9 Next-Level Glamping Options on Public Lands

Jan 12, 2022 | Best Campgrounds, Glamping

9 Next-Level Glamping Options on Public Lands

By Ashley Rossi

Glamping options that bridge the gap between comfortable accommodations and sleeping in the outdoors are becoming increasingly popular, with some publicly managed sites cropping up around the U.S.

Many state park campgrounds offer basic cabin options, but these nine public land locations take glamping to the next level with safari-style tents, beachside cottages, geodesic domes, and other unique stays. 

Pointed dome at sandy campsite near lake
The geodesic domes at Port Cresent State Park – Photo: Karen Allmond for the Michigan DNR

Port Crescent State Park, Port Austin, Michigan

  • Number of Glamping Sites: 9
  • Type: Geodesic domes, cottages, and mini-cabin
  • Reservations: Yes

This lakeside state park sits on 3 miles of Lake Huron’s shoreline and is designated as a dark sky preserve. Set on Michigan’s “thumb,” the town of Port Austin is easily accessible with galleries, shops, and eateries. Inside the park’s boundaries, you can enjoy the beach, hiking trails, fishing, canoeing, birding, and in the winter, cross-country skiing.

The geodesic domes feature A/C and heat, queen-sized beds, skylights, sitting areas, microwaves, mini-fridges, and coffee makers. Campers need to provide their own linens and cookware. There’s no running water but a modern bathhouse with showers and toilets is located nearby. Other options include the full-amenity cottage with a private bathroom or the pet-friendly mini-cabin.   

Reservations can be made through Michigan’s state park reservation system. Other Michigan state parks offer safari-tent glamping options through a partnership with Tentrr.

Lake Powhatan Glamping, Asheville, North Carolina

  • Number of Glamping Sites: 12
  • Type: Canvas platform tents
  • Reservations: Yes

Located near North Carolina’s outdoor recreation epicenter, Lake Powhatan Campground offers glamping in the Pisgah National Forest, just minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway and the city of Asheville. Onsite campers have access to the lake’s beach and fishing pier, as well as the Bent Creek hiking and biking trail system. 

Glamping options include fully furnished canvas tents that come with a covered deck, fire ring with grill, and a picnic table. Inside is a queen-sized bed with linens, charging stations, a coffee maker, bug screens, and a fan. Pets are welcome and must be leashed. Bathroom facilities are shared with the rest of the campground and do have hot showers. 

Reservations can be made on Recreation.gov.

Related RV Campgrounds Near the Blue Ridge Parkway

Two covered wagons parked under a dark, starry sky
Conestoga wagon sites at East Canyon State Park in Utah – Photo courtesy of Ryan Andreasen for the Utah Office of Tourism

East Canyon State Park, Morgan, Utah

  • Number of Glamping Sites: 8
  • Type: Conestoga wagons, cabins, and yurts
  • Reservations: Yes

Located in Utah’s northeastern mountains, East Canyon State Park is located on a reservoir that offers fishing and boating opportunities. You can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards at the park, and during summer, kids will love the floating obstacle Aqua Park. There’s also an onsite BBQ stand and come nighttime, you can gaze up at the stars at this International Dark Sky Park.

The park’s Conestoga wagons can sleep four people. Each features a king-sized bed, twin bunks, a small table, stools, a small fridge, a microwave, and snacks. Outside offers a picnic table, grill, and fire pits for cooking. Yurts come powered and can sleep up to eight people in bunk beds and futons. Enjoy the outdoor deck with a gas grill and fire pit. Cabins are ADA-accessible and can sleep up to six people and offer more amenities. 

Read more about glamping accommodation details at this Utah state park here. Reservations can be made through Utah’s state park reservation system

Related The Best Glamping Sites Near National Parks

Crystal Cove Beach Cottages, Laguna Beach, California

  • Number of Glamping Sites: 17
  • Type: Cottages
  • Reservations: Yes

Located along California’s iconic Orange County coastline is Crystal Cove State Park, known for its ocean views, backcountry trails, tide pools, and history. Those looking for a truly unique experience can book a historic beachside cottage that’s been renovated for glampers. 

