Ventana Glamping in Big Sur

Ventana Glamping in Big Sur the Best Family Trip

For any of you familiar with Big Sur, you’ve probably heard of the iconic Ventana Resort. It’s the epitome of 5 star luxury with stylish rustic decor in the most gorgeous, Big Sur setting.

So it only makes sense that Ventana has the best of the best in Big Sur Glamping glamorous camping.

The minute I heard about these luxurious safari style tents at their Redwood Canyon Glampsites, my youngest son and I planned a Ventana Glamping weekend getaway.

The idea was a quick trip before college started and it exceeded all expectations!

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Glamping in Big Sur California Pin

Getting to Ventana Glamping in Big Sur

Big Sur is located on California Highway 1 between Monterey and San Luis Obispo. If you are flying in, the closest airport is the Monterey Regional Airport (1 hour drive), which has limited flights or San Jose International Airport (2 hour drive).

Those that are doing a California Coast Road Trip typically fly into San Francisco International Airport (2.5 hour drive) or Los Angeles International Airport (5.5 hour drive).

Check in starts at the main building of the Ventana Resort. You pull up to the valet and they wisk you up to the uber cool reception living room.

The relaxed, fun vibe of the the hotel is welcoming from the second you walk in. From the retro music to the pool table in the adjoining room, this place exudes Big Sur coolness!

After check-in, we walked around the resort, then took the 2 minute drive to our California Redwoods home away from home.

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Ventana Resort

Ventana Big Sur Glamping Campsites

Ventana Glamping Tent

Each glamping campsite has a tent, sink/mirror, patio with Adirondack chairs, ice chest, picnic table, wood fire pit and a propane fire pit that starts with the push of a button.

Inside the tent is a queen bed, electric blanket, nightstands, lamps, chargers with USB ports, hot water bottles, and netting that can be zipped up to keep flies out.

Also included is a picnic basket with a S’mores kit, cheese board/knife, tablecloth, wine glasses, mugs, and assorted teas. There is an instant hot water tap at the sink to use for the tea and hot water bottles.

It feels a little rustic, in that you know you are in a tent, but this glamping experience is very luxurious!

The shared bathroom is also pretty amazing with heated floors, fluffy towels, and amazing products (shampoo, conditioner, body wash). There’s no roughing it when you’re glamping in Big Sur.

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Ventana Glamping Surstream

Dining Options for Ventana Glamping

The SurStream is the outdoor restaurant/bar where you can order a delicious BBQ dinner, drinks or breakfast in the morning.

The area, strung with lights has a great atmosphere where other campers and hotel guests gather for dinner around picnic tables.

Ventana Glamping BBQ

We took the BBQ dinner back to our own campsite and ate at our picnic table. The views are so beautiful as the light moves through the redwoods sending streams of light in various directions.

After dinner there were yummy S’mores to make at our own personal fire pit. How could you go Big Sur glamping and not finish off the evening with S’mores!

Ventana Big Sur Glamping

For breakfast, the Welcome Tent offers coffee and pastries in the morning. You can also head up to the hotel for a full brunch at the Sur House, which is a restaurant with amazing Pacific Ocean views and a delicious menu.

Ventana Glamping Welcome Tent

Fun Things to do near Ventana Big Sur

This was a down time type of getaway. The Ventana Glamping area has hammocks that are perfect for relaxing with a great book.

We also had fun playing games, hiking and checking out Big Sur. You get the full camping experience but you get to do it in a way that is so much more luxurious and comfortable.

On that note, you can head over to the adults-only Ventana resort. Enjoy the swimming pool, infinity jacuzzi, Japanese baths, sauna and more.

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Ventana Big Sur pool

It’s Glamping (Not Camping) So Enjoy the Ventana Spa Guilt Free!

The hotel offers morning yoga but the bed was so comfy, I happily slept in and missed it. For those that want to keep up with their workouts, there’s a full gym.

There are also guided hikes around the property, astrology readings, and even a falconry experience. There is also a full spa with hot stone massages, facials, reflexology, and multiple other treatments.

Stargazing and Astrophotography Right at Ventana Big Sur

One of the coolest things about being in this remote part of the California coast is stargazing. My son shot this amazing photo. It was incredible to see the Milky Way and oodles of constellations.

Since the photo is long exposure, you have plenty of time to set the camera and then enjoy the night sky. Make sure to bring a tripod and a jacket because it gets chilly at night.

