Are you pining for something off the beaten track but not sure about waving goodbye to the creature comforts of home? Luxury camping could offer the perfect middle ground. This is hitting the countryside in style, whether you settle in an elegant tentalow with a vintage savannah vibe or a surf-side shack with a salt-washed deck. Use this guide to get a feel for what luxury camping really means, and some of the destinations where it's hot right now.
What does luxury camping mean, exactly?
Indulging in a little luxury camping doesn't mean getting top-of-the-market tents and the warmest sleeping bags. In fact, it means not having to think about tents and sleeping bags at all. Glamping is all about visiting pre-constructed escapes in the wilds, somewhere already waiting for you to set down your bags and start enjoying the simple life. A few examples of precisely what that means are below.
A trip to a luxury camping tent
One way to get your taste of the high life in the great outdoors is to opt for a quirky luxury camping tent. They can look like something out of an old safari expedition circa 1850, with beige flak fabric and antique study desks inside. They could be quirky tepees with a Native American twist. Or, they might be Mongolian-styled yurt buildings with warming fireplaces and a flurry of Asian design about them.
Unusual camping pods
You don't have to limit yourself to tents when it comes to luxury camping. Pods offer something totally unique. Compact and charming, they are little cabins constructed of wood beams and timber planks. That means a real set of walls and a roof over your head, which adds up to somewhere warm and cozy to make as a base in the wilderness.
Luxury camping extras
Luxury camping doesn't stop at offering off-beat tents and interesting pod rooms. You can go one step further by choosing somewhere that's got other sleek features. You'll want to pack the swimming gear, because you could have access to a communal pool or a steaming hot tub. And then there are the rentals that have premium BBQ grills and alluring al fresco spaces to watch the sunset and the stars coming out.
Luxury camping along the West Coast
So, you're convinced a luxury camping holiday is the adventure for you this year? Great news. Perhaps the West Coast can tempt you. It's up there with the hottest glamping destinations in the country. And why not? Pine-clad mountains and deep valleys, shimmering alpine lakes, ski fields, and even rolling deserts are all up for grabs in these parts.
A luxury camping trip to Yosemite
Yosemite really is one to take the breath away. It's topped by the unforgettable outline of the Half Dome mountain, where you can hike in good weather with a summit pass. And its woods are home to brown bears and wild deer. One way to really get a feel for the frontier vibes in this vast national park is to go for a luxury campsite close to the entrance of the reserve.
Going luxury camping by the California Big Sur
Running along one of the most awesome stretches of the Central Coast, the Big Sur is a fine introduction to the raw energy of the Pacific Ocean, and the sort of scenery the waves have created up and down the edge of California. If you're lucky, you can discover a luxury campsite here that has views over amazing bays like Pfeiffer Beach and others.
Surf destinations that have great luxury camping
California isn't hailed as one of the world's top surfing destinations a la Bali and Hawaii for nothing. This land of roaring Pacific waves has oodles up its sleeve. And with them come luxury camping sites aimed at board riders. Look for them in towns like Malibu, down San Diego way, and around the Spanish-style missions of old Santa Barbara.
Luxury camping elsewhere in the US
Of course, you're not limited to the Golden State when it comes to that upscale outing to the peaks and forests, lakes and coast. There are loads of hidden gems that fit into the luxury camping category all over the United States, from the Lone Star canyons of the south to the wave-clattered inlets of New England.
The New York Catskills
Calling all New Yorkers pining for a breath of fresh air and a break from the traffic-clogged streets of the Big Apple – the Catskills have luxury camping that promises to put you on the cusp of ski fields like Hunter Mountain and within striking distance of amazing sites like the cascading Kaaterskill Falls. That's a far cry from Midtown Manhattan.
Texas is a doozy for luxury camping
Spin the spurs and slap on the chaps, because luxury camping in the Lone Star State is all about living it up on old rodeo ranches. You'll wake to visions of high canyons and spend days tubing down crystal-clear rivers. And in the evening? How about smoky BBQ cook outs and roaring desert bonfires under starry skies?
Luxury camping in Maine and New England
You don't have to have oodles of cash to escape to Maine and New England. From the shell-speckled beaches by Saco Bay to the color-changing forests and historic lights of Acadia National Park, there are luxury campsites in these parts that can offer a place with style, for less.