By Katie Wheeler, Canton Resident
Nature beckons, and camping is the perfect way to unplug and enjoy family time together or catch up with friends while you and your companions immerse yourselves in nature. Many folks will pitch a tent, roll out a sleeping bag, and coat on the bug spray to ward off pesky Georgia mosquitoes. When that Georgia heat and humidity settles in even at nighttime and mosquitoes are out to play, though, those folks might miss the comfort and shelter of home. Now there is a better, dare we say more glamorous option, a way to unplug and connect with friends and family without sacrificing modern comforts. Go glamping! Glamping, or glamorous camping, combines the good parts of camping with many of the comforts of home, and North Georgia offers several glamping options.
Georgia Glamping Company
Rebeka and Nathan Self founded the Georgia Glamping Company four years ago to offer campers a comfortable outdoor experience. Rebeka grew up loving traditional camping trips with her family, whereas Nathan has traveled internationally for work and prefers the comforts of a nice hotel. The two needed a way to balance their need for the experience of being out in nature without sacrificing comfort and style. Rebeka says, “We felt that if our family needed this compromise, then there had to be others feeling the same way.” After a little brainstorming and daydreaming, the Self family decided to make glamping an experience in North Georgia that brings the comforts of home into the great outdoors.
Georgia Glamping Company offers far more than simply having a tent already set up when you arrive. You have the choice between a bell tent, stretching twenty feet in diameter, or a safari tent that offers 320 square feet of coziness. Bell tents hold one queen-size bed with the option of adding two twin beds, while the safari size holds a king-size bed and two bunk beds for a larger group. The Self family creates perfectly decorated and homey spaces. Each tent is complete with rugs, lamps, and an essential-oil diffuser. Each has a themed home décor, a Keurig coffeemaker, and electrical outlets to make your stay luxurious. For folks who prefer the look and feel of RV camping, then Roxy the Retro RV makes the perfect getaway. Roxy the Retro has a full kitchen, private bathroom, and shower as well as full bedroom and a set of built-in bunk beds. On chilly fall nights, glampers can even cozy up to Roxy’s fireplace. With two locations in Georgia, Georgia Glamping Company makes your trip as long or short as you’d like. [wonderplugin_carousel id=”2″]In Cherokee County, you can glamp on Lake Lanier at Shady Grove Campground in Cumming, Georgia. If you’d like a trip a little farther from home, Georgia Glamping Company also has sites on Clarks Hill Lake at Wildwood Park in Appling, Georgia. Both locations offer comfortable amenities with cities nearby to explore and enjoy. Lake Lanier sites have paddleboards, kayaks, and paddleboats available for rent as well. After a long day of paddleboarding, kayaking, or hiking, it’s time to hit the hay. No crawling into a sleeping bag on the hard ground, though. You’ll crawl into a fully made and comfortable full-sized bed. Sleeping outside in the hot and humid summer heat is less than ideal, so each tent has air conditioning to keep you comfortable. When you wake fully rested, you can stumble across the tent, pop a K-Cup into the Keurig, and breathe in the fresh roasted Georgia Glamping Company coffee blend while enjoying the soft rug beneath your feet.
Georgia Glamping Company makes the outdoor space comfortable too. Each site includes two hammocks, a fire ring, a charcoal grill, a picnic table, and decorative camping chairs. Glampers can roast gooey s’mores around the campfire while they share stories, laughs, and camaraderie. A cozy string of lights adds a soft ambiance to the retelling of family tales.
The ability to customize your getaway adds to the fun. Add on a pop-up gazebo for additional ease at dinnertime, a propane firepit for when you don’t feel like building or feeding a fire, a gourmet s’mores kit, or lil’ glamper bags to help little ones explore the outdoors. If you don’t feel like lugging games to entertain the family, simply add on a pair of cornhole boards or a giant Jenga set as an activity for the group.
