More and more Americans are spending time outside—a blessing and a curse. Popular trails across the West have reached peak limits and famed US national parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite, among others, openly struggle to accommodate the miles-long lines of cars. But getting outside doesn't have to mean traveling long distances to the most well-known recreation destinations or risking life and limb to sleep under the stars—there's ease to access adventure to be had in often-overlooked states, like Michigan. If a break from the city and daily hustle and bustle appeals to you, but roughing it does not, try a centuries-old style of overnight outdoor recreation: glamping.
Short for "glamorous camping," glamping is the perfect way to experience the outdoors without sacrificing the comfort of the indoors. Think canvas tents, yurts, Airstream trailers, maybe even a tiny house, all of which provide the ideal place for recharging, whether you're looking for a quiet getaway to the woods or a home base for exploring Michigan's lakes, state parks, and recreation areas.
For newer outdoorists, glamping is a more accessible way to experience time among nature. It doesn't require a ton of gear, for one, and the usual provided amenities, like a cozy bed, camp kitchen, fire pit, and the occasional sauna, promise a reliable and relaxing stay. Some places include running water and electricity for a more comfortable vacation, while others are more rustic and akin to traditional camping.
Though known for its never-ending supply of fresh-water experiences, Michigan also has extensive trail networks, and even a few waterfalls, like Tahquamenon Falls, not to mention white sand beaches for summer vacationers (Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks in the UP are favorites) and ski areas, like Mt. Bohemia and Boyne Mountain, for those who prefer the colder months.
For those looking for four season outdoor access while glamping in Michian, the follow are our top 10 picks for the best glamping spots in the Great Lakes State.
Luxury Field Tent - South Haven, Michigan
Vibe: Luxe Farmhouse
This 400-square-foot luxury tent provides all the comfort of traditional travel: electricity, a king bed, hot running water, and even a real toilet. Start your day with complimentary breakfast, spend a few hours biking the historic Kal Haven Trail, and end with a rain-style shower and some stargazing on the tent's porch.
A-Frame Tent - Boyne Falls, Michigan
Vibe: A-Frame Oasis
This A-Frame tent, situated on the rolling hills of Lost Woods Farm & Forest, sleeps two with room for an extra cot. As a bonus, the tent is only minutes from Boyne Mountain, a four-season resort known for its skiing opportunities and trail network for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. In the summer, the resort rents bikes and fishing gear, and keeps one of its oldest lifts running for hikers and visitors looking for a scenic outing on the mountain.
Love Shack Tiny House - Marquette, Michigan
Vibe: Scenic Overlook
Perched above Lake Superior on a cliff, the Love Shack is the perfect place for a private, off-grid stay. The tiny house comes with a propane-fired sauna, fire pit, and a small cooking area. Take a day trip into Marquette, one of Michigan's best outdoor towns, a place that embraces the winter season with downhill skiing at Marquette Mountain, a network of cross-country skiing trails, and fat-tire biking.
The Outpost Tent - Sawyer, Michigan
Vibe: Laid Back
This tent, within walking distance from downtown Sawyer, gives visitors a classic camping experience. The markets in town can provide everything you need for your stay, whether you choose to spend your days at Lake Michigan, cooking up farm-fresh eggs on the grill, or just relaxing by the fire pit. There's also an outdoor shower for the more adventurous-minded, and a covered outdoor sink for prepping meals. Don't forget to check out the trails behind the tent, and be sure to pack a can of bug spray.
Grace's Glade - Cadillac, Michigan
Vibe: A Comfort Classic
Grace's Glade offers travelers a cozy spot to unwind without having to skimp on comfort. The tent comes complete with a stove and refrigerator for those who prefer to leave propane out of their food preparation, and visitors can enjoy a hot shower after a day spent exploring the nearby national forest lands on foot or bike. For winter guests, the glade provides the ideal home base to explore Caberfae Peaks, a popular ski resort in Northern Michigan.
The Copper Cabin - Keweenaw County, Michigan
Vibe: Adventure Ready
Ranked by the Detroit Free Press as one of the best places to enjoy the outdoors, the Copper Cabin offers visitors the perfect Michigan experience, even in winter. After snowshoeing into the cabin, visitors will want to check out nearby Mt. Bohemia, arguably home to Michigan's best skiing, or explore the 37 miles of single-track biking trails at Copper Harbor (with some trails available for winter use). For those looking to trek out to Isle Royale National Park, the cabin provides a good spot for breaking up the long drive up to Michigan's most northern attraction. Oh, and it can accommodate up to eight people. Ski trip, anyone?
Rate: $125/night (for four guests)
Northern Barn Canvas Tent - Houghton County, Michigan
Vibe: Rustic Charm
Looking for something a bit more rustic? This spacious canvas tent comes with amenities like a wood stove, locally roasted coffee, and a hot sauna surrounded by the forest, but you'll want to leave your devices at home—there's no electricity, limited cell service, and no WiFi. Explore the nearby Twin Lakes State Park during the day, or just bring a couple good books and enjoy Michigan's peaceful woods.
Pine Forest Tent - Bliss, Michigan
Vibe: In the Woods
Located only a few miles from Lake Michigan and Wilderness State Park, this glamping tent offers a quiet stay on a Christmas tree farm. Mackinaw City, known for its lighthouses and historical reenactment events, and the home to the world's ninth dark sky park, is conveniently located for a day trip and a memory-foam queen bed promises a relaxing night's sleep for two out in nature.
Beaver Island Safari Tent - Beaver Island, Michigan
Vibe: Island Paradise
Looking to leave the mainland for a while? Or maybe you're all about cooking in the open air? These modern safari tents on Lake Michigan's largest island provide luxury amenities like a private bathhouse with a rain shower and a nearby pavilion with a fully-equipped kitchen, a stocked bar, and laundry facilities. Guests can spend the day exploring the island, which has seven of its own lakes, or tour the Beaver Island Head Lighthouse for a look at Michigan's maritime history.
Regenerative Farm Glamping Tent - Elmira, Michigan
Vibe: Midwest Classic
If you've ever wanted to learn about a working, regenerative farm, this glamping tent is the site for you. The farm is home to cattle, chickens, turkeys, and pigs, and you'll have help getting up early from the occasional rooster crow. A covered porch area and fire pit with provided wood offer a relaxing night of camp cooking and quiet time. Off the farm, the nearby Deadman's Hill Overlook offers hiking trails and a view of fall foliage, and Torch Lake, a popular summer destination for Michiganders, is only a short drive away.