While the trend of “glamping,” or glam camping, has been around since the turn of this century, it’s taken off over the last couple of years, as people have sought more nature-based vacations in less-crowded spaces.
Couples and families have been flocking to where they can spend a few nights close to nature without compromising on the comfort and services they’ve come to expect while they travel.
At many resorts you can sleep in cabins or vintage travel vehicles ranging from covered wagons to Airstream trailers, but many glampers opt for the spaciousness of giant tents, pitched on a permanent foundation, with water, electricity, king-sized beds, fully stocked luxury bathrooms, fine linens, porches, kitchenettes and access to gyms and wellness services, along with the even greater outdoors.
Most have fewer spaces than a boutique hotel and are open seasonally, so remember to book early!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, Montana
Like most glamping resorts this one is pet-friendly, but it took its name from the road it sits on.
It’s relatively large at 30 units, and what units they are! With hardwood floors, air conditioning, heated bathroom floors and butler service it seems a little absurd to call them “tents,” especially with a gourmet restaurant onsite, but it’s set on 37,000 acres of pristine open space, with 100 miles of trails and 10 miles along the Blackfoot River.
Open mid-May through mid-October.
Under Canvas Grand Canyon, Valle, Arizona
Under Canvas specializes in luxurious campsites near national parks and monuments including Zion, Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains and Mount Rushmore.
If you haven’t braved the Grand Canyon crowds lately, book a tent with a bedroom wing and a leather sofa in the lounge area with ultra-plush linens and a woodburning stove. It’s about a 25-minute drive to the South Rim entrance, but your experience coordinator will ensure you get the absolute best out of your time.
Wahwahtaysee Resort, Kingsbury, Texas
This campsite includes seven tents and one container cabin on the banks of the San Marcos River about 50 miles south of Austin. The one- or two-bedroom safari-style tents have king beds, kitchenettes, showers and deep spa-style bathtubs. They’re also heated and air conditioned and are available year-round.
You’ll also have your own golf cart to explore the 100-acre property, which offers multiple river beaches, fly fishing, walking trails, pecan orchard, beach volleyball and bocce ball. BYO kayak!
Huttopia Paradise Springs, Valyermo, California
The first West Coast outlet of a popular European chain, this is built on the site of what might be called an early glamping resort that served Hollywood icons including Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin.
Today’s guests can swim in the same pool as they stay in wood-and-canvas tents with huge outdoor decks, barbecues, custom mattresses and more within a wide, gorgeously lush canyon in Angeles National Forest.
Note that some tents do not have a private bathroom.