The term “glamping” may create heartburn for hardcore campers. But for those that don’t really want to set up a tent, sleep on an air mattress, or worse, the ground, but still want to commune with nature, glamping creates an amazing lodging experience for even the most particular of travelers. Here are our readers’ top glamping experiences in the U.S.
1. Little Arrow Outdoor Resort (Winner)
Nestled on the quiet side of the Smokies, Little Arrow Outdoor Resort tops our readers’ list for the best glamping experience and it’s easy to see why. The interiors are so perfectly rustic chic, you’ll forget there’s a canvas exterior, unless you’re sitting on the adorable porch, of course. Each glamping option features two bedrooms and you choose your level of luxury — whether you’d like a private bathroom and kitchenette or you want to rough it a wee bit and go without.
The resort also offers cabins, tiny homes, and RV and tent sites. Next to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the resort’s location allows you to enjoy the country’s most visited national park before the crowds arrive for the day.
2. Terramor Outdoor Resort
Bar Harbor, Maine
Terramor Outdoor Resort’s flagship property near Acadia National Park is all about the unique Maine experiences. In addition to providing all the comforts of your favorite hotel room, the resort offers oysters and bubbly, lobster boils, live music, pints for a purpose, yoga, and of course, s’mores throughout each month. There’s also birdwatching, telescopes for stargazing, a pool, cornhole, bocce ball — the list goes on.
While it may seem like you won’t have much time to enjoy your actual glamping site with all of those activities, the tents are cozy, with some sleeping up to 5 people. A fire pit is provided at each glamping site.
3. Curry Village
Yosemite National Park, California
Location, location, location! Curry Village puts you in the heart of one of the most beautiful national parks in the country. Just steps from the majestic Half Dome, Curry Village’s glamping tents are simple — a comfortable bed, a place to set your clothes, a chair, and that’s it. There are cabins and hotel room accommodations available on the property as well, but you’ll want to spend most of your time outside no matter what you book, and be sure to do that well in advance of your trip. There is a pool and dining options on site, plus Yosemite Park shuttles run by Curry Village on a regular basis.
4. Timberline Glamping At Lake Lanier
Glamping on the shore of Georgia’s largest lake doesn’t get much better than this. Timberline Glamping Company offers three glamping options including safari tents, geodesic domes, and retro travel trailers — all beautifully decorated with a rustic, family-friendly vibe. The company also offers kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, cornhole sets, giant Jenga, and more to use during your stay at an additional cost. Located just 40 miles north of Atlanta, you can easily combine a stay here with a visit to the city, but maybe just visit the city first — you likely won’t want to leave Timberline Glamping once you arrive.
5. Dunton River Camp
Once a mining town turned cattle ranch, today, Dunton River Camp is a luxurious getaway in the beautiful San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. There are only eight tents on site and the accommodations are simply gorgeous. Each tent includes a king bed and a spacious shower and soaker tub, perfect after a day of using the two mountain bikes that are also provided with every stay. Also included are all meals and beverages. Yes, please! Other activities including fly fishing, guided hikes, horseback riding, and rock climbing are available for an additional cost.
6. Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort
Just 15 minutes from the east entrance of Zion National Park, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort offers two glamping options — tents and Conestoga wagons. The wagons are more spacious than they might appear, sleeping six with a king bed and two sets of bunk beds. Guests love the resort’s pool, hot tub, courts for pickleball, volleyball, and basketball, as well as kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. Yoga, guided hikes, and canyoneering are offered for an additional fee. A continental breakfast is included with most stays; the perfect way to fuel up before exploring the beautiful trails in Zion.
7. El Capitán Canyon
El Capitán Canyon boasts that it’s been a desired glamping location since 2001, several years before glamping was even part of our vocabulary. With ocean views surrounded by Santa Barbara wine country, accommodations include beautiful yurts and cabins. Guests can enjoy one of the private hiking trails, visit the ultra-adorable llamas, take a ride on a complimentary bike, participate in a wine tasting, or simply lounge by the pool. Live music and barbecue are also offered every Saturday evening from Memorial Day through Labor Day. While you’re in the area, explore Santa Barbara, which is just 20 minutes south of the resort.
8. Under Canvas Smoky Mountains
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Under Canvas has a dozen locations near U.S. national parks designed to provide the ultimate glamping experience. Our readers selected the Great Smoky Mountains location in Pigeon Forge as their favorite. In addition to prime locations, Under Canvas offers daily activities like yoga, live music, evening fire pits, and s’mores. Then, rest up for the next day in ultra-comfy beds with the sounds of actual nature, not a machine, lulling you to sleep. Some of the tents do have en suite bathrooms, so look for that when booking if it’s an amenity you can’t live without. Under Canvas Smoky Mountains is located about 20 minutes from both the Gatlinburg and Townsend entrances of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Be sure to take a look at all of our 2023 Best Of Travel Awards: