Warm sun is the signal for camping here in the South. Spring marks a time when it’s still cool enough to enjoy an evening fire with roasted marshmallows and a cozy sleeping bag on a forest floor somewhere.
But what about those who don’t enjoy waking up face-to-face with a praying mantis hanging onto the tent ceiling above them?
Those adventurers can rest easy because there’s a solution, and it’s called “glamping” – or glamorous camping.
Georgia plays host to a number of these abodes with commodes so you’re not stuck wandering for the perfect bush to hide behind.
To get away from the hustle of Atlanta, look no further than Buckhead. It’s home to one swanky treehouse that is set back on a wooded lot near a creek.
Owner Peter Bahouth originally built the triple platform treehouse as a space for him and his wife to get away and enjoy nature. Now it’s become a side hustle for the couple, who book guests from all over the world through Airbnb.
Three separate tree houses connected by bridges make this space large enough for two people to stay, but children and pets are a no-no.
“It’s a quiet retreat,” Bahouth said. “Whatever you’re taking into the treehouse with you, doesn’t follow you up.”
The Martyn House
The Martyn House was ahead of the curve on the glamping trend, owner Joann Martyn said.
Four luxurious Indian sleeping tents are settled on the family’s farm in Ellijay, Georgia, where they also have a bed and breakfast. While the family started renting the tents to guests in 2008, the Martyn House’s glamping tents achieved major status after a 2010 spread in Southern Living magazine.
But it’s the chill atmosphere that keeps clients returning, Martyn said.
“It’s a great place to just come and do your thing,” she said.
Whether that’s painting en plein air or relaxing in the outdoor claw-foot tub with a glass of champagne, the Martyn House farm is a retreat for those who want to break away from a hurried lifestyle.
Cedar House Inn and Yurts
Yurts, or circular tents with modern amenities like beds and electricity, are also an option for the glamping set.
The Cedar House Inn in Dahlonega, Georgia, houses two yurts for those who want to enjoy the outdoors without sleeping on the ground.
“It’s an outdoor experience more private than staying in a building full of people,” Cedar House Inn owner Mary Beth Tanner said.
The eco-friendly yurts offer the sound of nature at night with the comfort of a bed and breakfast. The yurts are also available for reservations all year.
Stone Mountain Park
Stone Mountain Park offers six lakeside yurts for metro Atlanta glampers.
Each yurt has air conditioning and heating, electricity and furniture, but campers still need to bring sleeping bags or linens. Children are welcome, but pets are not allowed.
Sweetwater Creek State Park
Tucked away in Lithia Springs, Sweetwater Creek State Park opened up its 10-yurt village last year.
The yurts are fully furnished and have electricity. Bath houses are within walking distance.
During the summer, the park also offers boat, kayak, paddleboard and canoe rentals at the George Sparks Reservoir.
The Lodge at Little St. Simons Island
Located right off its sister island St. Simons, Little St. Simons is home to a hideaway known as The Lodge.
If camping isn’t your thing, these cozy cabins could be a good alternative. Guests can rent rooms, cottages and even the entire island. While there, campers can hike trails, walk along the beach, bird watch or fish in the Altamaha River.