No one is really sure where the term “glamping” first originated, but what’s mostly incontestable is that this luxurious and lavish style of camping is growing in popularity at a seemingly exponential rate. According to Bare Bones Living blogger Mindy Burton, if you really want to get specific, glamping could actually date all the way back to the Turkish Ottomans who “would set up extravagant tent cities as a mobile palace for the sultan.”
These days, the trend is essentially rooted in the same idea, only we’re not setting out to conquer new lands, we just want to enjoy an outdoorsy getaway without having to forego comforting amenities like mattresses, bathrooms and, in some cases, even kitchens and gourmet meals. Yes, depending on which destination you choose to visit, glamping can get that glamorous. On the other end of the spectrum, though, there are experiences that provide a little less luxury and a lot more wildernesses; glamping has a pretty broad spectrum.
From seriously chic to casually rustic, here’s a look at some of the most spectacular glamping destinations in America.
Some glampers might like to stay connected while they’re away, but for those who want a luxurious getaway that also allows for some time to “unplug,” The Ranch at Bandy Canyon is essentially a dream destination. A truly rustic retreat, Bandy offers visitors the chance to reconnect with nature while still indulging in modern-day amenities. Cozy cabins with full bathrooms and kitchenettes house anywhere from two to six people and the 144-acre resort boasts a pool, spa and of course, a nearly endless list of exciting outdoor activities.
Home to one, two and three bedroom cabins each styled with their own unique Rocky Mountain vibe, The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley is the perfect upscale camping destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all types. From an intimate escape to an action-packed family vacation, this picturesque glamping destination is ideal for any sort of getaway you might have in mind, and with more than 100,000 acres of the Pike National Forest wilderness bordering the grounds you can be sure there will be no shortage of explorative activities to choose from.
The Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch offers many different lodging accommodations, but perhaps the “cowboy tent” is most appealing to campers who want to appreciate the novelty of sleeping under the stars without foregoing a few basic amenities. The raised canvas tent is furnished with a queen bed and a set of bunk beds and a separate bathroom and shower right next door. Guests can also opt for cabin or lodge rooms and the resort even has a teepee style tent that sleeps two.
The Ranch at Rock Creek combines Big Sky scenery with its cozy yet luxurious accommodations to provide visitors with a truly memorable glamping experience. Home to authentic log cabins, historic barn accommodations and deluxe canvas cabins, this all-inclusive resort was the only U.S. lodge to be featured among National Geographic’s “Unique Lodges of the World” and is the only property in Montana to have earned the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award.
Glampers in search of a more tropical camping experience should look no further than Maui’s Aloha Campers. This unique camper rental service will hook you up with a classic Volkswagen Camper that sleeps and travels four and comes with extra amenities like a kitchenette complete with two burners, a sink, utensils, a cooler and a French press. The island has a wide range of campsites to choose from, many of which are located along the ocean: Camp Keanae YMCA campsite, on the North Shore of Maui is pictured here.
Glamping doesn’t have to be all about contemporary conveniences. The folks at The Vintages, a trailer resort home to 17 restored campers, know this for a fact. Visitors here are transported back in time while lodging in one of the resort’s classic campers but at the same time enjoying modern amenities like gourmet pour-over coffee, cozy terrycloth robes and hotel-quality linens. Plus, the park also features a pool and hot tub, cruiser bikes for guests and perhaps best of all, a close proximity to local vineyards.
Located a few hours north of Boise, some may consider River Dance Lodge remote, but for the glamper in search of a camping vacation that balances perfectly between rugged retreat and luxurious getaway, this specialty lodging resort situated about 30 miles outside of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area can’t be beat. Visitors can choose between log cabin or glamping tent accommodations nestled amidst a truly breathtaking mountain setting. Tents are glamorously equipped with pillow-top king beds, wood-burning stoves and private back porches complete with heated clawfoot bathtubs.
No glamping trip is complete without a little bit of wine, right? So why not situate yourself in the heart of Yakima Valley’s wine country? This picturesque Washington-based resort lodges visitors in fully furnished 22-foot teepees complete with comfy beds, barbeque grills, compact refrigerators, open-air showers and even private bathroom facilities separate from the tents. What’s more, when the sun rises each morning, guests are greeted with a gourmet breakfast featuring fresh local produce.
The Island Glamping experience at The Shawnee Inn transports glampers to a remote campsite by canoe, providing the opportunity to bond with nature without having to give up the luxurious amenities of the resort's main campus. Bell tents are pitched and furnished before your arrival and among other features include a queen size bed, a sofa, and a deck with two chairs, a table and a lantern. The site also includes shared bathroom facilities and guests are served a hearty breakfast in the morning before departing on a hike along the Appalachian Trail.
Available in High Falls, Tugaloo, Red Top Mountain, Fort Yargo and Cloudland Canyon State Parks in Georgia, these luxurious yet rustic yurts are the perfect place to bunk after a day of hiking, biking and swimming in the wilderness of Georgia. Made of wood and canvas, the yurts sleep up to six people and are furnished with beds, futons, screened windows and outside decks with picnic tables and grills or fire rings. Oh yeah, and cozy abodes are also equipped with electrical outlets, so you can plug-in while you unwind. Of course, Wi-Fi is a different story.
With exciting outdoor activities like horseback riding, ziplining, golf and swamp buggy rides nearby and glamourous camping sites stocked with extensive amenities, the Westgate River Ranch easily ranks among America’s best places to go glamping. This resorts deluxe campsites feature platform-raised canvas tents set amidst a rustic wooded landscape. These spacious tents are fully furnished and are even air conditioned and the glamping experience here comes with a “Glamping Concierge Service” meant to cater to your every need and ultimately, eliminate traditional camping chores so you can relax, unwind and truly enjoy all the great outdoors have to offer.