Cool Cabins and CampgroundsBy Elizabeth Mathers-Meeks
Unique Lodging across the United States
You know the drill; you’re scrolling around online, heart-reacting to all the vacation pictures that your friend posted. Now you’re itching for an adventure of your own! You don’t want the same-old weekend getaway—you crave an adventure. We feel you. Whether you’re an experienced camper or a part-time glamper, these five impressive cabin and campground sites are sure to catch your eye.
What are you waiting for? Let’s explore new terrain, sleep under the stars, go whale watching, paddleboard on a secluded lake, and get cozy with big cats.
Peace and love abound at
Combine outdoor activities alongside community-style amenities at El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas. This collection of retro trailers on 21 acres of desert provides ample space to unleash the inner nomad within you. Unplug, unwind, and stretch out in the hammock grove under the wide-open sky.
It’s easy to forget that civilization is a mere stone’s throw from El Cosmico. Head into town to find a diverse town whose residents and visitors have transformed the area into a cultural hub. Marfa is fitted with galleries and Tex-Mex restaurants galore. There may be few better places to take in what the El Chihuahuan Desert has to offer.
Back at camp, reservations are taken year-round for bohemian-style renovated vintage trailers (one ADA compliant), The Cosmic Kasita, safari tents, Sioux-style teepees, Mongolian yurts, and tent campsites. Come for the Marfa Lights, stay for the community!
Sand and “surf” at Bruneau Dunes State Park
If El Cosmico wasn’t out-of-this-world enough for you, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped onto another planet at the Bruneau Dunes State Park. No, you’re not on Tatooine or Jakku—you’ll find this sandy land in Idaho. Just 64 miles from Boise, this immense 4,800-acre park is home to North America’s highest single-structured sand dune at approximately 470 feet.
With dozens of dunes and small lakes to explore, you’ll find fishing, guided hiking, bike paths, and horse trails. As long as the air temperature is below 80F, you can even go sandboarding! On Fridays and Saturdays from March to October, trek through the sands to the observatory where you can view the vast ocean of stars above you.
While there are lots of open campgrounds, two ADA compliant, there are only two cabins available, so reservations are necessary. Whether you plan to stop by for the day or rest your weary soul a while, Bruneau State Park provides a treasure trove of activities and sand dunes!
Luxurious glamping is yours at the Orca Island Cabins
If your idea of camping is “glamping,” head north to the Alaskan Wildness. Along the Gulf of Alaska, you’ll have to hop a water taxi to reach the exclusive Orca Island Cabins. Perched at the water’s edge, sit eight eco-friendly yurts. Each yurt is complete with living and dining areas, fully-equipped kitchens, bathrooms with running water, and private decks.
Enjoy breathtaking views of the ocean, picturesque sunsets, and even whale watching from your treehouse-like abode. Use of kayaks, rowing skiffs, and stand-up paddleboards, wet suits, fishing gear, binoculars, and firewood for outdoor fire pits are all included. Book a private Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise for a six-hour excursion bringing you up close to whales, glaciers, and puffin rookeries.
For safety and serenity, children younger than 12 are not allowed on the island. With only eight cabins and a short summer, reservations are a must for this memorable experience.
Step back in time at
Turtle Point Outpost
Back in the contiguous U.S., 1940s charm has never gone out of style at Turtle Point Outpost in Mercer, Wisconsin. A historic (and current) hot spot for fishing, hunting, and winter sports, this cozy escape provides the perfect place to rest and recharge in the Northwoods.
Intimate and secluded, this three-cabin collective bordering Grant Lake offers something for everybody. Enjoy trying out pan fishing, paddleboarding, kayaking, floating, and leisurely pontoon rides. Lake access is limited and distant from large cities, you’ll have unfettered access to the pure and natural essence of the Midwest here.
Lions and tigers and cabins,
Feed your wild side on a domestic safari at Turpentine Creek in Arkansas. This organization is dedicated to rehabilitating big cats and other exotic animals that have been neglected, abused, and abandoned. The center serves as an excellent day trip, but with so much to learn, you may never want to leave—with cabins, tents, a treehouse, and open campground space, you don’t have to!
Here, animal advocacy and education is the main theme of your vacation. For a study break, go out and explore Eureka Springs to take in the local cuisine and historic downtown. Venture into nature by taking advantage of traditional camping excursions such as hiking, biking, golfing, fishing, and swimming.
Check out what’s Weird and Wonderful in your area for more unique and unusual stops.