There is something to be said about being completely immersed in nature, surrounded by trees and wildlife, free from the stressors of everyday life. But, there is also something to be said about the comfort of running water and Wi-Fi. Luckily, you don’t have to choose between one or the other. A long-standing accommodation for African safaris, glamping has been the way well-heeled travelers see faraway places where no hotels exist. Glamping destinations are popping up across the United States offering an up-close look at some of our nation’s natural treasures—and there’s no better time to see them for yourself than the fall.
If you’re looking for a full-blown nature trip, head to Under Canvas in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. This 182-acre camp is located just steps from the Smoky Mountains. The canvas tents come fully furnished with no frills homestead style furniture and decorative accents. The best part? Many of these tents have private en-suite bathrooms with showers, which is a huge benefit considering most of the rivers nearby are more suited for white water rafting than bathing.
Hit the trails early to avoid other travelers and catch the morning sunrise over the amber leaved trees. The vibrancy of the fall foliage is sure to make you forget about those pesky email notifications. Hike to the highest point of the Appalachian Trail, Clingman’s Dome, to get the best views on the mountain. If you’re looking for a little more excitement, go white water rafting in the Nantahala River or swing from tree to tree in one of the nearby zip lining courses.
If you’re looking to get away somewhere beautiful but still want the option to head into town for restaurants and shopping, try Kennebunkport, Maine. Favorite of former president George H.W. Bush, it offers every bit of charm you’d expect from a Northeastern town. Camp out at Sandy Pines Campground, which offers a variety of fully furnished glamping tents. The canvas-covered wooden frames each boast a king-sized bed, seating area, and an outside deck. Some even have a smaller attached tent with twin sized beds—perfect if you’re traveling with kids. Decor varies from tent to tent, but we like the ‘Wanderlust’ tent, kitted out with antler accessories and a cowhide rug to complete your wilderness fantasies.
You can’t leave Maine without eating its most famous fare; lobster. Try fine French iterations of the crustacean at Ocean Restaurant, or keep it simple with a lobster roll from Nunan’s Lobster Hut. Perched atop ocean side cliffs, St. Anne’s Chapel offers stunning views of the coastline. Watch sailboats go by from outside and take a tour inside to see the impeccable stained glass windows. When you’re ready to shop, head to Dock Square where you’ll find independent boutiques, unique gift shops, and homemade local goods. If you really want to up the Fall factor, head to Patten’s Berry Farm to pick your own apples and pumpkins.