Full disclosure: I’ve never gone camping. Like almost everyone, I crave time in nature, but I prefer snoozing among a cloud of cotton and down in a cozy hotel bed to slumbering under the stars in a sleeping bag.
For travelers like me who long for the great outdoors but prefer modern conveniences, “glamping”—a portmanteau of glamorous and camping—is a viable option to escape a hectic lifestyle and slip into the country for a few days. Be it the mountains, desert, or near one of American’s national parks, fresh air and quietude allow us to clear our heads and reconnect to the environment.
From Ithaca, New York, to Dayton, Oregon, these glamping properties tucked in remote areas of the country promise the allure of nature without sacrificing comfort.
Acadia Yurts & Wellness Center, Southwest Harbor, Maine
A yurt or circular tent sounds primitive, but at Acadia Yurts & Wellness Center on Mount Desert Island, it’s quite the opposite. These yurts come furnished with electricity, kitchenettes, bathrooms, and comfy beds. Since the locale is less than a five-minute drive from Acadia National Park, the campsite makes for an ideal base. On this stunning island, outdoor adventurers reap the benefits as they immerse themselves in the Pine Tree State’s rugged terrain. Though yoga classes are on pause during the pandemic, the Wellness Center offers massage therapy, a flotation room, and an infrared sauna.
Firelight Camps, Ithaca, New York
Located in the Finger Lakes region, an area of upstate New York beloved for its burgeoning culinary scene and award-winning wines, Firelight Camps is where natural beauty meets luxe accommodations. The property sits on the grounds of La Tourelle Hotel and Spa so that guests can have the best of two worlds: the idyllic surroundings and access to John Thomas Steakhouse and August Moon Spa. Breakfast is complimentary, and the property pours wine every night around the campfire—another rare perk. Firelight Camps is also in a fantastic location: minutes from Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca’s vibrant downtown, and the Cornell University campus.
Little Arrow Outdoor Resort, Townsend, Tennessee
Glamp here, and you’ll have the Great Smoky Mountains outside your door. Choose from luxury tents, RVs, cabins, and airstreams at this picturesque spot in Tennessee’s vast wilderness. Room features include cable/satellite TV, fireplaces, bathrobes, and expansive mountain views. Whether you prefer activities (there’s a swimming pool, river access, and tubing) or relaxation with a soak in the hot tub, Little Arrow offers an optimal getaway from Knoxville, Nashville, or Asheville, North Carolina.
The Mohicans Treehouse, Glenmont, Ohio
If you’ve dreamed of spending a night tucked in a tree while staring at the stars, then this Ohio property should rank high on your list. The Mohicans features several hideaways such as the Little Red Treehouse, a lofty space for two guests with a five-foot-tall stained glass window, and the roomy White Oak Treehouse, which sleeps up to six people. Both homes and several others are the work of master treehouse builder Pete Nelson, star of the Discovery Channel’s show, ”Treehouse Masters,” so you can count on well-thought-out details paired with creature comforts in a stunning setting.
The Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, Montana
Are you looking for a national park experience sans all the people? Then, this Montana resort could fit the bill. It’s set among 37,000 acres of untouched wilderness, with 100 miles of trails among the rippling sounds of the Blackfoot River. While Paws Up provides luxury homes, it also has six campsites. Glampers can opt for a one or two-bedroom luxury tent, or larger groups can lease the entire property. Beyond all the high-end amenities, there are several on-site dining establishments and a slew of activities, be it horseback riding, hiking, whitewater rafting, or helicopter tours.
Under Canvas Grand Canyon, Valle, Arizona
Who says you can’t go on safari in style? The concept for Sarah and Jacob Dusek’s Under Canvas Grand Canyon was spurred by the safari culture of Africa, but resembles a hotel—the campsite features spacious tents with king-size beds and en suite bathrooms. While guests enjoy live music fireside in the evenings, the Southwest’s ethereal landscape and stargazing nights are the best reasons to stay in this mystical setting. Plus, since the camp is just 25 miles from the South Rim, the Grand Canyon is less than a half-hour away.
Sequoia High Sierra Camp, Sequoia National Park, California
Designed for more intrepid travelers, this hike-in camp—guests trek a mile-long trail to access the resort—is an excellent base for the national park experience. Perched on a mountain overlooking Kings Canyon, Sequoia High Sierra Camp positions folks on the edge of High Sierra wilderness, a 2-million-acre tract stretching from Sequoia to Yosemite. The camp consists of 30 tented cabins, an outdoor dining pavilion with a fireplace, and a shared bathhouse with flush toilets and hot showers. Guests only need to bring personal belongings, as the resort provides anything you’d need, even breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Vintages Trailer Resort, Dayton, Oregon
If you can imagine staying in a vintage trailer, look no further than this resort in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. You’ll have several perks in your hotel on wheels, including a flatscreen TV, bathrobes, and gourmet coffee—probably not so common while glamping, but you are in Oregon, after all. Surrounded by acres of vineyards, the backdrop is magical here. With more than 300 wineries in the region, a wealth of restaurants, the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, and miles of verdant countryside in the valley, you’ll never run out of things to see and do.
From tiny houses to tipis, cabins, and tents, accommodations run the gamut. If you’ve never glamped, pack the necessities—insect repellent, sunblock, and your camera—then hit the road and revel in the natural environment. While you may have access to Wi-Fi, to reap the rewards of your time in the great outdoors, unplug the electronics.
Tracy Kaler is a travel writer based in New York. She’s written for The Telegraph, Barron’s Penta, amNewYork, and other publications. When she’s not glued to her laptop, she’s wandering the city she loves or off discovering another part of the planet.