If you follow me on my Instagram, you know we have been all over the place last weekend. We started Thursday night up in LA at Chris’s family’s house. Then Friday morning we headed up to the Santa Barbara area to have a weekend full of glamping & exploring. We spent Friday at the Santa Barbara Zoo & I can honestly say I don’t know the last time I went to a zoo. It was so much fun! But more about the zoo next week.
I have stayed at El Capitan Canyon once before with Chris’s family, about three years ago, but they have been going to the Goleta campground for almost 20 years. When they began camping at El Cap it was a tent only campground. Since the campground has changed a ton & gone from camping to glamping.
For me, it’s perfect. I love the outdoors but I’m not really down to sleep on the ground, with bugs all around me & without a proper shower. El Capitan is a wonderful combination of wilderness living, with all of the amenities.
Set off of the 101 freeway, just north of Santa Barbara is the entrance to a mile & a half long canyon full of canvas tents, yurts, & cabins of all sizes. This weekend we stayed in the Canyon Suite cabins which has a bedroom with a king-sized bed, full bath with stand up shower, & a good sized living room with a convertible sofa bed if needed. For this weekend, these cabins were perfect. Chris’s parents had one cabin & his sisters shared another with their friends. We had our big old cabin to ourselves which was beautiful & super comfortable.
Friday evening we got to camp around 5, unpacked our cars & began getting dinner ready. Chris’s sisters had prepared pasta at home & we warmed it up in the microwaves in the cabins. Unfortunately we had forgotten garlic bread (& how do you have pasta without garlic bread) but it was nothing a walk down to the general store didn’t fix. We headed down & purchased some prepared garlic bread to warm up on our grill back at the cabin.
Saturday morning was a little gloomy but we started our day with a guided mile long hike up to the El Capitan Canyon’s llama farm. As we tried to hide from the rain on Saturday, we stayed inside relaxing. One of my favorite parts of glamping here is the Saturday night Canyon Concert Series which runs from May through September. For just $20 you get an amazing dinner of tri-tip, BBQ chicken, garlic bread (yes, two days in a row is definitely worth it), salad, corn, & a cookie for dessert. All of which are absolutely amazing. The meats are slow cooked all day, & it was some of the tastiest tri-tip I’ve ever had. As you eat your dinner, a local band plays music & everyone is dancing, playing games, & it’s a great time.
After a rainy Saturday, everyone was ready to get out of camp the next morning & explore the surrounding area. We went to a favorite central coast town, Solvang, where we were able to spend the day at tasting rooms, window shopping, & we ended up finding the cutest little hotel. The Landsby was gorgeous & we couldn’t help but take advantage of their happy hour that day. Yum, yum, yum! I am hoping Chris & I are able to get up there one weekend for a stay, in which case I will do a full post about this beautiful place. It definitely got our wedding wheels turning though.
We headed back to camp for delicious carne asada dinner & a great night around the camp fire. Sunday was definitely a much quieter night around the campsite which brought out a lot more animals. We saw a raccoon try to get into one of the cabins, a little fox get chased down by a baby bobcat, & a cute little skunk family that wanted nothing to do with us, as much as we wanted nothing to do with them.
What I love the most about El Capitan Canyon is there is something for everyone. It is a great place for families, young & old, to spend some quality time together, & whether you want to cook yourself or take advantage of the general store & market, you will defiantly not go hungry. During trips that the weather cooperated a little better, we were able to use the beach cruisers they have at the registration office & bike around the camp ground, or walk down to the beach (aka hop in the truck & drive down with all of our stuff) & spend the day relaxing on the sand or in the ocean. It is great for avid campers or even just little glampers like me.
*Unfortunately just two days after we headed back home, the Santa Barbara Sherpa fire irrupted & it has had local fire officials working around the clock. Late last week photos of the campsite with flames surrounding the cabins were shown on the news. We are praying for the firemen, & all of Santa Barbara that they recover from this & continue to keep their community safe.