- Mary Caldwell For the AJC
You may love the idea of getting out in nature but dread fighting to set up a tent.
Thinking about the creepy-crawlies, waking up with a sore back or anticipating a wet tent at the end of your outdoor excursion may just dissuade your nature instinct.
Yurts in Georgia have become a popular way to "glamp" (a mashup of glamour and camping) and experience the outdoors without giving up all your creature comforts. They're basically round dwellings with a cone-shaped roof and have amenities such as regular beds or bunk beds, locking doors, windows and electricity. Although they don't have bathrooms and showers, these facilities are often within easy walking distance, and a water spigot is usually located outside.
If you're ready to try spending the night in a yurt, the following are six of the best spots for yurts in Georgia:
Cloudland Canyon State Park, 122 Cloudland Canyon Park Road, Rising Fawn. 800-864-7275. gastateparks.org/CloudlandCanyon.
Located on the edge of Lookout Mountain, Cloudland Canyon is one of Georgia's largest and most scenic parks. Ten yurts are available at Cloudland Canyon, each with accommodations for a maximum of six people. Each yurt has ceiling fans, heat, decks and fire rings.
Rates range from $100 to $110 per night, and reservations are recommended.
Tugaloo State Park, 1763 Tugaloo State Park Road, Lavonia. 800-864-7275. gastateparks.org/Tugaloo.
Tugaloo is located on a peninsula and is home to Lake Hartwell. It has six yurts located on the lake, and each has frame furniture that sleeps up to six people. Each is 20 feet in diameter and 12 feet high and has a skylight, finished pine floor, electricity, water, heat, ceiling fan and lockable doors. A full-service comfort station is 10 to 50 yards away via a paved, lit path.
Rates are $75 per night, and reservations are recommended.
Fort Yargo State Park, 210 South Broad St., Winder. 800-864-7275. gastateparks.org/FortYargo.
Located between Atlanta and Athens, Fort Yargo has a lake with a large swimming beach as well as plenty of other activities. Six yurts are available, and each sleeps up to six people. Fort Yargo yurts also have electricity, heat, ceiling fans, a deck, fire ring, picnic table, grill and access to a comfort station.
Rates are $85 per night.
Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. 1-800-385-9807. stonemountainpark.com.
Stone Mountain's yurts are located in a lakeside wooded area, and each has large windows, skylights, ceiling fans and lockable doors. Relax on the deck, which overlooks the lake, or cook out on your charcoal grill. Each yurt sleeps up to five on a queen-sized bed, twin bunk bed and double futon, and you'll have electricity, heating and air, as well as close access to restrooms, showers and laundry facilities.
A two-night reservation is required for each yurt. Rates are $119 per night but increase for Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends.
Pine Mountain RV Resort, 8804 Hamilton Road, Pine Mountain. 706-663-4329. rvcoutdoors.com/pine-mountain.
Located three miles from Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain RV Resort has yurts located in a semi-private space that's surrounded by trees. Several different sizes of yurts are available – a 16-foot yurt sleeps four, a 20-footer sleep six, and a 24-foot yurt sleeps eight. You'll have climate controls, beds (with linens provided), wooden floors, windows and a skylight. Showers are within walking distance.
Rates range from $72.99 to $89.99 nightly with a two-night minimum stay, and holidays require a three-night minimum.
Cedar House Inn & Yurts, 6463 Highway 19 N. Dahlonega. 7060867-9446. georgiamountaininn.com.
If you're looking for a rustic romantic getaway at a Georgia yurt, Cedar House Inn's yurts may fit the bill. They allow a maximum of two adults – no kids – per yurt and come with a full breakfast in the morning. Each yurt has a queen size canopy bed (plus linens), as well as a mini-fridge, coffee maker, floor fan and heater.
Rates are $155 per night.