With the first day of summer already here, countless vacations are on the sunny horizon, and there’s nothing quite like a trip to the great outdoors to really get into the summer spirit. Today, we’re breaking down our five favorite glamping getaways for those who are ready to dive into the wilderness without leaving luxury behind. Fill that Camelbak with Cabernet and lace up your most stylish pair of hiking boots—we’re heading to some of the chicest camping destinations on the planet:
1. Longitude 131°: Uluru-Kata Tjuta, Australia
We’re kicking off today’s glamping roundup with a trip to the Outback. Located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Longitude 131° faces Australia’s world-famous Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock). With unobstructed views of the massive sandstone monolith that is oh-so-Australian, we happen to think Longitude 131° is one of the most serene and picturesque glamping destinations on Earth.
With a mere fifteen luxury tents sitting pretty atop saturated sandstone dunes, Longitude 131° offers a glamping experience both intimate and expansive. Tents boast King beds dressed in organic linens, custom crafted furniture and private floor-to-ceiling windows (so you’ll never miss an Outback view). Each also offers a zen rain shower, plush bathrobes and a complimentary bar stocked with Australia’s most beloved treats—plus daily housekeeping and turndown service.
Our favorite part of each tent, though? The balconies, which, with their private day beds and unobstructed views of the sprawling Outback, perfectly embody the true definition of serenity. (And, if you’re seeking even more serenity, head over to the Red Ochre Spa at the nearby Ayers Rock Resort for a Hot Stone Therapy Session or Desert Awakening Journey.)
We especially love the fact that, with each space, the property offers its guest small history lessons—each tent is named after a famous explorer and is dressed in artifacts and indigenous artwork that parallel that pioneer’s time in the Outback.
A trip to Longitude 131° means leaving your camping coal BBQ at home, as it offers some of the country’s finest cuisine at its Dune House. Located at the heart of Longitude 131°, the Dune House offers a daily breakfast of pastries, fruit, and an a la carte menu selection. Lunch brings in a three-course meal of contemporary cuisine that’s as satisfying as it is light, and dinner boasts a daily-changing, market-driven four-course meal based around the latest and greatest Australian produce.
If you���d rather dine al fresco under a canopy of stars, we recommend opting for Table 131°, an outside affair that offers a four-course perfectly prepared meal followed by an intriguing astronomy lesson you won’t soon forget.
Check out Longitude 131°’s complete list of package options to make the most of your stay.
2. The Ranch at Rock Creek: Philipsburg, Montana
Number 2 on our list brings us back to the States where we head deep into the sprawling, rolling landscape of Montana to find The Ranch at Rock Creek nestled in one of the state’s most picturesque valleys. The perfect balance of high-end luxury and true Western charm, we love that the Ranch at Rock Creek is able to deliver a classic American West experience in a refined (and oh-so-pretty) package.
We especially love that The Ranch offers four main accommodation options ranging from the nine-suite Granite Lodge (the heart of the property) to seven luxury home sites—ensuring your group (no matter how small or big) can find the perfect plush place to rest your eyes under a star-cloaked Montana night sky.
We particularly love The Ranch’s glamping cabins that boast high-end accommodations and classic cabin charm at once. The property’s four Classic Canvas Cabins offer 790 square feet of space each, with front doors that open up to a refreshing, rolling creek. Each is equipped with a gas stove, screened porch, attached bathroom and a deck that faces the serene creek.
With 1,047 square feet of space, the Family Canvas Cabins allow for anywhere from three to six guests and each sits pretty on the peaceful banks of Rock Creek.
With two rooms separated by a curtain, they’re a perfect choice for families (as their name implies). Each also features two gas stoves, a screened porch, a reading nook and a private deck.
The most secluded accommodation option on all of the property, the Trapper Cabin is a perfect option for those looking to glamp in true, uninterrupted isolation (perfect for honeymooners and couples celebrating anniversaries). The Trapper Cabin boasts some of the most unforgettable stargazing in all of Montana, which can be enjoyed from its outdoor soaking tub.
The only three-room cabin on the property, the Sweet Grass Cabin is as charming as it is spacious. With two master suites connected by a common area, the Sweet Grass Cabin is ideal for two couples traveling together or a large family. Each suite houses a King bed, a claw foot bathtub, a private full bath and a gas stove.
If you can bring yourself to leave the luxury of your glamping cabin, we recommend going for a dip the property’s picturesque pool and hot tub. The 25,000-gallon outdoor heated pool is one of our favorite spots in the States to take a dip, as it offers unobstructed views of the surrounding Montana countryside.
With nearly countless on-site activities to choose from, you’ll never find yourself bored at the Ranch at Rock Creek. We recommend a horseback ride through the valley, an unforgettable trip through the property’s ropes course or a rewarding hike through pine forests to the top of Paradise Peak.
