You may enjoy New York City for the people, the buzz – and the 24/7 attitude. But sometimes we all need time away from the chaos. And upstate New York has a number of beautiful spots where you can trade sirens for birdsong, skyscrapers for towering trees and concrete for shimmering lakes. With beautiful settings and plenty of creature comforts, these glamping spots make ideal getaways.
Sleep among the treetops in this magical canopy-level cabin near Saratoga Springs. The bed sits under a transparent roof up in the eaves, and the whole space is surrounded by windows that let the dappled light stream in. It opens onto an idyllic deck – the perfect spot for morning coffee. There’s a compact kitchen stocked with the basics, and in the grassy clearing at the front, you can sway in a hammock or lay out lunch on the picnic table. It’s just big enough for two, and particularly romantic in the fall when the leaves turn a brilliant copper.
Tiny houses are a growing trend, and we’d wager this one is the most Instagrammable in upstate New York. It has almost wall-to-wall windows and is furnished in dreamy autumnal shades with Navajo-style rugs and plenty of snug, pillow-piled nooks to settle into with a book. It sits on a 12-acre (5ha) farm, where guests are welcome to interact with the adorable resident bunnies, sheep and goats. Active types, meanwhile, will love the 6mi (10km) hiking route nearby. A hot, alfresco double shower awaits your return, before spending the evening making s’mores around the communal fire pit.
This rustic log cabin is as traditional as they come – everything inside the open-plan space has been built from wood, including the staircase up the mezzanine sleeping area. Relax under the eaves next to a woodburning fire on chilly nights, or spend longer, lazy evenings barbecuing on the wraparound porch. The cabin is right on the shores of picturesque Lake Pleasant in Adirondack Park, and comes equipped with kayaks and paddleboards for exploring its farther reaches. Large families or groups of friends will also appreciate the extra privacy provided by the detached cottage, which comes with its own queen-size bed.
Combining all the best aspects of camping under canvas with the solidity of a cabin, this safari tent is perfect for those who want to ease into glamping life. The tents come complete with antique furniture, oriental rugs and hand-made feather quilts, while the bathroom – a short walk away in the main barn – has a little claw-foot tub. Each tent has its own kitchenette, but you can also make use of gas and charcoal grills before heading to the cedar hot tub for a post-barbecue soak. The best part? You get a complimentary s’mores-making kit to toast around the communal fire.
This beautifully designed traditional Native American-style tipi is full of handcrafted furniture and decor. Comfy rugs and cushions are arranged around a central sunken firepit in the middle of the tipi itself (yes, you read that right, an indoor firepit) making this an extra-cozy option for the winter months. There’s a small kitchenette and a solar battery charger to keep small devices such as phones and e-readers powered up, but your time would be far better spent exploring the surrounding countryside and rolling fields.
Your own little slice of paradise on the shores of Lake Piseco, this secluded cabin is built using smooth blonde wood, with huge windows in the lounge to make the most of the views. It’s perfect at any time of year, but you can light a fire and watch the snow drift down in winter, while during summer you can make the most of the canoes and go paddling on the lake. No matter the weather, evenings are best spent around the outdoor fire pit, marvelling at the starlit sky.
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Dabble in DIY thermal spa treatments at this luxury cabin, immersing yourself in the icy lake before warming up with water views in your own private sauna. It can sleep up to four, has a flatscreen TV and a huge kitchen that’s better equipped than most – although in summer you can fire up the charcoal grill. Don’t write off a winter visit, however. The season makes things feel extra peaceful, and snowshoes are provided for traversing the mountaintop lake.
Located on the site of an old zoo – complete with abandoned signs and empty cages – this glamping site offers a particularly unusual setting to explore. Bathrooms inspired by the ones on Nasa spaceships add extra quirk. Head to the nearby shop to grab food and become a barbecue master over your stay, then sit back and relax on your private deck before retreating into your wood-fire-warmed tent for the night.
As the name suggests, this cabin feels totally off-grid. It’s completely hidden in the middle of the forest, and the only sounds you’ll hear are the wind through the leaves and the babbling of the brook that runs through the property – although if you fancy making some noise of your own, the cabin comes equipped with a record player and an extensive record collection. Wander through the woods to waterfalls and Mongaup River, and soak aching or chilled limbs in the hot tub when you return before dozing off in the super-comfy king-size bed.
Glamping tent on an organic farm in the Catskill Mountains
Archetypal rust-red barns and roaming animals make for an idyllic pastoral setting on this working organic farm. Each tent sleeps up to six and comes with a bathroom (though it is a short stroll over a footbridge to find the open-air shower house). There’s a woodburning brick oven for cooking pizzas, and you can pick up produce for your meals from the onsite farm shop, plus you’re welcome to help collect eggs. Once you’ve fuelled up, venture past the trickling creek and into the emerald hills for sweeping views of the valley. Nostalgic evenings, on the other hand, can be spent diving into the farm’s stash of board games and art supplies.
These recommendations were updated on June 29, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.