There is nothing quite like spending a quiet night in a tent camping under the stars, maybe near a roaring brook or tumbling waterfall that lulls you to sleep.
That’s the upside. The downside—mosquitoes, heat, rain, you name it. If you love camping, but you’d like to avoid the nuisances nature can throw your way, how about a few days of “glamping.”
Glamping (a mashup of “glamorous” and “camping”) offers a way to enjoy nature without leaving the modern, comfortable world behind. Glamping takes on many forms: well-appointed safari tents, yurts, treehouses, even Airstream trailers, and RVs. These accommodations can include anything from simple cots with fire pits to queen-size beds, hot tubs, and TVs.
If that sounds like your idea of an excellent outdoor escape, pack your bags and head to one of these top 10 glamping sites in Alabama.
1. Outpost (Gulf State Park – Safari Tent)
The Outpost at Gulf State Park is the most basic glamping location in the state. Located 1.8 miles from the park’s main campground along the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, the site offers three sturdy safari-style tents with four cots each. The Outpost sites have sinks that you can use for cleaning up, but it’s recommended that you bring your own drinking water.
While the Outpost sites are not located near the Gulf waters, they sit on fine white sand and include fire pits and outhouses. There is no electricity, and you will need to carry in your supplies, but it’s well worth it. You’ll be in a remote, wild area where bobcats, raccoons, deer, and even alligators roam free just a few miles from the Gulf beaches.
Sites are $50 per night with a minimum two-night stay during holidays, weekends, and special events. The maximum stay is seven nights.
2. Clear Creek Cove RV Resort (Lake Martin – Yurt)
If you’re not familiar with yurts, they’re large, circular tents that nomads in central Asia have lived in for thousands of years. Yurt is a Mongolian word meaning, “home,” and you’ll feel right at home in the yurts at the Clear Creek Cove RV Resort on Lake Martin in Talladega.
The resort has two yurts located near the community boat dock and a white sandy beach perfect for summer water fun. The yurts, which have been voted the best in the U.S. by Airbnb, have hardwood floors, TVs with cable, Wi-Fi, BBQ grills, decks, kitchens with granite countertops, showers, king-size mattresses, and best of all, spectacular views of the lake.
One yurt is a single-story while the other has its bedroom in a loft. Rental rates are $99 per night, and pets are not allowed.
3. Smith Lake B&B (Cranehill – Airstream Trailer)
For some retro glamping, head to the Smith Lake B&B in Cranehill and chill out in a fully refurbished classic Airstream trailer. The B&B actually includes two Airstream trailers, and each one has a shower, a kitchen with a dinette, couch, refrigerator, gas stove, microwave oven, and the all-important heat pump air conditioner for those Alabama summers.
The first Airstream is a 1970s model that has four twin beds and an outdoor patio overlooking a creek. The second one is a 1999 30-foot model that includes a queen bed and a coveted view of Smith Lake. For each trailer, the rental rate is $150 per night.
4. Spring Creek Marina (Guntersville – Floating Cabins)
How about floating away to sleep—literally—on Lake Guntersville? The Spring Creek Marina has several cabins docked right on the lake, so you’ll always have a good view. Each cabin has a queen bed with linens, a fireplace, kitchen, patio, large living room, dining room, shower, air conditioning, microwave, and TV.
Rates for these adults-only cabins are $128 per night plus a $14 property fee. There is a fully refundable damage deposit of $200 required upon registering.
5. The Secret (Leesburg – Treehouse)
When you were a kid, did you ever dream of spending a night in a treehouse? As an adult, you can make the dream come true by staying at The Secret Bed and Breakfast in Leesburg.
The owners have built a lofted cottage that resembles a treehouse high up in the branches of a tree. The cottage has an attractive, rustic interior that features a queen-size bed, a full bath that includes a Jacuzzi tub and shower, satellite TV, and a private deck offering an elevated view of the surrounding forest. The rental rate is $125 per night, plus tax.
6. Pinewood Nature Cottage (Bon Secour – Cabin)
Pinewood Nature Cottage sits nestled in the pines of Bon Secour along the Alabama Gulf Coast. Located a short distance from the entertainment and fun of Gulf Shores, this cozy, one-room cottage with a loft has a camp kitchen, covered porch, and a fire pit, and showers are available nearby. The rental rate is $75 per night with a minimum two-night stay.
7. Fort Morgan Bell Tent Getaway
Our last stop takes us to Fort Morgan along the Gulf Coast and the Fort Morgan Bell Tent Getaway. Sitting atop a slightly elevated platform, the kid-friendly and pet-friendly tent has one main room with a queen-size bed, small double bed (cribs can be provided upon request), a dresser, TV, microwave, linens, towels, and Wi-Fi. Guests have access to a shared bathroom in the hosts’ main house. Glampers also have access to a communal deck, swimming pool, and hot tub.
Maybe best of all, the tent is a short walk from the beach and just minutes from Gulf Shores, historic Fort Morgan, and the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. It’s possible to rent kayaks, beach chairs, and beach umbrellas from the hosts. The rental rate is about $94 per night plus tax.
Written by Joe Cuhaj for Matcha in partnership with BCBS of AL and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.