Guest Spotlight: Glamping near San Diego

By Chloe Stein

Editor's Note: We'd like to introduce you to real-life glampers—just like you and I—Heidi and Justin, who recently stayed at this top-notch safari tent in northern San Diego County, near Warner Springs, in California. Read on to hear all about their glamping experience!

When I booked my stay, I already felt that it was going to be an amazing getaway. I had anticipated it for months and envisioned myself out on the deck soaking in the jacuzzi or waking up to the sun rising through the open slat of the tent. After months of waiting, these moments became real.

I found myself enjoying the jacuzzi under the stars, and waking up to the sunrise, no longer wondering what those experiences would feel like. The reality of the stay exceeded my expectations in the sense that I was only able to previously think of the site as a great place to spend a few days. However, after actually getting to experience how special this place was, I wanted to stay even longer!

Our Interview with Heidi and Justin

Choose three adjectives to describe the glamping site you stayed at before your trip and another three words to describe it post- stay. How did your expectations measure up to reality?

Prior to the trip, I was only able to base my opinion on pictures and details. To me, it seemed romantic, relaxing, and unique. After the stay, I would describe it as tranquil, enchanting, and perfect.

Who did you go glamping with, and what was your favorite memory that you made together during the stay?

I was accompanied by my favorite adventure partner, my boyfriend Justin. The whole experience was memorable, though I would say that collaborating on the most awesome pizza together and then enjoying drinks and playing cards by the fire certainly sticks out in my mind.

What was the best part about the accommodation? How does it compare to past places you’ve stayed?

We enjoyed everything this safari tent cabin had to offer. The private location with a great panoramic view was remarkable. Also, the Jacuzzi on the deck, which was only steps away from the bed, which had a heated mattress, were much appreciated on a mildly cold, Southern California winter's night. I don't think it is fair to compare this place to other glamping sites, because each glamping site provides the opportunity for its own unique experience.

Describe to us the area around the glamping site. What do you think the perfect time of year to stay here would be, and why?

This glamping site was located on a hillside, which was part of a private ranch in the Warner Springs area of North San Diego County. It was surrounded by the Cleveland National Forest and overlooked a picturesque valley and mountain landscape. There is a hammock located within the fenced-in yard (dog-friendly!); that was perfect for me to enjoy the surroundings and write in my adventure journal.

As for the overall region, there are a few wineries within five to 10 minutes of the property, perfect for a short afternoon wine-tasting session and a chance to grab a local bottle to bring back and enjoy in the evening! If you are looking for a hike, the property does have trailhead access that winds through the surrounding hillside, or you can find the Pacific Crest Trail by heading into Warner Springs.

I feel like the perfect time of year to stay here would be sometime in the spring with the milder weather pattern. The region can feel a bit sweltering in the summer, and temps can drop into the 30s in the winter. However, I honestly wouldn't pass up an opportunity to stay here at any point throughout the year.

Tell us one thing about your first glamping experience that surprised you and why.

Though we spend a lot of time outdoors and go camping whenever possible, the glamping experience is unique. You are able to stay in lodgings in which the owners have exhibited so much attention to detail and manage to provide all the comforts of home, while still giving you a very intimate experience with nature. The euphoric feeling you get from the experience leaves you almost feeling as if you should have booked the property for a longer period of time!

Our first experience glamping was an overnight stay at a redwood treehouse, located down a trail through a redwood grove about five minutes from where our car was parked. It was almost as if I was already getting sad about checking out the next day soon after I arrived and got settled!

If you could have invited a famous celebrity (dead or alive) over to your glamping site, who would it be, and what would you have done together?

Since my boyfriend and I are avid music listeners, you could say that we did have celebrities there with us through the songs on the soudntrack we had created for the weekend.

As our stay at the property was, at times, a bit spiritual, it was as if Nahko and Medicine for the People or Trevor Hall were in the house. This peaceful slice of paradise also allowed The Green and Tarrus Riley to be present in setting the mood, and giving a nod to the rustic vibe of the place, Chris Stapleton could be heard through the speakers, too.

In spirit, these folks were there. Physically, however, we wouldn't have wanted anybody else there, celebrity or otherwise. Who the heck would want a third wheel on a romantic getaway?!?

What is your ideal food item and beverage for a glamping trip, and why?

If you have a special secret or recipe, please share with us—if you’re willing, of course!

I'm not sure how these two items became a tradition, but on every camping, glamping, or road trip, we've always brought along a bottle of Cinnamon Whiskey and a box of fruit snacks! This is not to say that these items make a great combination. I wouldn't recommended these as part of a balanced diet. Yet, in the realm of improvisation that comes with packing food for camping/glamping getaways, these two items remain constant.

Do you prefer a more active or more relaxing getaway? Which did you opt for at the glamping site, and what was the best related activity in the area?

I'm not sure that I have a preference, as it truly depends on what the area we are traveling to has to offer. Our outdoor-related trips usually involve a balance where time is spent out hiking and fishing, but also spent relaxing by the campfire. If we are near a city, then the getaway tends to be geared toward how much we can see, do, eat, and drink the duration of the trip, which we would refer to as a "POWER TOUR."

With regard to our stay at the glamping site, we opted for relaxation to the fullest. We ventured out to do a bit of wine tasting one afternoon, but were very eager to maximize our time spent at our safari tent cabin. I would say that if you are into wine, then wine tasting would be the best activity in the area. It allows for you to enjoy a glass of wine while taking in a usually beautiful view.

An option for the more active would be to go for a hike. There is a hike that takes you along the Pacific Crest Trail to an outcropping of boulders that form the shape of an eagle, which is appropriately called Eagle Rock.

Fill in the end of the sentence: “This glamping site would be the perfect place for ____________________,” and tell us why!

This glamping site would be the perfect place for romance! Due to the beauty and privacy of the location, it truly allows for a couple to really connect and enjoy each other's company. In my experience, it was about enjoying time away from home with my special someone without any distractions!

Do you see yourself going glamping again? Let us know why!

I recommend glamping to friends, family, and clients every chance I get. My boyfriend and I do a lot of tent camping, and people always comment that the pictures we come back with are beautiful, but that the idea of having to "rough it" is not something they are willing to commit to. So why not do some research into the happy medium that we call GLAMPING? I would certainly go glamping again. I'm always looking for that next unique accommodation. Thanks to Glamping Hub, the possibilities are numerous!

Stay tuned for more Guest Spotlights and to book the safari tent where Heidi and Justin stayed, click here!