Sure, Solangé took the idea of glamping to new heights by pitching lavish tents and bringing chic décor – but you can make your own rules when it comes to planning a glam cabin weekend to remember, no matter where you’re headed this fall. Here’s your ESSENCE editor approved guide.
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Thanks to easy vacation rental sites like Airbnb, you’re already just one quick search away from finding the fall cabin or cottage rental of your dreams. More and more property owners have renovated rustic lodges, cottages and cabins to make the inside more like a modern oasis. Look for a property nestled in the woods and loaded with features and amenities just begging to be shared (and liked) on Instagram. Calling all east-coasters: I found this epic gem of a cottage in the Pocono Mountains and it was an instant winner for our group “glamping” trip.
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The lakeside home, which sleeps 12 comfortably, features an indoor heated pool and jacuzzi, movie screening room, adult-friendly playroom (complete with a poker table, ping pong, and more), a fire pit and a multi level outdoor patio with a grill. The home even features Sonos technology and speakers throughout, so your playlist can reign supreme no matter what space (inside our out) that your group is getting cozy in. The onsite property manager (who lives nearby), Ritchie, can help with any issues you might have -- like starting a fire, encountering a bear...you know, nature stuff!
Remember: Epic locations go fast, so if you see an awesome one, like this one, that’s sure to be a real crowd pleaser, book fast before it’s gone.
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If you want to dig in to the true magic of fall and winter cabin getaway living, there is a list of required amenities. First up on that list is a fire pit. It’s the perfect place to gather the group, become one with the nature around you and toast to good times.
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For fireside toasting with a twist, you’re going to need a simple cocktail that everyone will love and a couple of moscow mule mugs to keep your drinks chilled. Our group toasted refreshing Ketel One Vodka sodas by the fire and the pool. The Ketel Soda With Cucumber Mint is a winner.
Ketel Soda With Cucumber and Mint
• 1.5 oz Ketel One Vodka
• 3 oz Club Soda
• Cucumber slices
• Sprig of mint
How to Make
1. Build in a Collins or rocks glass over ice.
2. Add 1.5 oz Ketel One Vodka.
3. Top with 3 oz club soda.
4. Garnish with a cucumber slice and a sprig of mint.
For something a little fancier glampers, you'll love this Ketel One Vodka Strawberry Mule (pictured here) too.
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When you're not swapping stories and laughs by the fire, a few classic (or modern!) board and card games will certainly keep you busy.
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Mini canned wine and cocktails are great picks for fireside fun and also handy to bring along to the lake or on your nature hike. (Because you never know when the moment might call for a toast, right?) For our glamping extravaganza, we brought along Barefoot Refresh Spritzers (the ladies will love the Rosé Spritzer, Crisp White Spritzer and Moscato). For late night partying by the fire, or in your glam cabin’s game room you can’t lose with Slow and Low Rock and Rye mini cocktails in a can. (Member of our party group were fighting over the last few cans…so, don’t skimp on the quantities)
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To really put the “glam” in your glamping weekend, turn an outdoor picnic bench or your cottage’s indoor dining table into a dinner party to remember. An easy way to pull this off on a dime, without compromising on style, of course, is to shop for chic disposable dinnerware. My favorite place to find great designs for good prices is OrientalTrading.com.
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For our black and gold themed glamping weekend, we grabbed super cute chargers, a cocktail mixer, and disposable tablecloths, plates, napkins, tumblers, cutlery , and wine glasses with lids and straws (so fun!) and used them for lunches and all our fancy meals under the stars. You can shop by theme or color on the site, and the recommended style ideas are the perfect inspo.
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Unless there’s a grill master in your crew, the idea of preparing a meal while you’re glamping may seem daunting. I get that! If you’re glamping in a wooded area that’s not so far from civilization, consider alternative options for your dinner menu…like delivery! Italian anyone? Our glamping adventure took place in the Pocono mountain area, which was actually inside of the Olive Garden delivery zone. The group came together for a hearty meal of chicken parmesan, salad, fettuccini alfredo, bread sticks and iced tea without ever lifting a pan. Now that’s glam meets cabin getaway.
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What’s an Instagram photo opp without a fun prop to make the photo pop? Our group was lucky enough to find a luxury cottage rental that came with an indoor pool, but many wooded-area getaways that you’ll find listed do have lakes and community pool access. If there’s a pool handy, bring luxury adult-sized pool floats along for the photo fun and to elevate the moment. We went over to Funboy, where we found the glam metallic golden seahorse float in the opening photo and these sexy golden lips (which also come in other colors).
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