11 Outdoor Family Destinations For Families Who Don’t Like Traditional Camping

11 Outdoor Family Destinations For Families Who Don’t Like Traditional Camping

There are downsides to camping, including getting bitten by bugs, sweating in the humidity, and encountering animals at night. Take your family out for a relaxing, sometimes luxurious, camping experience in the great outdoors instead of signing up for bad backs. Here are eleven outdoor vacation ideas for families who don’t like camping.

1. The Mohicans Treehouses in Glenmont, OH

When you are high up in the air, you can avoid the discomfort of the sleeping bag on the ground. It is literally that which The Mohicans offers via six stunning treehouses in central Ohio, two of which were designed by famed Pete Nelson. 

Most treehouses accommodate up to four people in a bedroom and loft. These houses have elaborate wood projects and naturalistic touches. It’s pretty similar to the bridge you will cross to get to White Oak. Linens and towels are available in every house. You will also find a private shower outside and air conditioning inside. You will be able to enjoy all the living comforts, except a cell phone signal, but who needs that with the breathtaking Mohican Valley to converse with?

2. Greenbrier Campground in Gatlinburg, TN

The Greenbrier Campground in the Smokies offers 120 full hookup RV sites, making it the best and only RV park in the area. Anyone in the area can easily point you towards the ground, or you can type “RV parks Gatlinburg TN,” and the maps will point you straight in its direction.

You’ll find many sites here that are all unique. Some are large enough to accommodate RVs, while others are more suitable for pop-ups, pods, and smaller campers. Those on the river have a waterfront view and are more expensive. What adds five stars to this place is its combination of privacy and safety amidst nature. Each site is equipped with water, sewer, electricity, cable, and wifi, as well as 50-amp, 30-amp, and 110-volt electrical hookups.

They have most of the sites on the Little Pigeon River, which surrounds the campground. However, if it’s not, you’re only a few minutes away from the river, and the water can be heard from every corner of the property. Besides all the tourist places, it is truly a piece of heaven in Gatlinburg!

3. West Glacier KOA in West Glacier, MT

KOA cabins are generally excellent, comfortable alternatives to camping. However, the degree of comfort may vary by location. Within walking distance of the entrance to arguably the best of the 61 national parks, you’ll find big, beautiful lodges that make the perfect family vacation destination. You can stay at West Glacier. It is a great site with a pool, laundry facility, and charming two-story wood cabins that will surely give you a great night’s sleep before driving or hiking down the road. Just be sure to pack plenty of warm clothing and snowsuits for toddlers during the winter, as the temperatures in this area can get fairly cold.

4. Whispering Winds Cottages in Hill City, SD

Located in Hill City, South Dakota, just a short drive from Mount Rushmore, this darling batch of vacation rentals. These lodgings will transport you to another world and leave you feeling refreshed in the morning.

5. Royal Gorge Cabins in Canon City, CO

Canon City, Colorado, offers a superbly comfortable alternative to camping with a variety of two-floor lodges and glamping tents. Located across from the property is a four-story ropes course and mini-golf course. As an added perk, expert guides are available who arrange a memorable rafting trip along the scenic Bighorn Sheep Canyon with the Cabin’s waterfront restaurant. 

A Colorado family vacation will include a luxurious and comfortable cabin beneath a dark night sky when you ride the historic Royal Gorge Route Railroad or ride horseback to the Garden of the Gods.

6. Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, MT

Montana’s most luxurious camping option is conveniently located between Big Sky and the West Yellowstone entrance of the nation’s first national park. Each log cabin is equipped with fine amenities like huge four-poster beds, vinyl records from the likes of Merle Haggard and Van Morrison, and heated floors in the bathrooms. 

After driving an hour south, you arrive at Yellowstone, and after 20 minutes on a horse-drawn carriage at Lone Mountain Ranch, you are enjoying a candlelit dinner in a cabin set amid towering conifers at the sleigh ride dinner. There’s something magical about this place–comfortable, natural, and outdoorsy.

7. Mendocino Grove in Mendocino, CA

There’s an upscale campground for those who like camping in nature. It is located on the Pacific Coast, just 167 miles from San Francisco along scenic California Route 1. 

During a retreat, stay in a tented cabin with a comfy bed and bunks for your kids! A short walk from redwood forests, you’ll find a beach and Mendocino’s quaint village. Guests at this magnificent glamping site can enjoy free guided weekend hikes with a local naturalist as well as $10 yoga on a redwood deck every Saturday morning. 

A short stroll to Big River offers kayaking, canoeing, and mountain biking opportunities. There are horseshoes, bocce ball, and board games on site. In case all that sounds too strenuous for your family’s luxury camping trip, you can relax in a hammock at Mendocino Grove.

8. Conestoga Ranch in Garden City, UT

The Conestoga Ranch is a one-of-kind alternative camping experience located near Utah’s border with Idaho. Your children will never forget the time spent in a 19th-century-style Conestoga wagon tethered to an old-fashioned chuck wagon. In addition, they can sleep in bunk beds underneath their canvas lid. You can also take advantage of free cruiser bikes and enjoy the sights during the day.

The ranch’s bathhouse is available for guests to use at the end of the day so they can wash off. There is a rainfall showerhead and a supply of towels, shampoo, conditioner, and soaps. Live the pioneer life with your kids as you sit in Adirondack chairs amidst wagons, making s’mores under the stars and enjoying the warmth of the shared fire pit.

9. Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, SD

A covered wagon camping experience just above Sioux Falls in South Dakota will take you back to the prairie days with a little more comfort and modern convenience. 

You can build a doll from the corn cobs, ride a pony cart, learn how to twist hay and grind wheat, and make a jump rope. You can also clean clothes on an old washboard at Ingalls Homestead, which is part of a living history museum, part theme park. 

A night of lodging in eastern South Dakota costs around $60 in the 1880s.

10. The Depot Lodge in Paint Back, VA

Located in Virginia’s Alleghany Mountains, this charming property offers the ultimate in glamping. A renovated Norfolk & Western caboose, a vintage 26′ Airstream trailer with all the retro touches you’ve ever wanted, or an actual glamping tent with chandelier lighting, high ceilings, and an en suite private bathroom are all options you can choose from. A perfect alternative to camping, the Depot Lodge offers a picturesque backdrop that will leave your followers envious.

11. Eco-Pod in the Mojave Desert in Ridgecrest, CA

With no light pollution in the Mojave Desert in California, these three secluded, comfortable camping pods offer the perfect setting for a star-filled night sky. All pods have a private bathroom, as well as comfortable beds, linens, and a TV with cable, which you won’t need since you have access to live TV right outside your pod’s huge windows. You and your family will have an epic and fun time camping in the desert!


While outdoor activities are fun, camping on the ground isn’t. It’s an exhausting activity, from preparing to tidying up, which often sucks the fun out of a family trip. A family camping trip is supposed to be fun for the whole family as it is a time to strengthen family bonds. Fortunately, with these abovementioned unique camping grounds, families can enjoy their stay and spend quality time together.


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