After more than a year of lockdown, travelers are flocking to open-air destinations as a welcome refuge from the pandemic. Indeed, this year is shaping up to be a banner one for camping vacations, with 51 percent of boomers planning to increase their camping trips, according to the 2021 North American Camping Report, sponsored by Kampgrounds of America (KOA).
But some of us may not see the appeal of old-style roughing it.
Enter glamping, which lets you immerse yourself in the great outdoors without sacrificing the comforts of home. A perfect marriage of rustic nature and modern luxury, this form of “glamorous camping” combines the joys of the wild with the amenities of civilization, like comfy beds, running water and electricity. Not to mention hot tubs, personal butlers, chandeliers and heated floors in some. It's no surprise, then, that 49 percent of all campers are interested in glamping this year, according to the KOA report.
Here are nine fun glamping spots across the U.S. Prices are summer estimates, unless otherwise noted. To find additional options, try sites such as Hipcamp, Glamping Hub and Glamping.
1. Under Canvas Grand Canyon (Valle, Arizona)
Under Canvas offers upscale options near popular national parks and monuments, including Acadia, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Great Smoky Mountains and Yellowstone.
Take the property near the Grand Canyon, for example. Set on 160 secluded acres of piñon and juniper forest at the foot of Bill Williams Mountain, the camp is just 25 minutes from the iconic park. Cushy, safari-style canvas tents boast king-size beds, West Elm furnishings, wood-burning stoves and en suite bathrooms. This place takes the environment seriously: Bathrooms have pull-chain showers, faucets that automatically shut off and low-flow toilets. Plus, low-level lighting mitigates light pollution to amplify the starry, starry sky, which you can enjoy through the Stargazer Tent's viewing window above the bed. Bookend your exploration of the park with a locally sourced breakfast and dinner, served in the communal dining area.
How to get there: Fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, three hours away, or Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, one hour away.
Cost: Tents start at $209 per night.
2. Asheville Glamping (Asheville, North Carolina)
Tucked snugly into the verdant forest, the deluxe air-conditioned tents of Asheville Glamping sit on raised wooden platforms and feature queen-size beds, private fire pits and propane grills, and (in some) hot tubs. Half the tents have private bathrooms; the others share a nearby bathhouse. There are also eight light-filled air-conditioned domes (snuggle under heated blankets in winter) with their own bathrooms as well as vintage trailers, yurts and even a tree house. The Blue Ridge Parkway, Pisgah National Forest and lovely Asheville itself are all a short drive away.
How to get there: Fly into Asheville Regional Airport, about 20 minutes away.
Cost: Tents start at $145 per night, domes start at $155 and the tree house at $290, with a two-night minimum.
3. Black Tree Resort (Lake George, Colorado)
High end marries high country on 80 acres bordering Pike National Forest. With privacy in mind, the 11 tents at Black Tree are spaced out and outfitted with luxury linens on queen-size beds, handcrafted furniture, solar-powered lighting and private bathrooms (one tent and bathroom are ADA-compliant). Love seats and wood-burning stoves ramp up the cozy factor. You can zip around the property on an electric golf cart or just chill on your private covered deck or on Adirondack chairs around your own firepit. After a day of hiking, boating, fly-fishing, horseback riding, ziplining or white-water rafting nearby, cozy up to a chef-prepared meal delivered right to your tent. And, yes, it's pretty pricey.
How to get there: Fly into Denver International Airport, two and a half hours away, or Colorado Springs Airport, an hour away.