Yurts provide a way to have comfortable lodgings and still feel like you are part of nature.
Next time you crave a nature getaway but don't want to come home smelling like Bigfoot, try a yurt. Nomads in central Asia have used these round, cloth-covered dwellings for perhaps 2,500 years, but now resorts and state parks have turned yurts into stylish lodgings with skylight domes, durable fabric walls, and raised floors. Amenities run from electric heaters to hot tubs.
KIMO'S HALE Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii. Among palm trees and plumeria, you'll find a yurt with tropical decor and linens, an entertainment center, a private bathroom, hot tub, and kitchenette. $95. (808) 826-6040, www.kimosvacationrentals.com.
SPANISH FLAT RESORT Lake Berryessa, Calif. After winetasting in nearby Napa, stay at these rustic yurts with queen-size futons, bunks, and barbecues. $50. (707) 966-7700.
WINCHESTER LAKE STATE PARK Winchester, Idaho. Surrounded by forest in the Craig Mountains, this prized yurt sits close to a lake. Bicycles and a canoe are available in the summer. $59. (208) 924-7563, www.parksandrecreation.idaho.gov.
RIVER PARK RESORT Coloma, Calif. This yurt has a deck overlooking the south fork of the American River where the sound of the rapids may lull you to sleep. $100, breakfast included. (800) 234-7238, www.rivertrip.com/amerrsrt.html.
UMPQUA LIGHTHOUSE STATE PARK Near North Bend, Ore. Located close to Lake Marie, Winchester Bay, and the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, these dwellings include TVs, kitchenettes, and bathrooms with showers. $65. (800) 452-5687, www.oregonstateparks.org/park_121.php.
TREEBONES RESORT Near Gorda, Calif. This creme de la creme of yurt resorts features grand views of the Big Sur coast, cloud-soft comforters, and a heated pool and spa. $119–$239, breakfast included. (877) 424-4787, www.www.treebonesresort.com.
STORMKING SPA Ashford, Wash. Just outside Mount Rainier National Park, this upscale cedar-walled yurt boasts a gas fireplace and a hot tub. $155–$175. (360) 569-2964, www.stormkingspa.com.
Illustration by Michael Klein
This article was first published in July 2005. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.