The hot days of summer are coming to an end, and cooler days and crisp nights are right around the corner.
So what better way to enjoy the beautiful fall weather than sitting next to a roaring campfire and sleeping under the stars?
You mean camping?! Like with dirt and no bathrooms and stuff? And no….. Wi-Fi?!?!?!
We know, we know. The outdoor life is not for some of you.
But take heart. There are now plenty of opportunities for those of you who kinda-sorta-maybe think you’d like to try camping—but without all the dirt and bugs and lack of cell reception.
“Glamping” is the hot, new trend, and it’s become especially popular with young people.
Are you a man or woman with a hundred-dollar manicure? Do you have a panic attack whenever you are separated from your phone? Do you insist on running water and refuse to even think about putting up a tent?
Then glamping is for you!
So circle the wagons…
What could sound more like the perfect camping spot than “Bear Lake?”
Just outside of Garden City, Utah, Conestoga Ranch is a glamper’s dream come true. If you ever dreamed of a wild west adventure, then book a stay in one of the ranch’s traditionally-crafted Conestoga Wagons.
No, you don’t have to sleep on wooden planks and surrounded by all your worldly possessions waiting for a looming ambush.
These wagons have luxurious beds with fresh linens, soft lighting, and air-conditioned private bathrooms just a step outside your wagon-room.
Does this still sound a little too much like roughing it?
The resort also has a game tent, a general store for all those things you can’t be without, a restaurant, a massage tent, and a main lodge with private spa bathrooms, yoga… and yes, Wi-Fi.
Vogue also doesn’t do camping…
One of the largest “glamping” outfitters out there, Under Canvas provides extravagant outdoor adventures in some of the most spectacular travel destinations in the U.S. – Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, the Rockies, and Mount Rushmore.
And they were recognized as the “perfect glamping experience” by Vogue magazine.
Since we can’t imagine anyone associated with Vogue ever fishing or hiking a muddy trail, these are probably pretty fancy lodgings in which to stargaze.
Enjoy a stay in one of their luxury tents or teepees with daily housekeeping services like fresh linens and towels, king-sized beds, and wood-burning stoves.
Yep, they even have en-suite bathrooms.
We’re pretty sure the term “en-suite” has never been associated with camping before.
Camping in Kennebunkport, Maine?
Yeah, we’ve never really thought of this playground of the rich and famous as a camping destination either.
But each of the glamping tents at Sandy Pines were uniquely decorated by the finest interior designers in New England.
They also offer “Camp Carriages”—perfect for anyone who thinks it would be “so much fun” to live in a tiny house.
And that’s just what these mini-cabins are – they sit on wheeled platforms and feature outdoor seating areas with fire pits and ice chests to keep your craft beer, organic locally-grown fruit, and coconut milk yogurt fresh for your stay.
These, too, are professionally designed and somehow fit a king-sized bed, so you don’t have to share a sleeping bag on the cold ground. (Of course, if you went the “real” camping route, that’s half the fun.)
You say you need more?
Little Raccoon Key in Georgia not only offers secluded glamping luxury, but you’ll get an entire private island to yourself for the night.
If that’s not enough, you also get a private boat ride to the island and a dolphin tour!
Dolphins and camping have always been a classic combination, and after you’ve watched them frolic in the crystal-clear waters, you’ll be escorted to your luxury tent – larger than most people’s living rooms.
But we’re not done.
Each tent features memory foam mattresses, luxurious linens, kitchen essentials including a coffee pot, board games, and “sustainable” toiletries.
We’re not sure what “sustainable” means, but it’s definitely in the millennial vocabulary.
Hammocks, grills, lounge chairs, and coolers complete your “outdoor” adventure.
And while we’re on the topic of sustainability, the tents are run on solar power to ease your fragile conscience about global warming.
Don’t worry. They’ll also throw in battery-powered lanterns with unlimited batteries in case there’s an inconvenient cloudy day.
With that kind of campground, you probably don’t need to worry about running into a raccoon looking for a fireside meal in Little Raccoon Key.
More than just fancy tents…
Northern California has a glamper’s paradise on the Russian River with several accommodations to choose from.
At this AutoCamp location, you can stay in a retro Airstream trailer with more than the comforts of home, a luxury tent, or a mini-camper.
Each comes with deluxe mattresses, fresh linens, and exclusive Malin and Goetz toiletries.
(Writer’s note: I had to Google these products. I’d never heard of them because a) I’m a simple girl who likes camping, and b) any purchase over $5 requires a financial lecture from my husband. Their two-ounce natural eucalyptus deodorant goes for $22 bucks a pop online.)
Or, you can request a stay in a “Happier Camper,” your own mini hideaway at the AutoCamp resort.
These tiny campers are also part of the growing “glamping gadget” industry—yes, that’s a real thing that I also Googled—which aims to make your camping experience as little like camping as possible.
If you want to find your own spot just far enough (but not too far) from civilization, you may want to think about buying one of these little beauties.
You will enjoy your time in the great outdoors at one of these luxury “campgrounds.” But beware – a stay at one of these high-end campgrounds will cost you more than a night at the Ritz.
However, it will be worth it because you’ll have a good “camping” story to tell your friends — and everyone needs one of those.
So don’t forget to pack your natural fluoride-free toothpaste and beard balm. You never know, you may just run into someone you’ll want to impress at one of these upscale “outdoor” destinations.