5 Underrated Glamping Experiences to Try This Year
Ditch bug spray and sleeping bags for a luxury tent and customized experiences.
Embrace the great outdoors without roughing it in these under-the-radar spots.(Getty Images)
Let's face it: Not everyone enjoys camping.
For some people, it's the idea of sleeping in a tent that turns them off. For others, it's the bugs, the dirt and the weather that keeps them home. And there are those who absolutely love the outdoors, yet prefer to sleep in an actual hotel with all the comforts of home.
Enter glamping, a form of camping which is considered glamorous. Most glampsites offer some of the aspects of camping, but add in more amenities and, of course, a real roof over your head. Glamping usually means staying at a campground among other campers, but in an indoor space with beds, electricity and running water. And some glamping experiences include even more luxury amenities, like rooms with flat-screen televisions and Wi-Fi, cabins that are a lot like hotel rooms and on-site catering.
By glamping, some say, you get to enjoy the benefits of camping without roughing it (or subsisting on hot dogs). If you're thinking about glamping, this summer is a good time to try it out. Here are a few fun, out-of-the-ordinary glamping experiences to consider in all corners of the U.S.
[See: 10 Memorable Camping Trips.]
American Prairie Reserve, Montana
For a $1,200 nightly rate, you can enjoy some seriously luxurious camping in one of the most beautiful and scenic parts of the country. Set on hundreds of thousands of acres, the American Prairie Reserve is one of the largest nature reserves in the world. Here, you can enjoy your striking natural surroundings while staying in a high-end safari yurt furnished with luxury beds and bedding, private bathrooms, a dressing room with a large walk-in closet and upscale bath products. On-site dining is also available through the use of a camp chef.
Asheville, North Carolina
Want to camp and potentially drink some beer, too? Consider Asheville Glamping, which is right outside of Asheville, North Carolina – also known as beer heaven. Rates start at around $150 per night, and you can rent everything from a luxury yurt to a retro vintage camper (also called a "glamper") to a fully outfitted luxury tent. Not only can you soak in the natural surroundings and enjoy not having to set up a tent outdoors, but you can also explore the local Biltmore Estate, hike the Smoky Mountains and even visit some of the famous microbreweries in the area.
Lake Rudolph Campground & R.V. Resort
Lake Rudolph Campground & R.V. Resort offers families a little bit of everything. Named one of the top campgrounds for families by the Travel Channel, the property offers an on-site waterpark, easy access to Holiday World and Splashin' Safari Waterpark next door and a unique glamping experience. Rent a fully furnished R.V. or a Christmas Cabin, which comes outfitted with a king-sized bed, three flat-screen televisions, a full kitchen and bath, along with a roomy loft for the kids. Outdoors, you can cook hotdogs on your very own campsite and, at night, you can retreat to a luxury cabin. Rates start at just $85 for RV rentals.
[See: Best Places to Glamp.]
Teton Valley Cabins
Teton Valley, Idaho
Nestled in the Teton Valley, you'll find the Teton Valley Cabins, a property which features an array of duplex cabins, each sharing a porch but with its own private entrance and separate accommodations. Cabins are appointed with beds, a kitchenette, a full-size bathroom and a microwave. The property even has two "pet cabins," which let you bring your favorite family members along for the ride. Rates start at around $70 per night during winter, but surge as high as $104 during peak travel times.
Adirondacks, New York
If you truly want to get away from it all and get back to nature in style, consider Camp Orenda, an authentic backcountry retreat nestled among the beautiful Adirondacks. When you're ready to venture outside your own private, secluded canvas cabin, you can explore the vast mountain valley, hike the trails or bike through the original highways of the past.
Best of all, this serene Adirondack glamping retreat features an all-inclusive rate that includes backcountry cuisine served daily, outdoor activities such as kayaking, canoeing, white-water rafting and customized trekking excursions. All-inclusive rooms start at $200 per night per adult (children 10 and under can stay for $100 per night).
The Bottom Line
If you don't like camping but love the outdoors, consider giving luxury camping or "glamping" a try. With a cozy bed to sleep in and all the comforts of home, you might come around to embracing the great outdoors on a camping trip after all.
About En Route
Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.
Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.
Edited by Liz Weiss.
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