4 fabulous glamping destinations in Georgia

Now is a glorious time for enjoying the outdoors — going on hikes, roasting marshmallows and maybe even sleeping under the stars.

But while many seek quick weekend getaways, not everyone is up for sleeping in a tent.

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For those wanting to unplug and reconnect with nature without having to rough it (at all), “glamping” — or glamorous camping — may be just right.

Georgia is home to several destinations where you can cozy up with nature without sacrificing the comforts of home.

Here’s a look at four of them:

Candlelight Forest treehouses in Chickamauga

Candlelight Forest, situated on 200 acres of hardwood canopies and a meandering creek, is home to two cozy treehouses nestled in the woods. Only minutes from downtown Chattanooga and adjacent to Lookout Mountain, these treehouses are ideal for those who want to enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing the comforts of home.

Sophie’s Roost and Le Petit Chateau treehouses sleep up to six people, and each features two bedroom nooks, 1½ baths, outdoor kitchenettes with gas grills, running water and decks with spectacular views. (Inside, you’ll find a coffee maker, mini fridge and microwave.)

Unwind, unplug and enjoy a wide range of activities, from movies projected on tree-hung sheets to late-night s’mores and treasure hunts. You also will find a hammock cove, a seasonal farm stand, and a lake for canoeing and paddle boarding. Check in at an old-fashioned candy store. Rates start around $200. Candlelight Forest, 9862 Ga. 193, Chickamauga, Ga. 404-297-4350, www.thecandlelightforest.com.

Yurts at Sweetwater and other state parks

The yurt concept is more than 2,400 years old, but the round, rustic abodes now are a popular glamping trend across the country. And Atlanta’s closest state park, Sweetwater Creek, is home to 10 yurts.

About a 30-minute drive from Atlanta, in Lithia Springs, the yurts are tucked away in a quiet, wooded section of the park. Made of wood and canvas, the yurts sleep up to six people and come with beds, futons, screened windows and locking doors, as well as an outside deck, picnic table and grill/fire ring. There are no bathrooms inside the yurts at Sweetwater Creek (or any Georgia state park), but clean bathroom facilities are nearby in the the yurt village.

Yurt reservations at Sweetwater Creek begin at $95 per night. 1750 Mount Vernon Road, Lithia Springs. 770-732-5871, gastateparks.org/SweetwaterCreek.

Note: With the addition of the Sweetwater yurts, Georgia state parks now have 39 yurt accommodations available. Additional state parks that have yurts are High Falls, Red Top Mountain, Fort Yargo, Tugaloo and Cloudland Canyon.

Credit: HANDOUT/Historic Banning Mills

Credit: HANDOUT/Historic Banning Mills

A village of treehouses at Historic Banning Mills

Guests at Historic Banning Mills can (literally) branch out from traditional accommodations by staying in a treehouse village.

Set about 70 feet above the gorge and accessible only by rope and wood sky bridges, seven treehouse rooms offer guests a rare opportunity to find tranquility up in the leaves, complete with a slight sway in the breeze and tree trunks bursting through the floorboards and out the ceiling.

The treehouse rooms each come with a king-size bed, gas log fireplace and lots of windows. Also, just because guests are sleeping in a tree does not mean the accommodations are without modern perks, as rooms include a microwave, small refrigerator and a jetted tub for two, as well as a Keurig coffee machine.

Treehouse rooms start at $209 the first night and $189 for each additional night, double occupancy. The price includes a full country-style breakfast each morning of the stay.

About 19 miles south of Douglasville, Historic Banning Mills is located at 205 Horseshoe Dam Road, Whitesburg. 770-834-9149, www.historicbanningmills.com.



Safari tents, yurts, RVs at Stone Mountain Park

Yurts have caught on at Stone Mountain Park’s popular campground as an option for first-time campers, families with children and park visitors just looking for a different kind of adventure.

The campground began a few years ago with three lakeside yurts, and now features more than 400 RV, pop-up, and tent sites, as well as yurt, safari tent and RV rentals.

In other words, there are plenty of glamping options at Stone Mountain Park.

Made of sturdy canvas, the safari tents all have the charcoal grills, spigots and fire rings just like yurts, and inside, each has a queen bed, dining table, fan and lamp, but they are not insulated or climate-controlled (beyond the fan for the summer months). In other words, safari tents are somewhere between a primitive tent and yurt — you’ll be dry and snug, but you’ll have to handle the highs and lows of Georgia temperatures.

The new RV option allows you to enjoy the novelty of RV camping without the hassle and cost of owning your own RV.

Safari tents rent for $75 a night and require a two-day minimum. Yurts also require a two-night reservation for $127 a night. RV rentals start at $180 per night, or bring your own RV starting at $44 a night. Camping spots start at $28 a night. Stone Mountain Park, 4003 Stonewall Jackson Drive, Stone Mountain 30083. 1-800-385-9807, www.stonemountainpark.com/Campground.