Family-friendly Local Travel: El Capitan Canyon… Camping done RIGHT! plus BIRDLING BAG & $150 worth of M.O. Goodies GIVEAWAY!!



We are always looking for fun and exciting ways to incorporate travel, family-time, nature, memories and new experiences into our lives. Being a busy family running a small business you don’t always seem to find time to sit back and just enjoy. For awhile now my husband has been hinting that he would love to do a family camping trip. My husband and I are a lot alike but when it comes to roughing it, I’m just not your gal. Plus having two kids under 3 and another bundle in the oven just made the idea of camping not too exciting. My first thoughts were: no bathrooms, no showers, kids wondering off, bears, bugs and more than anything pregnancy late night “can’t hold water” problems. I know this all sounds dramatic but these truly were my thoughts of camping, especially at this current stage in our lives. Did I mention I’m 6 months pregnant with a two-year old and a three-year old? The idea of camping just didn’t hit the “relaxing trigger” in my mind.

Well boy oh boy was I wrong!!! Recently we were introduced to the idea of “Glamping”. For those still new to the term, “Glamping”, Oxford Dictionary defines it as,  “A form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping”. This seemed more up my alley. An opportunity to experience nature, shower within the comforts of my bathroom, have a potty close by for my toddlers and also those frequent “pregnancy can’t hold water” visits, electricity and so much more. Meet our newest annual family summer vacation spot: El Capitan Canyon.

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Where do we begin? El Capitan Canyon, just north of Santa Barbara along an unspoiled stretch of the California coast, is renowned as an all-season comfort camping destination. Originally a traditional campground, El Capitan Canyon reopened in 2002 as an upscale, outdoor destination and quickly became known for its picturesque canvas safari tents and contemporary rustic cedar cabins. It was one of the first to be coined “luxury camping.”

Nestled against the Los Padres National Forest with access to 3,500 acres of pristine nature preserve, the Canyon is set on 350 acres of rolling hills and creek canyons and is a five-minute walk to El Capitan State Beach. During the summer months, the Canyon becomes a place for families to reconnect as it offers a no-fuss, back-to-nature camp experience with s’mores by the fire, hiking, and outdoor concerts. Family-owned since 1975, El Capitan Canyon provides affordable luxury in nature. Set amidst a grove of California oaks and sycamore trees are six adventure yurts, 26 canvas safari tents and 122 individual cedar cabins, including 13 new Corral Cabins. These comfortable accommodations are arranged in villages.

Truly this place is a campers dream! What we enjoyed most was that we still felt connected to nature. We still felt we were camping and enjoying all the things traditional camping has to offer plus the convenience of “luxury accommodations”. We stayed in one of El Capitan’s Cedar Cabins. The Cedar Cabins feature spacious decks, full bathrooms and kitchenettes. Many have fireplaces. Guests can choose from a Creekside King with soaking tub, Canyon Suite, Canyon Loft, Creekside and Canyon Queens, Creekside Double with soaking tub, Canyon Bunk cabins, or the newest cabin type, the contemporary rustic Corral Cabins, set slightly aside from the main camp for more privacy. All cabins include linens, duvets, towels, picnic tables, grills and fire pits. Another great thing about El Capitan is they also offer other styles of camping for those that prefer the camping experience of a tent.

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Once we arrived we quickly dove right into the many activities that El Capitan has to offer. First we hiked through the camp grounds to explore the property. We were amazed to find all the amenities such as: a playground, a heated pool, a petting zoo, a market full of eco-friendly items and toys and last but not least a staff that was more than accommodating. Like most moms when on vacation hotel staff is sometimes as important as comfy sleeping arrangements. We need to check in fast, have staff that may understand the tired crying baby, staff that greets you with a smile and staff that reassures you that you made the right choice by bringing your family to their location to make memories. We also loved that they mapped out exactly what was offered at El Capitan to make our trip even easier .Truly we can say this was one of the most relaxing, exciting, enjoyable vacations we’ve ever been on. El Capitan truly gets the Mothers Organic family stamp of approval for BEST LOCAL FAMILY TRAVEL.

