27 Luxury Camping Adventures That Will Make You an Outdoors Person
Want to spend more time in the great outdoors without forgoing the finer things in life like high thread counts, flushing toilets, hot showers, chandeliers, wine lists, and butlers? Try glamping at these luxury camping sites that redefine the act of roughing it and will make even the unhappiest of campers want to go play outside.
The newest, largest, and most secluded AutoCamp venture in Mariposa, California offers accommodations in tricked-out Airstream trailers, luxury tents, and modern cabins. Cool off with fresh-squeezed OJ in the two-story clubhouse or by diving into the freshwater pond or heated pool. Or in winter, warm up on heated outdoor furniture. And because you don’t have to waste time pitching a tent, you’ll have more time to explore Yosemite National Park, a daily direct shuttle ride away. AutoCamp also offers luxury camping in two other Golden State locales: There’s an Airstream-only installment three miles from the beach in Santa Barbara where rentals come with two beach cruisers and helmets, while the Sonoma County camp is a short walk to the Russian River and offers an ADA-accessible cabin. They’ve got you covered in most aspects, but like a boy scout, you should always be prepared and take these 10 first aid essentials on every vacation.
The Resort At Paws Up
The Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Montana is luxury camping at its finest. Situated on a 37,000-acre working elk and cow ranch along the Blackfoot River, its six distinct camps feature safari tents with heated floors, A/C, free-standing copper soaking tubs for two, furnished decks suspended over bank slopes. From May through October, guests can fly-fish steps from their “room,” watch a cooking demo from a visiting master chef, take a hot air balloon ride, enjoy complimentary horse-drawn wagon rides, or head to Spa Town for a four-handed massage on a heated table housed in—what else?—a tent.
The Gwen Hotel
Need to go off-grid in baby steps? There’s urban glamping for that. The Gwen, one of Chicago’s historic downtown high-rises and a member of The Luxury Collection of hotels, sets up “camp” on its 16thfloor terrace from May through the end of September. Anxious city folk will be comforted by the sounds of Michigan Avenue and the ability to pop next door to Nordstrom to replace forgotten supplies. The Lotus Belle tent is 16 feet in diameter and filled to the brim with boho design delights like drum-shaped mango wood side tables, hand-knotted macramé cushions, bronze Malta lanterns, and a braided jute rug. The glamping package is a definite splurge but does include welcome bites, access to the inside suite with a wet bar and dining room, round-trip airport transportation, and gourmet s’mores at turndown.
Campera Hotel Burbuja
The ten beach-ball-like quarters at this eco-resort in Mexico’s predominant wine country Valle de Guadalupe in Baja Norte, a short road trip from San Diego, are climate-controlled, stock locally made organic soaps, and start at less than $200 a night. Suites have bathrooms inside while smaller spheres have facilities just outside the door. The translucent walls give guests unobstructed views of twinkling night skies and surrounding vineyards, the very same vines used to make the red and white wine stocked in the mini-fridge. Privacy is not a concern as hay ball walls separate each bubble and beds are surrounded by closable curtains.
Carry a torch for nature hikes that end in waterfalls and local wine? Head to this upstate New York luxury camping glampground in Ithaca where tents have wood floors and covered porches, dogs are welcome, musicians play live fireside in an outdoor lounge with bistro lights, bocce is played, locally sourced continental breakfast is complimentary, and access to the Upper and Lower Buttermilk Falls trails is immediate. Finger Lakes-fermented wines and beers are served year-round at the bar (why yes, they do have a bar on site) but when autumn hits, out comes the hot chocolate and mulled cider. You can also hike with a foraging expert. Speaking of hiking, here’s where to find the best hiking trail in every state.
Situated on a tree-dotted bluff looking out across the Pacific in Mendocino, California, this modern camping experience gives visitors the best of both worlds: beach and woods. (It’s also a two-minute drive or 20-minute walk to an adorable seaside village full of restaurants, shops, and an ice cream parlor scooping a regional specialty flavor made from candy cap mushrooms.) The husband-and-wife team behind MG has thought of everything: heated beds, leather butterfly chairs on redwood decks, a lending library, a dog wash, a 24-hour tea bar, hammocks, campfire valet, and flat irons and fresh flower arrangements in the bathrooms. There’s also yoga on weekends.
