Camping in Style.


My experience of camping consists of making my dad drag a tent into the woods right behind our house and sleep in it with my brother and I. We’d try to make a fire with a bit of trepidation that Smokey the Bear might find us a give us quite a scolding. Armed with snacks from Mom and a sense of adventure, we’d be happy in that little tent until we would realize that there wasn’t a TV in there and that we were missing a new episode of Full House.

Needless to say, I’m not the queen of roughing it, but I do really love being outside, hiking and all things nature related (minus spiders and rabid possums). So if I were to go camping again, I think I’d much rather experience it at one of these places! Luxury camping sites are all the rage, as featured in this month’s Sunset Magazine. Starting off with The Resort at Paws Up in Montana. Here your tent is decked out in designer furnishings and oil paintings, wine is served on arrival and you can order a s’mores kit to be delivered right to your tent flaps. There are spa tents in “Spa City” to ease sore muscles after a day of hiking, horseback riding and kayaking. Gourmet dining options are abound in the main buildings, as well as “dining adventures” where you are cooked delightful meals outside by a fire. Oh, and did I mention the private bath house next to your tent with heated slate floors and a steam shower? My mom has NO reason not to camp now! However, this “glamping” (their term for “glamour-camping”) experience does not come cheap. Tents start at $595 a night, but do include three meals a day for two. A five star experience right under the stars!

Much cheaper, but still far more luxurious than a Coleman tent from Sears, is El Capitan Canyon outside Santa Barbara, CA. Tents start at $145 a night and are still quite a sight to see with four poster beds and down comforters to replace any moldy sleeping bags. You can order food to be delivered to your private fire pit and there are still bathhouses nearby to take the edge of the whole camping experience.

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