The Prettiest Glamping Spots for a Fall Getaway
The glamping trend is stronger than ever, and Travel Channel recommends new destinations to consider for your next fall escape.
Photo By: Tentrr
Photo By: Collective Governors Island
Photo By: Glamping Hub
Photo By: Dunton Destinations
Photo By: Big Cedar Lodge
Photo By: ESCAPE RV/Steve Niedorf
Photo By: The Resort at Paws Up
Photo By: Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center
Photo By: Andy Noyes
Photo By: Michael Coleman
Photo By: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Glamping Then and Now
Examples of luxurious camping can be found throughout the ages, but the term "glamping" entered the modern lexicon around 2005. (Today there’s even an entry in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.) This style of camping evolved to encompass all manner of lodging: Tents, treehouses and tiny homes are among the popular choices. Don’t expect the trend to go away anytime soon either; the newest 2019 additions include Collective Governors Island in New York City, glamping tents at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico and Camp Long Creek at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri. Note that many glamping spots are seasonal and close by early November, so either take advantage now or plan ahead for next fall’s glamping getaway.
Collective Governors Island, New York
Collective Governors Island is a newer glamping entry, located on seasonal Governors Island. The 172-acre island is a short ferry ride from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge Park and provides a city getaway for locals and tourists alike, offering bike rentals, hammocks, food trucks and new cafes. Collective Governors Island is the first overnight option to set up camp, taking full advantage of Statue of Liberty views. Choose from three types of accommodation: As the most expensive with the best view, the Outlook Shelter is like a tiny home and fits a bathroom with soaking tub and a king-size bed. Shelter Summit Tents are the next most luxurious, with 1,500-thread-count bedding on a king-size bed and an in-tent bathroom. Journey Tents are a notch down with queen-size beds, 1,000-thread-count bedding and a shared bathroom. But all tents have electrical outlets and access to the on-site restaurant. And since the last ferries leave by 4:15 p.m. during the week and 6 p.m. on weekends, you’ll have the entire island to yourself for half the time. Like Governors Island, the property closes October 31.
Glamping Hub, Nationwide
Consider Glamping Hub your one-stop shop to fulfill all your glamping dreams. The site features more than two dozen types of international glamping sites: hobbit homes, caves, igloos, lighthouses and shipping containers are a sampling, with accommodations totaling in the thousands. The US options don’t disappoint, like this multi-floor treehouse in Green Mountain, North Carolina. You might be tempted to move into this 600-square-foot eco-friendly space, comfortably equipped with a full kitchen (microwave, dishwasher), dining room, wood-burning fireplace, hot tub and TV with Netflix. An open staircase leading to an adorable sleeping loft lends to the treehouse vibe. Enjoy the dramatic fall colors from your loft, the loft’s balcony, the many large windows or the treehouse’s wraparound deck.
Dunton River Camp, Colorado
Dunton River Camp takes full advantage of its remote location, straight out of a River Runs Through It (though that was filmed in Montana), set on 500 acres of a former cattle ranch in the Colorado Rockies. Here, just eight high-end tents ensure a quiet atmosphere in which to appreciate autumnal colors, at least until it closes in mid-October. Elevated Mountain Tents channel treehouse living while providing mountain views. Enjoy the scenery from a king-size bed warmed by a gas stove, just steps from a tiled bathroom with a soaking tub. Ground-level River Tents offer the same features, and both provide Wi-Fi and mountain bikes. Unlike some glamp camps, Dunton includes all meals and even most alcoholic drinks in the riverside main lodge; meals aren’t too shabby as they’re cooked by the chef at sister location Dunton Hot Springs, itself a premier property with hot springs and a spa. Know that horseback riding, fly fishing and guided hikes are bundled in, too, but it’ll cost extra to go rock climbing or rafting along the Dolores River.
Camp Long Creek at Big Cedar Lodge, Missouri
Camp Long Creek at Big Cedar Lodge opened in spring 2019, two miles from the main property. Both are nestled in the Ozarks, and the glamping addition enjoys a prime spot by Table Rock Lake. Accommodations include cabins, but go full glamp in attractive canvas tents overlooking the lake. Not only are these tents equipped with a king-size bed and bathroom, but there’s even a chandelier, small fridge, coffeemaker and table and chairs. If you need more to be impressed, add in a private backyard space with a deep tub and firepit — the ideal setting for indulging in the welcome s’mores package. For a change of setting, a free shuttle service makes it easy to access all of Big Cedar Lodge's resort offerings, not limited to a fitness center, hot tubs and evening bonfires. Camp Long Creek isn’t lacking in fall though, as there’s an outdoor pool, a full-service marina with boat rentals, lakeside beach, fishing and a sunset yacht cruise, some of which are available until the camp closes the first weekend in November.
