Has there ever been a better moment in history for glamping? The experience offers all the joy of camping with very few of its drawbacks—the creature comforts we all crave but in a setting that puts us in closer touch with nature and the wide-open spaces of the world around us. Plus, it’s an ideal way to connect with families and groups during a time when travel and gathering remain fraught with restrictions.
If you’re ready to venture out into the great outdoors, you’re in luck: There are some great places to glamp all across the United States, with varying amenity and accommodation types, but all promising a world of new experiences. Read on for five great places to glamp from sea to shining sea.
Westgate River Ranch, Florida
I recently paid a visit to Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo, a giant Western-style ranch in the middle of Florida—a property most people find unexpected, to say the least. It’s a short distance from Disney and offers a similar fantastical experience, but celebrates the magic of camping and the great outdoors rather than the magic of animation and storytelling.
It’s one of Florida’s funkiest, most off-the-beaten-path spots, yet offers a world of activities geared toward families and groups: Think horseback riding, petting farm, airboat rides (yes, you’ll see gators), archery and skeet shooting, an adventure park, nightly campfires and s’mores kits, and even an authentic Saturday night rodeo. It’s housed on a sprawling 1,700 acres adjacent to the Kissimmee River, so every guest gets a golf cart to traverse the property during their stay.
The ranch recently debuted new glamping accommodations, including new luxury glamping tents and Luxe Conestoga Wagons, which are replicas of the large 18th-century covered wagons that were historically used to transfer cargo by horse or oxen. The high-maintenance among us will be glad to know that the “camping” part of glamping in the wagons is a stretch—it’s more like a cozy hotel room that happens to be housed inside a covered wagon—but all the same, visitors enjoy an outdoorsy experience with ample creature comforts.
Other glamping options include Native American-style teepees, rail cars, and traditional glamping tents, but classic motel-style rooms and suites in the lodge are also available, as well as cottages and cabins (ideal for families) and platform camping, primitive tent camping, and RV camping.
West Beach Resort, Washington
West Beach Resort, located on Orcas Island in Washington, offers a scenic beachfront site in a woodsy destination beloved for frequent sightings of whales, porpoises, seals, ospreys, and bald eagles. It’s accessible via an hour and a half ferry from the mainland and has both cabins and pet-friendly safari tents equipped with beds and private patios. RV camping and primitive tent camping are also available.
While you’ll certainly feel off-the-grid here, the campground has interactive activities for kids (think face painting, treasure hunts, and build-your-own-sundaes) as well as a hot tub, a well-stocked general store, and boats, kayaks, and canoes you can rent to explore the waters around you. There’s also ping pong, badminton, and volleyball for a bit of friendly entertainment.
Best of all, West Beach Resort has a pier where guests can fish for perch, greenling, and salmon, as well as a fish-cleaning station if you got lucky enough to catch your own dinner.
Glamping Canyonlands, Utah
For a fully off-the-grid experience in the desert, head to this Wi-Fi-free glamping spot in Monticello, Utah. Glamping Canyonlands has boho-inspired bell tents with queen-size beds, chairs, rugs, and LED candles, as well as private decks where visitors can sit and watch desert sunrises and sunsets. There are also toilets, showers, and a communal cooking area, but for the rest, you’re on your own, so expect a true camping experience here, but with some of the comforts and conveniences of home.
Monticello, the nearest town, is 15 minutes away, and it’s where you’ll want to stock up on food and water since there’s no running water on-site at Glamping Canyonlands. If you’re eager to explore, Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park are both less than an hour away.
Camp Long Creek at Big Cedar Lodge, Missouri
For scenic lakeside glamping, head to Camp Long Creek at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. Located on Table Rock Lake and a few minutes away from the main resort, the glamping experience at Camp Long Creek varies from vintage bungalow-style camp huts to cabins to luxurious canvas tents complete with a private stone patio, firepit, and outdoor tub. These lakeside digs sleep two to four.
Best of all, you can bring the whole family to camp, even Fido: Camp Long Creek is dog-friendly and even has its own dog park with agility equipment. Visitors also get access to the Long Creek Marina, where boat and watercraft rentals, fishing services, water ski instruction, and sunset dinner cruises on the Lady Liberty are available. There’s plenty to do and gorgeous wilderness to explore, so visitors get the full camping experience with none of its hassles.
Mystic Quarry, Texas
Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country near the Guadalupe River and Canyon Lake, Mystic Quarry Resort is a modern glamping campground and resort with tiny houses, boho-style teepees, cabins, cottages, RV sites, and tent sites, so you get to choose your own adventure. New safari glamping tents are set to debut this spring, adding another fun option in addition to the Sioux-style teepees inspired by the Native American people of the Great Plains.
Several onsite accommodations are dog-friendly and have full kitchens as well as plush bedding and linens, but you’ll still feel communion with the outdoors even if you go more “glam” than “camping” thanks to the beautiful scenery and the clear waters of nearby Canyon Lake, where you can swim, boat, enjoy water sports, or simply stroll along the 80 miles of shoreline. There are also amenities like bocce and volleyball courts, an outdoor pool, rooftop deck, and other recreational activities for campers to enjoy (and, of course, Wi-Fi—this is a modern glampground, after all).
Skye Sherman is a freelance travel writer based in West Palm Beach, Fla. She covers news, transit, and international destinations for a variety of outlets. You can follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter @skyesherman.