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KOA Ventura Ranch

Glamping plus activities to get the adrenaline pumping

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With zip lines, climbing walls, teepees, and deluxe cabins, this isn't your typical just-off-the-highway group campground. Tucked into the coastal hills of Santa Paula, a little over an hour north of Los Angeles in Heritage Valley, this sprawling, family-friendly destination is part of the nationwide KOA chain. The glampground feature teepees that sleep up to 8 people, as well as tricked-up tent cabins (queen bed, futon, microwave, and mini-fridge). Also available are bring-your-own tent sites (without hookups) that feature picnic tables and fire pits, and are within easy access to the activities area and creek.

Nothing is cramped or close together here—the grounds and facilities are so spread out that some visitors opt to zip around to the activities and pool area on motorbikes or golf carts that are available for rent. Just watch out for peacocks—the beautiful birds make themselves right at home here. In addition to the teepees (which can be furnished with Native American appointments such as fur throws, cowhide rugs and Native American blankets for an extra charge), there are also deluxe and studio cabins with partial kitchens, A/C, coffee makers, and WiFi.

There are attractions here that are a few steps up from usual campsite fare, too—fly through the air on the aforementioned 1,400-foot zip line (tickets required) or the giant jumping pillow before heading out on a hike on family-friendly trails or taking a dip in the swimming pool. Other activities include gem mining, tie-dying, outdoor movie nights, and seasonal events like the Halloween costume competition and haunted hayride, and the “human ball drop” on New Year’s Eve. KOA Ventura Ranch is pet-friendly, but dogs must be leashed.

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