Yurt out of your mind if you wouldn’t jump at the chance to vacation in the round in Red Rock country in Escalante, Utah. The area is home to unique slot canyons, colorful rock formations, petrified forests, scenic highways and byways, the Dixie National Forest, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and this luxury camping outfitter. The 20-acre property is surrounded by mature juniper trees and has yurts with flatscreens, A/C, private rooms, breakfast in bed, showers, kitchens, and barbeques. The Cottonwood can sleep up to eight as it’s the size of a standard New York apartment and your kids will particularly love the loft space.
R&R is a universal concept and luxury hasn’t been lost in translation at this peaceful Hvar Island property in Vbroska, Croatia where comfy units have gardens, views of the sea, and access to a private beach. Guests also don’t have to forego the amenities they rely on to make their everyday lives run smoothly like kitchens stocked with all the basic cookware and seasonings, dishwashers, barbecues, WiFi, and private bathrooms.
Dunton River Camp
Glamping almost rhymes with pampering so it makes sense that this grand ranch in Dolores, Colorado is home to one of the Centennial State’s finest luxury camping options. Pick your poison oak between river fork or mountain views. No matter what you prefer to look at, the spacious digs are warmed by gas stoves, have 6-foot soaking tubs in en-suite bathrooms, and come with two mountain bikes to cruise around the surrounding verdant valley and steep peak sides. Your stay, priced for two, includes all meals and drinks, alcoholic or otherwise, at the farmhouse and activities like fly fishing, horseback riding, and guided hiking.
The Cozy Peach
With more than 300 days a year of rays, fun in the sun (and those spectacular Sonoran Desert sunsets) awaits in Queen Creek, Arizona. So does glamping. Schnepf Farms, a 300-acre organic peach farm and fourth-generation homestead on Mesa’s acclaimed Fresh Foodie Trail, recently introduced a collection of authentic 1950s auto trailers. Spruced up with heat and air, microwaves, shabby chic linens, plumbing, hardwood floors, and adorable striped canopies, overnight stays include farm-fresh breakfast and can be paired with seasonal activities like u-pick flowers and produce, corn mazes, farm-to-fork dinners, cooking classes, and petting zoos. Use provided bicycles to ride to the meadow treehouse or the secret library hidden in a pine-tree forest. If you prefer to camp in a house on wheels, check out the best RV parks in every state.
Discovery Rottnest Island
Rotto, as the natives call it, is one of Western Australia’s most popular day trips and weekend getaway spots. It is quickly becoming a favorite of luxury camping fans as well as this brand new down under wonder in Perth is already earning rave reviews with its location just behind the sugary dunes and pristine Pinky Beach, 83 extra-large tents with bathrooms, sustainable practices, and two restaurants. The best tents have ocean views through floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors, wood floors, and furnished decks.
Huttopia White Mountains
The White Mountains are calling and you should go. Although it is less than three hours by car from Boston, couples and families will be transported to a whole new world or chirping birds, babbling brooks, and trees as far as the eyes can see at this luxury camping outpost in Albany, New Hampshire. Huttopia has three kinds of tents, all of which come stocked with linens, cookware, dishware, and mini-fridges. The Trappeurs are lakeside and add private bathrooms and showers. Or if you want to ease into this whole camping thing a little slower, book the chalet—it’s built entirely of wood and heated with a wood stove.
Chile’s Torres Del Paine National Park, with its soaring condors, sawtooth peaks, dramatic ice fields, crystal clear lakes, and colorful wildflowers is one of the prettiest places on earth. So it is really saying something that you will look for excuses to stay on property, the first luxury camping to open in South America, instead of hunting for pumas or ascending a mountain on an included tour. The yurts are that awesome with their slightly Scandinavian vibe, furry area rugs, linen slippers, central heating, flushing toilets, stargazing dome, and handmade textiles. Level up by booking one with a hot tub on the deck that overlooks a lake and mountain range. It gets even harder to motivate when attentive, friendly staff members host nightly wine tastings and smoke a whole sheep in a special room gaucho style or the resident cats request pets.
