If you grew up camping, you either look back on it fondly or thank your lucky stars (that aren’t nearly as easy to see from here as that campsite) that you’re now and adult and your parents can no longer force you to go without a hairdryer for an entire weekend and share a tent with your unshowered brother. On the other hand, if you’ve never spent a moment in a sleeping bag, you probably don’t want to start now. No matter which category you fall in, however, there’s a more attractive option that we can all get behind: Glamping: a luxe-laced way to get the fun and beauty of the great outdoors without sleeping on dirt. Here are three to consider, all within a drive from Bergen County and all perfect for a weekend wilderness not-so-adventurous adventure.
Chestertown, New York
They had us at the cute name. This Southern Adirondack spot’s custom-made canvas walled tents come with a hand-crafted timber bed platforms and queen-size mattresses covered in lovely linens and poppy Pendleton wool blankets, and feature locally made rustic chic furnishings with some antiques sprinkled in for good measure. The tents also come stocked with firewood for both the indoor wood-burning stoves and outdoor firepits. But one of the best benefits of Posh Primitive is its access to activities. Staffers can help set up whitewater rafting trips, guided hikes, and fishing outings to nearby lakes and streams. Bonus: The Posh Primitive folks will even cook up your catch back at basecamp for dinner!
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Now is our kind of camping (read: it feels like a hot-spot hotel). First off, there’s a lobby tent with a proper front desk staff along with a bar that serves adult beverages around the campfire in the evenings. (Because if someone goes camping without alcohol, did they even actually go?) The campfire gathering spot also boasts bocce, cornhole, s’mores-making sessions and glorious moonlight lounging. Other amenities include a complimentary continental breakfast, iPhone charging stations and even filtered water dispenser for canteen-filling. As for the accommodations, tents are equipped with chic and comfy furniture (including beds with high-thread-count linens) along with battery-powered lanterns, and mesh screening for keeping bugs out (which is what we hated most about camping come to think of it). Bathhouses are just a stone’s throw from the tens and feature hot showers, changing rooms with full-length mirrors find hot showers with changing rooms and full-length mirrors, flushing toilets, and yes, hair dryers. By day, you can hit one of the nearby state parks, book a wild foraging hike, rent a kayak or go wine tasting at one of the Finger Lakes’ many wineries. By night, you’re not far from a gaggle of good restaurants in Downtown Ithaca.
East Meredith, New York
It’s a yurt! It’s a treehouse! It’s both! These cozy circular structures have a groovy 5-foot dome skylights along with fully equipped kitchens, oversized windows and French doors for letting in nature’s own air conditioning. Located on the grounds of a retreat center, this one’s truly a place for relaxing, with private decks surrounded by lush woods, communal grills, campfires, and picnic tables along with a hiking trail that starts just steps away from your yurt, a two-acre meadow, and a fieldstone labyrinth meant to promote reflection. While there are plenty of outdoor activities to try – like hiking, canoeing, and lake swimming – you can also tour a farm, check out a cider mill, or, if you’ve got Little Leaguers in tow, pay a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame in nearby Cooperstown. A treehouse and baseball? You’ll be your kids’ hero.
Windham, New York
For those who want to dip a proverbial toe into the glamping world, this Catskills resort is your spot. Eastwind – which just opened this year – offers bona fide rooms and suites on the property in addition to theirLushna cabins they describe as “almost camping.” Modeled after Scandinavian setups, the A-frame cabins each include a queen bed with Frette linens, private bathroom, and sauna, along with WiFi and wireless speakers. The whole place has a sleek vibe to it with natural woods, bright common spaces, and a big front lawn with a fire pit. Activity-wise, you’ll be close to Kaaterskill Falls hike, the museums and galleries of Windham and nearby towns, and the Windham Spa, where our favorite kind of activities (massages and facials!) take place. Look for Eastwind’s cool cocktail bar High Spirits to open soon.
Kingston, New York
Also brand-new to the Catskills, this campsite at Hutton Brickyards project along the Hudson puts the glam in glamping with its 12-foot-by-14-foot safari-style tents with private porches,queen memory-foam mattresses, down bedding and high-end hotel furniture and colorful throw rugs. Activities at the property include swimming and yoga, and you can go grab some groceries and use their groovy grills to cook up a feast under the stars, though there are plenty of good restaurants a stone’s throw away as well. OK, here’s the thing: You’re supposed to be getting close to nature so there’s no WiFi (though there is cell service). Don’t worry, you’ll survive ... and don’t you dare try to use your data plan!