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Despite its newfound popularity, glamping has been around a long, long time.
Glamping – an unlikely mash-up of ‘glamourous’ and ‘camping’ – was once a thing with medieval monarchs, who took the field with all kinds of exotic tentage. Then came safari folks, who roamed the African veldt and the American West along with servants and furniture. The urge to get back to nature – all while being pretty darned comfortable – is hard to break.
Today, glamping ranges from nice and comfy to seriously over the top. Some spots offer nice beds in wall tents with wood stoves in a woody environment; others up the game with snazzy shelters with butlers.
In Maine, consider Huttopia Southern Maine, in the southern Maine city of Sanford. Part of an international company, Huttopia Southern Maine is a vacation village of wall tents with a restaurant and pool. Sandy Pines Camping, in coastal Kennebunkport, offers tents with unique designs (some with chandeliers!) along with lodging options like Conestoga wagons. Sandy Pines has games, a pool, a snack bar and general store. Tentrr.com posts private campsite and glamping locations – along with selected sites in Maine State Parks – that are all set up and ready for visitors. Check out locations statewide. Tops’l Farm in the MidCoast town of Waldoboro, is an 83-acre farm and retreat center with tents, a multi-purpose yurt and concierge services. They host wedding and corporate events as well as a summer dinner series on Medomak River. In the DownEast & Acadia region, the dog-friendly Terramor Outdoor Resort in Bar Harbor offers nifty wall tents with lots of extras, an airy central lodge and a wide choice of meals.
How about staying in a yurt? These updated Central Asian shelters are popping up everywhere. Acadia Yurts and Wellness Center, in the town of Southwest Harbor, is on Mt. Desert Island, like much of Acadia National Park. Acadia Yurts offers some well-appointed yurts (kitchens, bathrooms, heating systems) along with services such as yoga, sauna, massage therapy and a float room at the wellness center. The Maine Forest Yurts, in the town of Durham (near Freeport), are tucked away on over 100 acres of woods. The kid-and-pet-friendly yurts are open year-round. Folks who stay there can do everything from kayaking on adjacent Runaround Pond to cross-country skiing.