April 9, 2018
Camping With an Upgrade: Top Glamping Spots in Tennessee
Enjoying the outdoors no longer needs to mean roughing it in a tiny tent and sleeping bag. Glamping, one of the newest trends in travel, is camping with a serious upgrade. From decked-out retro campers to posh treehouses, there are plenty of places around Tennessee to enjoy nature without sacrificing comfort. Here are a few of our favorite places to get the full glamping experience in Tennessee:
This luxury outdoor resort outside of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, will give you major summer camp flashbacks. It has a variety of options for outdoorsy digs, including luxury treehouses, retro campers and safari tents. Wi-Fi and outlets are available at all the Camp LeConte accommodations except the primitive tent sites, and a bathhouse and heated saltwater pool is available for all guests. This camping site is located right outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which has countless trails to hike, zip lining, rafting and many other activities. And Camp LeConte is less than 30 minutes away from the famous amusement park Dollywood.
Looking for a truly one-of-a-kind camping experience? Check out Forest Gully Farms. Its underground “Gully Huts” are unlike any cabin you’ve seen before — except for maybe the Hobbit houses in “Lord of the Rings.” There are three, eco-friendly huts that can sleep up to eight people and include their own kitchens and bath houses. Guests are also free to explore the 15 acres of the farm and collect fresh eggs from the chickens or pick fresh berries. Owners Jon and Mandy love welcoming guests with a tour of the farm and have plenty of information on nearby hikes and waterfalls.
Part glamping, part boutique hotel, this isn’t your average backyard treehouse. Treetop Hideaways has all the charm of your childhood plus a lot more comfort, with high speed internet, full temperature control, a premium Tuft & Needle mattress, and tons of other amenities you’d expect from a premium hotel. Designed by famous treehouse architect Pete Nelson, Treetop Hideaways immerses you in nature while keeping you plugged in. Treetop Hideaways is right outside Chattanooga, dubbed the “Scenic City” of Tennessee. Hang gliding and whitewater rafting are within 30 minutes of Treetop Hideaways. You can also check out the awesome museums, restaurants and shopping in downtown Chattanooga.
If you’re looking for an authentically off-the-grid forest experience with fairytale charm, Camp Grits is the perfect place for you. Little Black Cabin was built entirely from locally milled lumber and salvaged materials by the owner, Jim. Along with the charming little 12x12 cabin, there is a retro camper on the property for visitors to experience as well. Jim and his wife, Rosie, are incredible hosts, daily providing homemade bread, fresh eggs and goat’s milk from a local farm to their guests. Because Camp Grits has no internet or cellular reception, it is the perfect place to relax, unplug and connect with nature. Just a few miles from the entrance of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and less than 30 minutes from downtown Gatlinburg, Camp Grits feels remote, but it is still close to countless activities.
This rustic cabin nestled in the woods in Smithville, Tennessee, allows you to experience the peace and quiet of nature while still being close to Nashville. The luxury accommodations feature private decks with a breathtaking view of the forest, premium bedding, Wi-Fi and private bathrooms. Evins Mill’s chefs use local ingredients to create a fresh gourmet culinary experience for guests. Whether you’re coming with a group, need to-go boxed lunches for a day trip or simply want a romantic dinner for two, the staff can make you a delicious meal for any occasion. You can hike, swim or fish on-site, or try countless outdoor activities in the surrounding area including Carmac Falls, located on the property. Evins Mill also has a variety of common areas and meeting spaces, making it a great place for reunions, weddings or other group gatherings.
This eco-friendly, LEED-certified hostel has become a base camp for adventurous travelers in Chattanooga. The Crash Pad’s owners’ goal is to help establish the city as one of the best places for outdoor activities in the U.S. You can either stay in one of the hostel’s 24 bunk beds or one of its five private rooms, but either way, you get a complimentary DIY breakfast. In addition, The Crash Pad offers free Wi-Fi, bathrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, and several common areas to hang out and relax. There are several spots to grab food and a drink within walking distance of The Crash Pad; and downtown Chattanooga is only a few miles away. As outdoor aficionados themselves, the staff at The Crash Pad will happily direct you to all the best places to hike, climb, raft and more in Chattanooga. The Crash Pad also supports the local community by partnering with tons of local and eco-friendly businesses.
Located in the heart of West Tennessee, Stillwaters Farm has remodeled a 1982 Airstream for glamping with a touch of nostalgia. With updated amenities and a bath house nearby, you can enjoy farm life while feeling like you’re right at home. The glamper sleeps up to five guests and is available for monthly or short-term lease if you’re thinking about an extended stay. Explore the farm, which doubles as a nature preserve, and shop for gifts at farm’s store. If you’re looking for something a little more spacious, Stillwaters Farm also has a two-bedroom cottage that sleeps up to eight guests and is fully-furnished with unique antique collectibles.
Looking for even more unique places to stay in Tennessee? Check out this article on romantic getaways for some suggestions on cozy cottages and inviting resorts.