This photo was shot right by Ventana hotel overlooking the Big Sur coastline.

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Astrophotography in Big Sur California

Restaurants & Galleries to Try When Glamping in Big Sur

If you’re a glamper, there’s a good chance you’re not making all your meals at a camp stove. That’s a good thing because there are so many fun places to check out during your time in Big Sur.

It’s worth taking a trip to some of the restaurants and galleries in the area.

Nepenthe, a 4 minute drive south of Ventana, is a great place to enjoy a meal. The food is delicious and the views are even better. Seating is first come first served.

Request a table on the back patio and check out the Phoenix Shop while you’re waiting. Before or after, visit nearby Hawthorne Gallery. The art is eclectic and interesting and it’s worth a look just to see the actual gallery space itself.

Coast is another great “food with a view, then check out the gallery” place to visit. Since Big Sur doesn’t have an official town, little spots like this fit the bill while retaining that rustic Big Sur coastal vibe.

Enjoy a relaxing morning with coffee and pastries or afternoon wine and chesse.

Big Sur Roadhouse is also super cute for breakfast for lunch and the food is delish! It’s 4 miles north of Ventana.

Hiking at Big Sur State Parks

As you drive to Big Sur on the Coast Highway, the beautiful views will beckon you get out and explore on foot. Look for the well-marked Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park Entrance.

It’s about 9 miles south of Ventana Resort on Highway 1. McWay Waterfall Trail gives you a lot of bang for a 1 mile trail with killer Big Sur Coastline views including an 80 foot waterfall.

For a more challenging 5.7 mile hike, park in the upper lot for the Ewoldsen Trail.

Make sure you check for trail closures ahead of time here. Also, watch out for poison oak on any hike in the area.

Kayaking in Big Sur

Experienced kayakers and paddlers love the Big Sur area and dramatic coastline beginners should stick to protected coves like Andrew Molera State Park, the Mill Creek Day Use Area, and Sand Dollar Beach.

A quick drive to Monterey and Pacific Grove will get you to Paddle Lover’s Point for kayaking and SUP.

We created a guide for inflatable kayaks. They’re the perfect gear to bring on your California coast trip because you’ll be able to use them all over and they are so easy to transport and set up.

Bixby Bridge California Coast

Bixby Creek Bridge on the Way to Carmel-By-The-Sea

About halfway between Big Sur and Carmel, you’ll find the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge, shown in the opening sequence of Big Little Lies. Hop out and enjoy the view.

I highly recommend a stop in Carmel-by-the-Sea as it’s one of the cutest towns on the California coast and a great place to go for lunch or dinner. If you love art, you’ll find terrific galleries to peruse. It’s also a nice spot to do a little shopping.

Weather & What to Pack for Glamping in Big Sur, California

Big Sur is a great destination year round. The peak season for travel is between April to October but most people don’t realize that California summers are somewhat delayed.

At the beginning of summer, you can expect a marine layer in the morning that burns off in the afternoon. We call it May Grey and June Gloom. If you are looking for full sunshine, plan your trip between July and November.

That said, Ventana Glamping is even great as a cozy Big Sur winter holiday trip. The tents have heaters, heated blankets and hot water bottles.

California winters are warmer than summers in other parts of the US. The other nice thing about an off season trip is that the rates are less expensive.

What to Pack in Your Bag for Big Sur Glamping at Ventana

  • Make sure you pack hiking shoes or trail runners.
  • Bring hiking pants that cover your legs if you are planning to do bigger hikes.
  • A bathing suit, sunscreen and flip flops for the beach, pool or jacuzzi.
  • You will need a jacket or sweater for the evenings. If you are going in the winter, bring a bigger, warmer jacket.
  • For entertainment, a great novel, a deck of cards or some fun games. Ventana also has a bunch of games near the SurStream restaurant.


Final Thoughts About Ventana Glamping in Big Sur

Our weekend glamping at Ventana Big Sur was awesome! We had the best time and highly recommend it. The one question everyone asked me is if there were bugs.

I am a tasty treat to any type of biting bug and I didn’t get one bite the whole time. There are little flies at dusk that are easily kept at bay with the provided citronella candle and fire pit.

There is also zip-up netting on the tent that completely keeps any flies out.

If you’re doing a California Coast road trip or want to get away for the weekend, Ventana Glamping in Big Sur is a bucket list experience that is definitely worth the trip!

