NEW YORK (MainStreet) — If you're the type who enjoys the great outdoors but doesn't relish the idea of rolling out a sleeping bag and having no access to indoor plumbing, consider "glamping," or glamour camping. You can sleep in a tent, yurt or cottage and still have all the conveniences of a modern hotel.
Glamping options range from the very basic to the ultra-luxurious. You can sleep in tents and yurts with just a bed and a fan, or you can go for luxury tents and cabins with posh furnishings and even butler service.
When hiking the red rocks of Sedona or touring the Grand Canyon in Arizona, a good place to glamp is L'Auberge de Sedona. The place offers more glam than camp - cottages by the creek have vaulted ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces, king-sized beds and spacious decks.
If you don't enjoy being completely detached from the rest of the world, you'll be pleased to know that L'Auberge de Sedona's cottages all have Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations and 42-inch LCD TVs.
And you can leave the Dinty Moore and Spam at home; all cottages are just a short walk to L'Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek, where you'll dine under a canopy of cottonwood and sycamore trees alongside the creek. You can have Scottish Salmon for dinner and Brioche French Toast for breakfast.
Want just a little bit of the roughing-it feeling? Step out to the cedar shower attached to the cottage and enjoy an outdoor shower under the gorgeous Sedona sky.
L'Auberge de Sedona also offers travelers a list of activities that allow for getting back to nature. The resort staff can map out hiking trails or customized scenic drives to include Indian ruins or picnic spots, best photo op locations and swimming holes. The staff can even prepare a packed lunch to take on your Sedona adventure.
Trips to the Grand Canyon, about a two-hour drive from L'Auberge de Sedona, can also be arranged. But if hiking or off-roading isn't your thing, you can still take in the beauty of the surroundings at the resort.
You can feed the ducks by the creek every morning, or participate in an outdoor sunset yoga session while enjoying picturesque views of the red rocks.
During the spring, the starting rate for a creekside cottage is $759; in the summer, it's $469.
If you're looking for a wilderness adventure with a good balance of glam and camp, check out the Resort at Paws Up. At their Cliffside Camp in Greenough, Montana, you get to sleep in a real tent and eat s'mores by the firepit each evening -- so you'll get more of that camping feeling.
Overlooking the Blackfoot River, and with expansive views across the entire 37,000-acre ranch, Cliffside Camp features a dining facility and lounge, as well as six safari-style luxurious tented accommodations ranging from 605 to 977 square feet.
Each tent is privately nestled in groves of the surrounding pine trees. Four tents feature two bedrooms, with a king bed in one and two twin beds in the other. The remaining two tents, designated "honeymoon," feature a copper tub at the foot of the bed.
Owner Nadine Lipson personally selects the decor in every tent. Amenities include an en-suite bathroom, chic rustic furnishings, cooling fans, heat and a camping butler.
Meals are served at the dining pavilion; breakfast ranges from huckleberry pancakes to omelettes made to order. For dinner, the camp's chef prepares gourmet meals: chili-dusted Montana black Angus beef hanger steak, or whole roasted rainbow trout with fresh herbs.
Cliffside Camp at Paws Uphas an extensive menu of wilderness adventures, from an authentic cattle drive and sporting clay shooting to ATV rides, Blackfoot River floats and fly fishing.
A one-day itinerary might include biking through surrounding forests on the way to Lookout Rock, where you'll rappel down the 160-foot face. You'll then proceed by mountain bike to a riverside picnic area for lunch. After that, you'll load up in a kayak (or a raft in high water) and set out through initial flatwater for on-river instruction, then venture into the roundup rapids.
Rates in the early summer start at $748 per person per night in a one-bedroom tent; peak season rates start at $896 per person per night in a one-bedroom tent. Rates include three meals daily, airport transportation and on-property transportation.
If a wilderness adventure for you means more of the camp than the glam, you can stay at one of the "adventure yurts" at El Capitan Canyon just north of Santa Barbara, Calif. Each yurt is 20 feet in diameter and built from a circular, wooden lattice frame, covered with canvas and topped by a skylight.
With only the essentials in your yurt -- beds, electric lighting, refrigerator and ceiling fan -- you can unwind completely and commune with nature. The yurts are located centrally in the Canyon and surrounded by sloping foothills and spectacular landscaping.
Unlike luxury tents in high-end glamping locations, these yurts have no indoor plumbing, but bathhouse amenities are just steps away. A private picnic table and firepit with removable grill are also just outside each yurt.
Glampers can explore the Canyon on complimentary bikes, hike 15 miles of trails in the surrounding foothills, or stroll down to the beach for tide pooling. Canyon staff can arrange day trips such as horseback riding, golfing, ocean kayaking, monarch butterfly park tours, whale watching and tours of downtown Santa Barbara.
The Canyon features a ropes course, a solar-heated swimming pool, a goat and llama herd, an organic garden, and the Canyon Market & Deli, which serves meals and sells groceries, supplies and gifts.
Glampers who prefer a slower pace can get a massage in the Creekside Canyon Spa or savor a glass of wine from the Canyon Market Wine Cellar.
Rates for El Capitan Canyon yurts are $175 plus tax per night in the off season and $205 in the prime summer season.
-- Written by Marilen Cawad for MainStreet