The Top 10 Glamping & Camping Spots
by Cindy Reid
Summer is just around the corner and it’s time to get outside! Why stay in a hotel when you can pitch a tent or enjoy a cozy cabin? Campsites, cabins, lodges and now yurts are found at many of Georgia’s beautiful state parks. The campsites range from tent, trailer, and RV campsites to the more primitive “Pioneer” sites as well as several backcountry campsites that must be reached by hiking.
Single cabins are available at nearly 30 state parks. Ranging from functional to historic, all cabins have heat and air conditioning, and most are equipped with stoves and refrigerators. Far from primitive, many have televisions, screened porches or decks and wood burning fireplaces or stoves. Lodges—with hotel like accommodations—can be found at five different Georgia State Parks. (Visit gastateparks.org/Reservations for availability.)
Glamping in Yurts & Premier Cabins
Camping plus Glamour= Glamping! Glamping has become very popular and bridges the gap between traditional camping and the comforts of home. Balancing comfort with adventure, it’s a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors without roughing it too much.
The Georgia State Park system has embraced the idea and has added the glampers accommodation of choice—the exotic yurt—to six different state parks.
Yurts are the newest addition to the state park system. An enclosed circular structure made of wood and canvas, they have rigid walls, large, screened windows and locking doors. The yurts at the state parks sleep six and are equipped with furniture, electrical outlets, ceiling fans and a small heater. Some even have air conditioning. At the park campgrounds, they feature a deck, picnic table, water spigot and a grill/fire ring outside—a perfect setting for a glamping trip.
In addition to yurts, many parks have “Premier Cabins” and can be considered glamping destinations as well.
With one exception, the campgrounds listed below are all Georgia State Parks, and the distance to each is calculated from Pooler.
So load up the sleeping bags and s’mores and go enjoy the great outdoors!
Fort McAllister State Park Campground, Richmond Hill, GA (40 min.)
Fort McAllister State Park is located on the south bank of the Ogeechee River, about 10 miles south of Savannah. Launch your boat off the nearby dock or take a stroll through the giant oaks and palm trees. 7 cottages, 67 tent, trailer & RV campsites, and 2 backcountry campsites (1.5-mile hike to sites).
George L. Smith State Park Campground, Twin City, GA (1 hr.)
George L. Smith State Park is best known for the refurbished Parrish Mill and Pond, a combination gristmill, sawmill, covered bridge, and dam built in 1880.Kayaking, canoing, and hiking the seven miles of trail are popular activities. 8 newly renovated cottages, 24 tent, trailer & RV campsites, and 4 primitive campsites.
Hunting Island State Park Campground, Hunting Island SC (1.5 hrs.)
This is the only park outside Georgia on our list and it’s the only beach park. Located in nearby South Carolina, the large campsites overlook the ocean and are shaded by pines and palms with the ocean just a short boardwalk away. With miles of shoreline, a historic lighthouse, and a maritime forest, it is pure paradise. 102 tent, trailer & RV campsites, and 1 primitive group camping site only for organized groups.
Magnolia Springs State Park Campground, Millen, GA (1.5 hrs.)
Magnolia Springs State Park is known for its crystal clear springs and boardwalk—allowing visitors to look for alligators, turtles, and other wildlife near the springs. The 28-acre lake is great for fishing and boating. 9 cottages, 26 tent, trailer, & RV campsites, 3 walk-in tent campsites, and a pioneer campground.
Stephen C. Foster State Park, Fargo, GA (3 hrs.)
This remote park is a primary entrance to the Okefenokee Swamp. Alligators, turtles, raccoons, black bears, deer, ibis, herons, wood storks, red-cockaded woodpeckers and numerous other wildlife live or migrate through the 402,000-acre refuge. Canoing, kayaking, motorboats, boat tours, fishing, hiking, camping, stargazing, and bicycling are all popular activities. 9 cottages, 66 tent, trailer & RV campsites, 1 pioneer campground.
Skidaway Island State Park, Savannah, GA (30 min.)
At Skidaway Island State Park, walking trails lead to a boardwalk and observation tower. The campground features three new “glamping cottages.” The new cabins have screened porches, hot showers, air conditioning, microwaves, coffeemakers, stoves, and comfortable beds. Outside are picnic tables, grills, and fire rings. 3 cabins, 87 tent, trailer & RV campsites, and 3 pioneer campgrounds.
Crooked River State Park, St. Marys, GA (1.5 hrs.)
On the southern tip of Georgia’s Colonial Coast, this park is the perfect spot for enjoying the Intracoastal Waterway and maritime forest. There is a boat ramp and the ferry to Cumberland Island National Seashore is close by. You may see gopher tortoises, fiddler crabs, herons, and other birds. 11 cottages including several premier cottages, 63 tent, trailer & RV campsites, and 1 pioneer campground.
Little Ocmulgee State Park and Lodge, McRae-Helena, GA (2 hrs.)
Little Ocmulgee State Park & Lodge has it all, from a private pool to the 265 Little Ocmulgee Lake. The Wallace Adams Golf Course is located on premises as is the Fairway Grill, a full-service restaurant serving traditional Southern meals. Rooms in the Lodge and the fully equipped lakeside cabins strike a balance between rustic camping and hotel-style accommodations. 60 lodge rooms, 10 cabins, 54 tent, trailers & RV campsites.
High Falls State Park, Jackson, GA (2 hrs. 45 min.)
Located northwest of Macon, High Falls State Park is named for tumbling cascades on the Towaliga River. Boat rental, ramps and fishing docks provide easy access to the park’s lake, a top fishing spot for hybrid and white bass. Visitors can hike along the river’s edge to the remains of a hydroelectric power plant foundation. The yurts are scenically located lakeside. 6 yurts, 106 tent, trailer & RV campsites, 1 pioneer campground, 1 paddle-in primitive campsite.
Tugaloo State Park, Lavonia (4.5 hrs.)
Tugaloo State Park offers easy lake access for fishing and boating. The cottages and most campsites offer spectacular views of 55,590 acre Lake Hartwell in every direction. Some cottages even have private boat docks. Each yurt comes complete with wooden floors, canvas walls, a skylight, a cozy heater, cabin-style furniture, electricity, and bathhouses a short walk away. 20 cottages, 6 yurts, 105 tent, trailer & RV campsites, and 11 walk-in campsites.