When traveling to big cities, the lodging can be eco-unfriendly and costly. Hotels never turn off the lights, make extra breakfast food in the morning (just in case) and wash linens that were never touched during the night. After you consider hotels’ carbon footprints and the money you spend on gas, food and tour fees while visiting a new place, you feel like you need a vacation after your vacation. Nevertheless, our minds naturally turn to America’s largest metropoles when we think of taking a peaceful road trip, knowing that they provide us with great food, shelter and sites to see.
Each big city in the USA is a great starting point for your next vacation, but you should keep going if you want to experience a little more than a concrete jungle. Here is a list of glamping spots that go easier on the Earth and your wallet than the typical hotel room.
Chicago is a great place to go and get inspired. If you’re looking to balance out your Chi-town experience, take a mini road trip to Shawnee National Forest outside the city. These Oak Tree Houses in Karbers Ridge, Illinois, are a five-hour drive away from central Chicago and only four miles from The Garden of the Gods and five miles from Rim Rock. Here, you won’t lose the luxury in exchange for the eco-friendly. Each tree house comes with a queen-sized bed, kitchenette and bathroom, heat and air conditioning and an outdoor grill.
The outdoorsy-type people of New England will endorse your time spent at Rustic Pond House in Ashfild, Massachusetts. Take the car only two hours west to an amazing screened pond house that boasts a queen-sized bed, a down comforter, and a short drive from Shelburne Falls. The only stipulation is that you understand the house is made of screen, and Massachusetts is “all set” to embrace all four seasons.
New York City
New York City is not cheap. We all say this, including those of us who live here. This can add a lot of pressure and distraction to your vacation in the beautiful state of New York, which led me to discover these Canvas Cabins in the Adirondack Mountains once upon a time.
This glamping site offers a one two-person luxury tent cabin and a four-person luxury tent cabin. The beds come with fresh linens, and both cabins are built on decks and furnished with beautiful antiques. Because it’s located a short four-hour road trip away from New York City, you can stargaze without pollution, frolic with tiny animals and breathe fresh air. Also, the tented cabins are completely waterproof, ensuring that your travel plans will happen regardless of weather conditions.
These tents are pitched already and furnished for you. There’s a queen-size bed that awaits you upon arrival, and take advantage of the sofa bed that can sleep your best friends. And to top off the eco-luxe glamping experience, your kind hosts have provided you access even to electricity, running water and Wi-Fi. This way, you can spend your time relaxing and researching your next stop.
You can spend entire weekends browsing the floors of DC’s National Museum of Natural History, National Air & Space Museum and the National Museum of American History. Once you’ve seen everything that an indoor space has to offer, hop in the car and drive a little over an hour to this Historical Site in Taneytown, Maryland. The cabin is tucked away in the rolling hills that Civil War soldiers once traveled. Here, you’re encouraged to step back into history with the option of air conditioning or heat, a hand-crafted queen-size bed, high-quality linens and a fully-equipped kitchen.
It’s the kind of place to go and get lost in a history book, step outside to act out a good paragraph or two, and repeat.
San Francisco is one of those incredible American cities with epic vistas that can’t be missed. For this reason, we found a Cottage in San Rafael that boasts the best views of San Francisco Bay.
Just a thirty minute drive outside of San Francisco, this cottage provides you with the best of San Fran for a fraction of typical lodging costs. Enjoy having a cup of coffee on your deck that’s surrounded by oak trees, fresh linens, a music library and even a hot tub. Wine country isn’t too far from here either, and you can enjoy every outdoor activity from stand-up paddling to mountain biking once you dare to leave that gorgeous wraparound deck of yours. Did I mention the wraparound deck?
The state of California is so beautiful that many people choose to drive it in its entirety, with “entirety” being defined as that stretch of coastal land coddled between San Francisco and Los Angeles. This drive is drop-dead gorgeous. However, drive just two hours to Joshua Tree to complete your experience of the best of the West.
This beautiful Dome in the Mojave Desert is located in the city of Joshua Tree, a small town with restaurants, art galleries, a Saturday farmers’ market and plenty of local happenings. There are two rustic domes at this glamping site, and each one is eight feet in diameter and designed to make you feel a part of your surroundings. But don’t worry – this doesn’t mean that you sleep on a cool earth floor. Each dome comes with a full-size mattress, bedding and towels, and an impressive solar-powered ceiling light.
Have you found any hidden treasures while glamping in the US? Let us know where to find eco-friendlier lodging on our next road trip!