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*** I know most our moms are curious as to what we packed, how we packed and what was our must-have items to bring. I have put together a short list of items to bring and best of all a GIVEAWAY we are including in our review of El Capitan Canyon.

Let’s start with our luggage!!! I am always on the hunt for the “perfect weekender” bag. You know that magical bag that you can fit everyone’s clothes into? Yeap, the one you’ve desperately always wanted but couldn’t find? As a busy mom of young children packing is always such a hassle. Traveling with multiple bags in tow always seems to make our trips more difficult. That was all until I discovered Birdling Bags. Birdling Bags are proudly made in America and offer the finest quality in materials and customer service. I cannot express to you enough how convenient it was to have one bag for all four of us. YES MAMA’S, all four of us!!! Having one bag for clothes made this mama jump for joy. The best part is the Birdling Bags have cool compartments for separation. Trust me when I say you’ll never need another weekender! Our picks for must have camping items are: Sunscreen, Sanitation Hand Wipes, Sanitizer Spray, Stainless Steel Drinking Bottle, and Snack Storage.

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With all that said, since we are still beaming from our amazing vacation at El Capitan Canyon along with the remarkable experience of traveling so light using our Birdling Bag we want to offer our reader and customer base the opportunity to WIN a Birdling Bag of their own along with $150 worth of “travel must-have” goodies from our store.

To enter, follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below, also do not forget to leave a blog comment below. Tell us when and where was your last family vacation? The contest is open to U.S. residents only and will run from Thursday, August 14th, 2014 through Wednesday, August 20th 2014 at 12:01PST. Good luck! And remember you can enter once a day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Elizabeth Hendricks says:

    I am fortunate enough be have just started my family, but that being said, we haven’t gotten the opportunity to getaway just yet. It’s a completely different venture vacationing with children but I’m excited to do it. To see all my favorite places for the first time through my son’s eyes.

  2. Kristy Trent says:

    Just told my husband today I’ll have another baby If I can get a birdling bag, I was totally serious…. I get home check my instagram and see your awesome site, you will be my new go-to for my organic products. Keep up the good work! Will be telling friends of your site!

  3. Elayna Spruill says:

    Our last family vacation was at Sarasota, FL. We stayed right on the beach in a hotel called “House of Sun”. We went kayaking and snorkeling. We live in KY and my Dad’s aunt lives down there.

  4. Breanne says:

    I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect weekender bag as my husband and I just had our first little one! Our most recent vacation was to Cape May, NJ. Packing for the beach with a 2.5 month old was a nightmare and this bag would have made so much easier!!

  5. Breanne says:

    Oops!! I forgot to say our vacation to cape may was mid July! 🙂

  6. Alison Connors says:

    Our last trip was to Key largo Florida. We loved spending the time at the beach and pool with our daughter who was 1 1/2 at the time!!

  7. Becca Osborne says:

    We went to one of my favorite cities, Burlington VT in July. We explored, at delicious food and watched the sunset over the mountains on Lake Champlain.

  8. Susan Collins says:

    Our last family vacation was in June. We all packed up and went to Martha’s Vineyard! We spent our days on the beach and roaming the island. It’s our favorite spot.

  9. Kelly brown says:

    Our last famil vacation was to The Keys!! It was gorgeous and we had such a good time hanging out on the beach and relaxing!

  10. Chelsea says:

    A month ago me, my husband, and our little ivy fly out to SLC for some much needed peaceful camping in the Utah mountains, and it was the greatest! I would give anything to go back, so much fun! We hiked Donut Falls and basked in the crisp waters.

  11. Megan S. says:

    Our last family vacation was in February- we went to Phoenix to visit my husband’s grandma- it was our baby boy’s first time meeting his great grandma!!! 4 generations in 1 room!!

  12. Katie Brock says:

    Our last family vacation was to Hilton Head Island, SC. Expecting our second boy in November so the bag would work well with 2 kids under 3!

  13. Nina says:

    Expecting our first baby, so we would love this bag!!! Our last family (just hubs & me) vacation was to Boothbay Harbor, ME last september. Fresh caught lobster, kayaking in the harbor, waking up to the tide coming in, it was amazing! Can’t wait to go back!

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