3. The Yurts at Falling Waters Nantahala: West Bryson City, NC
Number 3 on our list takes us to the North Carolina Smoky Mountains for the Yurts at Falling Waters Nantahala. Located 75 miles west of Asheville in the serene Nantahala River Gorge, Falling Waters Nantahala sprawls across 22 pristine acres, offering a number of lodging and accommodation options for the outdoor enthusiast.
Our favorite of the accommodation options? The property’s Yurts (circular, tent-like structures). Inspired by Mongolia’s ancient nomads’ design, we love that the Yurts offer a historical take on classic camping. Each Yurt sleeps 2-4 guests and includes a Queen bed, a private deck, a futon for an additional sleep/lounge option and a small refrigerator.
If you can bring yourself to leave your oh-so zen Yurt, we recommend partaking in any one of the property’s numerous activity options. Try a zipline canopy tour through the Nantahala Gorge. With over 13 zips, 8 sky bridges and ½ mile of “flying,” the canopy tours are among the property’s most popular activities.
We also love the idea of an exhilarating rafting trip along the Nantahala River. Choose between a fully guided trip or rent an individual inflatable kayak or raft if you'd rather have a solo go at the river.
4. andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp: Kruger National Park, South Africa
For Number 4 on our list, we leave the eastern United States for the northeastern most corner of South Africa, where the andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp sits pretty right on the edge of the renowned Kruger National Park. We love that the camp—situated right in heart of the wild—offers an experience that’s true to a classic African safari and, at the same time, full of five-star luxury.
The camp is home to nine canvas tents, offering an experience both intimate and secluded. The “tents” are more like private suites—chock full of luxurious amenities, each is encircled by a shelter of lush native vegetation and overlooks the beautiful banks of the Timbavati River. The suites offer air conditioning, access to WiFi and—at the same time—are within an earshot of the “Big Five” (Cape buffalo, leopards, rhinos, elephants and lions).
A typical day at the camp looks a little something like this: you enjoy tea and biscuits as your ranger discusses the day’s activities with you. You’ll then venture out with your ranger to catch unforgettable glimpses of primitive African wildlife. The area is known for its prides of lions, herds of elephants and buffalo, and, if you’re lucky, the occasional sighting of the elusive wild African dog.
You’ll then return to your lodge for a breakfast of the best fruits and cheeses the area has to offer (among a number of other healthy and filling options). You’re then free to roam the area nearby with your ranger, take a dip in the property’s breathtaking pool, or watch wildlife roam from your private veranda before afternoon tea. After tea, you’ll head out for a night Game Drive with your ranger where you’ll vie for glimpses of nocturnal wildlife before returning to the camp for dinner beneath the deep-blue, star-blanketed African sky.
If the morning and evening Game Drives aren’t enough for you, andBeyond offers a number of other activities, including the fan-favorite “Tracking Adventure,” where you’ll track animals on foot with an armed ranger and tracker team. Or, try opting for the “Photographic Safari,” an expedition designed for photography enthusiasts, where professionals join you on your quest to snap the perfect shot and provide you with direction and guidance on everything from lighting to aperture.
5. Below the Falls Lodge: Coos Bay, Oregon
From the African wilderness to the Pacific Northwest, we round out our list today with one of our all-time favorite vacation rentals on the market: The Lodge Below the Falls just outside of Coos Bay, Oregon.
Designed and built by owner Shane Daugherty, the Below the Falls Lodge is the perfect place for families or groups of friends looking to “glamp” amongst an aesthetic that’s about as Oregon-chic as they come.
Our favorite part of the lodge? Nearly every design element, every room and every nook has its own unique story. With a Juniper Tree staircase made from sustainably harvested Juniper Trees the architect collected from a nearby road-widening project in Bend, Oregon (which left tons of trees uprooted), and bedrooms boasting custom crafted beds suspended from the ceiling, Daugherty left no design stone unturned when crafting this impeccable home.
In addition to suspended beds, bedrooms boast large skylights that offer guests views of thick Oregon vegetation and, at night, a deep-blue sky of stars free of light pollution or view obstructions.
We’re also huge fans of the indoor/outdoor soaking tub and shower that’s completely encircled in glass—allowing guests to relax in their own private Oregonian oasis as they shower off after a long hike or day of fishing.
Activities at the lodge are endless. Fish on the river that runs right outside of the Lodge's front door or opt for a hike through the nearby Golden and Silver Falls State Park where you can catch a glimpse of the waterfall Daugherty calls “one of the most graceful and picturesque waterfalls” he’s ever seen.
After a long day in the Oregon wilderness, we recommend gathering in the house's beautiful and expansive kitchen for a clam bake with the entire family before resting your eyes under any one of the house's unforgettable custom skylights.
Overall, there's nothing quite like living the glamorous life amongst the wilderness—and each of these five destinations encompasses precisely what outdoor-chic is all about.
Have any glamping favorites we missed? Share them with us in the comments section below. We'd love to hear from you.