Dreher Island State Park
For those who want to dip their toe in the luxury camping pond without foregoing a sturdy roof over their heads, electricity, or lockable doors, check into one of 10 lakeside camper cabins at this secluded state park in Lake Murray, South Carolina with excellent bass fishing and bird watching. (Purple martins flutter around from June to August.) The 12×12 blocks are furnished with a double bed and a set of bunks, temperature control, picnic table, and indoor lighting, but don’t have running water. All cooking must be done outside with the provided water spigot, fire ring, and grill. To give up even fewer creature comforts, rent a villa there or at another South Carolina state park called Devil’s Fork. They’re even wired for automatic coffeemakers (provided), satellite TV and an Internet connection. Looking for something more rustic? Try one of these best campsites in every state.
East Wind Hotel
Say goodbye to city hustle and hello to hygee (a hip Danish philosophy where you attain cozy contentment and well-being by enjoying life’s simple pleasures) at this Scandinavian-inspired retreat in the Catskills in Windham, New York. While they offer regular rooms inside the revamped 1920s lodge, it is the three A-frame lushnas (think of it as a teepee meets a cabin) that are truly worth the journey thanks to Frette linens on queen beds, plaid Fairbault blankets, Zenology bath products, a triangular picture window (perfect for gazing out at fresh snow), and a private bathroom with a sauna. Barbecue kits are available upon request or join the communal dinner breakfast of German pancakes and housemade granola.
Get some peace and quiet in the Panhandle in Milton, Florida at this 352-acre eco-resort with trails, private sandbars on the creek, cycling paths, and Florida pine groves. Tiny house cabanas have outdoor showers, stainless steel open-air kitchens, and a personal fire pit while glamping tents are connected by boardwalks and share a bathhouse. Or instead, elevate your sabbatical by booking the contemporary treehouse. Surrounded by mature magnolia trees and raised away from the ground, lap up the luxury of climate control, a covered deck, and a Jacuzzi.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
Accessible only by seaplane, helicopter, or boat, this British Columbia, Vancouver Island compound of 25 prospector tents may be inspired by the turn of the century with vintage oil lamps and antiques, but its amenities and service levels are thoroughly current. Porches peek out at the water’s edge of an intertidal estuary teaming with marine and birdlife. If it starts to sprinkle as rainforests are wont to do, curl up with a great book in the squishy duvet and warm yourself by the cast iron stove. After an active day doing included activities like SUP, sea-kayaking, paintball, rappelling, surfing, and bear and whale watching, relax in the outdoor cedar shower or cash in the complimentary massage. The all-inclusive program also covers food and beverages.
Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo
Gonna go out on a limb and assume you’ve never brought a fine art print to a campsite. Us either, but it is common practice at this 1,700-acre dude ranch on the Kissimmee River in River Ranch, Florida. Also standard in the western chic teepees are double-sided hearths, wood paneling that looks reclaimed, antler sconces, full private bathrooms, and a ceiling fan. Enjoy coffee delivered every morning in a rocking chair on the patio. The personal concierge will ensure the campfire is lit every evening and handles signup for included activities like archery, zip-lining, horseback riding, airboat/pontoon rentals, and Saturday night’s main events, the titular rodeo and hayrides.
In a bit of rebranding almost as clever as the concept glamping itself, this outfit on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, known for its oysters and shark cage dives, has taken sparse early Australian-style covered wagons and rechristened them “swagons.” It’s actually a nod to the local term for the type of canvas bedroll they have outfitted them with (swag beds) but we prefer to think of these old outback trailers reborn and infused with swagger. The best part is that the cover rolls back for easy viewing of the spectacular twinkling skies over Gawler Ranges National Park.
Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA Holiday
This is not your grandpa’s KOA. Many of the classic campgrounds across the United States are getting glam makeovers including this one on California’s central coast in Watsonville. While still possible to rough it in a regular tent or pull up in an RV, couples can also avoid sleeping on uneven ground and instead walk from the private patio through French doors to snooze in a four-poster bed with real sheets. The new camping cabins also feature a Keurig coffee bar and refrigerator. Not on a romantic rendezvous for two? Deluxe cabins and Airstreams sleep four or six and have cable and bathrooms inside. It’s a mile from Manresa State Beach, but the pool, water play area, outdoor movies, jumping pillow, ice cream bike, and a human hamster ball give multiple reasons to kick it within KOA walls.
Little Arrow Outdoor Resort
The aim to deliver a comfortable experience is true at Little Arrow in Townsend, Tennessee. Even a rhinestone cowgirl like the Great Smoky Mountains’ own Dolly Parton could feel at home in the 539 square-foot tents that feature wood interior walls and house bedrooms, a bathroom, a small kitchen, and a dining area. The grounds are tricked out with a pool, community fire pit, clubhouse, and a basketball court. These amazing American campsites should be on your bucket list.
