I have never been a fan of the idea of camping. Between the bugs, possible bad weather and sleeping in a small tent, it just wasn’t anything I ever wanted to do. However, when Timberline Glamping Co., presented an opportunity to go glamping in nearby Williamsburg, my wife convinced me to give it a shot.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term “glamping,” it’s a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping. In other words, it’s an experience that will likely satisfy any city slicker seeking a little refuge in nature—without foregoing any of life’s luxuries. At least that’s what I was told, and what led my decision to spend a few days in nature.
The site was located on the mighty Chickahominy River, inside Chickahominy Riverfront Park, near Williamsburg. When we arrived, I was immediately relieved at what was waiting for us. Our tent was large enough to have two queen beds, two tables, a refrigerator, and plenty of space for walking around. It also had a rug, so it didn’t feel like you were on a campsite, and plenty of outlets to keep your electronics charged.
Oh, and most important of all to me considering we went on a hot weekend, it had an air conditioner and ceiling fans, keeping the tent cold at all times. There’s also a heater for the fall and winter months when the temperature starts to cool down. There was also working internet, though I recommend trying to enjoy as much as the experience as you can without checking social media.
Outside, our glampsite included a hammock, a wood fire ring, a charcoal grill with a cooking grate, string lights, two chairs, and a picnic table. Although there’s no bathroom in the tent, a clean, large bathroom with showers is less than 10 yards away, and it’s well lit so you don’t have to worry about walking at night.
One of the joys of camping—at least from what people have told me in the past—is starting a campfire and cooking your own food. Thankfully, there’s a little store on the site that sells fire wood, so you don’t have to lug it with you. Collecting small sticks for kindling is important, something I learned from watching Survivor. But being that it recently rained, getting the fire lit and blazing was not that easy. We used paper towels and some newspapers we had in the car to get the flames finally going on our first night, and drove to a nearby grocery store the next day to get some fire starters for the other nights.
As for food, we cooked hot dogs and nachos over the roaring fire on night one, and made a camping staple—chili—on night two. Both tasted extra special being that we were outdoors and made them over the campfire. And of course, you can’t go camping without having s’mores, and our marshmallows and chocolate finished the night strong. The on-site store I mentioned earlier also has all the ingredients needed for s’mores, as well as a lot of other snacks and supplies, just like your local 7-11.
The view from the site was glorious. The glamping tents are right on the river, so you can catch the sun rise in the morning and see the stars glistening above at night.
The park has some walking trails, but it’s the river where you will find most of the action. You can swim, fish, kayak or paddleboard. The latter is how we spent our time on the water.
And if you want to journey outside of the campsite, there’s plenty to do in the area. Historic Williamsburg is close by, and there are also loads of hiking trails and bike trails. We rented some ebikes for the day and journeyed out to some nearby sites.
There’s also several wineries not far away. We stopped at one on the way to the glamping adventure and paid a visit to another for lunch one day.
I found glamping to be very enjoyable and relaxing. I spent time resting in the hammock, enjoying the river, and just getting some peace and quiet away from everything.
Will I ever ditch the luxury aspects and try camping for real? No, I don’t see that happening. But I am definitely willing to go glamping again. It’s something fun that you can do with a loved one, a family or a group of friends.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to camp but do so in a luxurious way, glamping is probably for you.
For more information on Timberline Glamping Co., visit williamsburg.tlglamping.com