village.

Wood Burning Stove inside the Cozy Cabin

What we loved most about our stay at Cozy Cabin Retreat was how quiet and peaceful it was, combined with being surrounded by nature. It really felt like we were living among creatures in their own habitat. However, we had all the comforts of home available in our cabin accommodation. The experience is almost magical, so to say.

Glen Oaks: Big Sur

Glen Oaks Big Sur Glamping Cabin

The Glen Oaks at Big Sur is the perfect destination for those looking to get away and experience the best of glamping.

From the signature heated tile floors in their Sycamore Cabin, nestled amongst majestic redwood trees, to the fully equipped kitchenette and wood-stocked firepit outside, you will have an unforgettable stay. The cabin also features Muir Woods-inspired tile adornments on its bathroom walls, making it truly unique.

Not only can you enjoy a luxurious stay in the cozy cabin, but you can also plan your dream wedding! Imagine saying your vows under towering Redwoods with the sound of the Big Sur River babbling in the background. Plus, if you’re planning an event dinner, The Big Sur Roadhouse offers three different venues for you to choose from: a back terrace surrounded by twinkle lights and outdoor heat lamps; an interior dining room with fireplaces, stylish décor, and a bar area; or else an entire restaurant buyout -including a front terrace with comfortable couches and outdoor fire pits- that is just as dreamy.

Interior of the Luxury Cabins at Glen Oaks

What we loved most about our stay at Glen Oaks was feeling connected with nature. Falling asleep under the star-filled sky next to a warm fire pit left me feeling deeply content and relaxed. We’ll always remember this Big Sur glamping experience, that’s for sure.

Fernwood Resort

Fernwood Campground and Resort Canvas Tent Cabin

Fernwood Campground & Resort offers a unique glamping experience set among the lush forests of Big Sur.

With easy access to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, nearby hiking trails, and rivers, it is an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a peaceful getaway.

The cabins are situated on well-maintained grounds, which include two bathhouses with hot showers, a dishwashing area, and a laundry facility. Many sites have water and electricity provided, as well as a picnic table and fire ring.

For over 80 years, Fernwood Resort has been the most inviting place to stay in all of Big Sur. Located at the heart of the valley, visitors can enjoy various activities such as horseback riding, sightseeing, and even beach visits.

Our stay at the Fernwood Resort was absolutely delightful. What we loved most was being surrounded by nature’s beauty while still having all the necessary amenities at our fingertips!

Treebones Resort

Treebones Resort Unique Cabins on the Hillside

Treebones Resort at Big Sur is the perfect destination for glamping and outdoor enthusiasts looking for a unique and tranquil experience.

Located on California’s breathtaking Big Sur Coast, guests are spoiled with expansive views in all directions. From hiking to exploring, dining to relaxation, there is something special waiting around every corner.

The well-maintained resort has yurts and campsites available, most of which can accommodate just two guests. A strict occupancy policy is in place to ensure a peaceful ambiance for all visitors. Children must be aged 13 or over to stay, and groups of up to six people are allowed.

Remember, this is an off-grid location. It’s like the epitome of glamping in Big Sur. Sure, the glamping tents are amazing, but the real deal starts when you step outside and experience what nature has to offer.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Treebones Resort. The stunning views, wonderful hospitality, and natural beauty of this area were simply unforgettable. That makes it one of our most memorable glamping trips ever. For those that need to disconnect, Treebones is the place.

Alila Ventana Big Sur

Ventana Big Sur Glamping Tent in the Woods

Last on our list, but certainly not least, is Alila Ventana Big Sur. This incredible resort is nestled on the breathtaking cliffs of Big Sur and offers a luxurious glamping experience like none other.

At Alila Ventana Big Sur, guests can reconnect with nature in exquisite style. Glamping, or glamorous camping, offers a luxurious escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnects guests to the Redwood forests of Big Sur.

Safari-style tent cabins provide a more refined way to connect with nature and experience the full splendor of Big Sur. Custom-designed mattresses and premium linens provide relaxation and respite from city life.

Guests can marvel at stunning views of a 20-acre canyon while making s’mores by the fire pit or taking in the landscape’s majestic beauty.

Plus, a menu of enhancement packages that feature coolers, s’mores ingredients, and more allows this luxury glamping experience to be just what you need.