Kinkara Luxury Retreat
Find wellness in the wilderness at this serene sanctuary in Santa Elena, Costa Rica offering a host of healthy onsite experiences including cacao (that’s chocolate!) and sound healing, sweat ceremonies, yoga, swimming at waterfalls, permaculture tours, earth-to-plate cuisine, and bouldering along the riverbed. Despite sleeping in one of 31 tents, it will hardly feel like camping thanks to daily housekeeping and spring water delivery Sure, you’ll have to share a spa-inspired bathroom. But you can quickly walk to the oversized vanities and rain showers in a plush robe and dry off with organic cotton towels.
Hyde Memorial State Park & Hotel Chaco
Exchange five-star accommodations for five billion star ones at two spots in the American Southwest. Very inexpensive yurts in Hyde Memorial State Park in New Mexico, nine miles from downtown Santa Fe, feature priceless views of night skies through translucent domes in the ceiling. Glampers don’t even have to leave their cots to locate the Big Dipper.
The state lives up to its Land Of Enchantment nickname at remote Chaco Canyon National Monument, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was home to the Pueblo people from 850 to 1250 AD. Albuquerque’s Hotel Chaco, which takes its name and design inspiration from the ancient culture and architecture, organize overnight trips to the official dark sky park several times a year and no expense or comfort is spared. They provide transportation, desert picnic, gourmet wine-paired dinner under the Milky Way, and tents outfitted with foam mattresses on raised frames and bedside tables. You can add on a massage or hire a professional photographer to shadow your group to document your adventure. Here are more of the best places to camp in national parks.
Oh buoy, luxury camping has even infiltrated the world of cruising. In May 2019, the Celebrity Flora, a Celebrity Cruises ship designed exclusively for floating around the Galapagos Islands and decked out by interior designer/Ecuador native Adriana Hoyos, made her debut voyage and passengers could sign up for a glamping add-on that would allow them to spend the night under the stars topside in cabanas. One hunt is used for dining on camp-themed bites while a naturalist gives a talk about space and constellations. The other is kitted out with a bed, which is where breakfast is served the following morning with the sunrise show. Only four people can take advantage of the package per night.
Camp Long Creek
If you’re a golf nut, a fishing fanatic, or merely obsessed with Jason Bateman’s Emmy-nominated Netflix drama, this luxury campground in the heart of the Ozark Mountains is the place for you. Part of the highly lauded Big Cedar Lodge family, CLC offers similar rustic elegance and style across its 40 tents (outdoor tubs and king-sized canopy beds), camp cabins (complete with living rooms), and camp huts (look a little like a linear train car). Lounge by the infinity pool, swim from the beach on Table Rock Lake, rent a boat or join a fishing trip at the adjacent marina, or just feast on the s’mores kits handed out at arrival.
The Ultimate Travelling Camp
Lie-ins, tigers, and bears, oh my! Vacation like a noble nomad across India with this luxury camping company that sets up mobile campgrounds seasonally in that country’s best mountain ranges, deserts, jungles, and countryside. Via tour operator Remote Lands, spend days meditating in ancient temples, attending tribal festivals, river rafting, tracking rhinos from the back of an elephant, or witnessing the aforementioned tigers and sloth bears in Dudhwa National Park and Tiger Reserve. Write about your adventures at the writing desk stocked with custom stationery after a private dinner using ingredients picked from the organic garden and cleaning up with Ayurvedic toiletries.
Under Canvas Mount Rushmore
What do you get when you combine a West Elm aesthetic, high-end linens, king beds, wood-burning stoves, fresh air, and a bucket-list American history attraction? This luxury camping leader’s Mount Rushmore chapter in Keystone, South Dakota. Besides seeing the mountain of presidents past, sign up for a buffalo safari by Jeep or horseback riding in the Black Hills. The brand also offers similar well-curated stays at sites near Yellowstone National Park, Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, and at the 150-year-old Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson. People with deep pockets can see several of them with the 7 Parks in 7 Days package, which ferries guests via private planes to seven national parks, puts them up in deluxe tents, supplies all the food, and includes activities like paddling and roasting marshmallows. If you time your trip right, you could wind up taking super bloom photos just like these.
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