Summer Camp Like a Grown-Up: Luxury Getaways for the Kid at Heart
As we officially welcome the dog days of summer, fond memories of childhood summers spent at camp are top-of-mind. Lazy days spent lakeside, arts and crafts, horse rides, archery and sleeping under the stars topped off with stories and s’mores around the campfire.
These summertime shenanigans are far from over at the resorts listed below –– offering guests an abundance of activities reminiscent of their days at summer camp (with an elevated twist). Stargazing, bee workshops, lakefront lounging, wildlife safaris, naturalist workshops, axe throwing and kite-surfing are just a few of the camp-inspired activities guests can enjoy –– finished off with s’mores and a nightcap, of course. Travelers can kick it back old school and indulge in a vacation with something offered for every kid at heart.
Ventana Big Sur, Big Sur, California
Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort, is set on 160 acres of rolling meadows and redwood forests in the heart of the California Central Coast, perched overlooking the Pacific coastline. This iconic property offers a wide variety of activities for an elevated summertime experience reminiscent of your fondest memories at summer camp. Begin each day with a morning yoga class or perhaps a guided hike around the property. Then, partake in one of the workshops and activities offered through the Alila Experience Program—options include Star Bathing, Falconry Experience, Photography Hike Workshop, Exploration in Chalk-Pastel / Acrylics / Watercolor, Touch Earth’s Essence Clay Workshop and much more. At the end of a day full of activities, head to the Social House for s’mores –– a gourmet version from the executive pastry chef or opt for a nostalgic version ready to roast on an open fire while reminiscing on the day’s adventures.
Carmel Valley Ranch, Carmel, CA
Carmel Valley Ranch has always been an escape with plenty of room to roam, explore, and discover. The Ranch's 500-acre playground offers endless activities, dining experiences, relaxation opportunities, wellness programming and more for the entire family. Outdoor adventures abound among the gardens, beehives, trails, and the wonders of Carmel Valley –– with workshops and activities lead by the property’s artisans in residence. Enjoy outdoor activities like archery, falconry, naturalist workshops, hiking, tennis, bee workshops at the apiary and more along with the brand new Equine Experiences, offering guests therapeutic ways to embrace and celebrate the power of horses. Head to the artisan workbench to hand-churn ice cream, wine taste, learn more about cheese at the on-site creamery –– then finish the day fireside with s’mores (and perhaps a nightcap) to reflect on the day’s summertime adventures.
The Cloudveil, Jackson Hole, WY
Located at the gateway to the Grand Teton National Park and one hour south of Yellowstone National Park, endless activities are within reach while staying at The Cloudveil, an Autograph Collection Hotel –– the only hotel located in Jackson’s Town Square and the perfect launching pad for all of your adventures. The hotel’s outdoor-savvy concierges, known as Pathfinders, can craft the perfect itinerary for you thanks to their local knowledge of the area. Snowshoe through Grand Teton National Park, explore the hidden side of Yellowstone, or embark on a wildlife safari with Jackson Hole Eco Tours where you’ll learn to interpret animal signs, learn about the ecology of the park and see loads of wildlife –– all supplemented with a luxury picnic packed by Chef Gavin Fine. Finish off the day fireside on The Rooftop, and overlook Jackson Hole Town square while recounting the day’s adventures with a nightcap in hand.
ADERO Scottsdale, an Autograph Collection Hotel, Scottsdale, AZ
Perched high above the Sonoran Desert, ADERO Scottsdale is the only Autograph Collection destination in a certified Dark Sky Community. Reminisce on past summer camp days with stargazing at ADERO Scottsdale, as the resort offers two signature moments that promotes the hotel’s stewardship to the Living Desert:
- Daily Sky Chart: The resort telescope is available by request and can be placed in-room for guests. A Night Sky Chart is provided for a self-guided tour of the galaxy, in addition to information about ADERO’s Dark Sky Zone and tips on the many ways to enjoy the night sky at the resort.
- Stargazing: After sunset the night sky comes alive, and ADERO Scottsdale invites guests to the Stargazing Lawn to soak in the Dark Sky while enjoying light bites and drinks from CIELO. On select evenings the resort offers guided stargazing from the “Star Dudes,” ADERO’s Dark Sky Zone experts. Images: here.
Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island, MI
Mission Point Resort transcends time -- located on the sunrise side of Mackinac Island, Mission Point offers a lakeside retreat for guests to create generations of memories. Named the number one summer destination in America, Mackinac Island is often referred to as being suspended in a forgotten, more innocent time. The island is well known for its hiking and biking trails, given it boasts over 70 miles of hiking and biking on just 3.8 square miles of land. Mission Point is set on 18 acres of lakefront property where Lake Huron meets Lake Michigan, and offers an abundance of outdoor programming that will transport you back to the warm summer camp days -- ranging from tennis matches, the Greens of Mackinac (an 18-hole putting course), as well as horseback riding, kayaking, and more.
Hotel Drover, an Autograph Collection Hotel, Fort Worth, TX
Kick off your boots and grab a canteen cocktail at The Backyard, Hotel Drover’s half-acre outdoor oasis. Transport back to the good ol’ days of warm summer nights underneath the twinkling stars with a reserved fire pit and s’mores kit. Roast marshmallows while overlooking the Marine Creek and if you’re lucky, live country music will be heard from The Backyard Unplugged so you can enjoy the old western vibes all night long.
Twin Farms, Barnard, VT
With adventures for every type of traveler, the best of New England is brought to life at Twin Farms - the casually luxurious, exclusive retreat settled amongst lush Vermont mountains. New for 2021, guests can now find an adventure at every turn of the property’s sprawling 400-acres with its newly enhanced activities program! Each day, guests will receive a full activities schedule packed with different seasonal adventures to take advantage of at their leisure. Daily activities include, fitness classes, yoga, fly fishing lessons, hikes, guided bike trail rides, mountain golf, pickleball, archery, axe throwing, art tours, tennis, paddle boarding, canoeing, bee/honey tours, skiing lessons, ice fishing, horseback riding and so much more - all included in your stay! Guests also have the option to make any activity a private, guided lesson for an additional cost.
Under Canvas Lake Powell - Grand Staircase, Big Water, UT
Gather round the campfire at Under Canvas Lake Powell-Grand Staircase this summer for the ultimate “summer camp” experience. Offering complimentary nightly s’mores, a partnership with Gibson guitars, stargazing, water activities, hiking, and more, this summer camp unlike any other is perched on the edge of the Canyon Rim Plateau with views from the lake to its namesake, Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument. Suitable for all adults, accommodations are West Elm outfitted tents on elevated decks with private ensuite bathrooms, complete with a rustic design spanning over 220 acres of beautiful land. With the camp centered around a lobby lounge tent where guests (or campers) can enjoy board games, a book, Western inspired cuisine, retail offerings and the hub for outdoor adventure, kids-at-heart will make a visit to Lake Powell - Grand Staircase an annual summer tradition.
Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, CA
Set on one of America’s most iconic beaches, the legendary Hotel del Coronado has been welcoming travelers for over 130 years to experience the very best of Southern California’s coastal lifestyle. This seaside getaway is an unparalleled site for a summer camp-inspired getaway, with its private sailing excursions, surf lessons, stand up paddle boarding, Painting by the Sea. Power Hula fitness classes, bike tours and more to stay busy and soak up the summer sunshine. At night, guests can gather round their private campfire to roast s’mores (complete with all of the adult-friendly fixings like wine, cheese, berries and more), as a roster of summer movies are projected right on the beach, with the Pacific Ocean and glowing stars as a backdrop.
Epic Discovery, Vail and Breckenridge, Colorado
This summer, visit Vail and Breckenridge in Colorado and try Epic Discovery for some adrenaline-fueled adventure to really clear the mind and press reset. The Epic Discovery program encourages active adventure-seekers to “learn through play,” promoting environmental education and forest stewardship with numerous fun experiential outdoor activities
- Epic Discovery at Vail: Beginning June 19 - September 6, Epic Discovery at Vail offers thrilling activities of the Forest Flyer mountain coaster, bungee trampoline, Eagle's Nest tubing, Little Eagle zip line and Paramount Peak climbing wall.