It’s adventure travel in a luxurious way, that’s the best of California glamping. When you drive down the coast towards Los Angeles, check out the 13 Prettiest Beaches in Southern California and Fun Things to do in Manhattan Beach.

For another amazing weekend trip in California, try Joshua Tree.

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  • Reply
    Lake Toba
    May 18, 2022 at 12:55 pm

    Big Sur is amazing place, need to visit again. also your photos looks amazing

  • Reply
    July 18, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    Beautiful photos of one of my favorite places on earth. I got engaged here last year. Would love to get back there soon.

    • Reply
      July 18, 2020 at 7:41 pm

      What a fun place to get engaged. You’ll have to return for anniversaries!

  • Reply
    Makeup Muddle
    January 24, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    Wow it sounds like you had an incredible trip! I would so love to visit, it’s definitely on my travel bucket list of places I have to visit. It truly looks fantastic, what an experience xo

  • Reply
    January 23, 2020 at 11:59 am

    I’ve always wanted to go Glamping and to Big Sur. The property looked amazing!

    Effortlessly Sophisticated

    • Reply
      January 23, 2020 at 5:40 pm

      Glamping is such a fun experience and Big Sur is an incredible spot.

  • Reply
    September 17, 2018 at 5:55 am

    Oh wow – this looks beautiful and like you had so much fun! Loving all the photos as they’re beautiful and the location looks so pretty!

    Hope you’re having a lovely start to the week!

    Layla x

    • Reply
      September 19, 2018 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks so much for reading! It was such a beautiful spot and great getaway. Hope you’re having a great week too!

  • Reply
    September 15, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Oh my gosh, this looks like such a fun trip! And that starry view is beyond gorgeous…I backpacked in the Sierra Nevadas a few years ago, and it looked very similar — you’re making me want to go back!

    • Reply
      September 19, 2018 at 6:48 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it. The starry view was amazing and I was so proud of my son and his mad photo skills 😉 Hope you get a chance to do more starry travel soon!!

  • Reply
    Vicki Rutwind
    September 13, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    I’m showing your post to my husband tonight! He would LOVE to do something like this!!!

    • Reply
      September 19, 2018 at 6:41 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it! I’m always so inspired by your travels! You both would absolutely love Ventana!!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Wow, this glamping experience looks absolutely amazing! I love the luxurious tent, and the dining options look so good! I definitely would love to visit this place someday!

    • Reply
      September 19, 2018 at 6:37 pm

      Hi Valerie!! It’s an amazing place and as luxurious as you mentioned. Definitely a fun experience for those of us that might not be willing to pitch a tent. 🙂 Hope you get to visit!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    THis place is so cool! I hope you had a great time!!
    Take care dear! xx

    La ilusión de Nina

    • Reply
      September 19, 2018 at 6:34 pm

      It was so much fun. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    September 5, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    Great trip and great photos! Love the “idea” of camping but not the dirt and discomfort. And so many hotels separate you from the place/culture you’re trying to experience. Ventana Resort is obviosly an exception and nice that they offer more than one level of luxury accommodations. Thanks Jenifer!

    • Reply
      September 7, 2018 at 10:24 pm

      Thanks Karen! Ventana is such a special resort that definitely has the super cool Big Sur vibe and luxurious accommodations for glampers and resort guests alike!

  • Reply
    September 4, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    Just my speed! This seems like a great way to enjoy the outdoors with the comforts of home. Plus I’d definitely get that smores basket.

    xx Yasmin

    • Reply
      September 7, 2018 at 10:29 pm

      It is so much more civilized than camping and the s’mores basket was a great touch 😉

  • Reply
    August 31, 2018 at 7:19 am

    Now that’s a fab way to go camping! Love the pool!


    • Reply
      September 7, 2018 at 10:21 pm

      Thanks so much! The whole resort is fabulous!!

  • Reply
    August 31, 2018 at 3:45 am

    I’ve never heard of glamping before actually haha! I hate regular camping, so maybe I’ll enjoy glamping. Great post!

    xx Nicole

    • Reply
      September 7, 2018 at 10:21 pm

      Thank so much! I hate regular camping too. This is definitely not that, hehe!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go Glamping…
    this post really made me want it even more. it looks fabulous and so do you my friend

    • Reply
      September 7, 2018 at 10:14 pm

      Thank you Michelle. I love anything adventurous and I was so excited to go to Ventana and glamp in the redwoods!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    This place looks amazing!Wonderful pictures:-)

    • Reply
      September 7, 2018 at 10:12 pm

      Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    MP Allegaert
    August 30, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    What a dream weekend getaway! And so cute that you got to share it with your son. Of course, it’s added to my bucket list. Loved all the pics, too. Your son’s “stargazing” one is truly frame-worthy!

