One of the best weekend getaways from San Diego, El Capitan Canyon is located in the Santa Barbara area of California. Located on 300 acres, in a wooded canyon along the California Coast, El Capitan Canyon is perfect for guests who wish to reconnect with nature, enjoy the outdoors, and take advantage of the Southern California weather.

At El Capitan Canyon, the focus is on the outdoors. Many of the accommodations are little more than someplace quaint to sleep before the next day of hiking or relaxing, and the main dinner option is cooked right on guest's own private fire pit.

1. El Capitan Canyon Accommodations

El Capitan Canyon Accommodations  

El Capitan Canyon offers many room options depending on the level of rustic living guests are comfortable with, ranging from luxurious cabins to established platform tents. For guests who wish to enjoy the natural surroundings but still sleep in maximum comfort, the cedar cabins are the obvious choice. Each cabin features willow beds, down style duvets and peak ceilings. The cabins also feature front porches, fully equipped bathrooms, and kitchenettes with a microwave, coffeemaker, mini-fridge, and wet bar. Outside, all cabins also have an eating area equipped with either fire pits or gas grills.

The Central Village and Canyon Queen both feature a bedroom with a queen bed, a sleeping loft that is ideal for two or three children, and a porch with two chairs. The Central Village is located on the Central Green while the Canyon Queen is located in the wooded canyon of the resort.

The Creekside Double, Queen, and King are perfect for guests with small children. The rooms feature a lovely view of the nearby creek, a living room with sleeper sofa and gas fireplace, and a porch with two chairs. The rooms feature a bedroom with a double bed, queen bed, or king bed.

The Canyon Bunk is a unique cabin with lots of fun sleeping options for guests with many children. The cabin has two bunk beds and a sleeping loft perfect for two small children.

The Canyon Loft and Canyon Suite look out onto views of the forested canyon, and both boast king sized bedrooms. The Canyon Loft features a sleeping loft and a living room with a gas fireplace while the Canyon Suite features a bedroom with a private exit, a living room with sleeping sofa, and a spacious porch with two chairs.

The Coral Cabins are great for guests with many small children. The cabins are decorated in pine and feature a king bedroom and sleeping loft. The cabins also come with a central seating area with sofas, a gas fireplace, and a kitchenette. The large sleeping loft has a stairwell entrance and features three mattresses placed on the floor for a fun camping feel. The bathroom comes with a bathtub shower. Outside, the cabin has a private picnic table and fire pit with a grill.

2. El Capitan Canyon Suites

El Capitan Canyon Suites  

The Meadow Suite is ideal for extended families or groups of friends. The suite features two cabins connected by a shared outdoor patio featuring a fire pit. One cabin comes equipped with a king sized bedroom, fireplace, and expanded bathroom with a soaking tub. The other cabin features a handcrafted full kitchen with refrigerator and Wolfe range and a sleeping loft perfect for small children.

The Safari Cabin Suite is the most luxurious cabin offered at El Capitan Canyon, and it comes with some of the best views on the resort. Located atop a private hillside with surrounding views of the canyon and mountains that make up the wooded resort, the two-bedroom cabin suite is perfect for small families. The Safari Cabin Suite upgrades the kitchenette into a full kitchen adding a gas stove and oven, full-sized refrigerator, lots of counter space, and dishes and cookware. The master bedroom features a king-sized bed, vaulted ceilings, a private fireplace, a private entrance, and plenty of closet space. The second bedroom is located in a raised loft and features a full-sized bed, a skylight, and large windows for a panoramic view of the canyon. The upgraded bathroom includes its own skylight along with dual sinks, a large indoor shower, and access to an outdoor shower for enjoying the California weather. Outside, a spacious wood balcony with a gas grill and prep area for outdoor cooking surrounds the cabin. The Safari Cabin Suite also features its own private parking spot due to its remote location.

