Inspired Stories

A resource for nature lovers, environmental stewards, explorers, sustainable lifestyle advocates & community activists. Enjoy this compilation of stories from our travels across the globe told through blogs, pictures & video.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead

Original CBS News Story

MIAMI (CBS Miami) — This summer, many families hit the great outdoors to camp. But if you don’t want to rough it, consider glamping or glamorous camping. It’s a popular trend that’s reaching new heights.

For the Barraza family, camping is a chance to unplug and reconnect.

“I like to come out as often as I can,” Nora Barraza says, “I like to get out of the city.”

But when glamping, you don’t have to miss out on comfort.

“You literally come with your clothes and some food and you enjoy the atmosphere and you enjoy camping without the headache that comes along with it,” Barraza says.

San Diego-based Alter Experiences combines the love of the great outdoors with all the comforts of a fancy retreat. From a therapeutic mattress, plush carpets, chandeliers, and even a heater, it’s a relaxing oasis nestled in a national forest in southern California. Those looking to elevate the experience can sleep under the stars in a tree tent.

Shantel Seoane is the founder and CEO of Alter Experiences. She says, “It’s soothing, it’s peaceful. It’s just kind of, really a kind of magical experience.”

According to Research and Markets, the glamping market in the U.S. is projected to reach a revenue of around $1 billion by 2024 and there are options from coast to coast.

A Montana-based experience called Paws Up offers tents with attached bathrooms and breakfast options include an omelet station.

You can even glamp without leaving New York City.

On Governors Island just outside of Manhattan, campers can enjoy a fire while looking at skyscrapers.

Of course, these options are more expensive than traditional camping. The Barrazas spent $250 a night.

Florida Glamping also provides all the creature comforts of home in the midst of the great outdoors. Here are six fun retreats around the Sunshine State.

1. The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, Walt Disney World

2. Miller’s World Cabins, Everglades City

3. Clyde Butcher’s Swamp Cottage and Bungalow, Ochopee

4. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Beach

5. Oak Harbor, Haines City

6. Westgate River Ranch, Frostproof

Glamping Retreats

Our glamping sites are nestled in the high mountain forests of San Diego's backcountry - sky islands where pristine nature & wild-life thrives. These are some of the most remote & biologically diverse habitats in all of Southern California that include many open space preserves, National Forest Lands and State Parks. Each one of our sites is handpicked to offer you a truly nature immersive experience. We strive to create the most comfortable outdoor experience possible, even at our most remote locations. We take all that's fun about traditional camping & combine it with modern comfort & state of the art equipment.

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Baja Adventures

Discover Baja Norte and the gateway to Southern California's last frontier. Soak in the Baja sun along the warm & clear water of the Sea of Cortez. This stunning & revered body of water is one of our planet's most bio-diverse habitats, teeming with marine life & a variety of pelagic species. Rest & unwind on a white sand beach under a Palapa with a pina colada. Enjoy some fishing from the shore, or take out a paddle board & explore the bay. Whether you're visiting Baja for the first time, or have visited Mexico before - this experience will truly immerse you in the natural wonders, biodiversity and culture of Baja California, Mexico.

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Mountain Biking

Among the funnest activities available in our San Diego Backcountry is mountain biking. There are numerous mountain bike trails to choose from that are very close to our glamping sites. Big Laguna Trail and Noble Canyon are 2 of the most popular and can be done as one long track. If you are new to mountain biking, or want to try the latest MTB equipment, Alter Experiences is your one-stop-shop for bike and equipment rentals in Mt. Laguna. Book your mountain bike rental HERE

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