Combine the best parts of being inside—comfy bed, running water and real toilet, food that isn’t freeze dried, etc—with the best parts of being outside—do we really need to elaborate?—add a luxe touch here and there and you’ll get glamping. The term is shorthand for “glamorous camping,” and its popularity has skyrocketed over the past decade, with lavish, palatial tent-sites cropping up in well-known outdoor recreational areas around the world. Also referred to as “boutique camping,” think of glamping as a more elevated way to connect with nature in an open-air setting; one that doesn’t require guests to sacrifice comfort in the name of adventure. Glamping makes an ideal weekend getaway for both indoorsy folk giving the outdoors a try, and seasoned outdoors lovers looking to take a break from roughing it.
If a spacious canvas glamping tent on a wooden platform is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of glamping, you’re not wrong, but there’s so much more to it than just that. Luxurious tent sites have a surprisingly long history that dates all the way back to the 16th century when the residents weren’t weekend warriors looking to chill out in a wood-fired hot tub, but Earls and Dukes and other monarchs living in actual opulence. The trend continued on centuries later when during the 1920s it was popularized by wealthy Brits and Americans looking to experience a romanticized version of an African safari.
Modern-day glamping has fewer monarchs, is much more accessible, and boasts a much wider spectrum of associated outdoor experiences—though the classic canvas safari tent remains. Along with the addition of vintage vans and Airstream trailers, bell tents, yurts, treehouses, and more. It’s become a creative way to bridge good design and the great outdoors. And for new outdoorists, a less intimidating, more comfortable way to spend time in nature (in an admittedly bougie setting) among adventure destinations, like Texas.
The Lone Star state is known for its iconic wide-open plains, deserts, and skies, but there’s more than just tumbleweeds, honky-tonk bars, and long stretches of empty highway. Go glamping in Texas and head to the southwestern corner during spring, when you can avoid the heat and explore Big Bend National Park, where the Rio Grande river flows through hairpin turns carved into the limestone canyons. Or climb up to 4,800 feet in the nearby high plains of Marfa, a quirky, remote town popularized by artist Donald Judd that remains rich with culture and interesting geology located in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas.
Texas glamping from mid-October through November might even grant you the chance to see the fall foliage in Guadalupe National Park, which lies north near the border of New Mexico. Sensing a trend here? Shoulder seasons are the best time to go glamping in Texas, so you can experience the outdoors without the scorching heat.
Ready to pack your boots, bags, and head to glamp? The following are our top picks for the best places to go Texas glamping on your next weekend getaway.
The 9 Best Spots for Glamping in the Lone Star State
Vibe: Bougie Treefort
A 350-square-foot treehouse yurt built around an old-growth cypress tree easily wins the title of most unique glamping spot in Texas. Although it’s tiny, the aerial yurt offers a wraparound porch, king-sized bed, and waterfall tub made from locally-sourced materials. Travel from yurt to kitchenette to bathhouse via a 40-foot suspension bridge, while enjoying a birds-eye view of the surrounding creek and ravine. That birds-eye view is also what makes the locale famous for its Cypress Valley Canopy Tours.
Vibe: Just the Basics
Kasita’s one-room lakeside glamping cabin focuses on showing visitors the simpler side of luxury camping. Yes, there is AC (it’s Texas), proper beds with mattresses and fresh linen, and an outdoor kitchen, but it forgoes the claw foot tub in favor of a more pure and uncomplicated time away in nature. Don’t worry, there is still a king-sized bed, bathrooms, and a hammock garden, of course.
Vibe: Area 51 Meets Woodstock
Wander out to far west Texas and stay in one of El Cosmico’s futuristic bohemian glamping accommodations that include yurts and safari tents. The property has a main store for provisions, outdoor kitchens for cooking up said provisions, a hammock grove, and wood-fired hot tubs to enjoy a luxurious soak under the Texas sky. For a memorable experience that blends indoor and outdoor, visit the Chinati Foundation contemporary art museum. And at night, keep an eye out for the famed and mysterious Marfa Lights.
Vibe: Rhinestone Cowboy
The perfect place not to rough it is in one of the large safari tent glampsites at Walden Retreats. Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, this luxe accommodation is perched atop a bluff overlooking the Pedernales River and rolling green hills. Inside every air-conditioned, canvas-walled glamping tent is a wood-burning stove, so you can chop wood to make your own fire while wearing a fluffy white robe just steps from the mini-fridge. King-sized bed is also included.
Vibe: Pass the Mimosas
Get all of life’s little luxuries with a splash of the outdoors at this resort-style luxury glamping spot. Rest assured, this 100-acre retreat on the San Marcos river will not force you to sacrifice any amenities that guests would find in a five-star hotel. Sit back and relax in this palatial hardwood-floor safari tent or pick some pecans in the property’s pecan orchard. No sleeping on the ground required at Wahwahtaysee Resort.
Vibe: All the Yurts are Bigger in Texas
If you’re looking for a glamping site that has the most yurts in Texas, look no further than Lucky Arrow Resort. The yurts have everything you need, like queen-sized beds, raised platform decks, heating and cooling, and of course, a collection of vinyls with a turntable—just no bathroom. #Roughingit. You’ll have to use the shared bathhouse that’s nearby the bougie Breezeway Cabins (those do have full bathrooms), and adjacent to the pool and beer garden.
Vibe: Ghost Town Luxe
Why stay at a five-star hotel when you can stay in a bubble? Overlooking Big Bend National Park, the Basecamp Terlingua glamping experience offers everything from funky casitas to luxury tipis to exotic looking lotus tents, and yes, your own private bubble. Perks include wide-open views of the landscape, dark starry skies, and hot tubs.
Vibe: Oregon Trail
Because this is Texas, of course, you can go glamping in an old-fashioned conestoga wagon. Combine the simpler times of Pioneer living with the modern-day amenities of a KOA and you’ll get what Silver Spur Resort has to offer, which obviously comes with a king-sized bed, kitchenette, and climate-controlled covered conestoga wagon options for your glamping pleasure.
Vibe: Rustic Texas Getaway
Come for a tranquil escape in your very own canvas-walled safari tent in the heart of Texas Hill Country, but stay for the indoor fireplace, oversized soaking tub, outdoor hot tub, and Nespresso machine. Should you want to explore the outdoors, there are popular swimming holes nearby, tons of state parks to explore, and an elephant preserve…