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It's camping—with a Plus

Aug2014-Glamping-Thinkstock83162865-800x440Camping is fun … right? Sure, there are bugs and no running water and no cell service—and no matter what you do there’s a rock right underneath you when you’re trying to sleep … but that’s all part of the experience. At least, that’s what we tell ourselves when someone drags us out in the middle of the woods to some campsite.

For decades, we’ve suffered the inconveniences of camping in order to enjoy the great outdoors. Fishing and hiking trips have been synonymous with ill-constructed tents, fires that refuse to ignite and forests largely composed of poison ivy. How many weekends at the lake have been ruined by a broken tent pole? How many trips to the mountains have ended early because someone forgot to bring matches? Why must we suffer, just to hear some birds tweeting and some brooks babbling?

We’re modern Americans, for gosh sakes. How much longer will we allow the less pleasant parts of nature to ruin our outdoor excursions? Salvation has arrived. Enter glamping.

Glamping is exactly what it sounds like: glamorous camping. Camping, with a plus! When you glamp, you can enjoy the best parts of nature … without the worst parts. Most glamping accommodations include beds, bathrooms and some sort of climate control. Fancier accommodations have WiFi, televisions, cleaning services and dining options. Glamping has all the amenities of a hotel, but you can step out of your luxurious room and into nature without pitching a single tent.

Glamping options (ranging from Airstreams to yurts to everything in between) are popping up across the country. You can glamp on a river or a lake, in the mountains, on a ranch, in a canyon, or even in a desert. You can spend a weekend in a tree house nestled among Connecticut’s famous fall foliage or stay in a luxury tent, complete with a king-size bed and concierge service, in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The choices are endless!

And the best part of glamping? Its flexibility. Glamping locations are everywhere. You can glamp on the other side of the country or just a few hours from your house. On a budget? Prices can start at $35 a night. Of course, this probably won’t include spa services, but it’s a lot better than sleeping on the ground. No matter where you want to go or what you want to stay in (authentic cabooses, anyone?), a glampsite will make sure you’re never too far from modern plumbing.

Use websites like Glamping.com and Glamping Hub to find your perfect glamping experience. Search by location or type of accommodation. If you have more international leanings, you can even search for glampsites in other countries. No matter where you go, remember that glamping is all your favorite things about camping, with a plus.


Aug2014-Glamping-Smores-Thinkstock176564724-800x440S’mores, with a Plus
Even if a glamping trip isn’t in your future, you can still take part in that time-honored camping tradition: s’mores. Enjoy these glamped-out s’mores.

Trenchermen’s trademark s’mores include popcorn ice cream and house-made graham crackers.

At Homestead on the Roof, your s’mores are made of ganache, marshmallow cream, Cara Crakine Clusters and spiced cookie ice cream. They’ll even suggest a perfect wine pairing.

Beckett’s Table serves chocolate dipped bacon s’mores. Need we say more?

Back Deck offers your choice of espresso or peanut butter marshmallows to be mashed between house-made graham crackers.

Lauren Phillips is a freelance writer based in Atlanta, Ga.


Photography by Thinkstock

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