- Peak 8 Basecamp at Epic Discovery: Opening on Friday, June 18, the Peak 8 Basecamp offers signature Epic Discovery summer activities of scenic rides, biking, GoldRunner coaster, Alpine slides, Lil’ Climber ropes course, Lil’ Flyer zipline, Silver Summit Climbing Wall, Tom’s Nugget tubing, mini golf and more
- Alpine Camp at Epic Discovery: Alpine Camp will be located just steps off the top of the Colorado SuperChair and the heart of Epic Discovery’s newest activities and adventures at Breck. This will include the interpretive hiking loop with activities throughout, Observation Tower (11,000 feet up!), Alpineer challenge course, and 40-foot Gold Summit climbing wall.
Marquis Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico
Located directly on the tip of Baja California Sur, Marquis Los Cabos sits beachfront where the desert mountains meet the Sea of Cortez. The adults-only, all-inclusive resort is a luxury take on summer camp for adults, with two infinity-edge sunset and sunrise pools and a roster of complementary activities to keep “campers” busy and enjoying the sunshine - from cooking classes, salsa dancing, tennis lessons, target shooting, beach soccer, archery, tequila tastings, mixology classes, and more. What’s more, after a day at play, the “dining hall” is actually five superb culinary options, with plenty of options to eat and drink while staring at the night stars.
Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
Being stranded on a private island has never been so chic and Necker Island is the ultimate all-inclusive adult camp. Available for exclusive-use only, adults seeking an adventure-packed holiday will have Sir Richard Branson’s private island to themselves, where they can spend the days kitesurfing, paddle boarding and kayaking over the crystal Caribbean waters or swimming with the sea turtles. On land, an array of activities awaits - from spending that day roaming the island and hanging out with any of the eight Giant Tortoises that roam the island freely, or in the Lemur and bird enclosures, to playing chess on oversized outdoor chess board overlooking the ocean. At night, sneak up to the crowsnest and watch the Caribbean stars glisten and shooting stars fly by.
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Amelia Island, FL
Situated on a remote Barrier Island, the resort is an idyllic beachfront escape with 13 miles of expansive, private beaches, nature-driven experiences and warm hospitality - packed with different activities and adventures, perfect for an adult summer camp feeling vacation. This year, the resort begins a new chapter with the debut of a renovation of guest rooms and suites, new culinary venues, and a Year of the Pearl campaign in celebration of their 30th anniversary. With extensive culinary offerings, a world-class spa and renowned service, guests can relax and indulge, or get outside and take advantage of the 18-hole championship golf course, indoor and outdoor pools and direct beach access. The resort naturalist has created a guide for small groups to use on hikes along the beaches and dunes where they learn about the history of the island and the natural habitats. Birding and shark tooth hunting on the beach are guest favorite activities that can be done self-guided as well, and kayaking and small group or individual water sports are readily available.
Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, CA
Located in quintessential North County San Diego, adults can escape and experience a secluded San Diego getaway at Rancho Bernardo Inn, where personal luxury meets playful freedom. The property’s 265 acres is a haven for summer activities, including a variety of lawn games like cornhole, croquet and oversized Connect Four; Mello Yoga in the stunning and serene Santiago Courtyard; a game room with Nintendo Wii, Playstation 4 or Xbox games; and more. Looking to spread your wings? Reserve a private falconry experience and get up close and interact with some of nature's top predators. Play field games with hawks, bond with owls and learn the history of falconry with each private session.
Surf & Sand Resort, Laguna Beach, CA
A leader in coastal luxury, Surf & Sand is the perfect summer getaway, sitting right on Laguna Beach’s shoreline. Guests can take in the sun while relaxing on the sand or enjoying the oceanfront pool, or for those looking to try something new, the hotel offers surfing, bodyboarding and SUP lessons. For the foodies, start the summer with their signature restaurant's new dinner series. Inspired by Splashes’ stunning oceanfront location, the culinary team has created a High Tide Dinner Series with a specially crafted menu and wine pairings that align with each month's full moon — June 24th will highlight the Strawberry Moon.