Enjoy nature during the day through hiking, fishing, or watersports on the lake and then spend your evening under the string lights around a firepit creating one-of-a-kind memories with friends and family. Glamping is the perfect summertime activity, and it can include every member of the family, no matter what age. For an added cleaning fee you can even bring your dog. Rebeka explains, “Many of our guests are first-time campers, and we love that. We also love our many seasoned campers as well, who later admit they really enjoy showing up and having all the work of setting up camp done for them.” Whether you are a lively family looking for active outdoor adventures, a group of friends celebrating time away, or a couple looking for an exceptional place to relax and spend quality time together, book a glamping getaway. You’ll thank yourself when you’re overlooking the gorgeous lake scenery, breathing the clean air, and delighting in a gourmet s’more.[wonderplugin_carousel id=”2″]
North Georgia Glamping
North Georgia Glamping offers a glamping site in Ellijay, Georgia. In 2018 Wesley and Rebekah Buchanan bought the glamping business, originally started in 2015, from a couple of friends who had decided to retire and travel. The Buchanans took over the property and rebranded it as North Georgia Glamping. Rebekah says of the former owners, “Their creative vision and love of travel inspired the build-out of all the properties.”
North Georgia Glamping features two vintage Airstream campers as well as a geodesic dome. The Airstreams have been renovated over the years, yet they still maintain their charm. The 1977 Pavilion Airstream, so named because the Airstream sits beneath a pavilion and attached deck, contains a full bed and two twin beds. It also features a gorgeous clawfoot tub and a kitchenette with refrigerator, stove, oven, and microwave. The attached deck and outdoor firepit create the perfect oasis for relaxing after a day of hiking or exploring the farm. All North Georgia Glamping properties also feature private outdoor bathrooms. North Georgia Glamping’s second camper is the Tree Loft Airstream, a 1969 model full of vintage, homey style. It holds a full bed and a fold-out couch, along with a stovetop, refrigerator, and small bathroom inside. Never neglecting the outdoor experience, a fully plumbed outdoor bathroom completes the comforts of home on this site. The tree loft beside the camper is a perfect spot for relaxing and sipping your morning coffee. The two Airstream properties “provide a blast from the past for most guests and reminds them of camping with their grandparents many years ago,” says Rebekah.
The third unique glamping experience offered at North Georgia Glamping is the geodesic dome, a hemispherical, lattice-shell structure. Picture Spaceship Earth at Epcot. “The geodesic dome is from Argentina and inspired by high-altitude trekking base camps, where hikers take respite after a multi-day hike. The dome is truly a place for people to relax, unwind, and enjoy the great outdoors,” Rebekah explains. Featuring a queen bed, two twin beds, and a futon that can be converted to a bed, the dome has enough space for many members of a group. The dome sits atop a large patio with a pop-up dining gazebo, an outdoor bathtub and shower, and plenty of room to sit beneath the stars. The dome allows glampers to feel truly immersed in nature while sleeping in a comfortable bed. Not only are the glamping sites impressive and fun, but the property itself holds deep meaning. The North Georgia Glamping sites are part of a farm the owners lovingly call Elatese’Yi, a Cherokee word that means green, verdant earth. Rebekah shares that the original owners chose the name because it described the property perfectly and pays homage to those who inhabited the land originally, Native Americans of the Cherokee nation. The Cherokee word elatese’yi has also been recorded as allagae, elatse, elejoy, and eventually, ellijay, according to the company website. The owners always wanted to honor those who came before them and lived in this green oasis. In addition to the glamping sites, the Elatese’Yi farm features chickens, goats, barn cats, and a Great Pyrenees named Max who will happily welcome you to your stay at North Georgia Glamping.Take your typical camping summer activity to the next level this year and try glamping. Only an hour or so from Cherokee in either direction, both Georgia Glamping Company and North Georgia Glamping have sites that meet your need for relaxation in nature without sacrificing comfort.
Katie Wheeler is a Canton native, born and raised. She has a degree in English Writing and Publishing and loves both the creativity and structure that comes with writing. Katie also works as the Managing Editor for Enjoy Cherokee and is passionate about the interesting stories found within our community. She loves spending time with friends and family and venturing to new places.