By Bee-Shyuan Chang
For travelers who love nature but don’t want to forgo their daily luxuries, glamping (a.k.a. glamorous camping) is hotter than ever. From exotic and generously outfitted yurts to plush canvas tents, glamorous campers have choices across the globe. But the last few years have seen ample opportunities spring up throughout the U.S., giving the glamorous among us plenty of options closer to home. Here are our six picks for a summer of glamping.
The Resort at Paws Up – Montana
With 2-3 bedroom fully furnished tents that are cleaned twice daily, the experience at The Resort at Paws Up is more like that of a fabulous safari with the prices to match. (From $1,025, including airport and on-property transportation.)
Why Go: It’s the last word in luxury camping–you’ll find the kind of luxe niceties you might see in a Ralph Lauren ad.
Insider Tip: Try your hand at fly-fishing in Blackfoot River before indulging at the resort’s gourmet dining pavilion. Or on a budget? If you’re in the area, you can glamp anywhere with a new service by American Campfitters, who will deliver and set-up your own little “base camp” in a place of your choosing. ($185 for delivery and set-up; $60 per additional night.)
Costanoa – California
The Real Housewives of Orange County recently stopped at El Capitan Canyon in Santa Barbara for a sniping, back-stabbing glamping vacation, but for a calmer Northern California escape, try Costa Noa’s relaxed setting near Pescadero Beach. (From $89/night, including free WiFi access.)
Why Go: It’s a great spot for surfers and mountain bikers alike. Plus, it’s off the beaten track but close enough for a side trip to Santa Cruz or San Francisco.
Insider Tip: Keep the kids busy with the scheduled activities they offer sprinkled throughout the week. Meanwhile, treat yourself to a massage at the spa. If you live in the Santa Cruz or Half Moon areas, you get 15% spa services from Sunday through Thursday.
Dunton Hot Springs – Colorado
Across the mountain from Telluride and nestled in the San Juan Mountains, Dunton is a former ghost town is literally alive and blooming with lush mountain flowers and foliage. . And while Dunton Hot Springs’s rates may be steep, the accommodations are all-inclusive and the location is truly idyllic. (From $950-$1,500/night)
Why Go: It’s tough to beat the retreat feel of this intimate resort: it’ll just be you and a few other log cabins with access to world-class hiking. And this summer, the property has branched out into luxury camping, first with “Christy’s Tent,” constructed of canvas and reclaimed materials.
Insider Tip: Locavores will love the mostly organic and regionally sourced menu. Ask the kitchen to pack you a picnic (custom menus are available) to take with you on longer day excursions.
Yellowstone Under Canvas – Montana
Comfortable camping is also a good way to explore a national park like Yellowstone, and new services are pitching tent each season, including the literally-named Yellowstone Under Canvas. (Tipi styles from $89 per night; adjacent children’s tipi an additional $59/night)
Why Go: The sheer proximity to the park means that you can get all your adventures in without committing to an extended stay. You can also organize an activity package, like fly fishing and hiking, or a group trip through the company.
Insider Tip: Compared to other glamping options, this venue is more down-to-earth. Some tents share bathrooms so be sure to reserve a deluxe tent with private facilities if that’s not your thing.
The Martyn House – Georgia
Just down the road from the Blue Ridge Mountains and set on 18 acres, The Martyn House is a petite place that blends Southern charm with a back-to-nature philosophy. Artsy couple JoAnn and Rick (and a couple of cheerful labs) created the escape as part of their art and photography forays, so the mood is more laidback than all-out glamour. (Tent rates from $180 a night.)
Why Go: The spot is ideal for those that like limited doses of nature: a couple towns, including Blue Ridge, with a lively local scene, are nearby. Note: the property is adults only, meaning only guests 18 and over are allowed.
Insider Tip: While visiting Blue Ridge, stop by The Trailer Diner (2691 E. 1st Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513 (706)-964-3444), a local institution across the street from the drive-in theater, for piping hot buttery biscuits and a tall glass of sweet tea.
Oregon State Parks Yurts
A close cousin to the tent, yurts are round domed domiciles that have come a long way since their Mongolian origins. These days, luxury yurts are dotting the landscape from ones you can find on vacation rental sites like VRBO.com to more established resorts. Oregon State is on top of the trend and has incorporated yurts (and rustic cabins) into their parks reservation system.
Why Go: Conveniently, you can pick your location, including some splendid beach spots, and reserve online. Best of all, the rates ($35-$41 a night) are spectacular for tight wallets. You’ll, however, have to bring your own bedding and dishes.
Insider Tip: The system is also pet-friendly so you can bring Fido along for an additional $10 a night.
Photo Credits: The Resort at Paws Up: Courtesy of The Resort at Paws Up; Costanoa: Courtesy of Costanoa Lodge; Dunton Hot Springs: Courtesy of Dunton Hot Springs; Yellowstone Under Canvas:Courtesy of Yellowstone Under Canvas; The Martyn House: Courtesy of The Martyn House; Oregon State’s Yurts: A Yurt in Oregon’s Sand Dunes campground by Kyle PearceAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License
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