My family and I have been camping for years. Now, I am not a big fan of camping in itself….all that set up, walking to the toilets, and dealing with the bugs (just to name a few) - is way too much for me. Do you feel the same way or do you love camping?
When my kids were little my husband took them camping and I stayed home. But, then I missed them all on the weekends so I decided to tag along. I figured that my husband would do all the work if I wasn’t there….so he could continue to do all the work when I was there. Fair right?! (Haha) I would hike with them sometimes. Most of the time I would sit by the fire and enjoy the fresh air and the birds. While I knitted, cross stitched, or did something crafty (always busy for sure!) I did love the cacophony that insects made at night. That part is still so amazing.
As time passed and Willy and I got older, sleeping on the ground with a sleeping bag became pretty difficult. Our backs hurt and it was hard to get off the ground. So we started sleeping on a blow up mattress…
which led to cots…
which led to a pop up camper…
which led to a cabin…
which led to glamping - our favorite so far for sure!
What is glamping exactly?
If you aren’t familiar with the term - glamping means ‘glamorous camping’. Tents that are already set up that have REAL beds with REAL bedding. Supplied with towels and robes. Wood floors. Chairs. Plenty of room to stand up - everywhere. Now, we love the tents that have their own sinks, toilets and showers - with plenty of hot water. AND they have little wood stoves for those cold nights.
We discovered Under Canvas last summer when we were in South Dakota. And fell in love. My adult kids were doing ‘real camping’ and they loved coming to us to take a shower!
Recently we went to the Great Smoky Mountains to go glamping with Under Canvas again. And, they did NOT disappoint. Our tent was huge - big enough for 4 people. It had a pull out sofa for my daughter and her husband. A deck to sit on. And plenty of firewood. With, of course, a full ‘bathroom’.
Under Canvas also has a reception tent. There is a restaurant that serves breakfast, dinner and boxed lunches upon request. Tons of games and tables to gather around. Each night they have a bon fire with s’mores. They even have grills for cooking out. This particular camp site had corn hole, hillbilly golf, volleyball, horseshoes, and live music a few nights a week.
Because we were in the mountains we had no cell or wifi service. I had NO idea how many times a day I picked up my phone to look at random stuff until there was nothing to look at. As our trip neared the end, even if we were in a cell or wifi area, we didn’t even look at our phones - no one cared at that point. We were definitely unplugged!
We spent a lot of time together. Laughing. Making up sayings that I could put on t-shirts. Reading. Playing games (Clue is a particular family favorite because we all pretend to know what we are doing). Talking about budgets (one of my favorite subjects). We hiked and saw an amazing waterfall. Went to the local swimming hole and swam in some c.o.l.d. water. Met some great people. And, relaxed from the stresses and busyness of everyday life.
Under Canvas is not paying me to write this….I just love it so much that I thought you might like to go too.
They have a ‘Passport’. If you stay at 4 different locations you get your 5th stay free (the average of the nights). We have 2 under our belt. We hope to go to Yellowstone next year. And, we want to go when it’s a tad colder so we can use our wood stove…but not too cold!
Here are their locations -
Under Canvas Glacier (Montana)
Under Canvas Yellowstone (Montana)
Under Canvas Zion (Utah)
Under Canvas Moab (Utah)
Under Canvas Mount Rushmore (South Dakota)
Under Canvas Tucson (Arizona)
Under Canvas Grand Canyon (Arizona)
Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains (Tennessee)
Under Canvas Yosemite (California)
Need a vacation?
Love to be outdoors and get unplugged but carrying all that gear and setting up is not your cup of tea? Check them out. They do have a few campgrounds relatively close together - you could start in one and drive to the next….with nothing to do but check-in and enjoy yourself. VERY kid friendly too. They have tee-pees for the kids to sleep in - how fun is that!
Each location has tons of activities to do. They will recommend, and even book, your excursions and trips. Want to go white water rafting? Zip lining? Horse back riding? Fishing? Jeep Safari tours? Helicopter tours? Mountain biking? Find a location that you love and see what they have to offer.
Here are my pics - I am not a very good photographer. (Something I will hopefully get better at.) I am also always in the moment and forget to take pics! These pics are from the Great Smoky Mountains campground. And a few of my family :)
I pulled the pics below from their website.
Happy Glamping - tell them Jane sent you! (just kidding). Well, you can tell them, they have NO idea who I am tho!