When you’re looking for a weekend getaway that’s a level up from tent camping, these are the best book-worthy spots in CA

Got a hankering to leave city life and go camping nearby, but not convinced that braving the elements and setting up your own sleeping quarters with just a piece of nylon between you and whatever wanders around outside is your idea of fun? Let us introduce you to the good old yurt. “What’s a yurt?” you ask? Well, unlike pitch-a-tent camping, yurts are already constructed structures, adorably, in the round. Yurt means “home” in Mongolian so for those that don’t want to give up some creature comforts (like a good set of walls and an off-the-floor bed) but also want to feel at one with the great outdoors (whether it’s beach camping or perhaps a touch of a luxe campsite), this could be the camping answer you’ve been looking for.

Cachuma Lake Yurts

You'll relax at the lake and roast marshmallows at your very own fire ring while little glampers will have fun at the playground and the swimming pool during the summer months. Add to that, there are guided nature walks, guided lake cruises, and junior ranger programs the kids can join.

Good to Know: The yurts named Lupine, Poppy, and Sage are on the western side of the campground and get a spectacular sunset on most evenings. Oak, Sycamore, Pine, and Redwood (ADA) are on the eastern side and get a beautiful morning sunrise over the lake and boating marina. PS: There's also a country store in case you need any essentials.

Yurt Features: Depending on the yurt, these yurts sleep 3-to-6 people. Expect to find indoor lighting, heating and screened windows. Outside you'll find a deck, picnic table (some are inside), that previously mentioned fire ring, a charcoal bbq and water spigot. Restrooms and showers are located close by while a portable lavatory is located adjacent to some yurts for convenience.

1 Lakeview Dr.
Santa Barbara, CA 
Online: countyofsb.org/741/Yurts

El Capitan Canyon

Camping is downright easy with this adventure yurt at El Capitan. We aren't sure if the best part is the domed skylight for easy stargazing at night or the multitude of deer, birds, trees and other nature-like things that surround you during your stay. Make sure to carve time out for the 30-minute hike to the beach or a walk to feed the llamas and the goats. 

Good to Know: There's a heated swimming pool, along with a playground with a slide, swings and jungle gym adjacent to the pool. And for parents? There is an espresso bar as well as local wine and beer in the Canyon Market.

Yurt Features: Includes a queen bed and a twin day bed with twin trundle, bar-sized refrigerator, microwave, ceiling fan and space heater. Adjacent restroom facilities include private shower stalls with attached changing rooms. All yurts include a private picnic table and firepit with grill. 

11560 Calle Real
Santa Barbara, CA 
Online: elcapitancanyon.com

Santa Margarita KOA

Located halfway between LA and SF (and makes a great pitstop if you're making the roadtrip between the two), this yurt, on 70 acres in the central coast, is an outdoor enthusiasts dream—whether you and your family are into hiking, fishing, boating, bird watching, horseback riding, cycling, horseshoes, swimming, or any number of other outdoor activities, there's (literally) something for everyone. And if just making it to the yurt is the adventure, there's plenty to entertain the kids onsite: There's a giant jumping pillow and the unheated pool is open May through Oct. Make sure to say hi to Kevin, the resident emu who loves being fed.

Good to Know: This spot is located within an hour drive of Hearst Castle, Cambria, Ocean Dunes, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, local wineries, and Pozo National Forest. 

Yurt Features: This 20-foot, yurt comes with a queen bed, two full futons and two twin beds. There isn't a bathroom or kitchen inside and you need to bring your own linens. Fire pit and picnic table are located out front.

4765 Santa Margarita Lake Rd.
Santa Margarita, CA
Online: koa.com/santa-margarita

Related: What a Family Adventure Looks Like in Morro Bay, CA

Purty Yurty & Mini Me

best yurts to rent in CA
Purty Yurty

Located on 5-acres of land in Joshua Tree, expect a star-studded stargazing experience thanks to vast skies and little-to-no light pollution. This is a rustic experience so bring plenty of food and even more water. 

Good to Know: Joshua Tree National Park is 20 minutes away and is a bucket-worthy spot for hikes for the half-pints.

Yurt Features: Sleeps up to four guests. There's no kitchen, the restroom is a porta potty, there's a shower stall with solar shower (bag of water heated by the sun) along with battery and solar-powered lamps. Additionally, there is a solar panel which charges battery packs and you can use them to charge phones and small devices but no more than 110V. If you need a power for anything else, this listing is not suitable. Bring prepared food and plenty of drinking water.

Joshua Tree, CA
Online: airbnb.com/rooms/19860463

Related: Luxury Camping & Joshua Tree National Park All in One (Glorious) Place

The Cazador Yurt


Nestled among 30 fruit trees on a half-acre lot, this yurt exemplifies classic bohemian California living. There are several hammocks hung around the yard, a firepit as well as fruit trees that you're welcome to help yourself to.

Yurt Features: This yurt is 16 feet in diameter and has a conical roof with a skylight directly over the bed. It sleeps four, with one queen bed, one single bed and an air mattress. Included is internet access, a toaster oven, coffee, and mini-fridge. There's an outdoor bathroom with a toilet, sink and an outdoor shower with a tankless water heater that allows infinitely long hot showers. 

Glassell Park
Los Angeles, CA 
Online: airbnb.com/rooms/1688018

Related: Our 100 Things to Do in LA List Is New & Improved

Skyfarm Yurt

Skyfarm Yurt

A glamping bohemian yurt in the neighborhood of Paradise Hill (a 10-minute drive from DTLA). Families will dig this yurt's location on an urban farm where you can visit (and help feed if you wish!) goats, chickens, and a pig next door.

Good to Know: There are steps, so for toddlers, this location may be a challenge.

Yurt Features: This 20-foot yurt comes with a king bed and two single mattresses. A full outside kitchen, hanging chair the kids will love, wifi, an indoor fireplace, a solar-powered clawfoot garden bathtub, plus a coffee maker, microwave and refrigerator and a bbq grill outside.

Paradise Hill
Los Angeles, CA 
Online: airbnb.com/rooms/19012748

Related: Our Favorite Farm Stays for Families across California

Launch Pointe

best yurts to book in CA
Launch Pointe

If your brood loves to have plenty of activities, then Lake Elsinore's Launch Pointe Recreation is a camping hot spot. With splash pads, a playground and a swimming pool, little campers have tons of choices on how to have fun. And if you love to jet ski, boat, or fish, you've got it all here. Even better? There's a restaurant on-site for when the crew gets hungry.

Yurt Features: There are six themed yurts (The Lodge, The BoraBora, The Boho, The Beach, The Rock & Roll, and The Elsinore) that vary in guest accommodations but all come with linens, in-room coffee and a refrigerator. Bathrooms are private while showers and additional restrooms are located within the yurt village.

32040 Riverside Dr.
Lake Elsinore, CA 
Online: launch-pointe.com

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