L’Auberge de Sedona, Sedona, AZ
Known as the "dark sky" city, stargazing in Sedona is unlike any other. L’Auberge de Sedona serves as the perfect setting to explore nature’s spectacular stars, with complimentary stargazing offered to guests weekly. Join astronomer Dennis Young after dark and be guided on a tour of Sedona's world-famous night skies. Other outdoor-centric experiences include sound healing and daily yoga sessions. This summer, guests can also take part in the hotel’s all-new mindful and restorative-centric Revitalization Retreat. Professional Life Coach and Soul-Centered Facilitator Donna Bond is at the helm alongside L’Auberge de Sedona and its skilled group of practitioners and healers. Together, they will guide guests throughout this 4-night, 5-day experience and offer the coaching, tools and activities necessary to make intentional and sustainable changes to have a positive and lasting impact on participants’ overall health and wellbeing. Upcoming retreat dates include July 25-29, 2021, Aug. 22-26, 2021 and Dec. 5-9, 2021.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai, Lanai City, Hawaii
Located on the southeastern coast of the pristine island of Lanai, lies the 90,000 acre, secluded retreat of Four Seasons Resort Lanai. The oceanfront destination offers adult travelers a variety of options to curate a personalized island getaway. Spend the days lounging by the lagoon-style pools, strolling the botanical gardens, reconnecting body and spirit at the Hawanawana Spa with an array of low/no touch services or savor Japanese cuisine at the cliff-side Nobu Lanai. Discover endless opportunities to treat one’s mind and body on land, ocean or air, including off-property hiking, horseback riding, sailing and ziplining. Snorkel amid coral-reef systems and submerged rocks teeming with tropical fish, green sea turtles and gentle reef sharks, or have a blast off-roading across red dirt roads. From the rugged uplands to the aquatic sanctuary of Hulopoe Bay, the opportunities for adventure and relaxation are endless.
Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort, Lanai City, HI
Surrounded by lush foliage, pine-covered mountains and fresh tropical breezes, the adults-only Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort offer’s every traveler’s dream wellness getaway. The secluded destination features a private wellness consultation and personalized itinerary, with a choice of spa treatments, fitness classes and enriching island activities, as well as dining by Nobu. Activity options range from private yoga sessions, horseback riding through the surrounding hills of Koele, sailing off the scenic Lanai coastline, customized spa treatments and facials and more. The unmatched hospitality, reputable experts and extraordinary setting combine to offer a completely customized experience, allowing guests to discover their greatest well-being.
Edgewood Tahoe, Lake Tahoe, NV
With pristine blue waters and skies punctuated by towering trees, this summer guests can soak in the sun on the property's private beach and enjoy an extensive list of summertime activities, like an intimate picnic on the mountain with sparkling wine and a spread of artisan charcuterie and cheese. For water activities, embark on a Tahoe kayak adventure, in partnership with the one-of-a-kind Clearly Kayak. For the ultimate summer camp vibes, this summer Edgewood will also feature nightly s’mores, live music on The Bistro patio, lawn games, movies on the green, and star tours, where guests can learn about the Tahoe night sky and peek at summer constellations with onsite Star Guide, Tony Berendsen.
Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, Los Cabos, MX
S’mores are roasting as the waves are crashing along the golden beaches of one of Los Cabos’ only swimmer-friendly beaches at Hilton Los Cabos, a beachy adult summer camp destination. Cozy in a private beach bungalow at Enclave Beach Club for Bonfire & S’mores to delight in camp’s favorite treat paired with cocktails. For the adventure enthusiast, book Hilton Los Cabos’ new Cabo Wild Adventure Package, offering $500 credit at Wild Canyon Adventure Park for activities including a UTV tour along the Los Cabos desert landscapes, or go off-roading in an ATV along unique terrain paths.
Cavallo Point, Sausalito, CA
Nestled at the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Cavallo Point is an award-winning luxury property rooted in history and sustainability and committed to providing guests with a sense of place and undeniable serenity. Approaching summertime with fun, adventure and a myriad of outdoor experiences quintessential to the San Francisco Bay Area, Cavallo Point is the Bay Area’s one-of-a-kind basecamp for summer adventure, with sustainable luxury accommodations, award-winning food and wine, rejuvenating spa experiences and unparalleled outdoor adventures. Guests can enjoy paddle boarding, kayaking, surfing school, self-guided or guided hiking tours, local and mountain biking adventures, daytime and sunset bay cruises, seaplane tours, helicopter tours of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge and Rodeo Beach shuttle excursions.
Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico
Set on 4,000 private acres of gardens, mountains and meadows, Rancho La Puerta, the original “fitness resort” and spa, is the ultimate adult summer getaway. Providing a luxurious experience that offers a unique reawakening and spiritual mental escape ideal for the adult looking for a transformative wellness experience this summer, this primarily adults-only resort is complete with over 80 fitness classes, exhilarating hiking trails, rejuvenating spa treatments, therapeutic sessions, cooking classes, renowned speaker series and exciting water programming in the pool. A truly perfect adult playground, guests are sure to leave The Ranch feeling revitalized after customizing their dream wellness itinerary for either a 3, 4, 7 or enhanced 21-day stay.
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Situated on Cabo San Lucas’ most coveted parcel of land overlooking the sparkling Pacific Ocean, the majestic Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal is an adult summer camp-lover’s dream. A truly luxurious property complete with private plunge pools outside of each room, world-class culinary outlets and unparalleled ocean views, guests of Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal can choose from ample activities on and off-propety that are sure to satisfy every type of traveler. For the thrill-seeking adult, the property’s Beyond the Beach Curated Exploration itineraries offers everything from swimming with whale sharks and snorkeling with sea lions to exploring Espiritu Santo Island by yacht or panga and savoring the culinary delights and art of Todos Santos. For adults looking for a more relaxing itinerary, the property boasts their signature Waldorf Astoria Spa that transports spa-goers into tranquility with Mexican folk healing inspired treatments and lunar inspired treatments designed to reawaken the mind, body, and spirit. Guests can end each day with the unparalleled stargazing Los Cabos is known for and a dip in their private plunge pool.
The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, Greensboro, GA
Set along 30 acres of shoreline and cradled by the Georgia pines is a luxury lakeside resort with endless adventure and exploration around every corner. All the lake life fun with the luxury amenities of a five star resort - the property makes a perfect destination for an “Adult Summer Camp” retreat. Gather a group and head to the lake to indulge i quintessential outdoor lakeside activities from hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, boating and of course nightly S’mores by the fire. Adults will feel like a kid again by Lake Oconee. Summer “campers” can create their very own summer camp dream and book one of the recently transformed Cottages or the ultra-luxe Lake House your younger camp self could only have dreamt of.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, Malé, Maldives
Travelers looking to adventure like their younger summer camp selves (but with the luxuries adult life provides)- can head to crown jewel of the Maldives, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi’s island paradise. With an idyllic backdrop of turquoise waters, white sandy beaches and Maldivian air the stage is set for adventure and exploration to unlock local treasures from sandbar excursions, diving with manta rays, kayaking, fishing, sailing and so much more. Those looking to pick up a new skill or cross off a bucket list item can opt in group and private lessons like wakeboarding, kneeboarding, and surfing available for all levels. The resort will unlock the inner summer camper within guests with its endless menu of activities made of dreams. Explore the Maldivian waters with trained scuba divers or snorkel the coral reefs and swim with turtles and dolphins - then retreat back to your “camp cabin” whether it be an overwater villa or maybe Ithaafushi - The Private Island to gather a summer camp crew and take over an island!
Town and Country, San Diego, CA
A landmark resort in San Diego, Town and Country is a nod to the past, sure to bring you back to the good ole’ days of splashing in the pool, zipping down the slides, playing in the yard, and enjoying each moment without a worry in the world. With a four-story “Twister” waterslide and soon-to-debut poolside bar and eatery serving up Palm Springs-meets-San Diego vibes, you’ll transport back to the days of munching on classic bites in a wet suit (think: sandwiches, wings, hot dogs) with a local craft beer in hand, instead of a virgin-lemonade. In July, Town and Country will be the host for the original and largest Tiki event in the world, Tiki Oasis, which will bring all of the live music, dancing, and tropical cocktails you could imagine — a blast from the past.
Share this article: