IF YOU WERE FOLLOWING...El Capitan Canyon's social media in the early summer of 2016, you likely were keeping tabs on how it was weathering the nearby Sherpa Fire. The rustic retreat became a "staging area to support the fire crews" in June, and all the property's structures remained untouched after the fire was finally contained. It was an emotional moment for the clutch of cabins and luxe tents and yurts, and longtime guests also kept the area animals in mind (El Capitan is known as a sweet spot for roaming sheep and goats). The resident beasties were whisked away by volunteers to the Earl Warren Showgrounds, but they are back, along with two new lambs named Sparky and Cinder. Reconnecting with guests, and people who've never stayed at the Santa Barbara-close getaway, is part of the property's late-summer plan, a plan that includes a "Cool Summer Savings for Winter" deal.
THE DEAL... must be booked by the end of August 2016, do note, and do note the $179-per-night-per-cabin special applies to any night of the week. There are a few asterisks, such as the cabin you book and the holiday blockout dates, but the general run of the deal is from the beginning of December 2016 through the end of February 2017. El Capitan State Beach puts on its winter silence during that period, or at least its winter slow-down-ness, and visiting with the area animals gives the getaway an even cuter quality. As for those big trees? Oaks and sycamores dominate, making the beach-adjacent stay pretty darn woodsy, too. If this is a favorite vacation spot, ponder visiting in the coming winter, and lending a local mainstay some love (while you lend the new lambs, and other critters, some coos and affection, too).