If you’re like Colleen Kelly, there’s nothing more enlightening than experiencing this world’s natural beauty. There’s hardly a better feeling than waking up in a warm, cozy bed, brewing up a pot of coffee, and drinking it outside in the crisp fall air as you take in the sights and sounds of nature all around you. As much as Colleen loves to enjoy the beauty of nature, she also loves her comforts and luxuries, like many of us do. Thankfully, you no longer have to choose between the two. We’re here to show you how to have an incredible glamping adventure in Missouri’s stunning Ozarks. The best of all worlds is just within your reach.
Spanning across Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and southeastern Kansas are the Ozarks, a mountain region that many people travel from all over the country to experience. Thanks to companies like Glamping Hub, visitors are easily able to find accommodations in areas like the Ozarks that are located right in the heart of these natural wonders. From elaborate tents to airstreams, and from cozy cottages to luxury cabins complete with flat screen TVs and hot tubs, there’s a glamping option for everyone.
Similarly to AirBnB, Glamping Hub allows you to search thousands of vacation rentals based on location, amenities, size of your party, and so much more. Once you’ve booked your rental, you’ll be put in touch with the owner or contact directly. Our contact was very welcoming, friendly, and made himself open to any questions we had about the property, even before our arrival.
Our glamping spot of choice was Pine Valley at Dillard Mill. Located on a secluded, 43 acre property in Mark Twain National Forest, Pine Valley offers the best of nature and comfort. Nestled atop the rolling hills of the Ozarks deep in the forest, with trees, cows, a rustic barn and natural beauty all around, every view from Pine Valley is breathtaking.
While there are airstreams for parties of two available for rent at around $79 a night, we chose to stay at the cozy cottage. For only $89 a night, up to four people can stay in this comfortable rental. Perfect for a family, a small group of your closest girlfriends, or even you and your partner, this cottage had everything we needed. With a combined living room/dining room area, a full kitchen, bathroom, a loft bedroom, and a comfortable futon on the main level, guests can spread out and still enjoy time together.
When we say the cottage was equipped with everything we needed, we mean everything! Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, mugs, dishes, condiments, paper products, fresh water, firewood, lighters, DVDs, books, games, and plenty more are available in the cottage right at your fingertips. All you need to bring is your own food! If there’s anything you need, don’t hesitate to ask your renter who resides next door, close enough for comfort and far enough away for privacy.
Here’s one of our favorite parts– you don’t even need to BYOB! We were thrilled to find two lovely bottles of local wine waiting for us in our cottage’s kitchen. Produced at a local vineyard, these wines are available for purchase to give you a taste of the Ozarks. Simply fill our their purchase form, leave it in your cabin, and enjoy a nice glass of red or white beside the campfire.
While on the property, feel free to enjoy the many things to do within walking distance. Explore the old barn, take a hike on one of their trails, either through the woods or down to Huzzah Creek, where you might just glimpse some deer. Go fishing in the pond and take in the peace and quiet. If you’re feeling adventurous, hop onto their complimentary golf cart and drive down to the Dillard Mill historic site.
Travel Tip: Enjoy a tour of the Dillard Mill for only $5. Keep in mind that the mill runs daily tours Wednesdays through Sundays.
One of our favorite parts of our stay were the evenings around our own private campfire. We loved toasting marshmallows, listening to some soft music, and relishing the brisk, autumn air. While fall is a slightly slower time of the year for Pine Valley, be sure to book early in the summer, as most weeks fill up very quickly.
If you’re looking for accommodations with more of a lodge feel, look no further than Cobblestone Lodge in Steelville, about half an hour north of Mark Twain National Forest. Still located in the Ozarks, this all-inclusive lodge will bring a rustic charm to your vacation. Those of you ladies who want to “rough it” in a quaint, cozy cabin can feel like they’re camping while still enjoying a warm bed and a full bathroom.
During the summer, Cobblestone Lodge is known as the “Number One Family Resort in the Ozarks”, but in the fall, adults will find their own ideal vacation here. Their partnership with Wildwood Springs Lodge for their fall concert series makes for a perfect adult getaway. You’ll have a variety of concerts to choose from, with classic bands ranging from Orleans to the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Pair your show with a buffet dinner at Wildwood’s historic dining room for a great evening out with friends.
Travel Tip: Located only five minutes from Wildwood Springs, Cobblestone Lodge offers a free round-trip shuttle to their guests on concert days.
After Cobblestone’s complimentary shuttle takes you back to the lodge after the concert, enjoy a group bonfire with your fellow concert-goers, also provided by the lodge. You’ll love being able to experience the feeling of camping in the woods of the Ozarks, knowing your cabin is just a short walk away.
In the morning, head to the lodge’s dining hall for a delicious, homemade hot breakfast of pancakes and sausage or eggs with biscuits and gravy. Weather permitting, fall float trips are also offered to all guests, so you can fully experience the stunning Meramec River by canoeing it. In the evening, feel free to borrow one of the lodge’s free books or board games to bring back to your cabin. For those with a larger group, we recommend renting their quadrulex cabin for some extra space and beds.
Services like Glamping Hub or local gems like Cobblestone Lodge are perfect for providing you with whatever accommodations you’re looking for to enjoy your rustic vacation to its fullest. Wherever or however you choose to glamp, just remember what’s at the heart and soul of glamping: Being a part of nature with the people you love.