Summer may be peak season for glamping retreats across North America, but we're major advocates for fall getaways. A sweet spot for camping, crisp autumnal temps make good use of wood-burning stoves, cast-iron comfort foods are in full force, and need we even mention the foliage?! Here, 10 of our favorite cozy spots from Colorado to British Columbia.
Firelight Camps, Ithaca, NY
Setting its roots on the grounds of Ithaca’s La Tourelle Resort and Spa — not far from the trails of Buttermilk Falls State Park or the Finger Lakes’ vineyards — Firelight Camps puts forth a cozy collection of platform tents. Interiors are safari-inspired and come with plenty of inspirational nooks and crannies like a writing desk and private balcony. While a tented lobby serves up complimentary, locally-sourced breakfasts each morning, you can expect some of the tried-and-true trappings of your childhood camping experience—namely, sundown campfires, bocce ball, cornhole, and quiet hours (a respectable 11pm to 8am). Longing for a fireside meal far after your trip has come to a close? Consider snatching up Feast By Firelight: Simple Recipes for Camping, Cabins, and the Great Outdoors by camp co-founder and culinary director Emma Frisch.
Under Canvas Maine Island, Sheephead Island, ME
If you’ve ever put in time researching glamping retreats, then you should be well acquainted with Under Canvas. With camps in the Great Smoky Mountains, Zion, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks (as well as Moab)—the brand pretty much has a monopoly on luxury camping out west. But this fall, we’re looking to the East Coast where UC offers custom adventure packages on private Sheephead Island off the southeast coast of Maine (near Deer Isle and Penobscot Bay). The dramatic locale features all of the brand’s hallmarks: cabin-style Safari tents, king beds, pillow-top mattresses, and TipiBaths—full bathrooms with flushing toilets and hot running water. Though itineraries vary, typical highlights include open sea sailing expeditions, a visit to Acadia National Park’s Isle au Haut, and traditional lobster and clam bakes on the beach.
Collective Vail, Wolcott, CO
Just 15 miles from Beaver Creek and 25 miles from Vail Village, Collective Vail sits on a swath of Colorado countryside surrounded by 1,000-acres of working ranchland. The Central Rockies retreat is awash in rugged Sawatch Mountain Range and Eagle River views, and thoughtfully designed tents are kitted out with king size beds (with 1,500-thread-count linens—no less), boutique toiletries, Pendleton throw blankets, wood-burning stoves, over-the-bed antler chandeliers, and private decks with Adirondack chairs. While you can opt for self-roasted hotdogs, the camp offers a variety of elevated options from three-course farm-to-table dinners, to BBQ-in-a-Box for all your tent-side grilling needs. If Vail is too far from home (or maybe too close?), consider Collective Retreats' other locations in Hudson Valley, Yellowstone, Hill County, and Sonoma.
RELATED: 8 Ultimate Cabin Getaways for Fall
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, Tofino, BC
This 25-tent Relais & Chateaux outpost sets up camp on Vancouver Island’s remote western-most coast. At the turn-of-the-century-inspired retreat, guests arrive either via boat—about a 40-minute ride from Tofino— or floatplane, and travel the final length of the dock on a horse-drawn wagon. Bespoke, all-inclusive itineraries include options like horseback riding, hiking, fishing, yoga, and restorative treatments at the waterfront Healing Grounds Spa. Well-appointed prospector tents are made especially homey with period lighting (think: vintage oil lamps and candles), antique furnishings, and plush down duvets. When it comes to cuisine, contemporary coastal is the camp’s MO. An onsite veggie and herb garden provides fresh produce, while local foragers and fishermen supply salmon, halibut, scallops, and more for use in the Cookhouse.
El Cosmico, Marfa, TX
When we first found out about Liz Lambert’s nomadic campground—poised on the dramatic, high desert plains of Marfa, Texas—our interests were positively piqued. Then, after looking into it a little more, our interest turned to infatuation. Exuding a distinctly bohemian feel, El Cosmico's creative spirit is derived straight from its hometown— a place where art and a bustling ranching community have long intertwined. Vagabond, Kozy Coach, and Imperial Mansion trailers (with dry goods minibars and local bath products), yurts (with queen beds, sofas and AC), teepees (with brick floors and heated mattress pads), and canvas safari tents (with queen beds and hardwood floors), dot the grounds. Though if you’re more into creature comforts—like like solid walls— there’s also the Art Deco Brite Building with apartment-style accommodations. Any way you go, leave time to relax in the hammock grove or rent out a wood-fired Dutch tub.
The Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, MT
If your inclinations lean more toward ultra-luxe and ultra-romantic, then the Resort at Paws Up, in Greenough, Montana, is your go-to. The retreat has five luxury camping collections, each with four to six tents torn straight from the pages of a Country Living magazine (or so we assume). Accommodations spread out over 37,000-acres, overlooking the Blackfoot River and Elk Creek. Their 'American Safari' experience includes basic* accommodations like chandeliers, copper soaking tubs, his-and-her vanities, and on-call chefs and butlers. Dining the Paws Up way means dabbling in a little haute camping cuisine; mosey into your camp’s dining pavilion for family-style meals of chili-dusted Black Angus steaks and whole roasted rainbow trout. Who knows—you may even find flights of vintage Pinot Noir.
Dunton River Camp, Cresto Ranch, CO
Within spitting distance of the West Fork of the Dolores River and surrounded on all sides by the San Juan Mountains, the all-inclusive Dunton River Camp is nothing if not nature immersive. The 500-acre Cresto Ranch camp offers eight 640-square-foot bespoke tents—each with an en-suite bathroom (hello, deep soaking tubs), luxe bath amenities, and two mountain bikes for use on local trails. Camp food here is far from rustic; Dunton River Camp's chef sources organic fare (like, say, chanterelle-grazing lamb) from local purveyors and wine comes courtesy of Sutcliffe Vineyards, a winery that produces Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and more at the foothills of Sleeping Ute Mountain. Full disclosure: the camp is only open till the end of October, so get in a last-minute res or book ahead for next —it is quite a popular spot.
Posh Primitive, Chestertown, NY
Antique rustic furnishings? Check. A dining lodge with farm-to-table gourmet meals? Check. Easy access to backcountry activities like whitewater rafting? Check. Posh Primitive — a luxury camping resort in the Adirondacks – marries the modest family tenting trips of your childhood with the plush amenities you simply won't part with as an admittedly pampered adult. Sleep soundly in a custom canvas tent, sprawled out on a queen-size hand-crafted timber bed that's swathed in heirloom-quality Pendleton wool blankets, and while you're there, make use of onsite Johnny Old School Guide Service to plan a rafting, hiking, biking, or ziplining adventure.
The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, MT
The accommodations at the all-inclusive Ranch at Rock Creek come in a couple of different (but nonetheless luxurious) forms. There’s the nine-room Granite Lodge, a three-room 19th-century barn, and an array of homes, and glamping cabins. The latter range from a spacious 790-square-feet to a ridiculously spacious 1,300-square-feet, and all are done up with rustic, Western-style accents (see: cowhide chairs, cowboy printed duvets, and rough-hewn bedside tables). When you're ready to venture out of your room, saddle up to the Silver Dollar Saloon (the bar stools are literally saddles), hit the Mercantile for some Great West getup, or try your hand at ranching activities like horseback riding and fly-fishing. At night, refuel with wild salmon kale salads, bison burgers, and blueberry cobbler.
Camp Orenda, Johnsburg, NY
If your camp fantasies are cut short over a fear of eating nothing but burgers and baked beans, then look to Camp Orenda for a gourmand-approved getaway. The backcountry, all-inclusive Adirondack retreat cooks every dish over an open wood flame (with cast iron skillets, griddles, and dutch ovens), and ingredients are locally sourced (including produce from their onsite heirloom garden). Come mealtime, you’ll find hearty plates like rosemary infused pork chops with homemade apple and pear chutney, and smoked free range whole chicken with charred scalloped potatoes. When you’re not camped out in the kitchen, you’ll find Orenda’s six spacious tents just as enticing. Nestled along rolling forest slopes and under serene open canopies, each safari-style accommodation capitalizes on peaceful seclusion.