We’ve just returned from an awesome glamping getaway at the Petaluma KOA just north of San Francisco near Napa Valley! I had seen a picture of their gorgeous Deluxe Cabins on Pinterest and decided to give glamping a try at the Petaluma KOA, just 6 hours away by car from Los Angeles. Our trip to Napa + Sonoma was the perfect blend of a wine getaway and a summer camping trip.
Can’t get to the Petaluma KOA? The Deluxe Cabin I stayed in is replicated at many of the campsites KOA has across the country, so there may be one near you! Here’s a look inside what I called our tiny house:
Wine Country Loft Lodge – Our Deluxe Cabin featured a separate bedroom, a sleeping loft (great for kids), kitchenette, toilet, shower, TV, gas BBQ, firepit, picnic table, towels and linens. The only thing I actually had to pack was this marshmallow roasting stick! I would also suggest bringing campfire chairs that we used for reading on our front deck during the day and around the fire at night.
I also loved having our own private washroom and not have to schlep to the shared facilities. I know it’s a luxury and a premium to pay – but it was totally worth it. One thing to note, there is no bathroom sink. We used the kitchen sink to wash dishes and brush our teeth. But the crew at Petaluma KOA did manage to squeeze in a lot in this small space.
The Master Bedroom – Petaluma KOA
The structure itself is a trailer, but completely kitted out to have a woodsy-lodge-like feel. Since it was just the two of us, we used the loft space above to store our bags and laundry. We seriously can’t believe how much we loved this cabin and our visit to the Petaluma KOA, we’re already thinking about doing it again because it really took all the stress out of packing and camping.
The cabin was clean, a garbage can is emptied at the end of your stay and you do make your own beds – there’s no daily housekeeping or anything like that. We used the kitchenette to make our own breakfasts, to pack lunches and prep dinner. We stuck to foods we could BBQ to keep things easy. I would recommend bringing your own non-stick frying pan for eggs as there wasn’t one in our cabin. There is a Lucky Supermarket about 10-15 minutes away where you can stock on groceries. Otherwise, the camp store sells basics, firewood, ice and basic sundries.
TV + WiFi – Though we never turned on our TV, I can see how it would be helpful if you had kids that just needed to mellow out and chill at the end of the night. It would be perfect for rainy days too. I did use the free WiFi to check email and share a few photos. The speed is fairly decent, but don’t plan on relying on it all weekend. It’s not fast enough to watch videos or use Skype – just an FYI.
Activities + Things To Do – The North Petaluma KOA reminds me of summer camp and is kid heaven with all the activities you can do there! The vibe is definitely geared towards families and features a heated swimming pool (May-Oct), camp store, bocce ball, horseshoes, basketball, volleyball, bounce pillow, climbing wall, arcade, rec room, petting zoo, playground, hayrides and more! The Petaluma KOA also hosts nightly themed parties, movie nights + karaoke.
Though we weren’t traveling with kids, I do appreciate all the effort that the Petaluma KOA put into making it fun for families. We saw kids zooming by on their bikes and scooters and it was all very charming and sweet. We spent most of the days touring around wine country – so the noise and activities didn’t bother us too much. But do keep in mind that it is a family campground, in case you were expecting something else!
My favourite part of camping? Making s’mores!
Roasting marshmallows in our fire pit just outside our cabin
S’mores all day, everyday.
San Francisco City Tour – KOA Petaluma is just one-hour away from San Francisco and the campsite is well-known for its San Francisco City Tour. You can inquire at the camp desk for pricing and availability.
Near Petaluma KOA – If you’re looking for things nearby, Lagunitas Brewery is a popular day-drinking spot and only 5 minutes away from the Petaluma KOA. There’s also an Outlet Mall down the street and a few stores and diners nearby. Do check out my Travel Guide to Napa + Sonoma for more trip ideas and my visit to Robert Mondavi Winery.
Overall, we had a really fantastic stay and I loved the idea of a camping trip without all the packing, organizing and stress. We could just show up with groceries for a fun, relaxing weekend. We saw lots of big groups around us including extended families, reunions and tour groups. It would definitely be fun to rent 2-3 cabins with a few friends and bring BINGO with us next time!
To learn more visit: Petaluma KOA online.
Disclosure: Our stay was subsidized in part by KOA, however the opinions expressed in this post remain my own.