For guests looking for something closer to a camping experience, El Capitan Canyon also offers Safari Tents and Canyon Yurts. The safari tents are 12 by 14 canvas tents over a permanent wooden platform. The canvas sides have screened in windows with zip over flaps. The tents come furnished with a queen or two double beds, bedside tables, a storage chest, a small desk, and coat hooks. The tents also come with a space heater and electric lamps. The tents are perfect for guests who wish to spend the majority of their stay outside and come with a private picnic table and benches beside a fire pit and gas grill. A modern bathroom and shower facility is available nearby for exclusive use by Safari Tent guests.

The Canyon Yurts are larger structures that feature a canvas tent stretched across a raised circular wood lattice above a wooden platform. The yurts feature a queen bed and a twin day bed with a twin trundle, and they are provided with electricity. The top of the tent features a domed skylight for stargazing. The yurts also come with a private picnic table and fire pit. A bathroom and shower facility is also provided for the yurt guests.

3. El Capitan Canyon Dining

El Capitan Canyon Dining  

The Canyon Market and Deli is a simple stop for guests to grab something to eat during their stay on the resort. The Canyon Market features fresh organic groceries for cooking in their cabin. The Deli is open all day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast offers a wide range of warm favorites such as omelets, cinnamon rolls, eggs benedict, and huevos rancheros. Dinner is more on the simple side with familiar offerings such as a range of soups, cheeseburgers, pizzas, and sandwiches.

For a unique option, El Capitan Canyon offers a handful of BBQ kits that include everything guests need to cook themselves and their family a fireside meal on their fire pit of gas grill. All kits come in a nice canvas bag, which guests can keep as a souvenir, a large can of baked beans, garlic bread, drinks, a bundle of firewood, cooking utensils, fire starter and matches, and paper plates. The kits come in hamburger, hotdogs, chicken, and salmon options.

4. El Capitan Canyon Spa & Other Activities

El Capitan Canyon Spa & Other Activities  

El Capitan Canyon offers a small selection of massages to help guests relax after a day of hiking. All massages are aimed at loosening sore and overworked muscles so guests can hit the trails refreshed the next day. All massages can be arranged to take place at the guest's lodging.

The Santa Barbara area is well known for its wine, and El Capitan Canyon has collected some of the best of the region. Guests are free to look through the collection at the Canyon Market Wine Cellar and choose a bottle that interests them. For guests who are unsure of what to try or who are craving a social setting to enjoy some good wine, El Capitan Canyon offers wine tasting events every Friday during the summer. The wine tastings are held outside beneath Sycamore trees. The vintner not only pours the wines, but also enlightens guests on information about the wine and offers cheeses and items from the Canyon Market that pair well with the wine.

Beyond wine, Santa Barbara is also known for its beaches. El Capitan Canyon is unique in that it is one of the only wooded beaches in Santa Barbara. Guests can walk out of the trees and spend the day on the sand enjoying the ocean. For guests who wish to stay active, El Capitan Canyon offers beach cruiser bikes that guests can borrow to cruise along all the beach areas El Capitan Canyon has to offer.

For guests looking for a swim that doesn't involve getting in the ocean, El Capitan Canyon offers an outdoor heated pool perfect for any weather or season.

The main attraction of El Capitan Canyon is the wooded canyon itself. The wooded resort sits in the cradle of the Santa Ynez Mountains, and guests are encouraged to explore the resort grounds. Numerous hiking and biking trails course through the resort for guests to explore and enjoy. El Capitan Canyon also offers guided tours that educate guests on the flora and fauna of the resort.

Saturday evenings from May through September are El Capitan Canyon's concert nights. The concert series takes place outside on the Market Lawn for guests to enjoy the nice California weather. Live musicians play a mixture of jazz, blues, and bluegrass for a night of relaxation and community. El Capitan Canyon cooks barbeque food on fire pits right on the lawn for guests to enjoy while listening to music.

More ideas: Things to Do in Santa Barbara

11560 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA 93117, Phone: 805-685-3887, (website link)

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