Summer is just around the corner and with it comes the opportunity to hit the open road—or take a three-day weekend—and treat yourself to a different kind of hotel room.
For nostalgia hounds
The nondescript road to get to AutoCamp Russian River belies the oasis beyond its gates, 75 miles north of San Francisco. There, redwood trees tower over 23 custom Airstream trailers and 10 safari-style tents. You’ll enjoy the best parts of camping—baby blue cruiser-style bikes to ride to the river, private fire pits for marshmallow roasts—but get to sleep on plush linens, relax in cozy robes, freshen up with designer toiletries, and uncork a bottle of local vino from the on-site canteen (don’t worry, there’s a wine opener awaiting you in your tent or trailer). If you can't make it to the Russian River, head to Santa Barbara, home to the first AutoCamp, or, starting in January 2019, a new spot in California. From $180.
For vista lovers
Having brought high design and five-star hospitality, but not brick and mortar, to luxurious tent camps in destinations such as the Texas Hill Country, the Hudson Valley, and Vail, Colorado, Collective Retreats is coming to Governors Island, off the tip of lower Manhattan. Founder and CEO Peter Mack dubs Collective’s approach “Aspen Hospitality”—a blend of traditional hospitality and new, adventurous spirit. “You have all the benefits of an amazing hotel where a fine hotel can’t exist,” Mack says. The Governors Island camp will be no different. When it opens on June 1, tents—and soon, customized shipping containers—will offer unparalleled views of the Statue of Liberty. From $150.
For solitude seekers
You may not have the means or motivation to spend two years in the woods as Thoreau did, but Getaway makes it possible to live the secluded life for the weekend, at least. Tiny cabins (up to 200 square feet) sleep two to four people and include cooking essentials and comfy linens. The locations, kept secret until you book, are a two-hour drive from Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C.⎯with another city on the way by the end of 2018. What you’ll lose in cell service you’ll gain in fresh forest air and old-fashioned R&R. From $100.
For quintessential summer enthusiasts
Whether you want a place to unwind with your partner or your pooch or have a whole group of pals up for exploring a beautiful and lesser-known part of Northern California, Mendocino Grove is the place to stay. Spacious tents—including family options with extra twin and bunk beds—have their own wooden decks and butterfly chairs. The best way to end a summer day of hiking nearby beachside cliffs or wandering the county’s wineries is a return to one of the 60 tents (or maybe a nap in a hammock) on the 37-acre campground, which opens for the season on May 11. From $120.
Ever been to a beautiful place in the wilderness (or even somewhere less far afield) and thought, “This would make a great site for my dog’s birthday/best friend’s bachelor(ette)/family reunion camping shindig,” but then grown weary at the idea of lugging all the required gear to make it so? Camp’d Out has got you covered. The new company, which launched in March, allows patrons to pick the place for a luxury camping experience, and it does the rest, from setup to tear down. Rent one of its beautiful canvas tents and choose what you want to deck it out with. Mattresses, coolers, plants, even a camp butler are at your disposal. From $1,500.