We form some of our best friendships and most cherished memories at summer camp, doing things like roasting marshmallows over an open fire or swimming in a freezing lake. At a time when people are more interested in spending time in nature than ever before, vacation spots around the country are promoting rustic cabins and outdoor adventures as ways for families to grow closer.
Tessa McCrackin, chief marketing officer of Northgate Resorts, which manages 24 resorts in the United States, explains that “people enjoy any chance to relive their youth,” and that this trend is only increasing as people have children of their own and start expanding their own families. “Summer camps take us back to a simpler period when the biggest question was ‘What are we doing outdoors today?'”
Camp Fimfo, with its upmarket cabins and RV sites, water park, dordle mini-golf course, and eateries, opened last year (sites from $125, cabins from $206). Following a successful first year in New Braunfels, the firm is expanding to Waco this summer, where visitors will be able to stay in cabins shaped after the city’s famous cottonseed silos.
Outside of Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine, you’ll find Terramor Outdoor Resort (doubles from $304), which also prioritizes nature. The chic spinoff of Kampgrounds of America, the glamping resort launched with 64 luxury tents and a farm-to-table restaurant two summers ago. Visitors will have access to complementary walking sticks, a wellness tent for massages, and pre-stocked fire pits.
Big Cedar Lodge’s newest addition, Camp Long Creek, in the Missouri Ozarks, is expanding its selection of glamping and indoor accommodations this summer with the addition of additional one- and two-bedroom cabins (doubles from $707). After a day of waterskiing on Table Rock Lake, visitors may refuel at The Canteen, located in a classic Airstream trailer, with cheeseburgers and sweets like Creamsicles.
Greensboro, Georgia’s Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee (doubles from $685) is likewise investing heavily on family-friendly features. The Ritz Kids Clubhouse and family pool opened in July 2021.2 amenities include an aquarium and arcade games. It also hosts “backyard olympics” for campers aged 5 to 12. Campers of all ages may enjoy the lake thanks to the abundance of slides and water trampolines.
Barnsley Resort (doubles from $319) is another well-liked Georgia lodging option known for its quaint cottages and fire pits. Lately, it has focused more on providing opportunities for family members to connect via shared experiences, such as archery and axe throwing. Guests at Roam Beyond’s flagship site (doubles from $219), located just outside Montana’s Glacier National Park, may enjoy activities like hiking, fishing, and cornhole during the day, and then relax with a movie and some board games in the lodge that evening.
Historic sites are also updating their offerings to capitalize on this trend. The 150-year-old Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York, has much to keep guests entertained (doubles from $1,035). Guests may take advantage of the area’s 85 miles of trails on one of six unique hikes, such as a survivalist walk that introduces them to local flora and fauna and how to use them in their everyday lives.
The Point at Saranac Lake, New York (doubles from $2,050, all-inclusive) is a great option to purchase out for the ultimate family reunion. Guests under the age of 18 are not permitted unless all 11 rooms in the four cabins are reserved at the same time. Free e-bikes and geocaching are available for guests to use while out and about in the neighborhood.
Even though there is a lot that can be said about the summer in the Catskills, I think that October is my favorite season to visit the mountainous area that is so well-known for being loved by New Yorkers who are looking for a retreat. Foliage, of course, is one of the primary attractions, and the glamping resort AutoCamp now has an outpost tucked away in the heart of the fleeting display of color that occurs in the fall. In West Saugerties, New York, visitors camp in tents, huts, and Airstreams among the towering trees on a site that spans 37 acres. The region is known for its abundance of year-round activities and attractions.
The Catskills facility is just four months old, making it the youngest of the five resorts that are owned and operated by AutoCamp Hospitality Group around the nation. When I arrived at the resort in the early afternoon on the first day of October, the barn-inspired Clubhouse that serves as the primary structure of the resort still smelled like freshly cut wood. It is a light and airy building that has a soaring gable ceiling and a side that is nearly entirely comprised of windows. The main room has an appearance of grandeur thanks to architectural details such as large oak doors that go all the way to the ceiling and an open chimney in the centre of the space; nonetheless, the atmosphere is undeniably warm and inviting.
Everything in the clubhouse, from the wood-carved murals to the side tables fashioned from logs, has the look and feel of being constructed from natural materials by the deft hands of artisans. And at every turn, there are spots that almost ask you to sit down and soak in the natural delights that the woodland setting has to offer. On the front terrace are several cushioned seats that swing on chains. Cozy sofas are arranged next to verdant plants in pots. In the morning, a bar in front of a stone-brick wall provides coffee and pastries for breakfast, and in the evening, it serves local beers, ciders, and wine. Guests may enjoy these beverages while lounging. The yard now has a pumpkin patch and is home to a variety of seating places as well as lawn activities, such as a selection of cornhole sets that are suitable for a competition.
After checking in, I was presented with a fire-starting kit and directed to go to my Airstream. When I went to take a break from some work in the late afternoon to recline, I was able to watch the leaves sway on the trees above me. Although I was disappointed that the weather prevented me from stargazing under the moonroof that was above my bed that night, I was able to watch the leaves sway on the trees above me. After speaking with one visitor, I learned that the rest of their group had bought the exact same mattress brand after staying at AutoCamp Yosemite. After spending only a minute relaxing on my delicious queen-size bed, I could immediately understand why their group made that decision.