In the Washington State Park system, there are a handful of places that offer you more than a flat patch of dirt on which to pitch your tent. You can rent a yurt, a little round house on a platform, complete with bunk-beds, outlets, and oh, my, electric heat. A few springs back, we spent a delightful weekend on the south Washington coast, caring not about the weather, which was (this being Washington State) completely unpredictable. We also stayed in a yurt with a billion-dollar view in Hana on the island of Maui -- this one had a little kitchenette and, just outside, a bathroom that was private but open to the sky. It was indeed paradise, possibly the quietest place we've ever stayed, the sound of the ocean interrupted only by the sound of the rain on the little skylight dome.
In our state park system, a yurt is like camping lite. You don't need a tent, you can take off your shoes, there's no awkward sleeping on the ground. You still have to use the common facilities -- we were right next door to the blockhouse that contained the toilets and the showers, but you may also have to hoof it with a flashlight for that midnight wake-up. But yurt facilities vary from our somewhat spare Washington experience to the more deluxe round home away from home -- check out this luxurious stay on Suite 101.
In the end, though, a yurt is still a great big tent. So, what makes it better than camping? You can be in bed, warm and cozy from the woodstove, gazing up through a domed window in the ceiling at clear skies and dancing stars. For me, and for the people who rent it from me for vacations, this is what it’s all about. --A Yurt with a View
The name "yurt" sounds of the exotic, windblown Mongolian plateaus, horses tied up out side, brown nomadic types textured by the weather. The yurt pictures on Uncornered Market, in addition to being gorgeous, should fulfill all your cliched longings for the archetypal yurt, but there's a crunchy mainstreaming of the yurt too -- it's the perfect solution for temporary housing that becomes permanent on that little bit of land that you've scraped to pay for so you family has a regular getaway. The yurt is established in the vocabulary of alternative accommodations at ski resorts and slightly off-the-beaten-path destinations. And it's the affordable "first camping" experience for many a family.
These circular, domed tents are made of extra-heavy, durable canvas. Yurts evidently served as traditional shelters for nomadic people in Asia. Now, they’re a comfortable, semi-affordable way to “glam camp.” (Yes, I just made that term up. Please forgive me.) In other words -– stay in a yurt, rough it a little less. -- NW Cheap Sleeps
Who knows? One weekend with your loved ones in a house without right angles might change your point of view on your entire life. You could end up bugging out and going round for good. In the meantime, my advice for you? Start with your state parks website (North Americans) or just search for "yurt" + your destination. You'll be amazed that the array of offerings.
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