Can I go glamping in Florida?

Glamping Set Up – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Moise Sebastian

The word “glamping” is a perfect blend of “glamorous” and “camping,” and it describes a semi-luxurious overnight outdoor experience. Africa safaris have been around since way before the term glamping became trendy, and are an example of how to combine outdoor adventure and amenities such as fancy tents, food, generators, and luggage service. 

However, the word surprisingly only made it into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016. Over the last couple of years, glamping’s popularity has exploded, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when travelers have wanted to avoid restaurants and remain outdoors as much as possible.

Glamping is for individuals who don’t want to rough it too much but yet want to feel like they’re camping outside. Tents, vans, teepees, huts, cabins, trailers, and luxury villas are just some of the options for lodging. These are usually stand-alone structures, so you can feel independent and near to nature without having to be in close contact with others.

Age is no issue; the only things to consider are how close to nature you’d like to get and how much you want to spend. Do you need a pool, WiFi, or housekeeping? Do you prefer your own bathroom? Do you need someone to make your own meals? Before deciding which of these out-of-the-ordinary lodgings is appropriate for you, consider how much you require these features.

There are a variety of lodging options on The Griffin Ranch in Fort McCoy, near the Ocala National Forest, has cabins starting at $69 a night (two-night minimum). Electricity, television, and running water are the only amenities listed. Hiking, kayaking, and horseback riding are all available nearby.

Headwaters Jupiter, on the banks of the Loxahatchee River in northern Palm Beach County, is just an hour’s drive from Fort Lauderdale. You sleep in a three-shipping-container home with air conditioning. For $224 each night, you get bikes, canoes, and a grill (two-night minimum).

Closer to home, just an hour away from Fort Lauderdale to Headwaters Jupiter, right on the shores of the Loxahatchee River in northern Palm Beach County. You sleep in a three-shipping-container home with air conditioning. For $224 each night, you get bikes, canoes, and a grill (two-night minimum). 

The Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo in Polk County, near the Yeehaw Junction exit on the Florida Turnpike, supports glamping with a concierge who delivers you coffee in the morning and starts a fire each night. You’ll be sleeping in a luxurious elevated tent with a full bathroom and microwave. There’s a pool, horseback riding, and a Saturday night rodeo for entertainment. The nightly rate starts at $279. Simple tents and RV sites are also available at a lower cost.

Glamping has been designated “2020’s Hottest Travel Trend” by Forbes Magazine. As the epidemic ebbs and flows in the coming months, and maybe years, this trend shows no end in sight.

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