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One of the Top 10 Glamping Experiences in America-The Destination

Photo credit: John Denney

Checking in at #6 on USA Today’s recent 10Best poll, The Destination is one of the top 10 glamping spots in America, and you don’t need to be a camper to love glamping!

Though there are many wonderful and unique places to stay while visiting Lake Martin, AL,  planning a weekend trip to The Destination ensures a getaway experience unlike any other. 

Described as “tents on the outside, a 4-star hotel on the inside”, The Destination is in fact luxury lodging encased in safari tents from South Africa. The inside of each “glamp” is a resort-style home with locking exterior double French doors, wood floors, tile showers, ceiling fans, elaborate furnishings, heating and air, and much more.

glamping bathroom

The best part? The Destination is located deep within the Alabama woods, giving you a sense of complete privacy and relaxation from the outside world, even though only minutes from downtown Dadeville, shopping, restaurants, and beautiful Lake Martin. It is the perfect “destination” to unload and unwind.

If you are new to glamping, or just ready for an unforgettable weekend/weekdays trip, this article is for you!

History in the Making

glamping tent at The Destination Dadeville

What is “glamping” exactly?  Glamping is essentially camping in the aspect that you are outdoors and usually deep within nature.  However, it is much more glamorous in the sense that you don’t have to pop your own tent, and it is far less primitive.  A glamp will have all the luxuries of home, including electricity, running water, and real beds.  

The Destination was dreamt up years ago by Skip and Rhonda Courtney, who had been wanting to get into the hospitality business once they retired. They had originally imagined it would be along the lines of revamping an old inn, or perhaps a bed and breakfast.  However, the couple ended up stumbling upon glamping and immediately fell in love with the concept. The rest is history. 

Since its opening, The Destination has become one of Alabama’s greatest hidden glamping gems. So much, in fact, it recently was named #6 of the Top 10 Glamping Spots in the United States by USA Today. 

Location of The Destination

the destination water view

Located down a long, red dirt road and nestled on 78 acres of beautiful Alabama woods bordered by Sandy Creek, guests staying at The Destination will find themselves in their own little private piece of natural paradise. As Skip would say, it’s just you, trees, water, and the big blue sky.

While staying here, guests can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as canoeing and kayaking experiences, hiking the creek side and ridge trails, swimming, fishing… or even just simply relaxing.

It is also close to many iconic Lake Martin stops, such as the Smith Mountain Fire Tower or Chuckwalla’s Pizza. It’s all up to you! 

What to Bring on Your Glamping Trip 

the destination kitchen

The good news is, not much. You actually don’t even have to be an experienced camper to enjoy your visit here.  The Destination has everything you may need for a comfortable stay, including a fully stocked kitchenette, coffee maker, board games, and even a grill on each private deck.  

Skip and Rhonda’s suggestion would be to bring clothes, a good book to read, and whatever food you would like to cook on your private grill.  You may also want to plan to pack a swimsuit to soak in your private 7×7 hot tub or take a dip in the creek, as well as a pair of hiking boots, tennis, and water shoes if you plan to hit the scenic trails or wade in Sandy Creek Shoals.

Glamping Options at The Destination

glamping tent bedroom

At The Destination, you have your choice of 4 different glamping experiences – each one uniquely based on important moments or memories in Skip and Rhonda’s life. Each glamp comes uniquely furnished to its theme, along with hardwood floors, granite countertops, heating and cooling, personal deck space, and even your own hot tub! 


2 Bedroom, 1 Sleeper Sofa
Sleeps 6

This glamp is a shabby-chic, beach cottage experience based off of the city of Clearwater, Florida-the town where Skip and Rhonda first met. Its bright Florida-style decor, beach artwork, and plush white furniture will make you feel like you are staying in a throwback 80’s beach cottage right on the ocean’s shore. You can almost hear the waves now!


1 Bedroom, 1 Sleeper sofa
Sleeps 4

Who needs to go out West when the ranch can be brought to you? This glamp is your “log cabin” experience at The Destination, modeled after “Ponderosa Ranch”. Its decor mimics that of a cozy ranch cabin, with a sliding barn door, wooden beams, Cowboy furnishings, and of course an overstuffed Western sleeper sofa.

And we have to ask, is there a better way to sing old campfire songs and look up at the Alabama stars than from your own personal hot tub or your very own firepit?

“Music Loft”

2 Bedroom, 1 Sleeper Sofa

Sleeps 6 

Themed after their famed Music Loft in downtown Nashville, this glamp is a music lover’s dream! This one is decorated with guitars, Music City-themed art, and even signed memorabilia. Along with its edgy and modern interior, this glamp also boasts a massive personal deck, complete with both covered and uncovered areas, as well as lounge chairs, outdoor ceiling fan, and don’t forget the hot tub!


1 Bedroom, 1 Sleeper sofa
Sleeps 4

This one is a nautical-themed glamp, named after Skip and Rhonda’s beloved 46’ motor yacht. “Moondance”, which you may also recognize as the famous 70’s musical hit by Van Morrison, the inspiration behind the yacht’s name and now this glamping experience. Decked out in anchors, buoys, and deep navy and gold decor, staying here will make you feel like you’re sleeping on your own ship sailing off to sea.

Live Music at The Destination

destination music flyer

One of the newest phases of The Destination is the “Southwind Stage,” where glamping guests and the public both can enjoy live music acts deep in the heart of the woods. The Destination looks forward to welcoming its first musical guests in September 2022 to celebrate their 1 year anniversary! 

The Destination truly allows you to experience the “Luxury Of Nature.” To book your stay and learn more about this glamping experience, check out The Destination’s website here.