Written By Colleen Thompson
If you’re unsure if your camping trip qualifies as glamping, ask yourself a few pointed questions. Are sitting comfortably in a cushioned Adirondack, sipping an ice-cold glass of organic bubbly, with your feet up outside your yurt? Well yes, you’re probably glamping. Is there a chandelier gently tinkling from your tent pole? Yup, glamping. Are you screaming wildly, fleeing from your cold damp sleeping bag because something is crawling up your leg? Probably just regular old camping.
If your idea of being outdoorsy involves the first two scenarios above, then glamping might just be your kind of camping. From down-filled duvets, crystal glassware and cooked meals to sleeping in luxury tree houses, tepees, pods and vintage Airstreams – glamping combines glamour with the outdoors, giving campers chance to appreciate nature without sacrificing comfort.
It went from being a bit of joke to an entire industry now catering to it. As a testament to how strong the trend is, the first Global Glamping Summit was held in April in Colorado with another one happening in California in November. There are now dedicated websites to plan your next trip like glamping.com, and Glamping Hub, and the soon to be launched Glampingmap.com, created by a community of Glamping Camp owners who are passionate about sharing their love of comfort in the outdoors.
We’ve rounded up a few ideas to get you started this summer. These North Carolina glamping rentals take luxury camping to a whole new level. From a solar-powered modern yurt and converted retro airstream to a hand-painted tepee and luxury Bell tents. Less time spent pitching that tent means more time relaxing, sipping margaritas, or gazing at the stars. The best part – no assembly required.
Setup by husband and wife team Kristi and Ian Balding in Wilmington, NC, Epic Excursions, started an extension of their custom surf and paddleboard company, Ian Balding Paddle & Surf. They offer all sorts of charters ranging from half and full day charters, paddle boarding charters, sunset cruises and surf charters. The experience starts with transportation on a comfortable deck boat over to one of the region’s beautiful islands, where guests will find their tent set up and ready for a wonderful night of glamping. They provide everything you would need for a comfortable night, from firewood to cooking supplies. When it’s all over they pack up and provide boat transportation back to the dock. They also offer a glamping experience in a 1961, 21-foot Airstream Tradewind, affectionately referred to as “Pearl” – renting it as an option on Airbnb as a comfy living space with lots of style. They will deliver and setup the Airstream anywhere within the Wilmington area.
A luxury 22’ hand painted, solar powered tepee awaits you. Situated on 150 acres of pristine mountain land in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With beautiful views and cool temperatures at 4,000 feet elevation, it’s a great way to enjoy camping without actually roughing it. The tepee is furnished with a queen size bed, complete with high-quality linens. There are miles of hiking trails, a large open field that is great for all kinds of games and a trout pond. It’s also home to Music Fest at Blue Bear Mountain, held each year in September.
Hot Springs, NC
This resort offers beautifully furnished Bell Tents positioned on decks overlooking the French Broad River and embraced by the Pisgah National Forest. Each of the tents has a memory foam queen mattresses for ultimate comfort. Located 6 miles from Hot Springs NC, this historic farm offers miles of hiking trails, stunning views and an abundance of wildlife and wildflowers. There is a restored Madison county barn that provides indoor entertainment including Ping-Pong, dartboards, and games. The resort offers a deluxe glamping package that includes a complete camp set with camp stove, pots, utensils, lanterns so you can arrive with just your food and personal items and be completely set up for your glamping experience.
Nestled on 22 acres alongside a tranquil creek in the Smoky Mountains near Asheville, NC, on a Butterfly Farm Sanctuary. This small retreat offers a vegetarian-only refuge for people looking to rest, reflect and re-energize. The space you would occupy is called EarthSeed – a large, beautiful tent that sits upon a deck. Measuring 13’ in diameter and more than 12’ tall at the highest peak, the tent features a queen-size bed, chairs, small tables, plenty of lighting and space to store your gear.
Lake Nantahala-Smoky Mountain Yurts
These unique luxury yurts form part of the lodging at Falling Waters and provide the perfect glamping getaway. With two private bedrooms, a full bath and a hot tub. The full kitchen features granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, luxury bedding, air conditioning and even a rain head shower. There are an abundance of outdoor activities to keep you busy from white-water rafting to zipline canopy tours or simply kick back and enjoy the serene lake view and beautiful tranquil surroundings.