Glamping merges the luxury of “glamour” with the solitude and beauty of “camping.” It evokes images of a canvas tent under the shadow of a mountain, a glass dome nestled under the stars, or a treehouse standing tall among the wild roll of trees, hills, and color. These natural tourism destinations aim to simultaneously provide home comfort and connection to nature.
Do you want to spend the night in nature without the hassle of sleeping on the ground? Then use this ultimate guide to glamping to plan your next getaway.
Types of Glamping
Glamping comes in different shapes, sizes, and locations. These destinations are sprinkled throughout the U.S. at or near outdoor recreation destinations like national forests, state parks, and along coastlines. Sites typically feature tents, yurts, stationary Airstreams, or other unique accommodations like geodesic domes, covered wagons, nests, and more.
Here are some types of glamping:
Stationary Airstreams offer an experience that merges luxury RVs with tiny houses, featuring electricity, bathrooms, kitchenettes, and a retro feel. Airstream trailer hotels are becoming an accommodations category of its own, where properties arrange stationary Airstream trailers in a campground-like setting.
Pods are trending for their compact footprint and dedication to energy-efficient systems. They usually come fully equipped with a homey feel and often feature glass architecture that brings the views right to your door.
Canvas tent campgrounds offer the quintessential glamping experience. They’re simple and familiar with varying levels of amenities depending on what you need and want. Plus they’re built on platforms with beds, so no more sleepless nights on the ground.
Yurts are unique circular enclosures that are a little more rustic than other glamping options, but they’re easily built and less expensive.
As glamping continues to grow in popularity, different brands offer a variety of glamping resorts across the U.S. Some publicly managed lands, like state parks and national forests, are starting to build glamping sites, but you’ll mainly find glamping locations at privately managed campgrounds and glamping franchises. Here are some more popular ones.
A night at an AutoCamp location costs anywhere from $130 to more than $300 depending on the site and amenities included. The Airstreams are typically more expensive because they feature a private bathroom.
AutoCamp’s highly coveted glamping locations feature scenic backdrops near places like Yosemite National Park, Russian River Valley, Joshua Tree, and the shores of Cape Cod.
Each site features a modern Airstream or glamorous tent with “high-end, boutique-style amenities, mid-century modern design, and welcoming hospitality to some of the world’s most beautiful natural places,” according to AutoCamp. Campgrounds also include personal fire pits, communal clubhouses, and yard games.
Booking a glamping experience through Collective Retreats varies from $269 to $700 depending on the location, room, amenities, and time of year.
Collective Retreats began in Wolcott, Colorado, and Big Sky, Montana, but expanded to Wimberley, Texas, and Ghent, New York. These locations are all near parks or outdoor hot spots. There’s also an urban location on New York’s Governors Island, which is only accessible by ferry.
There are three types of accommodations, including fully-equipped outlook shelters, summit tents, and journey tents. Collective Retreats promises incredible locations, inspired accommodations, and exceptional dining. Each property also includes classes and spa access.
Like other glamping locations, the cost per night depends on a variety of factors, but the standard tents start at $159.
Under Canvas locations are situated outside of national parks across the U.S. You can glamp near Acadia, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, and Glacier national parks, among other scenic destinations.
Under Canvas aims to respect the natural landscape as much as possible. Upon arriving at a location, you will find yourself wrapped up in the remote, quaint, and simple. The canvas tents are situated so you fall asleep to the wildlife softly communicating, sleep under the stars, and wake up to the natural landscaping illuminating the hues of sunrise.
Glamping Tips With Kids
Many glamping locations offer a variety of draws for families. For instance, Under Canvas promotes a kid-specific experience with two beds in a simple but stylish teepee-style tent. Sandy Pines Campground in Kennebunkport, Maine, offers unique family accommodations in covered wagons, glasshouses, and domes with access to a pool.
Family glamping locations can typically accommodate four to six people without the need for an extra room. Note that prices increase with the addition of extra beds.
Are you interested in a family glamping vacation? Here are some tips for glamping with kids:
- Consider a location with proximity to national parks
- Look for locations with onsite recreation
- Plan activities through the campground
- Pack plenty of layers and all-weather clothing
- Don’t forget campfire snacks
What to Expect on Your Glamping Trip
Aside from comfortable digs and epic views, what else should you expect on your glamping trip?
Room prices increase when private bathrooms are included as opposed to the standard communal bathrooms.
Will you have electricity? This widely depends on the campground, location, and the types of accommodation offered. Most campgrounds will at least offer charging ports and battery-powered devices, like fans and lights.
WiFi may be offered depending on the glamping brand’s philosophy and location. For instance, Under Canvas values a completely unplugged atmosphere, while AutoCamp offers complimentary WiFi at locations that can hold a signal.
When it comes to food, most campgrounds offer on-site eateries, general stores, and fire pits. Do you want to indulge in fine dining or embrace your camping roots around a fire? The choice is yours—but note that some locations will not allow you to prepare or cook food in individual glamping accommodations because of wildlife safety concerns.
What to Pack for Glamping
Another luxury of glamping is not having to pack and lug all of your camping gear. But what should you pack when you’re not quite camping, but not staying in a hotel?
Here is a general list of what to pack for glamping:
- Battery packs
- Bug repellent
- Hanging bathroom caddy
- Shower shoes
If you decide to take advantage of the fire pit on-site, then it’s also recommended to plan accordingly with cookware, cooler, and food if your accommodations don’t provide these necessities.
More Tips on Glamping
Does glamping have electricity?
Amenities like electricity, WiFi, heating, and air conditioning are all dependent on individual glamping campgrounds and you should confirm before booking.
What do you need for a glamping trip?
Think about what you’ll need throughout your stay to make it more convenient. Some items to bring can include a headlamp or flashlight, a battery pack (if there are no charging options offered), bug repellent, a cooler with snacks and other food items, shower slippers, and campfire cookware.
How much does it cost to go glamping?
The cost of a glamping experience is based on your wants, needs, and desired location. You can find accommodations for around $150 to well over $1,000 per night. You have to decide if you want a more rustic experience with communal bathrooms and minimal amenities or an all-inclusive option with activities, spa treatments, and suites.
The best way to get the most bang for your buck is to travel during the early or off-season, prepare your own meals, and plan free activities in nature. Regardless of your budget, you will be sleeping in a comfortable bed surrounded by nature.
Popular Locations for Glamping
The United States is rife with popular locations for glamping, especially along coastlines and near national parks.
The Northeast is a quintessential destination with Acadia National Park, the rugged Atlantic coastline, and peak fall foliage. What makes it better is the plethora of glamping options across the region that allows you to wake up swathed in cozy fall colors.
Check out Sandy Pines Campground for a northeast glamping experience.
Venturing out to the Northwest is the perfect getaway when you’re looking for solace and unique accommodations tucked away behind curtains of green rain forest. Check out Blue Lake Resort’s geodesic domes situated on the lakefront in central Washington state.
Glamping destinations and resorts are popping up all over the western U.S. Picture a day spent climbing in Yosemite National Park or hiking in Zion National Park and returning to a campsite that celebrates the outdoors and features a freshly-made king-sized bed.
Here are some of the most popular locations for glamping in the West:
While other destinations throughout the U.S. close for the winter months, most Southeast locations are open all year round. Little Arrow Outdoor Resort provides access to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, while Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort draws the family-fun crowd.
Similar to the West, glamping sites in the Southwest go above and beyond with relaxing amenities and access to nature.
Here are some of the most popular locations for glamping in the Southwest:
While camping isn’t for everyone, the outdoors should be. Glamping helps make that space more accessible for travelers, couples, and families looking to personalize their experience with luxury, comfort, and nature. So get outside and glamp with the help of this ultimate guide to glamping.
Campendium is part of a joint venture, partially owned by Thor Industries, Inc., of which Airstream is a subsidiary.