Let’s go glamping! Check out our Texas glamping guide featuring nine incredible stays that will put your fears about sleeping under the stars straight to bed.
Flophouze Shipping Container Hotel
By: Kristin Finan
This Round Top property consists of individual “houzes” created from recycled shipping containers and artfully adorned with reclaimed and salvaged items – including bowling alley floors – discovered by owner Matt White during his travels around the globe. Each glamping unit, all of which are air-conditioned, includes a fire pit, a mini-fridge with complimentary Topo Chicos and Mexican Cokes, a record player with vinyls, a hammock and a private porch that looks out across a tree- and cow-dotted countryside. Flophouze also has one of the most unique and fun hotel pools around – it’s also a shipping container, created by the company Modpool, complete with a clear side that provides endless entertainment and photo opportunities. While the six on-site shipping containers sleep between two and six guests, Flophouze also has a renovated 1900s farmhouse, called Farmhouze, that sleeps 10 and a mid-century, pond-side loft, Beachhouze, that sleeps up to eight. Rates start at $175 a night.
Cypress Valley Treehouses
By: Mauri Elbel
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to sleep in the trees, you can find the answer at Cypress Valley, sitting just 30 miles outside of Austin’s bustle and an entire world away. Here, five innovative and sustainably designed treehouses built by ArtisTree dot the working ranch, each boasting a minimalist design aesthetic that blends in with the environment and treads very lightly on the land. The Nest, built out across the branches of towering trees and hovering high above a verdant valley, is the largest of five one-of-a-kind luxury treehouses nested high in the enormous cypress trees, which range between 50 to 150 feet tall and are estimated to be between 500 and 600 years old. The family-friendly, dreamy dwelling consists of a series of playful viewing pods, a full kitchenette and dining room, an outdoor shower, a private bathhouse with a full-flush toilet and a charming two-bedroom suite featuring round pallet-walled rooms and a cozy nook perfect for reading and playing board games –– everything is linked together by suspension bridges, steep steps and ladders. Singles and couples can also opt for a treehouse glamping stay in Yoki, a fully-equipped couples sanctuary with a luxurious Onsen-style soaking tub; the aerial yurt known as Lofthaven; or in Willow and Juniper, which defy conventional architecture using biomimicry. No matter which treehouse you bunk up in for the night, sleeping in the trees is as magical as it sounds –– for both kids and for those who want to rediscover the joy of feeling like a kid again.
By: Pam LeBlanc
I love camping under the stars, but sometimes a soft bed, air conditioning and –– a hot tub? –– sound really appealing. North Shore at Lake Bastrop Park recently unveiled some new glamping options at the 182-acre, pine-studded property. The Lower Colorado River Authority, which manages the park, teamed with GLAT to install an upscale cabin that sleeps, plus half a dozen smaller safari-style tents, and a single bell-shaped tent, arranged beneath tall pines near the lakefront. All of the options are air conditioned, and all have their own firepit and chairs out front. Rent the upscale cabin and you’ll have access to a hot tub and an inflatable movie screen, too. It’s part of a trend that started at the park a few years ago, when it wheeled in five shiny new Airstream trailers and opened them for rental.
By: Melissa Savoie
Pack up all those books you’ve been saving or that novel you’ve been meaning to write and head to HoneyTree Farm, a true glamping retreat that’s only eight miles from downtown Fredericksburg and the Texas wine country. When I pulled up in front of The Acorn treehouse, I actually gasped. Well, if I’m honest, I let out a squeal. Each treehouse is astoundingly beautiful. All five on property are unique, carefully crafted works of art in a layered, bohemian style. Record players, candles and antiques all add to the dreamy, artsy feeling. These luxury stilted cabins are completely grounded in the environment and intertwined with the landscape. The designs echo the natural world with hexagon windows and rich greens and blues in the decor. As you climb the exterior spiral staircases lined with raw timber, you feel like a child climbing to the top of a tall tree. These spaces invite nature inside and the occupants outside. Several treehouses have outdoor soaking tubs and all have layered porches, seating areas and large, open windows. The decks are built around the existing trees and the whole retreat has a harmonious sensuality. All treehouses are designed with two people in mind. This is an intimate and romantic atmosphere, which would also be a perfect restorative oasis for one.
