El Capitan Canyon is one of those magical places you hear about and see photos of, and you know IMMEDIATELY in your heart you just need to be there!

Just north of Santa Barbara, and literally nestled into a canyon by the Pacific Ocean, El Cap is a nature lodge that is really best described as “glamping”, with safari tents raised on wooden decks, outfitted with either a queen bed or two double beds, nightstands, an outlet for power, and a fire pit outside with a picnic table.

They also have cabins and yurts of various sizes if you’d like to take it to the next level, but I have to say that I’ve never seen my son think anything was as cool as that tent (and the communal bathrooms are spotlessly clean, so no concerns there)!

We decided to head up Easter weekend, somewhat on a whim (we booked a few weeks in advance). The drive alone was spectacular, with the California coastline just BURSTING with Spring flowers!

I had no idea there was an actual Easter egg hunt with an appearance by the Easter Bunny (unexpected SCORE for mama!).

There are hiking trails through the canyons, up the hillsides, and down to the beach…

These city kids just couldn’t get enough.

Oh… and there are these kids too… (and llamas).

I mean…

The El Capitan state beach is just a short walk away. The resort rents out bikes, though, which I know we will take advantage of the next time we visit (or we will bring our own, because the property is much larger than you think!).

The beach is very rocky (no real sand), but it’s beautiful and just rife with opportunity for gathering rocks and searching for shells and sea glass (thank you for this photo Miss Sara Donen!).

The weather was just perfect. A bit chilly in the evenings and when you first wake up, but sunny and warm during the day (Avery was literally ROLLING in the fields… Little House On The Prairie style). There is a heated pool, which we didn’t take advantage of, but there were many people enjoying it in the late afternoon.

I am convinced we will now make this trip an Easter tradition, and we are already planning our next visit back, hopefully with friends and family in tow… most likely in the Fall.

We know someone is jumping for joy at this news (including mom and dad, not pictured 😉 ).