    • Reply
      September 7, 2018 at 10:05 pm

      Thank you so much for the comment about my son’s photo. It’s always a treat to spend some low key time with them and glamping was perfect for that!

  • Reply
    Lisa ende
    August 30, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Bucket list is all I can say…. WOW!!

    • Reply
      September 7, 2018 at 10:03 pm

      Definitely a great bucket list trip!!

  • Reply
    Lovely Amusan
    August 30, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Now this is my kind off camping, this looks like so much fun, I will be checking this out!


    • Reply
      September 7, 2018 at 10:03 pm

      It’s the perfect camping luxurious experience! Thanks for reading.

  • Reply
    Jenn Yang
    August 30, 2018 at 3:03 am

    Wow these shots are so beautiful! I want to add this place to my bucket list so badly–thanks for sharing!
    xx jen

    • Reply
      September 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks so much! Glad you liked it!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2018 at 2:25 am

    Omg this is so amazing I can’t wait to get home and show Chris! This is perfection! Thank you for sharing doll!

    • Reply
      September 7, 2018 at 9:52 pm

      So glad that you got a chance to read it. You guys would love the trip and they have a great gym too!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2018 at 1:10 am

    Ohh my gosh this looks like the BEST glamping trip ever! LOVE LOVE LOVE! I want to go!


    • Reply
      September 7, 2018 at 2:56 pm

      It was so much fun. You would love it!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    Wow, this place is absolutely stunning, I’ve just added it to my must-visit travel places! I love the idea of going camping but still having some home comforts.

    • Reply
      September 7, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      Definitely worth a spot on your list! You’ll love it!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    This really sounds like a true adventure. I love to be out in nature but still don’t want to forgo a comfy bed. This glamping place has caught my eye and I want to do this too. Got to check if Switzerland offers glamping sites as well.

    xx Simone

    • Reply
      August 29, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      It is definitely a great way for people to camp and be really comfortable. Can’t wait to hear if you find interesting spots to glamp in Switzerland.

  • Reply
    August 29, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    This seems to be a great thing to do with friends and family. Would love to have such an experience. Thanks for sharing!

    xo Yvonne

    • Reply
      August 29, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      It is such a fun trip with friends and family! Thanks for reading!!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Basa
    August 29, 2018 at 11:16 am

    This sounds so unique and fun!! And how great is it that you had a bonding trip with your son!!! Thanks so much for sharing all the info!! Xo

    • Reply
      August 29, 2018 at 4:05 pm

      Thanks for reading Jennifer! It was so much fun and definitely nice to get some time with my son without all the usual distractions.

  • Reply
    Patricia & Miguel
    August 29, 2018 at 10:38 am

    This is the ultimate glamping experience, the vibes are so amazing 😀 We love to discover new glamping sites so thanks so much for sharing this one with us, the facilities are so cool!
    Wishing you a wonderful day 🙂


    With love and light ☀
    Patricia & Miguel

    • Reply
      August 29, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      Thank you for reading! It was really incredible! Seems perfect for you two!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2018 at 8:58 am

    what a beautiful location!

    • Reply
      August 29, 2018 at 4:00 pm

      Thank you Vanessa! It was amazing!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2018 at 3:09 am

    Oh my gosh! How fun is this?! For sure a part of the country I need to see sometime!

    • Reply
      August 29, 2018 at 4:00 pm

      Hope you get a chance to see the California coast soon! Ventana is a great place to stay!

  • Reply
    Shannon Seaback Snow
    August 29, 2018 at 12:36 am

    This makes me want to glamp! I live in cali too, so I’ll have to look into this place!! Thank you!
    xoxo Shannon

    • Reply
      August 29, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      Thanks for reading Shannon! You would love it. Such a cool experience!!

  • Reply
    August 28, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    i’m going to do this glamping trip. looks like so much fun and i love that you can mix luxury with the outdoor experience. and…the s’mores…wow!!!

    • Reply
      August 28, 2018 at 10:05 pm

      You will absolutely love it!!

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