While the word glamping sounds like a mistake, many Oklahomans might argue with that assessment.
A portmanteau from “glamorous camping,” this luxurious form of getting into nature is an amped-up version of tents and sleeping bags. Many glamping destinations, from France to Colombia, promote beautiful sunsets and lakes in exotic locations … while not really roughing it at all.
If you can’t afford a trip of that proportion, Oklahoma has your back.
Charity O’Donnell, executive director of the Broken Bow Area Chamber of Commerce and festival coordinator for the McCurtain County Tourism Authority, lets potential visitors know about everything to be seen, done and tasted while glamping.
She says there are thousands of cabins in the Kiamichi Mountains of southeastern Oklahoma that offer amenities to make everyone happy. Some even have game rooms, hot tubs and up to 10 bedrooms.
“We have all sorts of activities, including hiking, fishing, horseback riding, zip lining, Segway tours and boat tours,” O’Donnell says.
Along with three museums, painting classes and escape rooms, this area near Beavers Bend State Park also boasts wineries, a petting zoo and the Beavers Bend Mining Co., where families can learn about dinosaurs and the mining of rocks and minerals.
Glamping has also become a popular way to have a bachelorette weekend. Soon-to-be-married women from Oklahoma and surrounding states have become entranced with the idea of spending their final footloose and fancy-free days by gathering their friends in wooded beauty.
Lake Eufaula State Park has a different take on glamping with “three yurts that are pretty neat to stay in,” park manager Rocky Murdaugh says, “and this part of Oklahoma is wooded and beautiful with lots of lakeshore and streams.”
A yurt – typically a simple, canvas-covered room with a wooden floor – at Lake Eufaula has heat, air conditioning, bedding, a microwave, a small refrigerator, electrical outlets and a high-definition TV.
The state park, surrounded on three sides by its namesake lake, has conventional tent and RV camping and numerous outdoor activities, including golf, fishing, swimming and naturalist programs.
The Orr Family Farm in Oklahoma City has a temperature-controlled teepee and a Conestoga wagon with gorgeous, glass-covered wheels made by Amish craftsmen. Owner Glenn Orr says glampers have come to his venue from overseas as well as a half-mile away.
Guests can munch on s’mores around a firepit and sip cocoa in the hospitality room. In the fall, visitors can also enjoy a giant maze, visit a pumpkin patch and play zombie apocalypse paintball.
Prices for glamping in Oklahoma run the gamut, depending on how much luxury you want and how many people are involved. The Lake Eufaula yurts are $65 a night for a small unit, $85 for a medium and $100 for a large. The average one-night stay at Orr Family Farm is $195, depending on the time of year. Glamping in McCurtain County cabins runs from a one-bedroom unit at $180 a night to more than $700 for five bedrooms. A villa at Grand Lake of the Cherokees, which can accommodate 34 guests, costs nearly $3,000 a night.