The great outdoors was never my thing…until now. Ok, maybe still not really my thing but I’d definitely go glamping again.

If you’ve never heard of glamping, it’s basically camping’s cousin. A very glamorous cousin. It combines many luxuries of a 5-star hotel with the fun parts of camping. King size bed, heating & A/C, running water, full bathroom and kitchen, hot tub. Then add in camp fires, s’mores, hiking, climbing, and nature. Experience that in the Blue Ridge mountain woods, overlooking a waterfall and you’ve got Glamp Blue Ridge.

The Drive: It’s about an hour and half drive from Atlanta, mostly highway. Add 15 minutes if you don’t want to drive on a gravel road for 4 miles at the end of the trip. We did the gravel on the way home, in the rain, and it was pretty easy in a small AWD SUV. If you don’t have AWD, you might want to consider the longer way (although you’ll probably be fine either way).

Check-in is just like an Airbnb. You get an email with all your details (check-in time, gate code, door code, instructions on where to park, etc.). Just make sure to take screenshots of your check-in email. Cell phone service is not great at the location so you need to make sure you have everything saved. Once you’ve checked into your dome (yurt), they have great Wi-Fi speeds.

Parking: There’s a good map on their website showing all the dome locations relative to the other attractions. If you’re in Dome 7, you get to park right in front. Dome 6 (where we were) is about 25 yards from it’s parking spot. Very easy walk with our bags. The lower the number after that, the longer the walk. Fortunately they have wagons to lug your stuff up the hill. And no, you can’t drive, there’s a strict carts only policy after you get past Dome 5. If you have an electric vehicle, there’s a 240 amp charger in the upper lot.

Other Domes: Before I talk about our dome (Jane), a few observations about the other domes. Dome 6 & 7 are the most accessible as you can pull your car right up to them. Dome 7 you even get your own parking spot right in front. Dome 4 doesn’t have stairs although you’ll still have to walk up the hill a little bit to get there. Dome 3 overlooks the tree weave (more on that below). Dome 1 is a big hike up the hill followed by a lot of stairs to get up to the dome. You’ll get a workout just getting there. All the domes are the same size and same layout as far as I can tell, just decorated differently. No matter where you stay, you’ll have a ton of space and all the luxuries of 5-star vacation home. Check out their website to see how each of the individual domes are decorated.

Jane (Dome #6)

When we first arrived, we immediately found our pre-ordered items from Pampered Mountain Getaways. We got a custom cheese plate and a custom s’mores kit delivered. They have some pre-built items but they’ll work with you to make whatever you want or even just deliver groceries for you. The s’mores kit was over the top – enough to make probably 30 smores + nutella, cookies, 2 blankets, metal skewers and long matches for lighting the fire; and all in a metal bucket you can take home. We paid $45 for the cheese plate and $65 for the smores kit. There’s also a $35 delivery fee.

Jane was beautifully decorated in a “woodsy modern” style (their wording but it sounds right to me). I loved all the details – the wooden hexagon backsplash, the kitchen lighting, and all the artwork and decor was so nice. Even the plates and glasses matched the theme.

In the main area there is a 4 person table, King size bed with super comfortable mattress and sheets, and a huge beanbag that unzips into a queen size floor mattress . Sienna opted to sleep on the bean bag directly rather than unzip it and regretted it half way through the night. There is also a cabinet with some cards and games. Sienna found Uno so that’s what we played. There is a huge panoramic window overlooking the woods and the stream below with curtains that fully close when it’s bed time.

Outside on the main deck of our dome was amazing. We had seating for 4 around a firepit. Firewood was already stacked in a rack on the deck with plenty more available a short walk from our dome if we ran out. A hot tub with a privacy fence on 2 sides was in the back corner and it was lit up with a small chandelier. String lights surrounded the deck so it was well lit in the evening. With all the trees, it was nicely shaded even in the middle of the afternoon.

Cooking was super easy. The fridge was a good size – more than enough for a few days of food. The cookware was really nice. First of all, it’s a complete & matching set, which is something you almost never find at a vacation rental. It was non-stick ceramic so even though we forgot to bring cooking oil, Jonathan was able to cook veggie burgers with no problem. The 2 burner stove top, microwave, and toaster oven all worked great. Jonathan used the outdoor Blackstone for his food. It was clean and came with all the utensils needed. The knife set was sharp and looked new. And when we were done, we loaded everything into the included dishwasher.

Coffee was no problem – there’s a drip coffee maker / Keurig combo + a French press if you want to step things up. 4 K-cups of Glamp Blueridge Dome Brew were included. So bring some extras if you drink a lot of coffee. Cream and sugar were not included so bring that also if you need it.

The bathroom was also decorated amazingly. 2 vanities (one with a sink, one without), a custom tiled standing shower, and a semi private toilet (no door, but behind a separate wall) with a bidet and heated seat. In there was a chest of drawers and storage bench if you want to fully unpack. We also found a towel warmer and a space heater (I suppose in case it’s extra cold and the normal heater can’t quite keep up).

Things to do around the glamp site

  • Tree Weave
  • Hiking Trail
  • Not so Hot-o Grotto (small pool in River)
  • 2 Firepits

Once we were done admiring the dome, we decided to venture out. Up the hill a short distance (just past dome 3) we found stairs to the “Tree Weave”. This is a custom built net through the trees, overlooking the stream and the lower fire pit. It looks a little scary to begin with but we quickly realized that’s it’s well built and seems very safe. This was by far Sienna’s favorite spot – she could jump around and dive into the stack of outdoor pillows. For her, it was a playground, I preferred, however, to use it as more of a hammock and relax for bit.

After the tree weave, we kept walking up the hill, past dome 1, and onto a trail that led to the upper fire pit. It has some seating built into the surrounding rocks and a large fire pit if you want to carry some firewood up there.

A tiny bit further up was a good place to cross the stream and walk over to the Benton MacKaye Trail. It’s apparently 300 miles long but we didn’t quite make it the whole way and turned back after about 1 mile. It’s a pretty popular segment of the trail and we passed a number of others hiking.

On our way back, we found the Not so Hot-o Grotto. This is basically a small pool created in the river that I think some people might enjoy getting in. We did not do that. Also, it’s pretty close to the waterfall and that makes me nervous. Anyway, there’s a hot tub back at the dome so why get in the river?

If we had spent more time there (which we plan to do in the future), we would definitely visit downtown Blue Ridge and one or more of the many local craft breweries in the area. I guess I’ll have to write another blog post after we make it back.

What to Pack:

  • Swimsuit
  • Good Shoes for Hiking (Running shoes work fine, I just wore a New Balance pair)
  • Food, Drinks, Snacks and such (we did a Trader Joes run the day before)
  • Cooking oil and seasonings (salt and pepper were included but nothing else)
  • Creamer & Sweetener for your Coffee (nutpods are my favorite creamer, but we left ours at home…so I drank my coffee black)
  • S’mores Supplies (or order the kit mentioned above)
  • Long reach matches (makes lighting the fire less dangerous)
  • Beer/Wine (it’s much easier to bring your own, though the Glamp Blue Ridge website provides details on where you can buy)
  • Extra Firewood (the firewood provided was a little damp, probably from a previous guest leaving the cover off)
  • Portable Bluetooth Speaker

What I Wore:

Checkout my glamping outfits here