Virginia’s slogan, “Virginia is for Lovers,” doesn’t just pertain to romantic love. The state is also a perfect destination for lovers of the outdoors. With many regional, national, and state parks from which to choose, it’s just a decision of how rugged you’d like to get. You’ll find an abundance of camping -- and the newer, more luxurious option, glamping -- destinations in Northern Virginia. Choose from cabins, yurts, lodges, and tents to get outdoors into nature, but with the niceties of home.
1. Sandy River Outdoor Adventure
Choose between a log cabin, cottage, or Sandy River Outdoor Adventure Resort’s new luxury glamping tipis with bathrooms. Each of the properties includes linens, hot water, a kitchen or kitchenette, Wi-Fi, and a grill. Meet the animals on this 24-acre farm, pick seasonal vegetables from the garden, or collect eggs from the henhouse. Or relax in the pool before settling in for a cozy night’s sleep.
Pro Tip: For adventure while you’re there, the Sandy River Outdoor Adventure Park challenges you with over 60 high-rope obstacles, zip-lining, canoe and kayak rentals, and bicycle rentals.
2. Algonkian Regional Park
At Algonkian Regional Park, choose from one of over 10 vacation cottages located along the Potomac River. Each has a deck, a grill, a full kitchen, and multiple bedrooms for a secluded vacation destination. While there, tee up at the 18-hole golf course, hike both paved and natural-surface trails, play at Volcano Island Waterpark, or utilize the boat launch to get out on the water.
3. Camp Karma
If you’re looking for an upscale primitive experience, Camp Karma is located on 42 acres near Smith Mountain Lake. While there are 36 primitive campsites for camping, you’ll also find a glamping experience in a tent. Let the kids practice catch and release at the on-site pond, fish or swim in Goose Creek, or take to the hiking trails. There’s a camp store with anything you might need, including firewood, ice, and drinking water. The glamping tent is set up with everything you’ll need, including dishes, silverware, chairs, pots, and pans. The four-person tent has two cots with mattresses, plus a bucket of wood and a bag of ice. You’ll just need to bring sleeping bags, pillows, and food to cook on the grill.
4. Harpers Ferry Adventure Center
Settle in with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center. Choose from camping or cabins. Camp along the river or set up on a mountaintop platform site that keeps your tent off the ground. There are bathhouses with hot showers on-site, as well as an aerial adventure course and access to the river for tubing, kayaking, and white-water rafting. The cabins are located on a private mountaintop and come with a covered porch, air conditioning, a picnic table, and a grill/fire ring combo.
5. Rose River Farm Cabins
Choose from one of three round cabins at Rose River Farm that are cedar and glass interpretations of classic Mongolian yurts. Each cabin is over 1,100 square feet and features two bedrooms with full baths, a domed ceiling that reaches 17 feet, a flat-screen TV, and a stove, microwave, and refrigerator with icemaker. Depending on your desired view, choose from a yurt with a pond, meadow, or mountain view. The cabins are located near Old Rag Mountain, White Oak Canyon and Waterfalls, and numerous wineries and restaurants.
6. The Depot Lodge
Tucked away in the heart of the Alleghany Mountains, a restored train depot waits for you at The Depot Lodge. Enjoy hunting, fishing, hiking, birding, and biking in the mountains and near the creeks that surround The Depot Lodge. Sleep inside the main lodge located in the depot, or choose a glamping experience in one of the lavishly appointed glamping tents.
7. Pohick Bay Regional Park Campground
The rustic cabins at Pohick Bay Regional Park Campground offer all the niceties without the hassle of tent camping: electricity, air conditioning and heating, beds, a living area, and a porch swing. Restrooms are within walking distance. Or go for an even more luxurious experience in the fully equipped deluxe cabins that include a kitchenette, private bathroom, and back porch with partial water views of the Potomac River.
8. Primland Resort
Meadows Of Dan
For the ultimate indulgences located in a mountaintop setting, Primland Resort has a luxury lodge with two restaurants, a spa, a fitness center, an observatory, and a golf course. Or go a little more rugged while still enjoying luxury lodging at one of the cabins, mountain homes, or treehouses. The three treehouses offer different views and are named after their design. The Cooper’s Hawk Tree House is built of cedar wood that spans two mature trees. You’ll get a rustic feel with modern amenities in this 440-square-foot treehouse. Located 1,300 feet above the confluence of the Roaring Creek and the Dan River, the treehouse has views of the valley. There’s a 564-square-foot deck to take in the night sky and watch for birds during the day.
9. Prince William Forest Park
You’ll find three front-country campgrounds, one back-country campground, and five cabin camps at Prince William Forest Park. This national park gives campers a variety of options, plus opportunities for hiking and exploring the 15,000 wooded acres filled with wildlife. Outdoor activities at the park include 37 miles of hiking trails, on- and off-road biking, bird watching, an orienteering course, plus streams and ponds for fishing.
Campers can choose from the Oak Ridge Campground, a 100-site wooded campground or the Turkey Run Ridge Group Campground that offers six campsites that accommodate up to 25 people and three campsites that accommodate 40 people. Or sleep in a historic cabin that holds four, six, or 10 people and includes cots, a ceiling fan, picnic tables, and cooking grills. There are even group cabin options that hold groups of 70 to 200 or more in one of the five historic cabin camps. The group camps include dining halls, sleeping cabins, craft lodges, plus ballfields and lake access.
Pro Tip: Cabins are available from mid-April until late autumn. Cabin campers are required to pay the park entrance fee or possess a valid National Park Pass.
10. Rock Tavern River Kamp
Enjoy glamping in the Shenandoah Valley at Rock Tavern River Kamp. Stay in one of six yurts: Painted Horse, Cherokee Rose, Hummingbird, or Dancin’ Wolf. These waterfront yurts, located along the Shenandoah River, are located near bathhouses. The Cherokee Rose Yurt sleeps two-to-four people and features a refrigerator, toaster, coffee pot, waffle iron, ceiling fan, pedestal fan, infrared fireplace, and heater.
Pro Tip: While there, spend time tubing, kayaking, or canoeing the river with a complimentary shuttle for a float trip back to camp.
As if you needed more inspiration to glamp in Northern Virginia, here’s our list of the best hikes in the state.