Canoe Bay ESCAPE Village, Wisconsin
Part of the Canoe Bay resort complex, Canoe Bay ESCAPE Village offers tiny homes with big views. The property sits on more than 160 acres in northwest Wisconsin, filled with hiking trails and opportunities for kayaking and fishing. The tiny homes themselves are large enough to fit a living and dining area, kitchen with modern conveniences like a microwave, bathroom with a shower and tub and a separate bedroom. There are also large windows throughout to enjoy peak autumn colors, and many feature lake views. Beyond the tiny village area, guests can access Canoe Bay’s restaurant and main lodge. The latter offers a fitness center, library, and yes, great views.
The Resort at Paws Up, Montana
Not all glamping options are created equal, but The Resort at Paws Up ranks among the top picks thanks to its safari-style lodging. The glamping section is split into six camps: Each offers a distinctive pro, such as great views or the most privacy, but all feature spacious tents, some on platforms, that are loaded with features like king-size beds, standing mirrors, clothing racks and chandeliers. You’ll also find fully equipped in-room bathrooms with heated floors, in-tent Wi-Fi and a temperature-controlled environment. Plus, each camp provides a camp butler, daily housekeeping and a dining pavilion, where multi-course dinners skew more toward carrot-ginger soup and grilled albacore tuna than baked beans and hot dogs. The camp closes mid-October, providing a small window to catch Blackfoot Valley’s vibrant fall colors on the property’s 37,000 acres.
Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center Yurts, Indiana
Fun fact: The Dalai Lama’s oldest brother founded the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in 1979 in Bloomington, Indiana. The center functions to preserve Tibetan and Mongolian culture and Buddhist traditions, while inviting the local community to learn about its culture and faith. It’s also possible to stay on-site in one of three yurts. Though not the fanciest, the year-round yurts are heated and contain a bed, full kitchen and grill. Spend a peaceful weekend observing the leaves change while walking the Kora Meditation Trail. You’re also welcome to attend events at the cultural center, from yoga and meditation classes to religious ceremonies and tours. Otherwise, leave time to explore Bloomington, home to Indiana University and a walkable downtown.
Firelight Camps, New York
Based in Ithaca, Firelight Camps strikes the right note between roughing it and hotel-level camping. This means that safari tents are comfortably equipped with queen- or king-size beds, fleece bedding and a rug, but you’ll need to grab a battery-powered lantern for the short walk to the bathhouse. (Four tents do offer heaters, fans, lamps and outlets at a higher cost, but you’ll still have to walk to the bathroom.) As for food, the stay includes a continental breakfast, provided in the lobby tent. Don’t worry about going hungry, since the camp is just a few miles away from downtown Ithaca and plenty of restaurants and supermarkets. Firelight is also on the grounds of La Tourelle Hotel, where campers can eat at its steakhouse (not included in the price). When night falls, the lobby tent becomes a full bar, serving drinks from cocktails to hot chocolate. This tent also provides a water dispenser, coffee and tea, phone charging station and games. Hiking trails, a nearby spa and food and wine tours of the Finger Lakes region further prevent any possibility of boredom. But the main attraction is Upstate New York’s fall foliage show, which can be fully enjoyed as the camp is open through the first weekend in November.
The Gwen Hotel, Illinois
Those who want glamping light and are willing to pay for it can book a night in the 16th-floor Gwen Lux Suite at Chicago’s Gwen Hotel. While the two-room suite itself is more than comfortable with two-and-a-half baths and a wet bar, the real attraction is the city’s first glamping option, situated on the suite’s 1,000-square-foot terrace. The tent is large enough to accommodate a queen-size bed (designed specifically for the hotel) outfitted with Frette linens. The boho decor features gilded lanterns, drum side tables and a smattering of rugs. Of course, if you need anything else, you can simply walk a few steps inside your suite. But the terrace does include a gas-burning firepit, and it’s even possible to arrange a four-course Glamping Tasting Menu (think whole grilled snapper). Don’t fret that s’mores aren't on the menu, since a s’mores turndown with Mexican chocolate and cayenne marshmallows is part of the experience. And while you may not experience all that Mother Nature has to offer in the fall, you can’t beat the city and Chicago River views. Mind you, all of this runs $5,500 a night and ends at the end of September, so start thinking ahead for next year.
Balloon Fiesta Glamping, New Mexico
Glamping on the grounds of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is another unconventional option. Besides some fall colors, your prime view will entail more than 500 hot air balloons in all shapes, sizes and rainbow colors. The annual event occurs during a nine-day period in early October and attracts upwards of a million visitors during that time. Book way ahead in order to ensure a spot in the new glamping tents, within walking distance of the launch field. Packages are available for three nights and cover either a safari or bell tent with a queen-size bed and bedding, heater, lamp and lantern and small refrigerator. You will have to leave your tent to access bathrooms and showers, but there is a communal gathering spot with lounge chairs, grills and games. For $1,500, the package also includes event admission during your stay; additional glamp nights cost $500.