This Travel Betty is not a camper. I don’t own a portable stove. I don’t contemplate purchases of dry shampoo. And although I’m fairly competent with a tent, you’ll never find me volunteering to pitch one.
On the other hand, I actually am a nature lover. I just like my nature served with a hot shower and an elevated bed. In this way, Coastanoa understands me. In fact, this affordable little eco resort goes out of its way to show support for what the more rugged among us might call my “delicate tendencies.”
So how does a Travel Betty camp in style at Costanoa?
First, select your camping comfort level:
The Lodge—For more of a hotel feel. Cozy and close to nature, but not so close as to crawl into bed with you at night.
Douglas Fir Cabins—Stand-alone double cabins sharing a wall. You’re out in nature, but with a sturdy solid frame of wood around you, a porch, a fireplace, and a neighbor.
Tent Bungalows—This is my kind of Costanoa camping. With their canvass tents, you still get to feel like Davy Crockett, but with electricity and an electric blanket to keep you toasty. Be sure to bring earplugs though because if someone’s snoring, you’re hearing it.
Bring Your Own—If you’re pitching your own tent, you must be an honest to goodness camper, which means you are cheating by taking advantage of the luxurious Costanoa facilities. I’m telling a park ranger on you!
Second, explore the amenities:
Comfort Stations—Not your typical scary, dank, surrounded-by-spiders kind of bathroom, these babies have skylights and heated floors. You get your choice of showering outside with nature or inside if you’re feeling shy. Either way, you will be using yummy Aveda bath products to create a lather. And because comfort stations are placed strategically around the property, you don’t have to throw elbows to get your nose-powdering needs met. There is even a courtyard with a fireplace and sauna at each one (caution: sex was being had late at night in our assigned station’s sauna).
General Store—You won’t find Jiffy Pop and bait-n-tackle here. It’s more like all things biodegradable, organic, fair trade, or made by local artisans. But that’s not all. You want wine? They’ve got it (and it doesn’t come in a box). Snacks? Yup. Walking sticks? Toys? Maps? A chess set? Why not? And don’t even ask about sundries. Just know your sundry needs will be met.
Breakfast Buffet—Save yourself the trouble of cooking grits in a hotpot or trying to make the perfect flapjacks with a campfire griddle. A gut-busting breakfast buffet is included with your reservation. You know granola is going to be on the menu, but they also supply you with hot meat, potatoes, and eggs.
Third, decide how you want to spend your time:
Activities On-Site—You can have picnics and BBQs, go horseback riding, take a yoga class, enjoy a massage, soak in the hot tub, get married, or do a jig. And now they have wireless access for $10 extra per stay.
Activities Nearby—Without venturing off very far at all, you can kayak, hike the nearby state parks (last time I was here, I saw a banana slug. I’m from Ohio, so this is cool.), visit with elephant seals, tour a lighthouse or goat cheese dairy, pick berries, shop for antiques, and dip a slice of garlic-herb-artichoke bread into a steaming bowl of artichoke soup in Pescadero.
If camping everywhere was as easy as they make it at Costanoa, you’d be reading about me in the next issue of Backcountry magazine. But it’s not, so don’t go rushing off to get a subscription. Just make sure that if you’re in the area and have a free weekend that you stop by. It’s the kind of place that Travel Betties will want to return to again and again. Safe and happy travels—TB.
Prices (Peak Weekend)
Douglas Cabin: $195
Tent Bungalows: $130 to $190
Bring Your Own: $65
They often have specials and their non-peak and weekday prices are even better, so keep checking back if you can be flexible.