At KOA campgrounds across the country, you can find unique places to stay that don’t require a tent, an RV, or a fancy hotel room. It’s not camping—it’s glamping!
Here’s the dilemma: You really enjoy the thought of camping, but there’s always something that stands in the way of having a perfect wilderness experience. Maybe your tent leaks. Maybe your sleeping bag isn’t warm enough. Or perhaps you just don’t love sleeping on the ground. Despite this, you don’t want to ditch camping.
But what if there was something in between camping and staying at a hotel?
We have good news, there is an option—and it’s closer than you think. At KOA campgrounds across the country, you can find unique places to stay that don’t require a tent, an RV, or a fancy hotel room. It’s not camping—it’s glamping, a glamorous take on spending the night in nature. These glamping options aren’t available at every KOA, but they’re still easy to find, and in many cases they’re located right at the edge of your favorite national parks, beach getaways, and even major cities. Plus, more and more campgrounds are adding glamping lodgings all the time – so be sure to check what might be new at your favorite campground.
Here are six ways you can glamp in style at KOA.
1. Airstream Trailers
Airstreams are having a major moment right now. There’s something about the aluminum trailers that just makes you want to buy a few pink lawn flamingos, put out a lawn chair, and soak up the sun. If you’ve been dreaming about spending a night in an Airstream, you’ll be happy to know that you can stay in one at several KOA locations across the country.
One great option for KOA living is at Carbondale / Crystal River KOA. This campground is nestled in the Rocky Mountains just moments from the hot springs in Glenwood Springs and the luxury ski destination of Aspen. In the summer, you can hike, raft, mountain bike, or fish, and in the winter you can hit the slopes or stay cozy inside your Airstream with a mug of hot chocolate. Another awesome KOA campground offering Airstream rentals is Santa Cruz / Monterey Bay KOA Holiday. Here you can surf, explore the Monterey Bay Aquarium, stroll the boardwalk and then head back to your Airstream for a comfortable night’s sleep by the Pacific Ocean.
You’ve seen them in Western movies, but now you can stay in one in real life. KOA offers spacious teepee lodging at select locations that are just as fun to look at as they are to sleep inside. Consider teepees a rustic, Native American-inspired take on glamping and settle in for an unforgettable night.
Rent a teepee at Craters of the Moon / Arco KOA Journey and you’ll have a full bed, fire pit, and even electricity. Located near the underrated Craters of the Moon National Park, this KOA allows you to camp in true Old Western style without sacrificing modern amenities. Another teepee option can be found at Ouray KOA. Situated in the box canyon town of Ouray, Colorado, this KOA allows you to settle into your very own teepee on the bank of the Uncompahgre River. You’ll be just steps away from natural hot springs, epic Jeep roads, and some of the best hikes in the west.
3. Wall Tents
Looking for a glamping experience at KOA that’s like your trusty camping tent but so much better? Look no further than KOA’s wall tents. Available in a variety of styles, these expansive tents are reminiscent of those seen on African safaris—but you won’t have to leave the U.S. to stay in one.
There are many KOA locations that rent out wall tents. Wall tents here sleep 4-6 people and even include a fridge and microwave. Traveling between Los Angeles and Las Vegas? Don’t crash in a roadside motel, glamp at Barstow / Calico KOA. This Yermo, California, KOA is a desert-lover’s dream come true with views of the Mojave Desert and safari tents with bunk beds.
4. Camping Cabooses
Perhaps one of the most unique glamping options you’ll find at KOA are signature camping cabooses. If you’re a train buff or just someone who would love to call a caboose home for a night, these will put your vacation on the right track (pun intended).
Rent your very own camping caboose at Twin Mountain / Mt. Washington KOA Holiday. Located in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, this KOA is a great jumping off point for fall foliage viewing along the scenic Kancamagus Highway, hiking, rock climbing, or wildlife viewing. The caboose is a fitting touch, seeing as Mt. Washington itself is famous for not only being the tallest peak in the Northeast, but also for its Cog Railway—a train that takes passengers all the way to the top of the 6,288-foot mountain. Another wonderful KOA destination with cabooses for rent is Mount Pleasant / Charleston KOA Holiday. This highly rated year-round campground allows South Carolina travelers to take in the area’s beaches, historical sites, parks, and dynamic culinary scene. Coming home to a cozy caboose after a day exploring Charleston is just the cherry on top of a great southern adventure.
5. Tree Houses
Your childhood dreams are about to come true. Yes, it’s true—you can actually stay in a tree house. This creative glamping option isn’t as easy to find at KOA as other options in this list, but trust us, it’s worth traveling for.
Find your haven in the trees at Monroe Co. / Toledo North KOA Holiday, where the Tree House Cabin allows for sweeping views of the wooded area. You’ll wake up to birds chirping in the branches and then spend your day swimming, boating, and rocketing down a 220-foot water slide. At night, an inflatable outdoor movie screen makes for a memorable summer evening spent outside before retiring to your tree house. For an East Coast option, book your stay at the awe-inspiring tree house at Herkimer Diamond KOA Resort. This tree house truly evokes childhood nostalgia but with better views and a small kitchen where you can cook dinner and enjoy your private deck in the trees.
Those looking for a classic glamping option will love KOA’s yurts, which feature plenty of space, protection from the elements, a wooden floor, and oftentimes even a small kitchen. Yurts are a wonderful option for larger groups, as they typically have space for more than five people. If you’re in search of a family-friendly glamping option, this is it.
Wondering where you can rent a yurt? Try Deerpark / New York City NW KOA. This KOA is just 60 miles from Central Park in Manhattan, yet it’s worlds away in terms of tranquility. This is a great way for city dwellers to get out of the Big Apple and spend some time fly fishing, kayaking, and enjoying a yurt. For a Midwest destination, check out the yurts at Higgins Lake / Roscommon KOA. This Michigan KOA rents out yurts with queen beds where you can rest up before getting out on nearby Lake Higgins. The area is popular amongst fishers, hunters, hikers, and those who love relaxing by the water—so pretty much everyone.
These options, of course, are just a taste of what’s available to campers across the country. For a list of unique accommodations at all KOA campgrounds, click here. You’ll find that no matter where you’re interested in traveling, you’re likely to find a memorable place to stay.
Written by Krista Diamond for RootsRated Media in partnership with Kampgrounds of America.