6 Great Glamping Spots in the San Juans
If you love camping, but still want a little luxury, try out one of these rustic-chic glampsites
If your idea of roughing it is cowboy coffee instead of Starbucks, or if you’re a backwoods adventurer ready for a little pampering—or if you just want to try something new—glamping is for you. Glamping—short for “glamorous camping”—brings you a ready-made campsite with a real bed and good linens, and sometimes even great food, all in a camping atmosphere.
Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes, San Juan Island
“Ditch the sleeping bag” for a comfy queen bed with cozy cotton sheets and flannel duvet cover. Custom canvas tents remind us of something from “Out of Africa”—among the trees. There are also canvas-sided glamping cabins, each with their own bathroom and shower. At Lakekale Resort, you can wake up in the woods to the smell of fresh coffee, bagels, homemade muffins, pancakes and fresh fruit served in the Mess Tent, then go swimming or row a boat out onto one of the three lakes at this luxuriously rustic resort.
Lakedale also offers camping, cabins, a lodge, an Airstream trailer, a general store, kids' activities, lake swimming, fishing, paddle boats, row boats, canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.
Sweet Earth Farm, San Juan Island
Walk the trails around this working farm, visit the goats, pigs and chickens, and enjoy farm fresh produce and eggs during your stay. Sweet Earth Farm's comfortable glamping tents in a private setting include king or full futon, linens/towels, simple furnishings, covered outdoor kitchen, dishes, a lantern, shower and toilet.
LEANTO Camping, Orcas Island
In Moran State Park, there are more than 200 camping and RV spots, but LEANTO has created several glamping sites in this amazing park. Wake up in a luxurious queen bed in a beautiful canvas tent. Inside are comfortable chairs, a dresser and table. You can "add-on" a Campfire Kit (think s'mores!), a Morning Coffee Kit, and Dish-out and Cook-out kits.
Doe Bay Resort & Retreat, Orcas Island
Every camp site at Doe Bay Resort & Retreat—whether car camping, walk in, yurt or geodesic dome—has its own name and quaint character. Sweet Spot Yurt has a view of Doe Bay; Beach Yurt is right on the beach. Others are tucked back in the woods or on the bluff overlooking the Salish Sea. In the mornings, sit in the Doe Bay Café with strong coffee and locally hatched poached eggs on house-smoked greens over polenta. Dinner is truly special, with oysters from nearby Buck Bay Shellfish Farm and produce from the onsite organic garden.
West Beach Resort Camping, Orcas Island
Stunning sunsets make a showing every night at historic West Beach Resort. You can choose from a range of sites, from open and sunny, water view or private, for camping, RVs or deluxe tent cabins with queen futon, linens and towels, dining table and chairs, and a patio area with flower boxes and an outdoor grill.
Bring the kids and pets on a camping getaway and take part in their famous daily summer kids' activities. West Beach Resort also has beachfront and garden cottages, a marina, and general store serving espresso, fantastic milkshakes and homemade waffle cones and ice cream. There are also boat rentals, kayak rentals, hot tubs, WiFi, and a nightly beachfront bonfire.
Lopez Farm Cottages & Tent Camping, Lopez Island
Just three miles from the Lopez ferry landing, this serene camping and glamping compound is an oasis of privacy, with no children, pets or RVs allowed. Situated on 30 acres of beautiful woodland and meadow, you can choose from glamping tents, cabins and camping sites, where you can play bocce ball or have a barbecue on the grills in the communal pavilion, which also provides bathrooms, showers and coffee service. Follow a map to nearby hiking and biking trails. Lopez Village is just a mile away with its charming cafes, bookstores, restaurants and shops.
Also on site are several Northwest Scandinavian cottages, each with a fireplace, kitchen with microwave, sink and refrigerator, front porch and rear deck, hot tub, and a barbecue and breakfast basket—a step up from glamping.
Bonus: See how the British "glamped" in the 19th century at the National Historical Park Encampment
If you want to see how people lived in the past in the San Juan Islands, there's a great event that happens ever summer that will help you appreciate the amenities of 21st-century life. At the annual Encampment event at English Camp, you can see re-creations of mid-19th-century Royal Marine Light Infantry and U.S. Army camp life, demonstrations of music, blacksmithing, spinning and weaving, sewing, cooperage and carpentry, along with the pageantry of period uniforms in scarlet and blue.
Find more camping & glamping, farm stays, bed and breakfast inns and other lodgings in the San Juan Islands.