Here, There, and Everywhere: 8 Most Gramable Glamping Spots
Let’s face it: Camping is not for everyone. Whether it’s the bugs, sleeping on the ground, or the lack of plumbing, for some people, the Great Outdoors can feel more like a natural disaster than an adventure. But after spending so much time with our faces in front of screens - at work and at home - there is also no better way to go offline than by spending some quality time immersed in nature. So what if you're doing it all while coming back to resort accommodations? That's where Glamping—a slightly obnoxious term short for “glamorous camping”—comes in to save the day. Instead of the hard ground and too-cold sleeping bags, glamping usually includes feather beds, comfy blankets, and yes, sometimes a flushing toilet. When you glamp, you get all the amenities of high-end hotels set in a natural environment that’s literally miles away from any city. Hey, it sounds contradictory, but we like to think it’s the fashion-girl way to experience Mother Nature. Ahead, our picks for the most fabulous camping locations, with a focus on great interior design, that will put you in the country’s most beautiful natural landscapes while also ensuring you get some much needed R&R in style.
1. El Capitan, California
Where: A half-hour northwest of Santa Barbara
The cost: Rates start at $200 per night.
The details: Choose from basic canvas tents built on wood platforms, or fancier cedar cabins with bathrooms and kitchenettes. All accommodations are situated along a wooded drive that leads into the hilly portion of El Capitan State Beach, where wildlife abounds. But the real draw here is the proximity to the coastline itself, where you can walk, bike, or drive under Highway 101 to access the sandy beach and tide pools.
There’s no question that the California coast provides one of the most breathtaking natural backdrops. Is there anything more desirable than waking up to hear the sound of crashing waves? Spend your day exploring the natural lands or get pampered at the spa.
2. El Cosmico, Texas
Where: The high plains desert of Marfa, Texas.
The cost: Rates start at $85 per night.
The details: More than just a regular campsite, El Cosmico is like your favorite hip Austin hotel but spread out across a series of trailers, tents, and teepees. Located in trendy Marfa, a five-hour drive from San Antonio, the camp is a hub for creatives, artists, and nomads. Enjoy the hotel's sunset soundtrack concerts, have a movie night under the stars, or try an herbal workshop.
High-end linens and towels make you feel at home, and electrical outlets for charging your tech mean that you won’t miss a single Instagrammable moment. The El Cosmico bath houses feature showers, a tub, toilets, and sinks, and the resort also has a hammock grove for relaxed swinging. Don’t miss the Dutch tubs: wood-fired hot tubs available for rent every night from 6 to 10 p.m.
3. Falling Waters Resort, North Carolina
Where: North Carolina's Smoky Mountains
The cost: Rates start around $84 per night.
The details: Glamping certainly doesn’t have to break the bank. If peace and quiet is beckoning, spend the night in a yurt at Falling Waters. Costing less than a typical hotel room, guests sleep in circular yurts, which feature queen-sized beds and hotel-like features such as coffee makers and refrigerators. But visitors won’t be lounging in bed much; the resort offers zip-lining, whitewater rafting and mountain biking. It may not feature the five-star dining and ensuite baths of more upscale glamping sites, but it’s perfect for budget-minded nature lovers.
Added bonus: The yurt's skylight is optimal for star-gazing, and you can enjoy a little alone time on the private deck near the lake.
4. Firelight Camps, New York
Where: On the grounds of La Tourelle Resort and Spa in Ithaca, New York.
The cost: Rates start at $189 per night.
The details: The well-thought-out tents at Firelight Camps sit on platforms and contain all the amenities you’d expect from a hotel room. Hardwood floors, large beds with plush linens, and private balconies make camping easy, and perks like a complimentary, locally sourced continental breakfast start the day off right.
Each tent is lit with battery-powered lanterns that can also charge your phone, and mesh screening keeps out unwanted bugs. The low-key resort has plenty to do; try your hand at bocce ball or check out the many hiking trails.
The town of Ithaca is a hidden gem in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Nature-lovers can gawk at the spectacular waterfalls, gorges and Cayuga Lake. Not to mention, the area is filled with delicious eateries, local art galleries and an array of vineyards.
