No so long ago, the closest you could get to “glamping” was sleeping in an Airstream. Then upscale tented camps starting popping up in Africa, a few people tricked out some yurts, and upscale log cabins started becoming a thing. Eventually this word for “glamorous camping” became part of the travel lexicon.
The Oxford English Dictionary didn’t add it until 2016, but now that it’s there I guess nobody can write it off as a passing fad. Apparently we like the fresh air and the outdoors, but don’t love sleeping on the ground in a small tent so much. When you can get the best of both worlds—like I did in that permanent park tent above by Lac St. Jean in Quebec—it feels strangely satisfying.
You knew that eventually these places would spread around the globe and the USA has grabbed the trend with gusto. I’ve been surfing around a site called Glamping Hub that has taken a villa rental approach to beefing up inventory. Owners can list their cabin, tented camp, yurt, or houseboat for rent. (For a start.) Here are a few examples from five time zones of what you can expect when you go down the rabbit hole and start searching the U.S. listings.
This gorgeous cottage with a view of the Hana coast in Maui was the “first permitted bamboo structure in the United States” and has a “Nautilus shape that promotes tranquility and sacredness.” You get a big deck, skylight, and a kitchen, with plenty of room to spread out. Naturally there’s yoga nearby. Get more info and photos here.
Yurt on a Ranch in California
It’ll be clear when you step into this yurt that it’s not the sleeping quarters of a roaming shepherd on the steppes of Central Asia. There’s a king bed with memory foam mattress, fireplace, and “outdoor shower where glamping couples can shower under the stars.” That comes with Turkish cotton robes and organic bath products.
The yurt is on a 160-acre ranch near the coastal town of Cayucos. You get access to a cedar soaking tub and a “living room” in the woods, plus there are five miles of hiking trails. Get the scoop here.
Tent Glamping Near Utah Parks
You’ll be sleeping in a tent near Kanab, Utah in this place, but this is not like any tent you have ever carried in your car or on your back. As you can see from that photo, you have lots of space around your king-sized bed and there’s a deck out front too. It’s near the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, which is one the governor hasn’t threatened to take away yet, so hopefully there won’t be oil rigs and ranchers setting up there anytime soon.
You don’t have to get too wild though: there’s solar-powered electricity that will charge your phone and you can get a cell signal here. There’s a barbecue grill to use for cooking up a real camp meal. For this and other park options, search Kanab or Utah on GlampingHub.com.
All Alone in Texas Dark Sky Country
This “eco dome rental in the Dark Sky Ordinance Territory” may be a little less glamorous—as in there’s an outhouse with a composting toilet—but rates start at $107 per night and you’ll have a million stars overhead when you step outside. If you’re trying to get into nature while having a nice bed to sleep in, you’ll have no light pollution
It’s powered by solar and propane, with collected rain supplying the water. You can get a cell phone signal here though, so you can post your selfies in front of it in real time. Click on the photo for more info.
Teepee Experience in the Catskill Mountains
Want to experience the native American life in Hollywood fantasy form? This teepee (or tipi) in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York has the fire in the middle all right, but that’s not the only thing that’s cozy. You’ll have soft sheets and warm blankets in this one, though you will have to get dressed and go outdoors to the artsy outhouse when nature calls.
There’s a kitchenette with gas stove and a solar-charged battery device to charge up your gadgets.
Have you done a glamping stay somewhere? What was your experience like?