Casa Del Sueno at FireSong Ranch
By: Kristin Finan
When FireSong Ranch in Spicewood promises its signature brand of rustic luxury, you can rest assured you’re going to be blown away. In addition to its already popular (and typically sold out) properties, NDotto and Casita, FireSong Ranch just unveiled the newest member of its fleet – Casa Del Sueno. This stunning 1,500-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath barndominium includes everything from a gourmet kitchen and stocked refrigerator – including farm-fresh eggs and sweet cream to go with the De’Longhi coffee and espresso maker – to dream-worthy luxurious linens and an on-site washer and dryer. The best part, though, has to be the sprawling 1,800-square-foot outdoor patio, where you’ll discover a private hot tub, hammock, fire pit, full outdoor kitchen and grill, and yes, even a pizza oven. Owners Dawn and Jim Madigan have a huge heart for children in foster care, with a portion of proceeds from each stay benefitting local foster-related organizations. FireSong Ranch is also only a short drive to Spicewood attractions including wineries, distilleries, restaurants, zipline tours and lake access.
Collective Hill Country
By: Mauri Elbel
If you’re leery about outdoor camping, set your sights on this luxury glamping retreat nestled on the outskirts of Wimberley. Less than an hour from Austin and socially distanced by design, a dozen stunning summit tents are sprinkled throughout the picturesque property to create an outdoor glamping experience that is the exact opposite of primitive. Collective Hill Country, a retreat at Montesino Ranch, is the perfect compromise between camping and luxury. These glammed-up tents feature wooden floors and beams set aglow by a chandelier, plush beds draped with 1,500-thread-count linens, a wood-burning stove and kindling, a carefully curated mix of rustic furnishings and a private in-suite bathroom featuring a full-flush toilet and a hot rain-style shower. Most tents are made for two, but families can rest their heads in the Family Summit Tent –– a dreamy glamping compound featuring a second tent with cozy twin beds. Don’t worry about toting your own cooler and meals to this glamorous glamping getaway. Inside each tent is a Yeti cooler and all lunches and dinners are booked via concierge. Just traipse down to Three Peaks Lodge, where myriad gourmet culinary offerings unfold daily, spanning grill-it-yourself BBQ boxes, locally-sourced multicourse dinners and charcuterie journeys, along with a wine bar offering a rotating selection of wines, craft beers and cocktails. Start your day with a spectacular sunrise and a farm-to-ranch, cooked-to-order breakfast, then follow it with various wellness experiences such as live sound meditation sessions and Pilates/yoga fusion classes as well as activities ranging from horseback riding to axe throwing.
Lucky Arrow Retreat
By: Pam LeBlanc
In Mongolia, traditional yurts are made of a wooden frame draped with animal skins. In the Texas Hill Country near Dripping Springs, you can bed down in a Texas version decked out with electric lights, bright woven rugs, a cushy bed, an iced down Yeti cooler and a retro record player complete with a stash of vinyl. There’s a swimming pool, events center, hot tubs and cabins at this glamping spot, too, for those who need a little more luxury (but seriously, these western-themed yurts are the bomb!). Don’t get too comfortable, though. A short hike down a gravel pathway leads to Bell Springs Winery, where you can sample the fruit of the vine, and Pedernales Falls State Park, Jacob’s Well, and Blue Hole Regional Park are all located within easy driving distance. The kind folks at Lucky Arrow can even set up a private tour in a refurbished Toyota Land Cruiser Troopy.
By: Melissa Savoie
There’s a spot on Park Road 20 where the trees bow over the road and, through a tunnel of greenery, you cross the river. Beneath the bridge, water swirls past stacks of tubes and around swimmers, an opaque yet gleaming blue. Take a left after the bridge and find the entrance of Wahwahtaysee Resort, home to five luxury safari tents crafted in South Africa and set on 100 acres on the San Marcos River. This is the quintessential glamping experience, combining the respite of nature with the sensory pleasures of a well-thought-out space. The Little Dipper, the safari tent where we stayed, barely fit the title thanks to its plush beds, beautiful linens, sitting area and simple coffee bar with refrigerator and sink. Air conditioning helped, too. The bed was surrounded by windows with views onto our private porch, and in the morning, we felt like we were waking up outdoors with so much light pouring inside. The soaking tub pleased the little people in our party and they spent plenty of time swimming in the suds after our time playing in the river; the property is untamed enough to feed exploration. Each tent comes with a golf cart, and rugged trails lead down through a tightly wooded space hugged by the cool turquoise water of the river and filled with pecan trees. There are hidden spots for fishing and swimming, all left intentionally unmarked to give guests the ability to discover their own private spot. A volleyball pit is next to the largest river swim area, but nestled throughout are tree swings and little overlooks perfect for reading or listening to the cicadas.
