Editors Note: Yes, glamping. If you are not familiar with glamping, think cabins instead of tents and beds instead of air mattresses. If you are looking for a guide to CAMPING near Pittsburgh. We’ve got you covered! Check out our beginners guide to camping near Pittsburgh. And if you aren’t sure if camping or glamping is for you, you might be interested in a stay at the Getaway cabins.
A few ago while looking for something new to do for my October birthday, my fiancé pitched the idea to go camping… which meant that I would have to pitch a tent. No thanks! I like to think I am “outdoorsy” and consider myself to be adventurous, but at the end of the day, I need a shower and a bed to sleep in. After hours of searching the internet for something to do, I came across “glamping”.
Glamping, aka “glamorous camping” is the idea of camping in a luxurious way. You can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors while also being able to take a nice hot shower and have a roof over your head. There are a few Glamp Grounds not too far from Pittsburgh. With COVID, most of us can’t take our normal summer vacations. Instead of sacrificing your vacation plans altogether, give glamping a try!
Where to go glamping near Pittsburgh
The Wild Yough Glamping Huts in Garrett County, Maryland, provide the camping necessities to make your weekend getaway as stress-free as possible. The rental company provided us with a packing checklist so we knew exactly what to bring. On a Friday after work, we packed our cooler, grabbed some blankets, and headed to our hut. The huts are about two hours away from Pittsburgh.
The owners of the Glamping Huts showed amazing hospitality and even left us chocolate and marshmallows to make S’mores under the stars. When we first arrived, it was dark out, and being the end of October, it was a little chilly, too. We cracked a bottle of wine, made a fire, and played cards. It wasn’t until the next morning when the sun came up that we were able to see just how beautiful the woods were around us.
Our glamping hut included our own parking space, a fire pit, a bed, sheets, and any pots and pans you may need. The Glamp Ground has five huts that are spread out. Your neighbors are far enough away that it feels private and you can easily social distance. There are public restrooms and showers for the guests and they are truly spotless. There is also a common grilling area if you don’t want to cook hotdogs over your own fire. The huts are pet friendly so you can bring your pup on your adventure, too!
The company’s website gave us several suggestions for places to explore during our stay. The huts are on 350 acres of land with lots of hiking trails. Deep Creek Lake and other state parks are about 15 minutes away. We hiked to the highest point of Maryland to see an incredible view on the first day and hiked trails by the lake the next day. We ended our stay in Garrett County with a trip to the Lakeside Creamery for ice cream sundaes.
On our way back to the Burgh, we also took a quick detour to Ohiopyle! Our glamping weekend was such a fun adventure and we have stayed at our favorite hut a few times since. If you have a slightly adventurous side and are looking for a weekend getaway, go glamping! You won’t regret it.
Glamping options close to Pittsburgh (~1 hr)
Want to get back to nature but won’t want to drive more than an hour? These two campgrounds are great options to consider.
Fancy Tent @ Misty River Retreat // Hopewell, PA
This completely remote campsite provides total serenity and romance for two guests, in Hopewell, Pennsylvania.
After completing the 40-minute drive, leave the car in the secured parking lot and head to camp in your personal UTV. A short trip down a trail leads to a 20-foot bell tent, high upon a clifftop. Plenty of views and photograph opportunities of the running river below. A private bathhouse, complete with a propane heater for hot water, provides all the comforts of home.
A hot tub, a woodburning stove within the tent, king size bed and the natural, beautiful surroundings allow this place to be an amazingly romantic getaway.
Jump on the H & BT rail trail for biking or hiking journeys or do some wading or swimming in the private river access area. Wake in the morning to songs of the whippoorwills. Spend some time stargazing at the clear night sky.
As this is on a remote corner of a working farm, distant noises might be heard due to work being done. Black Angus cattle might be visible in the pasture, a good distance from the camp.
Items provided at the campsite include:
- Campfire fire ring
- Over the fire grate, perfect for cooking
- Small grill to BBQ
- LED string lights
Tiny House @ Highland House // Mount Pleasant, PA
Try a weekend of compact living in this tiny home, in the middle of 140 acres of farmland, forests and hills. Be one with nature while still having all the comforts of home; just in a much smaller dwelling.
