Camping is one sure way to immerse yourself in Missouri's natural beauty. You can pitch a tent and enjoy the outdoors at thousands of campsites across the state. But if you'd prefer something a little – or a lot – less rustic, Missouri offers several "glamping" options.
Glamping – camping with a glamorous touch – lets you experience nature with many of the comforts of home. In some cases it's better than home, with coffee and breakfast delivered to your door and an outdoor bathtub for soaking under the stars.
You'll find a variety of glamping opportunities in the Show-Me State, from a tipi in the middle of a forest to a lakeside luxury tent.
Try one of these spots when you want to venture off – but not too far off – the beaten path:
The Magic Tipi Retreat – located near Park Hills, just over an hour south of St. Louis – is nestled in the woods, yet only minutes from town. The tipi sits on a wooden deck complete with a picnic table, barbecue grill and fire pit. Inside, you'll find a queen-size bed. A private bath house a short walk away offers hot showers. Candles, firewood and ingredients for s'mores are provided so campers can create an unforgettable experience.
Three Missouri state parks offer yurts – circular structures supported by a wooden frame and covered with fabric, making them strong and weather tight. The yurts have several large windows to enjoy the view, a dome skylight that can be opened for ventilation and locking doors.
At Lake of the Ozarks State Park, the yurts are equipped with a futon and futon bunkbed, a small refrigerator, microwave, air conditioning and heat. Guests must bring their own sleeping bags and linens, lanterns, cooking and eating utensils, and water containers. Outside, you'll find a picnic table, a fire ring for campfires and a barbecue grill. A modern bathroom and shower house is within walking distance.
Table Rock State Park offers a premium yurt with two bedrooms, a private bathroom, full kitchen, TV, heating and air conditioning. Linens are provided. The outdoor picnic table, barbecue grill, fire ring and lantern post will remind you that you are, in fact, camping.
Each yurt at Pomme de Terre State Park features a log futon, a log futon bunk bed, a dorm-size refrigerator, air conditioning and heat. You'll need to bring some camping gear (lanterns, cooking and eating utensils, water containers, and sleeping bags) as well as your own linens. Two of the yurts are part of the Cabins for Canines Program, so up to two dogs can join you on your glamping adventure.
Hawley Farm Glamping, in the heart of Missouri farm country, offers safari-style tents (and a yurt) near the town of Hamilton, located an hour northeast of Kansas City. The tents and yurt are equipped with queen size beds, and each campsite has a private solar shower. The hosts provide the makings for s'mores around your campfire and bring breakfast to your campsite each morning. The 210 acre farm has hiking trails and a pond for fishing and swimming. You can visit nearby Hamilton - known as the Quilt Capital of the World - to tour the Missouri Star Quilt Company shops as well as boutiques and restaurants.
Glamping St. Louis is located at the River Island Marina in St. Charles, just minutes from St. Louis area attractions. Safari-style tents sit near a pond, and a floating tent built on a private dock overlooks a wooded island. Each tent has a king-size bed, a futon that converts to a full-size bed and an outdoor shower with hot running water. Outside each tent, there's a picnic table and barbecue grill. A lodge where campers can relax and modern restrooms are available at the marina.
Camp Long Creek takes glamping to the next level with king-size canopy beds and chandeliers. The luxury tents, located on the shores of Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri, will include a table and chairs, small refrigerator and private bathroom with shower. Some of the tents will have outdoor tubs surrounded by a privacy fence so you can soak in solitude. The camp, which also has "shepherds huts" and cottages, will offer an outdoor pool, beach access, boat rentals, fishing and hiking.
Be sure to check each glamping location's website for more details and to make reservations.
Written by Liz Coleman