Given the current COVID climate and the fact that all of our summer plans were canceled (no big road trip, no camps, no nothing), I wanted to find somewhere that we could get away for a few days while still maintaining our distance from others. I know lots of people are camping this summer since you can ensure that you’re not around people, and while the kids are outdoorsy- in that they go to summer camp every year- I am not the biggest fan of camping. I mean, I enjoy being outside, and I LOVE campfires, but I’m not a fan of sleeping on the ground, or not having running water (or a/c!), or bugs. But glamping? I can totally get behind that! Did you know that there are quite a few places to go glamping in North Carolina?!
With just a little research, I found these fantastic yurts at stayNanatahala near Nantahala Lake and surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains. They’re less than four hours aways away from our house just north of Charlotte and PERFECT for a long weekend of glamping in North Carolina!
After a beautiful drive through the mountains, we pulled up, and I was shocked at how gorgeous the setting was. I mean, I’d seen pictures on their website, but the view far exceeded my expectations: flowers were in bloom, and everything was so GREEN!
There are four separate yurts on the property, and each one comfortably sleeps 4. Each yurt has a huge deck overlooking the creek and a PRIVATE hot tub! We were traveling with my parents as well as my sister and niece and reserved three of the four yurts.
Every yurt has a full kitchen with everything you could possibly need (a full-size refrigerator is to the right of this picture). There are place settings for four plus a wide range of pots, pans, cookies sheets, measuring cups, sharp knives, etc. I was surprised to see that each kitchen also has a Keurig AND a regular coffee maker, and we definitely took advantage of both.
The master bedroom has a queen bed, a full dresser, a flat-screen tv on the wall, and a private balcony. I wondered how the bedrooms would work given the domed ceiling, and while the bedroom walls don’t go all the way up to the top, they do offer privacy but not a ton of noise reduction. It worked fine for our families, but we never had all three TVs on at once or anything like that.
The other bedroom has two twin beds and another wall-mounted flat-screen TV and is perfect for the kids in your family.
The bathroom was gorgeous- I want a shower like that in my house! With yurt glamping, there’s no running to an outhouse in the middle of the night; everything you could possibly need is right inside the yurt! Not pictured: the washer and dryer right outside the bathroom just in case you need to do laundry while you’re traveling!
The yurts are located at the convergence of Otter Creek and White Creek, and while all four yurts offer the same bedroom configurations and private hot tubs, each location is slightly different. Yurt #1 is Tranquil Haven, and it definitely has a secluded and private feeling. Yurt #2 is called Otter Creek, and it shares a community fire pit (stayNantahala even provides the firewood!) with Tranquil Haven. This one is across the creek in the picture above and is probably my favorite location of the four.
Yurt #3 is Creekside Cove, and it shares a community firepit with Yurt #4 Spring Ridge. Each of the four yurts has its own propane fire pit and charcoal grill (remember to bring charcoal and lighter fluid, though grilling tools are available). There is a dog run next to Spring Ridge, so it’s perfect for families traveling with pets!
The kids loved all of the big rocks lining the parking area- they honestly spent hours climbing around and playing on the boulders!
We were pleasantly surprised to find board games in the cabinet below the TV. We packed (and played!) a few of our own, but the kids had a blast playing Checkers and Chess and created elaborate competitions.
We all really appreciated the space in the yurt. When traveling with kids, it’s essential to ensure that everyone can get away a little bit and have some time to themselves. I was impressed with the use of space in each yurt, and each one felt much bigger than I’m sure it really was.
The creekside location was ahhh-mazing. We all were lulled to sleep by the sound of rushing water each night, and it allowed us to all sleep later than we expected. Because the yurts have a skylight at the top of the dome, some members of our group (Dad… I’m lookin’ at you!) were concerned that they would be up with the sun at 6am. Even though the rooms did start to get light, no one in our group was up before 8am, and I really think it has everything to do with the sound of the creek!
The kids (and adults!) loved having a hot tub on the deck of each yurt! At the end of a long day, there’s nothing better than relaxing in the hot tub and enjoying the sounds of the creek rushing by. We rarely take advantage of the hot tub when we’re traveling at a hotel because they’re often too hot for the kids, and I can’t enjoy it kid-free after they go to bed. With a private hot tub, we could control the water temperature and keep it cooler for the kids and could use it after they were in bed since it was right outside the yurt- totally a win-win!
This is Yurt #2- Otter Creek and my personal fave! I can’t wait to come back in the fall and experience this with fall color! Can you imagine a more peaceful setting?
After a fun day on Lake Nantahala, we returned to the yurts and made s’mores over one of the propane firepits. While a real wood campfire is always my preference (and there were two wood-burning firepits fully stocked with wood), propane is so much quicker!
We started the fire, and in no time, the whole family was circled around the firepit, making sweet s’mores with sticky fingers and faces.
This little one sure does love her s’mores. She stayed out by the fire long after everyone else retreated inside the yurts for showers and bedtime!
We had a fantastic few days at the stayNantahala yurts, and I honestly cannot wait to go back again. It was the perfect escape from reality, and we were able to spend time together but safely away from others.
Things to Remember at stayNanatahala Yurts
- StayNantahala provides nearly everything you need! Linens, towels, dishes + cooking supplies, washer/dryer, central air conditioning, and heat are all included.
- Check-in is at 4pm, and check-out is at 10am, and it is completely contactless. Before arrival, you will get a key code for the lockbox on the back deck of your yurt, and that’s it- you’re good to go!
- Cleanliness has always been important at Lakes End, but due to COVID-19, there is definitely increased attention to disinfecting high-touch surfaces. stayNantahala is following all CDC guidelines regarding disinfecting and cleaning, and we found each of the yurts to be very clean.