And though all glamping sites offer a chance to experience nature while ensconced in creature comforts—with nary a leaky pup tent or jagged s’mores stick in sight—each one has its particular charms. Ahead, get the lowdown on five spots where you can sleep under the stars in style this summer. —Courtney Hollands
Classic Airstream travel trailers are reimagined as luxury suites at the new Cape Cod glamping destination, AutoCamp.
5 Top Spots to Luxury Camp in New England Retro Cape Fever Dream:
Autocamp Cape Cod (Falmouth, MA)
While the sight of gleaming Airstreams may evoke simpler times pre–Route 6 gridlock, these aren’t your grandparents’ recreational vehicles. The 88 iconic metal trailers are tricked out with Tempur-Pedic queen beds, heat and air-conditioning, bathrooms, mini fridges, and more. There are also some sleek cabins and tents on offer, all anchored by the midcentury modern clubhouse where you’ll find a bar—with wine and kombucha on tap, naturally—and a store offering BBQ fixings and s’mores kits. But our favorite perk at this new glamping option? Location, location, location. A five-mile ride on the nearby Shining Sea Bikeway brings you past multiple beaches to Woods Hole and the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.
Under Canvas Acadia (Surry, ME)
Forgo the Mount Desert Island crowds for this serene site, which hugs more than 1,200 feet of Patten Bay coastline. Each of the 63 spacious, safari-style tents boasts West Elm furniture, a wood-burning stove, and organic toiletries—plus daily housekeeping. A café serves breakfast and dinner, and outdoor adventures await at Acadia National Park (a 35-minute drive away) or at the campsite’s dock, where famed swordfishing captain Linda Greenlaw and her crew take guests on lobstering, sunset, and night-sky cruises. Of course, you could just book one of the “Stargazer” tents and catch the twinkling display via the viewing windows above your king-size bed.
Elevated Summer-Camp Vibes:
Huttopia White Mountains (Albany, NH)
While this family-friendly resort is ideally situated for exploring the White Mountain National Forest, there’s also plenty to do on-site: a heated saltwater pool, games in the lodge, a playground, even a refurbished Airstream trailer serving up French-style crepes and flatbread pizza (pair yours with a Huttopia beer, crafted in collaboration with local Hobbs Tavern and Brewing Co.). What’s more, guests park in designated areas and wheel their luggage in on trolleys, ensuring a car-free haven for kids to roam. As for sleeping quarters, you choose the degree of rusticity: Though all 87 tents and 10 cabins are equipped with electricity, not all have en suite bathrooms.
A cozy cabin at Maine’s Tops’l Farm.
Insta-Worthy Roughing It
Tops’l Farm (Waldoboro, ME)
From the cute camp store selling biodynamic wines to the resident sheep and chickens and the 10 A-frame cabins straight out of a Wes Anderson movie, Tops’l Farm is rife with say-cheese opportunities. (Note that the phone-charging station is in the shared bathhouse, as the cabins don’t have electricity.) Two-night weekend stays on select dates this summer and fall include a picnic supper on Friday, a sit-down barn dinner on Saturday, and packed breakfasts to go, as well as activities galore: yoga and meditation, canoeing on the Medomak River, and garden open houses, where you can dig in and learn about the working farm. See? Picture-perfect.
Stylish Social Distancing:
Getaway Blake Brook (Epsom, NH)
Thoreau once said, “By my intimacy with nature I find myself withdrawn from man. My interest in the sun and the moon, in the morning and the evening, compels me to solitude.” He would have loved Getaway Blake Brook. The fully furnished tiny cabins—each with a private fire pit, giant picture window, and lockbox for stashing phones—are spread across 20 wooded acres near Concord and Bear Brook State Park, a Granite State gem crisscrossed with hiking trails. With dwellings spaced 50 to 100 feet apart and no Wi-Fi or communal spaces, this place is made for shutting out the workaday world. (But if you do crave company, or just a pale ale, Blasty Bough Brewing Company is a short walk from camp.)
Bonus Roundup: The Inn-to-Inn Crowd
You want to play hard and relax hard, preferably in a cushy bed with breakfast in the morning. That’s where inn-to-inn tour operators come in. They book the accommodations, schlep the luggage, and plan the route—all you have to do is pedal, paddle, or perambulate between B&Bs and enjoy the scenery.
Bike | Great Freedom Adventures
Dunes, harbors, and lighthouses, oh my! Cycle around Massachusetts’s North Shore and Cape Ann on the six-day, five-night “Maritime New England” bike tour from Great Freedom Adventures, with stays at the Garrison Inn, the Ipswich Inn, and the Emerson Inn. Along the way, there are stretches of out-of-saddle time for exploring, beach naps, even kayaking.
Kayak | Maine Kayak
Peep coves and seabirds as you paddle around Johns Bay, Likein Bay, and Boothbay Harbor on a four-day, three-night trip with Maine Kayak, then dock yourself right at the seaside Ocean Point Inn and Resort and Fisherman’s Wharf Inn. Breakfasts, lunches, and all equipment are included; you’re on your own for dinner (a lobster roll is clearly the on-theme order).
Walk | Vermont Inn-to-Inn Walking Tour
The Golden Stage Inn, the Pettigrew Inn, the Colonial House Inn, and the Inn Victoria are all stops on the Vermont Inn-to-Inn Walking Tour, a 40-plus-mile circuitous route through the state’s south-central backcountry. The four-day, four-night trek is self-guided, so you can take the rolling hills at your own pace, admiring villages and historic cemeteries at will.
Find more in “Take It Outside,” our 2021 guide to the best ways to love the New England outdoors.
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