El Capitan Get Away

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Last Saturday the husband and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary by spending two nights at the El Capitan Canyon, just a few miles north of Santa Barbara. We splurged on their “Canyon To Wine Country” vacation package which got us two nights in one of their Creekside King Cabins (with jacuzzi tub for two!), with a bottle of wine, two glasses, firewood and a package of ‘smores making materials. Sweet!

For a “Close to LA” getaway spot, this one was ideal. Ensconced in your cabin, there is hardly any noise but for the birds during the day and crickets at night (and maybe an owl?). And it is dark, something you never get in LA without a major catastrophe. Our first night was foggy but the second night was clear and we stood in the meadow, looking up at the Milky Way. Gorgeous.

More details and photos after the break. (Don’t worry, no photos of any hot jacuzzi action. Plenty of other places on the series of tubes for that.)

As you make your way to your cabin, these fish sculptures welcome you in.
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Near the fish sculptures is the gift shop and deli. As there are no restaurants close by (you have to drive back down south to Goleta) you can bring all your own foodstuffs to cook or stop in the deli to pick up fresh sandwiches, salads, snacks, drinks, wine, etc. In the summer time they have evening concerts outside the the deli/market.

Our cabin was at the top of the canyon, in the “Upper Meadow” area. You can park at the cabin only to unload, then you must put your car in a designated parking area. This creates a (mostly) car-free environment during your stay. There are cabins and tent cabins to stay in, and also yurts and other larger structures to use for group gatherings and meals, if you choose.
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Here is our cozy cabin.
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We spent the afternoon of our second day on a trailride at El Capitan Ranch. I haven’t been riding in at least 10 years so that jacuzzi tub came in handy!
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And as a bonus, Tuxedo the Cat would hang out with us. The people at the front desk referred to him as “feral” but how can a cat be feral when he comes running over to visit and sit in your lap?
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If your budget doesn’t allow for a cabin or even a tent cabin at the Canyon, there are plenty of other camping spots nearby at El Capitan Beach as well as a new spot called Ocean Mesa Campground. Me? I like having a bed and bathroom. I’m not ashamed.

El Capitan Canyon
11560 Calle Real
Santa Barbara, CA 93117
Toll free for reservations: 1 866-352-2729

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5 Replies to “El Capitan Get Away”

  1. I’ve heard of this place, likely not kid friendly but the day will come when I can take advantage of it.

  2. This place is awesome. We were considering it for awhile as a place to stay during our wedding in SB in June. Besides the state campground just across the highway at El Capitan State Beach, there’s another a little farther north at Rincon.

  3. It’s beautiful up there. In my days at UCSB we would try and make it up to El Cap beach at least once a year. Just went back last spring and it was as great as I remembered.

  4. So did the horses make a break for the stables (i.e. feeding time) on the way back? ; )

    Whenever I ride designated trail horses, I’ve learned to keep a firm grip on the reins after we’ve made the turn back.

    Aaanywho…it looks like a very relaxing retreat. Thanks for the tip.

  5. The horses were perky on the way back, but not out of control! The campground/cabins would be a fun place to go with a group or family reunion, etc. I’m sure in the summer the place is hopping!

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