Looking for an outdoor getaway without leaving all the comforts of home? Welcome to “glamping,” the mix of outdoor camping with modern day amenities and luxury.
Airydale Retreat in Mill Creek is a unique glamping resort, with tents, domes and cabins for visitors to stay in. The resort was started in 2019 by the Zook family, on a part of what was once their grandparents’ farmland.
Being avid campers, the family looked for ways to use the land before deciding to transform it into a luxury campground. Matt Zook, one of the owners, said glamping makes the outdoors more accessible for people with little camping experience.
“It really encourages people to experience the outdoors in new ways without giving up on some of the creature comforts,” Zook said. “So it caters toward people who may not have otherwise been willing to go camping. We provide a couple of comforts that encourage them to go outside and experience nature in new and refreshing ways.”
What started as a family passion project has turned into Zook’s full-time job, using his skills from years in construction and practical engineering to plan and design new sites. In July Airydale finished its second dome campsite, which has an indoor bathroom.
The dome and single-level tent campsites are perfect for couples, Zook said, while the cardinal campsites feature slides that are perfect for families with kids. Each site comes with a camp stove or indoor kitchenette, campfires, outdoor heated showers and ice chests.
The family works to make the campsites both practical and pleasing, incorporating neutral designs and colors to make the scenery outside shine.
“We tried to blend functionality with aesthetic and that is a push and pull relationship,” Zook said. “We want to obviously provide comfortable amenities but also do it in a way that is aesthetically pleasing.”
The campsites are available from April to November but many weekends for fall are filling up fast. Visitors can book on the Airydale website or through Airbnb.
The Airydale website also lists activities around the area for guests, like hiking locations, breweries, restaurants, caves and more.
Zook said the resort is great for leaf peeping in the fall, and many fall weekdays are still open for booking.
What to bring: Make sure to bring slippers so you aren’t tracking the outdoors in. Zook suggests bringing regular camping items like bug spray, flashlights, appropriate clothing and shoes. He also suggests bringing games or activities to do evening.
How to get there: From State College, take state Route 26 to Mill Creek to get there in just under an hour.
What to do nearby: Raystown Lake, Greenwood Furnace State Park, Juanita Brewing Company
published 2022-07-29 12:41:16