5. The Resort at Paws Up, Montana
Where: Located on Montana’s Blackfoot River, the setting of the iconic story—and Robert Redford-directed film—A River Runs Through It.
The cost: Nightly rates start at $1,255 for a one-bedroom tent in the fall and include all meals, drinks, and transportation.
The details: One of the most famous glamping resorts in the U.S., the 37,000-acre Resort at Paws Up goes way beyond nice thread counts and fancy furniture. Each of their 30 tents comes with its own camp butler, to say nothing of the indoor plumbing, air conditioning, and heated blankets when it’s chilly.
Th resort and cattle ranch at Paws Up also has some of the largest glamping tents around. Their three-bedroom tents measure 1,220 square feet, can sleep six guests, and have two bathrooms. And no matter the size, the accommodations all feature feather beds, large decks, daily housekeeping, and Western-chic furniture.
When they’re not sleeping in the tricked-out tents, guests can explore more than 120 miles of hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, and ATV trails. Go fly-fishing, hiking, or hot air ballooning, and unwind in your own private clawfoot tub before heading down to the Tank, where you'll be treated to some seriously mind-blowing culinary experiences cooked up by Top Chef winners, master grillers, or the resort's own executive chef, Ben Jones.
Whether you want to explore on horseback or enjoy top-of-the-line spa sessions, this majestic destination is the perfect marriage of nature and luxury. Experience unspoiled wilderness first-hand at a five-star resort.
6. Moab Under Canvas, Utah
Where: Under Canvas has tents in Zion, Moab, Yellowstone, and Glacier, and its Grand Canyon location will open in 2018.
The cost: Rates depend on the time of year and location, but most start around $159 per night.
The details: As one of the largest glamping companies in the United States, Under Canvas has figured out the key to success: simple and luxurious accommodations in stunning settings. Located between two national parks, Under Canvas is a go-to resort for the adventure seeker—raft the Colorado River, ride in a hot air balloon over the valleys or mountain bike through the quaint town of Moab. Under Canvas offers a range of different tents to choose from, some with ensuite bathrooms that include a shower, sink, and flushing toilet.
Deluxe tents boast a wood stove and a private deck, while suites work well for families thanks to both the bedroom wing and a lounge area that features a leather queen sofa bed. You can also add an adjacent tepee to any tent, and all tent rates include up to four guests per night.
7. Collective Retreats, various locations
Where: After two years of testing in Vail; Colorado; and Yellowstone, Montana, Collective Retreats now also offers glamping in Sonoma, California; the Hudson Valley, New York; and the Texas Hill Country outside Austin.
The cost: $500 to $700 per night.
The details: Collective Retreats takes camping to a whole new level with luxurious tents in places where traditional hotels simply can’t exist: A picturesque field in Yellowstone, Montana, for example, or unspoiled countryside in New York’s Hudson Valley. The company partners with landowners to set up around 15 tents in each location and provides guests with lodging, meals, and activities.
High-end decor includes wood floors, electricity, antler chandeliers, 1,500-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens, Turkish hotel spas, ensuite private bathrooms with L’Occitane bath products, and even gourmet French-press coffee bars.
8. The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana
Where: Southwestern Montana near the historic mining town of Philipsburg.
The cost: Around $1,300 per person, per night in summer.
The details: It doesn’t get more glamorous than the Ranch at Rock Creek, a luxury resort in Montana. This five-star guest ranch has a gorgeous lodge in which to sleep, but it also boasts several large canvas tents that are perfect for couples and families alike.
Rustic style meets high-end design in the tents, with many featuring two rooms separated by a curtain. You also get a private bathroom, top-notch bedding, two gas stoves, a screened porch, and a private deck.
While the Ranch at Rock Creek stretches the definition of camping—seriously, these accommodations rival the nicest rooms in New York City—their per-night pricing includes everything you need to relax: housekeeping, all food and premium drinks, activities, gear, and transportation to and from the airport.
-- WHAT TO WEAR --
When it comes to camping (even the glamorous variety), comfort is key.
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