4 Ways to Glamp in the Great Smoky Mountains
If you’re not up for traditional camping, fret not. The Great Smoky Mountains have plenty of options for “glamping,” from yurts to cabins.
There are great, socially distanced ways to enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nation’s most visited national park. It is within driving distance of a large percentage of Americans and boasts over 500,000 acres with countless trails. Best of all, the park is free to visit! And while many come here to camp, there are also plenty of places to stay in luxury while still enjoying the outdoors.
Within the communities of the Great Smoky Mountains, visitors might enjoy sleeping in yurts, tiny houses, and vintage Airstreams. Don’t worry about bringing a tent and equipment as many glamping sites in the Smoky Mountains have kitchens. Instead, bring clothes and only what you can fit into a backpack!
If you like camping but need the creature comforts, check out the safari-style tents at Little Arrow Outdoor Resort in Townsend, Tennessee. The spacious glamping tents come with heating and air conditioning, a bathroom, and plush bedding. The resort also has traditional tent and RV sites, cabins, and tiny homes, along with access to their pool and clubhouse.
Under Canvas has been named one of the South’s top resorts for its luxury tents furnished in West Elm decor. There’s also onsite dining, live music, and a “guest experience coordinator”—basically a grown-up camp counselor.
The Ridge Outdoor Resort also offers Smoky Mountains glamping with tents with furniture, a kitchen, and televisions. They also have RV campsites and tiny houses.
Treehouses and tiny cabins are another fun way to sleep among the trees but with the amenities of home. Camp Gritsin Cosby, Tennessee has a little bit of everything, including vintage trailers and a teepee. But its tiny cabin has everything you need for a getaway, including a wood-burning stove, vintage furnishings, and a nearby bathhouse. From your home away from home, hit the trails with a small bag of snacks and your phone. If you’re worried about keeping warm while winter camping, tiny houses are your best bet.
You don’t need your own RV to experience #vanlife for yourself. Camp LeConte is a glamping resort in the Smokies with luxury treehouses, safari tents, and traditional campsites. But you can also stay in vintage trailers with plush beds, fire pits surrounded by Adirondack chairs, and access to resort amenities like a bathhouse and a playground. Since storage space is small, organize your items in packing cubes.
These permanent tents used by the people of Kyrgyzstan are now a popular glamping option with plenty of space for furniture and stoves inside to keep you cozy. Sky Ridge Yurts in Bryson City, North Carolina has yurts that come equipped with full beds, kitchens, bathrooms, and even WiFi and televisions! Each one is named for a different aspect of local life, including Native American tribes and places. Soak up views of the nearby Nantahala Gorge and head out to explore.
The Great Smoky Mountains offers the outdoors experience without sacrificing your comfort through abundant glamping locations. It’s a beautiful place to visit year-round!
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By Caroline Eubanks on October 30, 2020
Caroline Eubanks is a freelance writer from Atlanta, Georgia whose work has been published by BBC Travel, Afar, Thrillist, and National Geographic Traveler and is the author of the book This Is My South: The Essential Travel Guide to the Southern States. You can follow her work at CarolineEubanks.com.