The oceanfront cottages have full-size kitchens and a common room, and can sleep between two and nine people. Each cottage is distinct, so do your research to choose the best fit for your trip and group size. Cottages come with linens and paper goods for use during your stay. Open flames are not permitted at the park, but self-contained gas canister-type barbeques are allowed at the beach and designated locations. 

Reservations can be made through California’s state park reservation system

Marina at Everglades national park
The marina at Flamingo Campground in Flordia’s Everglades National Park – Photo by Island Girl Walkabout

Flamingo Campground, Homestead, Florida

  • Number of Glamping Sites: 20
  • Type: Eco-tents
  • Reservations: Yes

Wake up to a view of the Florida Bay in Everglades National Park at one of the eco-tents located in the park’s Flamingo Campground. You’ll be near the park’s recreational opportunities, which include boat tours, kayak and canoe rentals, fishing, biking, and hiking.

Tents are furnished from November through mid-April; during the summer months, campers must bring their own sleeping arrangements and supplies. Sites have electricity and include a fan, lanterns, and USB connectors for charging. Each tent has a private patio with seating. There are shared bathrooms and a dining area with a designated grill for eco-tent campers. 

Reservations are available through park concessionaire, Flamingo Adventures

Related RV Camping in the Florida Everglades

Tugaloo State Park, Lavonia, Georgia

  • Number of Glamping Sites: 26
  • Type: Yurts and cottages
  • Reservations: Yes

Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, on the shore of Lake Hartwell is the scenic Tugaloo State Park. The park is popular for fishing, swimming, water skiing, sailing, and boating, and some cottage rentals are even outfitted with private boat docks. Six yurts are also available to rent featuring furnishings and a private deck with tables and a fire ring. Other amenities include mini-golf, canoe rentals, tennis courts, and volleyball. 

Reservations can be made through Georgia’s state park reservation system

Aerial view of yurt in the dense forest
A yurt site at Sinks Canyon State Park in Wyoming – Photo: Wyoming State Parks

Upper Popo Agie Campground, Lander, Wyoming

  • Number of Glamping Sites: 4
  • Type: Yurts
  • Reservations: Yes; walk-ups based on availability

Camp riverside in a yurt located in Wyoming’s Sinks Canyon State Park. Open year-round, the state park’s yurts sleep between six and 10 people. Accommodations are more basic without linens or running water, but the epic views make up for what amenities might be lacking. Enjoy the private deck with seating and a fire pit. 

Reservations are available through Wyoming’s state park reservation system and can be made 4 months in advance.

Palo Duro Glamping, Canyon, Texas

  • Number of Glamping Sites: 4
  • Type: Cabins and tents
  • Reservations: Yes

Located in popular Palo Duro State Park, this concessionaire-run campground offers glamping in safari-style tents that come with linens, A/C and heating, bikes, a fridge, microwave, coffee maker, games, propane fire pit and grill, and more. You’ll be eating well here—hamburger kits are available at the park’s Trading Post and there are also complimentary breakfast sandwiches and ice cream. Tents are pet-friendly and can accommodate up to six guests. 

Reservations can be made through Palo Duro Glamping.

Related Why Texas State Parks Are Great for RVers

Yurt built on a platform with gravel site located in front
A yurt site at Pearl Lake State Park in Colorado – Photo: Kirk Mahaffie

Pearl Lake State Park, Clark, Colorado 

  • Number of Glamping Sites: 2
  • Type: Yurts
  • Reservations: Yes

In summer, enjoy lake views and fishing at Pearl Lake State Park and camp overnight in one of the park’s yurts. Come winter, you can snowmobile, ski, or snowshoe in. Yurts sleep up to six people and one is pet-friendly. There’s electric heat and power as well as a fan, screened windows, and skylight. Inside you’ll find two sets of bunk beds and a seating area. Outside, enjoy a private deck with a picnic table and a fire ring. You’ll need to provide your own linens and cookware; flush and vault toilets are available at the campground as well as water hydrants (not open in winter). 

Reservations can be made through Colorado’s state park reservation system. View all Colorado state parks that offer yurt glamping options here