By Erin Coley
Camping. The word evokes either strong feelings of love or loathing depending on your predilection. To some, camping is synonymous with days hiking through the forest, breathing in the fresh mountain air, identifying different wildlife species, picking wildflowers, kayaking, and fishing down by the river.
Evenings are for enjoying sunsets and roasting s’mores while telling ghost stories around the fire before sleepily climbing into tents for a good night’s rest underneath the stars.
For others, camping means spending hours figuring out how to pitch a tent and being eaten alive by mosquitoes. Nights are spent tossing and turning, sometimes too hot, sometimes too cold, but with an omnipresent sharp rock poking you in the back. After a sleepless night, you can’t even imagine completing that five-kilometre hike you had planned.
For many people, a task such as trekking into the wilderness to pitch a tent is too difficult, but thankfully there is an alternative, where luxury meets nature! For those wanting to explore and commune with nature without giving up modern comforts such as a soft bed and air conditioning, glamping is the perfect option. Glamorous camping may seem like an oxymoron, but these days money can buy you almost any experience you desire. Tents filled with modern-day luxuries, such as Wi-Fi, chandeliers, Egyptian cotton sheets, and temperature controls are increasing in popularity.
In the United States, glamping is a relatively new concept. A recent study conducted by Kampgrounds of America revealed that North Americans are camping more frequently than ever before, with over 72% growth among those who camp three or more times each year since 2014. This growth is attributed to evolving camping experiences, such as glamping and van life, making it an ideal time to plan your next adventure. Let’s take a look at some unique stays strewn across five stunning locations throughout the United States.
Rocky Mountain National Park In Colorado
With some of the most stunning landscapes in continental USA, Rocky Mountain National Park has altitudes exceeding 12,000 feet and several breathtaking Alpine lakes to swim or kayak in. For ideal weather conditions, plan your visit in the summer or autumn months, as it’s extremely cold during the winter months. If you’re lucky, you might even spot an elk or bald eagle!
Glamp at Collective Vail, a retreat experience set on a working ranch just outside of Vail, Colorado, offering a rustic, remote escape in luxury tents. Its 1,500 thread-count sheets, over-bed chandeliers, and locally sourced decor, combined with a farm-to-table feast under the stars each night, make the perfect all-inclusive experience.
Alternatively, stay at the self-sustainable Native American Tipi Village at Arapaho Valley Ranch. With its queen-sized beds, soft sheets and colourful Native American blankets, Tipi Village is but a stone’s throw from hiking trails, fishing lakes and other water activities.
The Puget Sound In Washington
Whether you like kayaking, hiking, whale watching, snowboarding, or curling up reading a book on the coast, the islands in the Puget Sound have something for everyone. The best part? They are just a ferry ride away from Seattle, making it a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Lakedale Resort’s 82-acre property on San Juan Island is the perfect glamping experience for newbies. Wake up in a canvas cabin in the woods to the smell of fresh coffee and homemade pancakes before enjoying the three lakes’ fun water-based activities such as swimming, fishing, and stand-up paddleboarding. With a top your own sundae bar at the property’s general store, and nightly events like a tie-dye party, Lakedale Resort is fun for the entire family.
Or awake to the sound of deer grazing and birds chirping right on the doorstep of your very own glamorous wall tent on quiet Whidbey Island. Surrounded by the tranquillity of nature, this private three-acre estate is an ideal spot for a writing retreat or romantic couple’s getaway.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park In The Southern US
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is America’s most visited national park. Renowned for its diverse plant and animal life, sweeping views of its ancient mountains, and over 730 miles of pure mountain streams, it straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee.
With a long history of settlers, from prehistoric Paleo Indians to early Europeans and loggers in the 20th century, it is the perfect glamping destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike.
Immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of the Smoky Mountains while enjoying the comforts of glamping in Under Canvas’ authentic safari-inspired canvas tents. They also offer a variety of unique outdoor activities such as horseback riding, ziplining, helicopter tours, and whitewater rafting.
Maybe you would prefer to sleep high above the ground in one of Camp LeConte’s luxury treehouses? Their open-air concept is like sleeping on Mama’s screened-in porch with the bonus of a gorgeous view of Mount LeConte.
Round Top, Texas; population 91. This quiet, desert town in southeast Texas may be small, but you’d be surprised at all the activities it has to offer. Hike through the desert to Round Top Mountain, or plan your visit around their fun bi-annual event, Texas Antiques Week!
Lone Star Glamp Inn is an indoor glampsite where guests can still enjoy all the fun of camping. The colourful, eclectic inn has 10 vintage glampers and 18 tipis, most of which come equipped with their own mini-fridge, fan, and multi-plug outlets. All guests have access to multiple seating areas, a big-screen TV, an outdoor grill, Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a microwave and coffee maker.
The Catskill Mountain, New York
Only a two-hour drive from New York City, the Catskill Mountains are the perfect place to escape the city’s mayhem. Hiking, farm-to-table fare, and apple picking are just a few of the fun activities you can experience during your glamping adventure. From beautiful foliage in the autumn to skiing in the winter, theCatskills are the perfect getaway for any season.
The unique geo dome at The Outlier Inn is an incredible glamping space located on a working farm near Catskill Park. The farm is home to many animals including angora goats, alpacas and a dog named Beulah. Spend the day hiking, then come home to soak in the outdoor clawfoot bathtub. The only caveat being that the inn has a Bring Your Own Bed policy, so take an inflatable mattress, sleeping bags, and pillows with you.
Whether you prefer hiking, kayaking, or star-gazing, spending time in nature is a great way to reset and de-stress. Consider one of these stunning glamping locations when you’re planning your next outdoor adventure!