Cox & Kings, an international travel company established in 1758 — making it one of the longest-running in the world — calls glamping one of the big travel trends for 2018. And we are of the opinion that fall is one of the best times to jump on this worldwide trend. For those who want to be close to nature but don't want to give up their modern creature comforts, these destinations offer an ideal balance of rustic and cozy.
Georgia Glamping Company
With Georgia Glamping Company, you pick a campsite at one of several Georgia state parks and Georgia Glamping Company transforms it into a glampsite with all the amenities you'd expect in a nice hotel room — beds with proper linens, area rugs, interior lighting, a mini fridge, Keurig coffemaker, and heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. All you need to bring is food, drinks, towels and toiletries. For an additional cost, you also have the option to add extras like beach cruisers, stand-up paddleboards, two-person kayaks or a photography session. Location options are Unicoi State Park, in the Chattahoochee National Forest outside Helen; Shady Grove Campground on Lake Lanier; Vogel State Park in Blairsville; or Shoal Creek Campground in Buford, just outside Atlanta.
Cost: From $134 per night
The Martyn House
Located on an 18-acre 1930s homestead in the North Georgia mountains a couple of miles outside downtown Ellijay, The Martyn House is an eclectic hideaway perfect for sparking your creativity or simply taking a break from the outside world to recharge and rejuvenate. The one-of-a-kind private outdoor retreat offers three unique dwellings, complete with comfy queen-size beds dressed in fine linens, heat and air, indoor plumbing, and small kitchenettes. Enjoy fresh eggs from the homestead's heirloom hens along with local bacon, and reconnect with the outdoors through the property's nature trails and organic gardens. Activity options include tours of artists' studios in the area's thriving artist community, whitewater rafting, fly fishing, apple picking, visits to area wineries or just reading, writing, stargazing or engaging in good conversation around the fire pit.
Cost: From $220 per night
Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains
In late September, outdoor hospitality company Under Canvas, which has properties in Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Zion, Glacier, Grand Canyon and Moab national parks, added Great Smoky Mountains National Park to that list. The property's 40 canvas tents in GSMNP feature daily housekeeping, king-size beds, portable chargers, wood-burning stoves for warmth, wooden deck patios, as well as in-tent bathrooms and showers. The main lobby tent is furnished by West Elm, and the on-site restaurant, Embers, provides breakfast and dinner at its indoor communal table and outdoor patio overlooking the forest, as well as packed lunches for on-the-go adventures in the park. Closed Nov. 19, 2018, through April 4, 2019.
Cost: From $99 per night
Little Raccoon Key
This private island retreat on Georgia's Golden Isles offers only one overnight accommodation at a time, which means you'll have the whole island to yourself for your elevated camping experience. Your luxury tent features a memory foam mattress and designer sheets, and sun loungers, a fire pit for oyster or marshmallow roasting, and a gas grill surround your glampsite. Have groceries delivered before your arrival or opt for chef-prepared meals for an extra cost. To enhance the experience, you can participate in activities like open-water fishing, dolphin- or bird-watching, or simply relax in a hammock — you decide; it's your island.
Cost: From $299 per night
Forest Gully Farms
Stay underground like a hobbit of the Shire in "The Lord of the Rings" at Forest Gully Farms, a 15-acre farm outside Franklin in Santa Fe, Tennessee. Overnight guests get the farm, bathhouse with shower and laundry facilities, and three underground huts (two are bedrooms and the third is a kitchen and dining room) all to themselves. You can take foraging tours, pick fruit from the orchards and gather eggs from the chicken coop. There's no running water in the huts, but they do have heat and air conditioning, a microwave, toaster oven, fridge and cooking supplies. There is also a gas grill and fire pit outside.
Cost: From $325 per night plus site booking fees
Sugar Creek Treehouse
Live out your Swiss Family Robinson fantasies at Sugar Creek Treehouse, located seven miles from Burnsville, North Carolina, on 6 wooded acres off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The 600-square-foot treehouse sleeps up to six and features a cozy wood stove and wraparound deck with views of the stream below, plus modern conveniences like a fully equipped kitchen, washer and dryer, heat and air conditioning, and Internet access. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures, with the Appalachian Trail and Roan Mountain State Park nearby, and the Toe River — ideal for swimming in summer, or trout or bass fishing year-round — located just across the street.
Cost: From $225 per night
Described as "part glamping, part boutique hotel," the Flintstone, Georgia, property's two climate-controlled treehouses have their own bathrooms with toiletries, and kitchenettes stocked with complimentary wine, s'mores kit, coffee, tea and granola bars. They also feature Wi-Fi, Tuft & Needle mattresses (made with special Adaptive memory foam engineered by the company), and fire pits with seasoned wood and kindling provided.
Cost: From $294.25 per night
Glamping at Deer Camp
A short drive from Chattanooga, this cozy treehouse is located in Dunlap, near Fall Creek Falls State Park and Savage Gulf Natural Area. It features a queen bed, AC and heat, Wi-Fi, a smart-TV with Netflix and premium channels, board games, a gas log fireplace, fire pit, and outdoor kitchen and seating.
Cost: $124 per night