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Luxury Cabin-Camping at KOA Ventura in California

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Camping has become an annual affair for my family. We love nature and outdoor activities. All of the work involved, however, can put a damper on our trips. Can you imagine enjoying the fun of camping with kids without the effort? No setting up huge tents, lugging blankets, mattresses, linens, pots, pans, chairs, coolers, barbecue grills or propane? No sharing an outdoor restroom with strangers? KOA’s affordable cabins make camping easy for families who want the outdoorsy fun without the fuss. Below I share all the fun to be had while luxury cabin-camping at Ventura Ranch KOA in California.


My family recently stayed at the KOA campground in Ventura, California. There, we got a chance to experience KOA’s glamping (glamorous-camping) firsthand. The campground is situated at the bottom of the Topatopa Mountains, an area that is covered with lush greenery and lots of wildlife.

Glamping with KOA in Ventura, California

Glamping with KOA in Ventura, California (Photo credit: Deanna Underwood)

Luxury Cabin Accommodations

We stayed in the awesome Tree Top Deluxe two-room cabin with the works at Ventura Ranch KOA. It sleeps six people and offers a full up-to-date kitchen, private restroom with shower, flat screen LCD TV with surround sound, a large lovely patio deck with a propane-ready grill, and a summer favorite…air conditioning!

The kids loved the upstairs loft area. It is about 4-feet-high and they thought it was made just for them. With the exception of a clogged shower, the deluxe cabin was an great choice for our stay. It was so nice to spend the day out exploring nature and to return to a clean, comfortable and cooled cabin.

Lovely mountain view from our cabin's deck at KOA Ventura

Lovely mountain view from our cabin’s deck (Photo credit: Deanna Underwood)

Family Activities

There are a variety of activities available at KOA for all members of the family. At KOA Ventura, we rode the zip-line down to the center of the campgrounds. From there you can climb the rock wall, bounce around on a gigantic inflatable jumping pillow, ride four-wheeled pedal bikes, make arts and crafts, use the playground equipment, or catch another zip-line to the other end of the property. The whole area is surrounded by huge trees and colorful tee-pees, which sleep four people and come partially furnished.

Four-wheeler pedal bikes at KOA Ventura

Four-wheeler pedal bikes (Photo credit: Deanna Underwood)

Water Play

To cool off, we took a little path down to the Santa Paula Creek. From there you can take a dip in the Big Foot Water Hole for shallow swimming and splashing.

Santa Paula Creek and the Big Foot Water Hole at KOA Ventura

Santa Paula Creek and the Big Foot Water Hole (Photo credit: Deanna Underwood)

Big Foot Nature Walk

When the sun went down, we went on a guided Big Foot Nature Walk to check out the areas where Big Foot has reportedly been seen in the wild. We saw scratch marks on trees and saw huge footprints. We also listened to stories of sightings and even heard sounds of rustling in the bushes. This night walk is for brave, open-minded kids. My 5-year-old was fine but some of the other kids were scared. Don’t forget your flashlights!

Big Foot Night Walk at KOA Ventura

Big Foot Night Walk (Photo credit: Deanna Underwood)

Meals and S’Mores

Some special mornings are reserved at KOA Ventura for a campground hot pancake breakfast at the clubhouse, no cooking involved. We, however, decided to eat-in. We took full advantage of the kitchen, coffee maker and deck seating area for our morning meal. Be sure to bring your own dish soap, paper towels, and trash bags when staying in the cabins since these are not provided.

After dinner we roasted marshmallows for s’mores in our own campfire, right in front of our cabin. You can bring your own firewood or purchase some from the general store. There are roasting sticks available in the cabin.

Roasting marshmallows is a memorable part of any camping trip at KOA Ventura

Roasting marshmallows is a memorable part of any camping trip (Photo credit: Deanna Underwood)


Another highlight of our visit to KOA Ventura, there is a family of wild peacocks that visit the campgrounds every day. Although they are pretty friendly and roam freely, the peacocks don’t get too close for comfort. This guy was our visitor, he sat on our deck in the morning to greet us.

A friendly visit from a wild peacock at KOA Ventura

A friendly visit from a wild peacock (Photo credit: Deanna Underwood)

Camping, Your Style at KOA Ventura

The Ventura Ranch KOA campground was a lovely nature retreat. We felt far-removed here from our more urban hometown of San Diego, which is just what we wanted. In addition to the deluxe cabins, KOA offers traditional tent sites, authentic Indian tee-pees with partial bedding, and large RV sites with hook-ups. Whichever you choose, the activities, nature, and time spent with family and friends make for a super-fun getaway.

There are over 450 KOA locations nationwide and in Canada, so if you cannot make it out to the awesome KOA Ventura campsite, there is bound to be one located closer to you. Read more about KOA Ventura on TripAdvisor or visit the KOA website.

What Else You Need to Know

Learn more about why to visit Ventura County with kids now.

New to camping? Read our tips for what to buy for your first camping trip and get tips for camping with kids from a camping expert.

What type of camping do you prefer – glamping or roughing it? Have you enjoyed luxury cabin camping at Ventura Ranch KOA? Let us know in the comments!

Deanna Underwood is a loving wife and a mother to two beautiful children residing in sunny San Diego, California. She is the founder and writer of Honey + Lime, an online lifestyle destination that inspires people everywhere to live, love and enjoy the sweetest things in life. Connect with Deanna on Twitter at @honeyandlimeco.

A Note from Travel Mamas: Thank you, KOA, for hosting Deanna’s camping experience! This story was originally posted in 2012 and was updated in 2015.

About Deanna Underwood, Travel Mamas Blogger
  1. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

    Deanna – Who knew you could go zip-lining with such a little child?! Was she scared at all? It looks like you all had a great time – I’ve got to schedule a KOA camping trip with my family sometime!

  2. I never knew that KOA offered many types of camping. I thought of them as hook-ups for motor homes. I’ve done the roughing-it and I think I prefer the cabin that still offers the outdoor adventures.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Ellen (Mama!) – Me neither. I’m totally going to have to check out KOA’s camping options firsthand sometime! I love the outdoors but I also love indoor plumbing.

  3. Deanna - mommyGAGA says

    Thanks, Colleen! We had a wonderful time and I do encourage you to take your family. There is also one in Chula Vista, it’s totally worth a weekend staycation 🙂

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