The LA Girl's Guide to Glamping
The idea of camping for me is so romantic and nostalgic. The nature hikes, the way everything tastes a little bit better (even a can of beans) cooked in a cast iron pot over a campfire, swapping scary stories — made scarier by holding a flashlight under your chin while narrating — and finally snuggling up in a cozy sleeping bag.
Pretty great right? Then you grow up, you realize it's not that cool to BYO toilet paper (assuming you don't forget and have to use a native leaf), get absolutely massacred by flies and mosquitos, and wake up every two seconds because a) your grown-ass lady back cannot handle sleeping on the ground anymore and b) you're in constant fear of a bear/sasquatch/mass murderer.
This probably explains why glamping has become such an appealing option of late. And now that the word is out, businesses are springing up everywhere with options for how to make glamping affordable to even those who don't have a ton of cash flow. In addition to being more affordable, glamping options are cooler, more photogenic (and let's face it, that's important!) and more accessible than over before.
That said, I've outlined everything LA ladies should consider for planning their Instagram-worthy excursion in which they can get all the best parts of the great outdoors, plus the amenities we city gals have grown accustomed to.
1. Location, Location, Location
Consider Phyllis Nefler, Shelly Long's character in Troop Beverly Hills. Remember how she made sure to camp in close proximity to a 5-star hotel? I'm not saying you have to do the same, but just consider your surroundings. Not a wilderness gal? Try beach camping. The Holidays in San Clemente offers adorable vintage campers parked parked right by the state beach's shore. There's also a ton of campers available on Airbnb in nearby Malibu so you don't have to go too far from home.
If you do want more of a legit, woodsy camping experience, try the tried-and-true El Capitan in Santa Barbara. It's just a short trip away, offers accommodations including cedar cabins — complete with real beds, bathrooms, kitchenettes, and heat — furnished safari tents and electricity-equipped yurts. Plus the Real Housewives of Orange County went there once and if it's good enough for them...
2. Come (Semi) Prepared
You don't have to be Martha Stewart (or even Blake Lively for that matter), but a little effort in advance will make your excursion that much more relaxing and enjoyable. Pack snacks that don't require a ton of work to eat, but make a pretty spread. Try a little charcuterie plate (bonus: requires no cooking) with sliced prosciutto or salami and a nice, nutty pecorino with grapes or fruit preserves, almonds, and crackers.
If you really want to cook over a fire (you little over-achiever) prep a tin foil pouch with a whole branzino rubbed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and herbs, and sliced veggies. Delicious, nutritious, and cleans up easy. And obviously, s'mores for dessert.
Beverages are just as important. Bring your favorite wine or beer in a cooler (this Underwood canned rosé is great option) and quality coffee. If you're a coffee snob, pack a hand-grinder and French press or your fave pour-over method. It's a nice touch that makes your morning in the wild oh-so-much more magical.
Oh, and if you're staying somewhere that won't be stocked with attractive serveware, pack some pretty melamine or enamelware plates and mugs. Paper plates/Red Solo cups? So not chic (or eco-friendly).
3. Consider the Photos
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see it, did it ever really fall? Similarly, did you ever really glamp if you didn't take amazing Instagrams documenting the whole damned thing? The answer is no. So in that case, you should be living your best life glamping.
Autocamp, which has locations in Santa Barbara and Russian River, offers a compound of totally updated Airsteam trailers with cool, comfortable interiors and luxury amenities, meaning every damn angle has something positively pampering (including the Malin + Goetz toiletries, Coyuchi organic linens, and comfy Casper mattresses) and photogenic (including the adorable bikes you can cruise around the campsite on). If you're looking to go classic — but still glam — in a tent, Autcamp's got you covered with a few luxury versions starting at just $139 per night (the Airstreams go for $225 and up).
Lead photo via Autocamp