By Sue Loudon
Those were fun memories of camping during the summer as a child. But as we get older, the idea of a sleeping bag on the ground loses its appeal. It may be time to consider “Glamping.”. That’s the new term for camping with all the fun activities but with comfortable, even luxury accommodations.
It’s possible to check out this kind of camping close to home. Hawley Farm Glamping near Hamilton, Mo. is about an hour north of Kansas City.
“We are a working farm with cows and crops of hay and corn but we offer a peaceful getaway in nature,” says Donna Bates, who co-owns the camp with her husband Doug. “We are not like other glamping locations. We don’t allow children under 14 and we don’t have horses.” What they do offer is a nature trail for hiking, luxury tents with coffee and breakfast served, a fishing pond, a private Porta Potty and solar showers. “Mainly we offer a quiet, peaceful place to get back to nature and away from a hectic modern life,” she says.
Each site has a fire pit for roasting hot dogs or making S’mores. The campfires are lit each night by Bates, who also delivers coffee and a hiker’s breakfast to the campsites in the morning.
The camps are open weekends, April to October. You can check it out at hawleyfarmglamping.com. It’s possible you may enjoy camping again.
If you do get bored with nature, you can drive to nearby Hamilton,. the birthplace of J.C. Penny and the location of his museum. Hamilton is also known as a quilter’s paradise. Missouri Star Quilt Co. saved the town by taking over many of the small shops in the downtown area. You will also find boutiques and restaurants.
These properties follow current Covid safety guidelines.
“Three generations of a family traveling together has become huge in the travel business,” says Jo Anne Weeks, Senior Manager at Acendas Travel in Mission. She has arranged family group travel to dude ranches in Montana and Colorado where families can stay together in a cabin or lodge. “But it is not cheap,” she warns. Cabins are available with four bedrooms, full kitchens and rustic but luxury accommodations in addition to rooms in a lodge, “ says Weeks. All dude ranches feature horseback riding, fishing, hiking, biking and campfires. Most have swimming pools and are pet friendly as well.
Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort and Spa is just one and a half hours northwest of Denver in Tabernash, Colorado. Devil’s Thumb got its name from native American lore. The Ute and Arapahoe fought for years but when they finally buried the Devil (war) all that was sticking up was his thumb (a mountain). The resort has a main lodge with an indoor and outdoor heated swimming pool plus cabins that can have up to four bedrooms. Meals can be included in the initial price. Devil’s Thumb is also a working ranch set on 6,500 acres of Rocky Mountain wilderness. You can ski or take sleigh rides in winter. In summer they offer horseback riding, zip lining, all kinds of children’s activities and spa services including yoga classes and a hot tub all in spectacular Colorado mountain scenery.
If complete luxury seems like the perfect end to the Covid lockdown, try a river or Great Lakes Cruise here in the United States this summer.
American Queen Steamboat Company offers luxury river cruises on the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland, Columbia and Snake Rivers. A trip on the Columbia and Snake Rivers is perfect for anyone interested in the Lewis and Clark campsites on their voyage of discovery. Civil War or Southern plantation enthusiasts will enjoy New Orleans to Memphis with a stop at the Vicksburg Civil War battlefield followed by Graceland, Elvis Pressley’s home in Memphis. There is a Riverlorian on board to point out sights of historical or current interest along the route, answer questions regarding the boat, and provide information on other boats passing by. To help get into the spirit of riverboat travel, there is a large, open front deck with an old-fashioned porch swing and an ice cream parlor nearby.
Viking River Cruises have been famous for river cruises in Europe for years and are coming to the U.S. They are offering Great Lakes 8 day cruises from Milwaukee to Thunder Bay or Niagara and the Great Lakes. They run from now through September.
For more information contact your travel agent, go online, or call the cruise companies directly. Viking at 1-800-2-Viking (1-800-284-5464) American Queen Steamboat Company (833)557-1256.