Tipis on the Guadalupe
By: Mauri Elbel
Delight the kids — and lucky adults accompanying them — with an overnight stay in a tipi. Tipis on the Guadalupe, sitting between the 3rd and 4th crossings on River Road in New Braunfels, boasts eight tipis that each feature three queen beds that comfortably sleep up to six. The tipis –– with unique names like Yellow Flower, Rising Moon and White Buffalo –– are built on a concrete slab with Styrofoam insulation and a canvas exterior to offer a glamping experience that is anything but “roughing it.” The sturdy dwellings resemble a traditional tipi from the outside, but on the inside, you’ll find a surprisingly roomy space outfitted with three queen beds featuring high-end memory foam mattresses, a kitchenette equipped with hot and cold running water, a coffee maker and mini-fridge, WiFi and air conditioning. Each tipi also comes with its own fire pit, charcoal barbeque pit and access to its own private bathroom boasting a walk-in shower, fresh towels and soap. Fall asleep to the sounds of the Guadalupe River rushing below the property, and spend the days swimming, tubing and fishing. A river trail leads you straight from your tipi to the Guadalupe River so be sure to bring tubes and chairs for a day of splashy play — the property’s river park features a spread of picnic tables, charcoal grills and hammocks. Your tipi vacation also sits minutes away from area attractions such as live concerts at Whitewater Amphitheater and the restaurants, shops and dancehall found in nearby historic Gruene.
If You Go: Flophouze
Flophouze is located about an hour and 15 minutes from Austin and 10 minutes from downtown Round Top.
Tuck into one of six artfully appointed on-site private “houzes” that sleep between two and six guests. For larger groups, consider the Beachhouze, which sleeps up to eight, or the Farmhouze, which sleeps up to 10.
If You Go: Cypress Valley Treehouses
Cypress Valley (1223 Paleface Ranch Rd S, Spicewood, TX) is 30 miles and a 45-minute drive west of Austin.
Guests can stay in Yoki Treehouse (sleeps 2-3/$625-$675), Lofthaven (sleeps 2/$525-$575), Juniper (sleeps 2/$200-$275), Willow (sleeps 2/$200-$275), The Nest (sleeps 4-6/$525-$575) and the Ranch House (sleeps 12-15/$1,050-$1,450).
If You Go: Lake Bastrop
Lake Bastrop North Shore Park is about an hour from Austin.
Rates range from $150 per night for the bell-shaped tent with two single beds to $450 a night for the cabin on busy summer weekends.
If You Go: HoneyTree Farm
HoneyTree Farm is eight miles from downtown Fredericksburg and 75 miles from Austin.
The Leaf, The Acorn and The Live Oak were my favorite treehouses, but any of the five would make a memorable stay.
If You Go: Casa Del Sueno
Casa Del Sueno at FireSong Ranch is located about 40 minutes from Austin in Spicewood.
Casa Del Sueno is a luxuriously appointed two-bedroom barndominium that sleeps up to four and includes indoor and outdoor kitchens, a private hot tub, Sonos sound system, an outdoor fire pit and a pizza oven, among other amenities. FireSong Ranch also has two other lodging options, Ndotto and Casita, on property.
If You Go: Collective Hill Country
Collective Hill Country is located in Wimberley, just an hour from Austin.
Luxury tents with either a king bed or two single beds are double occupancy, but the Family Summit Tent can accommodate families with children with the adjacent Journey Tent. Rates begin at $299.
Collective Hill Country will reopen for the season on Sept. 1, but if you book now, you can enjoy 20 percent off all accommodations. More at https://www.collectiveretreats.com/retreat/collective-hill-country/
If You Go: Lucky Arrow Retreat
Lucky Arrow Retreat is about 30 miles from Austin.
Stay in one of 10 standalone yurts, but Lucky Arrow Retreat also has courtyard cabins, breezeway cabins and porch houses.
If You Go: Wahwahtaysee Resort
Wahwahtaysee is 45 miles and about a 50-minute drive from Austin.
Right now, there are five safari tents and one renovated container cabin for lodging. Delivery of breakfast, DIY dinners and gourmet s’mores boards is available to your tent.
If You Go: Tipis on the Guadalupe
Tipis on the Guadalupe is about an hour and 15-minute drive from downtown Austin.
Stay in one of eight tipis that sleep up to six, or try out the property’s new couples’ retreat, La Pluma. Fall off-season rates range from $150 to $200 per night, including taxes and fees.