This summer, take the entire family on a camping adventure unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Glamping has become one of the most popular travel trends across the world.
Canada is known around the world for the beauty of its natural landscape. Both residents and visitors of this alluring country know that the best way to experience Canada is to immerse yourself within its indigenous setting. For years, camping in Canada has been one of its biggest attractions to enjoy time with friends and family. Sleeping under a blanket of stars and waking up to breathe in nothing but the freshest air; cooking over an open flame and wandering through a labyrinth of wildlife as you are greeted by critters of all shapes and sizes. It is truly the only way to get the full Canadian experience.
But like most pastimes, camping has evolved over the years to reflect the demands of modern campers and incorporate the latest technologies. Today, a growing phenomenon known as “glamping” has revolutionized the camping experience for families looking to discover the rural playground that is Canada.
What is Luxury Camping?
Glamping, also known as luxury camping or glamorous camping, is an experience that perfectly blends the adventure of camping with the comforts of luxury travel. It is a relatively new concept, but it is rapidly becoming the 21st century’s number one travel experience. Camping destinations throughout Canada have been quick to adapt to this new tourist demand.
The concept of glamping was born of the desire to partake in the escapism and adventure that comes with camping, while still enjoying some of the comforts of home. Glamping destinations are more like resorts than the traditional campground. They offer many of the same amenities that would be found within hotels, along with a number of different activities for all members of the family to enjoy. One of the biggest attractions for campers is running water. Most glamping destinations have flushable toilets and hot showers for guests to enjoy. Luxury camping accommodations take on many forms, including yurts, teepees, pods, bell tents, safari tents, tent cabins and tree houses.
Sustainability is an important component of the glamping movement. Similar to eco-tourism, glamorous camping destinations enforce as many low-impact environmental practices as possible to ensure the protection of the natural, undisturbed eco-systems they invite guests to explore. It is all about socially responsible travel, which has become one of the most attractive qualities about glamping havens. Most destinations are extremely energy efficient, promote recycling practices and enforce water conservation practices.
Glamorous camping comes in many different forms depending on the location. This growing phenomenon has spread to all corners of the world and those looking to indulge in the glamping experience can now do so in nearly every country. Across Canada alone there are hundreds of destinations to choose from. Imagine falling asleep as you count the stars right from your bed only to wake up to the warm sun beaming on your skin and hearing the wind rustle the tree branches nearby. Step out onto your own private deck to a breathtaking view of the lake. This is the kind of luxury camping experience you get right here in Canada.
Nestled between Canborough and Dunville, ON inside the breathtaking Niagara Peninsula is the award-winning Oakwood Escape luxury camping ground. The campground itself is part of a working farm so visitors can take full advantage of fresh, seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs during their stay. The site totals a staggering 50 acres with a large portion made up of untouched, magnificent Carolinian forest that guests are invited to explore. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of the onsite canoes to drift peacefully down the pristine waters of the Grand River which is just minutes away from the campground.
Accommodations at Oakwood Escape are nothing short of perfection. Guests are assigned to one of the many canvas prospector-style tents upon their arrival. Inside they’ll find a comfortable queen-sized bed accompanied by entirely handmade furniture that the talented employees craft on site. Guests can take in the sunrise every morning on their own private porch, each with a stunning view of the grounds.
Northern Edge Algonquin prides itself on being extremely accessible to visitors from all over Canada, but still remote enough to provide the perfect escape from everyday city life. This natural destination offers activities of all kinds so the entire family will have options to fill their days. The campground is very well known and highly regarded for its yoga retreats. Yoga enthusiasts can partake in sunrise and sunset yoga sessions in the forest, on the water or in studio during their stay.
One of the most popular family packages offered at Northern Edge Algonquin is the Explorer’s Cabin Escape. This is a fully-guided weekend that includes glamping accommodations within a canvas cabin, delicious meals made fresh daily from local ingredients fully customized to fit any dietary restrictions and a variety of adventure activities with all necessary equipment included. Families can choose from mountain biking, hiking and stand-up paddle board excursions. Children and teens can take part in interactive learning opportunities to expand their knowledge on the flora and fauna of Algonquin Park during their stay as well. It is the perfect setting to reconnect, recharge and re-inspire with the people who are most important to you.
For the thrill-loving families out there, Long Point Eco Adventures is the perfect glamping destination for you. This destination has nearly every bold outdoor activity you could imagine. Zip-lining, kayaking, kayak fishing, mountain biking, zodiac boat tours and mushroom hunting are just a few of the exhilarating nature activities to choose from.
Finish your days off inside your private wilderness suite. These rustic yet modern accommodations are complete with a king sized bed, hot and cold running water, outdoor shower and a private deck with an amazing view of Long Point Bay.
Outpost Co. rests on the edge of a hidden lake surrounded by a maze of ancient pine forest. This is a destination designed for those looking to recharge their soul and experience the traditions of Canada’s founding peoples. For three days and nights, visitors will be removed from the well-known “grid” of civilization. There is no wifi or electricity at Outpost Co.;there is only what surrounds you. The site only accommodates 8 guests at a time for a total of 48 guests per year. It is truly an exquisite form of isolation.
Each tent on the Outpost Co. grounds is handcrafted out of natural canvas. They blend the convenience and comfort of modern technology with the charm and allure of the old world. Guests can choose from a one-bed tent, a two-bed tent or a teepee. Each option comes fully furnished complete with Egyptian cotton sheets, eiderdown duvets and pillows, handmade luggage racks and vintage trunks. After a day of hiking through the largest concentration of white-pine forests in the world or paddling a canoe through the mystical maters of Temagami, guests will enjoy one of the most indulgent menus they’ve ever encountered. Line-caught Salmon from British Columbia, fresh oysters plucked right from the banks of Prince Edward Island and organically raised beef from rural Ontario are just a few of the unique, palatable items on the Outpost menu.
The Outpost Co. experience is truly unlike any other. It is one of the best ways to connect with nature in both an elegant and simple way. It is your escape from the noise, hyper-connectivity and chaos of city and suburban life.
This summer rather than taking the family on an antiquated and uninspired camping trip of the past, why not introduce them to camping in the 21st century. Campers no longer need to stuff themselves into a cramped sleeping bag and fight with the earth underneath them to find a comfortable space to sleep. Today, “glampers” can enjoy a queen-sized bed, with Egyptian cotton sheets all while staring at the stars through their tent’s overhead window. And while roasting hot dogs over an open flame is a fun meal from time to time, homegrown fruits and vegetables picked daily paired with local craft beer and wine sound much better. Oakwood Escape, Northern Edge Algonquin and Outpost Co. are all driving distance from the GTA and are filled with activities for family members of all ages to enjoy.