When I told my boyfriend that I wanted to go glamping I got a blank stare, followed by a few questions on what in the world “glamping” means. My reply was that it’s “a more glamorous way to camp.” While I’d never done it before, I pretended I knew exactly what glamping was like—and that it would be fun.
Despite his initial doubts I convinced him to spend two nights with me at Sandy Pines Campground in Kennebunkport, Maine. Pulling up to the entrance, we were greeted by a cute vintage car and campervan that inspired our entire glamping experience.
Sandy Pines is a fully functional campground with simple RV and tent sites in addition to its glamping sites. Before entering the campground, visitors check in at a reception lodge located next to the site’s general store, which sells everything you could possibly need for a few nights in the “wilderness.” Its incredible breakfast sandwiches are worth buying each morning to enjoy on the front porch.
Camping with homemade breakfast sandwiches … I was beginning to get the sense of what this whole glamping thing is about.
Sandy Pines offers a variety of glamping experiences: from the large safari tents that are most commonly associated with the glamping trend to Hideaway Huts—a simple, enclosed A-frame with a bed on a platform and some space for bags. We stayed in the Camp Carriages, which are small rooms on a wheeled platform.
This was my idea of camping—relaxing in the woods on the front porch and rain pattering on the roof lulling us to sleep. It didn’t hurt that we were also enclosed in a room with its own air conditioner unit, safe from bugs in a plush, king-sized bed.
My boyfriend quickly found his inner wilderness and built us a fire despite impending rainstorms. While the fire didn’t last too long, we were able to enjoy our freshly steamed lobsters (also picked up from the general store that evening … yup, I could get used to this) by the fire with s’mores. Since we live in the city, this was something totally different than our typical summer weekends.
And while the Kennebunkport location is great to explore the quaint town, relax on its beaches, and even get on the water (boating, paddleboarding, or kayaking on the nearby marshes are all options here), we found ourselves wanting to stay in this perfect little home for the weekend, doing crossword puzzles and listening to the rain, or soaking up the sun on our mini-porch when the weather cooperated.
Sandy Pines uniquely decorates each hut, tent, and carriage. Each safari tent has a theme, like Blixen’s Oasis, which includes six teardrop-shaped lanterns dangling above, and the tents are fully outfitted with dressers, a dining table, a desk, and outdoor seating.
The carriages have less space than the tents, but give you a little more security with walls and a solid roof. Statement lighting and flea market decorations are a theme here, as each carriage is adorned with a gorgeous hanging chandelier. There’s enough space for a desk or small vanity in each one, as well as some extra seating, an outdoor porch, and fire pit area.
The huts are simpler but still picture-perfect: An A-frame with two angled windows and a platform bed. The hut zips closed and there’s an outdoor area with a fire pit and Adirondack chairs.
Each glamping experience is different, so if you’re booking your own experience, call ahead and ask exactly what is included. Sandy Pines provides electricity, toiletries, towels, extra blankets, a flashlight, and laundry bags (a housekeeper comes around every morning to collect trash and towels, which was very helpful). But you would definitely want to bring any supplies your glamping experience doesn’t include.
Almost immediately after I posted some photos on Instagram, I had about 10 messages from friends and family asking me where I was and how they could go glamping.
So while you won’t have a TV and will be sharing a campground bathroom (a very nice one at that), this luxurious, yet affordable camping experience might just be the perfect choice for your next weekend getaway.
To book your glamping experience, head to Sandy Pines Campground’s website. Reservations for 2019 bookings start October 15.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 9 of the World’s Most Gorgeous Glamping Destinations
- 10 Incredible National Park Lodges in the U.S. (and the Best Time to Book Them)
- The Ultimate Camping Packing List: 29 Essentials
Ashley traveled to Kennebunkport, Maine courtesy of Sandy Pines Campground. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.
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