By Barbara Hazelden, Contributing Writer
REGION – Camping in Massachusetts is definitely not a one-size-fits-all experience. At one end of the spectrum, back-to-nature purists pitch their tents under the trees or on a spacious patch of grass. Without their modern conveniences, these hardy campers will be roughing it for the duration of their stay.
Of course, not everyone wants to experience the realities of tent camping. Those who want more creature comforts opt for things like motorhomes and travel trailers. With RVs increasing in popularity, Bay State campgrounds and RV resorts are filled with vehicles and tow-behinds of all stripes.
Glamping carves out its own niche
Vacationers who want to experience the great outdoors in comfort might consider giving glamping a try. Combining elements of “glamour” and “camping,” glamping invites guests to experience nature firsthand―while satisfying their desires for comfort and modern conveniences.
Glamping accommodations are increasingly found in memorable destinations around the world. Some adventurous guests choose a cozy mountaintop yurt while others settle into a treehouse tucked into the forest canopy.
Other glamping sites include comfortably furnished tents or tepees. Quaint hillside cottages, refurbished barns, and even classic Airstream travel trailers are ideal glamping lodgings.
Massachusetts offers multiple glamping destinations
The Bay State’s striking coastal landscapes and expansive mountain forests beckon to outdoor enthusiasts of all tastes. Massachusetts residents who prefer a relaxing getaway can likely find one throughout the year.
This family-owned resort in Foxborough presents luxury camping at its best. Set between Cape Cod and Boston, Normandy Farms offers four ways to experience the great outdoors in comfort. Guests can choose a deluxe cabin, a nicely furnished yurt, a wooded-setting safari tent, or a cozy pop-up trailer. With fitness and recreation facilities, swimming pools, and a wellness center, guests can enjoy a relaxing yet energizing stay.
Marcia Galvin, Normandy Farms’ human resources director, is part of the family who owns this upscale camping resort. She notes that Normandy Farms was offering glamping accommodations before the term found its way into the mainstream. Today, guests continue to show increasing demand for the units.
Galvin says the varied lodgings also enable non-RV-owning guests to enjoy a camping experience with their families. “Offering a wide variety of camping experiences allows the guests who don’t own their own RV to camp,” she explained.
“Many families camp together, and some will rent our units so they can enjoy the vacation with the rest of the family. It’s also an opportunity for those who have camped with their families for years and when they sell their RV, still want the camping experience,” Galvin noted.
AutoCamp Cape Cod
Classic Airstream trailer fans will enjoy this upscale camping destination. Open year round, AutoCamp Cape Cod offers furnished Airstream trailers, luxury canvas tents with full-size beds, and well-equipped hotel-like suites with outdoor firepits.
Shawme-Crowell State Forest
Located in a forested part of Cape Cod, Shawme-Crowell State Forest offers over 15 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails. Besides two large RV campgrounds, this popular destination offers six yurts equipped with electricity and water. Massachusetts residents receive a discount on small and large yurt rentals.
Birch Berry Pines
Massachusetts’ beautiful Berkshires are home to the Birch Berry Pines glamping resort. Located near popular outdoor activities, this well-known destination offers furnished platform glamping tents. Each lodging is equipped with a nice selection of amenities. Two roomy Adirondack chairs invite guests to enjoy gazing at the wildlife and the stars.
Preparing for a glamping trip
Before embarking on a glamping trip, you should perform some research on the destination resort or park. Learn about the lodging’s amenities, including what is provided versus what you need to bring, onsite services, and area attractions.
Creating a meal plan is also important, based on the lodging’s cooking facilities and/or nearby eateries. Charging electronic devices, and bringing some good reading material, helps to set the stage for a relaxing stay.