Think outside the tent: Yurts bring ‘glamping’ concept to Virginia

POWHATAN COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Thinking about getting outdoors with the family this summer, but maybe you’re not too keen on pitching a tent or snoozing in a sleeping bag? Well, 8News has found a new way to experience nature in luxury at Virginia State Parks this summer.

“The yurt is a new word for us this year,” boasts Virginia State Parks Director Craig Seaver.

Three yurts are up and ready for rental at Powhatan State Park.

The circular domed tents, dwellings originally used by nomads in Central Asia, are today considered by some as ‘glamping‘, or glamourous camping.

“It is a step above a tent on the ground,” explains Seaver.

Let’s call it, “glamping lite.”

“There’s no kitchenettes or bathrooms in them or climate control yet,” Seaver said. “We do hope to put electric or water in some of them down the road.”

So you see, it’s not quite glamping. There’s no place to plug in your hair dryer or your curling iron, but it is fully enclosed, furnished and perhaps the best part is you get a mattress.

Seaver refers to as ‘intermediate camping experience.’

Each yurt comes with its own wrap around deck.

“We’ll have these rocking chairs and patio furniture on each of the deck,” Seaver added.

Each yurt also comes with its own picnic table and fire pit so you can make the Smores.

Nearby is the river, canoeing, tubing and trails to enjoy. But this lodging upgrade for outdoor enthusiasts is not limited to Powhatan; Pochahontas State Park has four yurts and there’s more on the way.

“Our goal is to construct 45 yurts statewide,” Seaver said.

Last year, the General Assembly set aside $1.4 million dollars to construct yurts in 13 state parks with the hope of boosting tourism and enticing new visitors.

“Hopefully it turns them onto camping and coming back,” Seaver said.

The Powhatan State Park yurts cost $75 dollars a night — half the price of a cabin. To reserve your yurt call 1800 933 PARK. Click here to find other locations in the state with yurts.

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