At Alila Ventana Big Sur, guests not only get to enjoy world-class amenities but also peace of mind knowing they are abiding by social distancing guidelines as resort grounds, including swimming pools, fitness studios, and dining facilities, are now reserved exclusively for resort guests.

The thing we loved the most about Alila Ventana Big Sur was the attention to detail. Everything was perfect, from the fresh towels in our tent cabin to the delicious food at the restaurant!

From the Pacific Ocean to the Big Sur River: Limitless outdoor adventures.

When you plan out your trip, whether tent camping or glamping Big Sur, you will want to take in a vast array of outdoor adventures.

Take a drive down Highway 1, and you’ll be mesmerized by stunning ocean views, unspoiled beaches, and inviting campgrounds. Or take a short hike to McWay Falls, one of California’s most photographed waterfalls.

And don’t forget about the Big Sur River! With lush foliage and breathtaking cliffs, the river provides a unique adventure that can’t be found anywhere else.

Bridge View at Big Sur

When it comes to camping in Big Sur, you’re genuinely spoiled for choice!

Here are some of our favorite sights and trails we found on our trip:

  • Point Sur State Historic Park. This incredible park offers stunning views of the ocean and a fascinating history.
  • Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. A hiker’s paradise where you can explore over 80 miles of trails.
  • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park – Home to McWay Falls, this park offers mesmerizing views of the Pacific.
  • Henry Miller Memorial Library. Perfect for literature lovers, the Henry Miller Memorial Library is an independent library honoring the works of local author Henry Miller.
  • Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. This picturesque reserve has various wildlife and some of the most beautiful vistas in Big Sur.
  • Garrapata State Park. Explore gorgeous redwood forests and admire the rugged coastline of this park.
  • Monastery Beach. Just a short drive away, Monastery Beach is an excellent spot for swimming and snorkeling. You can’t enjoy California without visiting some sandy beaches.
Historic Lighthouse at Point Sur State Historic Park

No matter what kind of adventure you’re seeking, Big Sur has something for everyone. From glamping to camping, hiking to kayaking, there’s an abundance of activities waiting for you.

Shopping, eating, and enjoying central California.

Of course, the outdoor activities are great, and your luxury tent will be nothing but opulent, but you’ll also want to explore the charming towns and cities of central California.

The nearby village of Carmel-by-the-Sea offers a quaint shopping experience with some truly unique stores. And Monterey is only a short drive away. Here, you can enjoy fresh seafood at the fantastic restaurants, stroll around Fisherman’s Wharf, or take a walk on Cannery Row.

Big Sur also offers some unique and delicious dining experiences. The Big Sur Taphouse is a great spot for craft beer enthusiasts, while the Post Ranch Inn is home to an incredible restaurant with views of the Pacific Ocean like you’ve never seen before.

Whether it’s the culture and history you’re after or a more active experience with nature, Big Sur has it all.

Go camping in Big Sur, California, for the ultimate luxury glamping experience!

The incredible beauty of California’s central coast is what makes Big Sur the perfect destination for camping and glamping. With stunning views, luxurious accommodations, and plenty of outdoor activities to choose from, Big Sur is perfect for relaxation.

If you’re looking for the best glamping Big Sur location, we loved the Ventana Big Sur Resort the most. It’s the perfect place for a luxury escape and offers an unparalleled combination of nature and amenities.

No matter what kind of camping trip you decide to take, Big Sur will provide you with blissful relaxation and unforgettable memories. From beach days to hikes and everything in between, it’s the ultimate destination for outdoor adventure.


Matt Johnson

Senior Content Writer

Matt is an experienced camper and glamping enthusiast with a Master's degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Authoring posts for GlamperGear, he shares his wealth of knowledge on picturesque campsites, luxurious accommodations, and the best gear for outdoor adventures. His passion for nature and knack for comfort in the wilderness make him an expert guide for your next camping endeavor.

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2 thoughts on “Big Sur Glamping: The Best of the Best

  1. MattGlamperGear


    I absolutely love the idea of glamping in Big Sur! The combination of luxury and nature is truly unbeatable. Saddle Mountain Ranch sounds like an incredible place to stay, with its various accommodations and amenities. I especially love that there are hiking trails through the enchanted forest, leading up to the top of the mountain. Cozy Cabin Retreat also sounds like a charming and romantic option, perfect for couples looking for a getaway. Thank you for sharing your favorite glampsites in Big Sur – I can’t wait to plan my own trip there!

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