Located in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, about 45 minutes outside of the city, the Highland House provides plenty of activities and quiet surroundings both onsite and in the surrounding area.
This house is completely off-grid and electricity is completely solar powered. Propane provides heat, hot water and the stove. While there isn’t air conditioning, there are plenty of fans to team with open screened windows for a nice evening breeze.
With all the outdoor activities, there won’t be much downtime indoors. Hiking, picnicking, biking, bird watching and star gazing are a few activities at hand here. Wintertime, take up cross country skiing or sledding with the equipment provided in the shed. Two bikes are also on hand.
Spend some of an evening sitting around the campfire, make some s’mores and just take in the clear, crisp country air. Decompress a bit and recharge at this lovely farmhouse.
Glamping options less than 2 Hours from Pittsburgh
For those really wanting to get back to nature, unplug and unwind, these next three glamping campsites might be a good fit.
Ponderosa Pond Signature Campsite // Alum Bank, PA
Located in Alum Bank, Pennsylvania, right at two hours away. This is a premiere luxury glampsite, situated within a heavily forested area. Leave the low-clearance cars at home, as there is a very long dirt access lane that is best suited for an SUV. Pickup service is an option, too.
This campsite is located on the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains, on approximately 450 acres. A highlight of this location is the 1-acre, spring-fed pond. Take a break from the electronics and enjoy a relaxing getaway, with the mountainous setting, plenty of hiking trails, wildlife, breathtaking views and plenty of comfy amenities.
On-site amenities at this pet-friendly camp include a canvas tent with a queen bed, topped with a memory foam mattress, fire starters, fire pit and campfire grill, grill tongs and brush, a mini-fridge and a charcoal grill, a propane heater and water and electricity nearby. Firewood, a sun shower, and toilet are also on-site. With additional seating and an extra pop-up tent, there is room for up to four guests.
Nearby activities that are within 15 miles of the campground include:
- Canoeing and kayaking
- Swimming and fishing
- Mountain biking
- Golf and skeet shooting
- Hiking and road biking
- Wineries and distilleries
- Farmer’s Market
Beavers Landing // Guys Mill, PA
Beavers Landing is about 1.5 hours outside of Pittsburgh, in the town of Guys Mill, Pennsylvania. Well worth the drive for solitude and scenic views. The campsite is built within the 50-acre forest, surrounded by vast wildlife and the large, 4-acre Beaver Pond. There are plenty of directions to take for nature walks and the pond provides kayaking outings and swimming. Maybe take the three-person rowboat out for a fishing adventure.
Easily get a campfire going with the split wood provided and fire up the fire pit for some s’mores. This campsite is pet-friendly, and rumor has it there are dog welcome gifts to find upon arrival.
Many of the on-site amenities are the same as the Ponderosa’s, with additions being towels, flashlights, scented candles, lanterns, and a fire extinguisher.
A paid extra that can be purchased is the custom catered meals. Ingredients, equipment and recipes for authentic cam meals can be purchased.
Copperhead Retreat // Kennerdell, PA
This resort is about an hour and half outside of Pittsburgh, boasting different types of glamping sites available on the Allegheny River. Perfect for those who love the outdoors. Settled in right beside the river, there are plenty of easy access paths, beautiful scenery and marvelous views. There are also some peaceful gardens within the intimate campground.
Accommodations here range from:
- Big Tipi- sleeps up to four, features a queen-sized bed and a full-sized sofa sleeper
- Wolfpup-room for four, with a queen-sized bed and a table conversion bed
- Tipi Two- sleeps two and features a queen-size bed
Each of these sites includes a picnic table with umbrella, BBQ grill and fire ring. While you might be sleeping out in the middle of nature, the campground still provides a comfy bathroom setup.
Towels, floor mats and wash clothes are provided. The bathhouse is spacious and boasts glass block showers, oversized pedestal sinks, a large mirror and lots of hooks and bars to hang your necessities.
Looking for a change of scenery?
Here are some more ideas from a quick getaway near Pittsburgh:
- Getaway cabins are just an hour from Pittsburgh
- Head north and spend a day or the weekend visiting the Presque Isle beaches
- Here are some of the most affordable Airbnb rentals in Pittsburgh
Editor’s Note: Debra Pamplin is also a contributing writer on this article