Ahhhh Atlanta, also known as the Hollywood of the South. I love visiting Atlanta because there is an abundance of things to do and I’ve always had friends to visit who live there. My son and I have visited the MLK memorial, the amazing whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium, and we’ve done the Snow Mountain winter wonderland at Stone Mountain. What you may not know is that Atlanta is a hop skip and a jump away from some pretty sweet places to get your nature on. (See past post about Chattahoochee tubing and Anna Ruby Falls.) In fact, there are at least 8 Georgia state parks within an hour to hour and a half driving distance.
This summer my son and I were planning a visit to the burbs of Atlanta to celebrate a family event with my best friend. She told me her house was going to be full of out of town family so I was considering our options for a place to stay. Sure, I could have called another friend or just booked a reasonable room at a chain hotel nearby but where’s the adventure in that? Ooooooorrrrrrrr………. I could take advantage of this trip and sneak in something way cooler. And I hit the jackpot!
I made our reservations to stay at the campgrounds of Fort Yargo State Park in one of their…..wait for it……YURTS!!!! Winning! I found yurts 30 minutes away from my bff’s house in Winder, GA. Yall know how I feel about yurts. Since last year’s summer glamping trip where we stayed in a yurt in north Florida, I have been on a mission to stay in more yurts so this was the perfect opportunity. Fort Yargo actually has a yurt peninsula of 6 yurts that can be reserved. It’s a small peninsula that juts out into the lake, which is the centerpiece of the park.
What makes these yurts an awesome choice for a glamping experience? I’m glad you asked:
- Each yurt has a lake view from the back porch terrace.
- The yurts are spaced reasonably apart so there is a definite sense of privacy from the other glampers.
- It’s an actual structure, impervious to the weather so you won’t feel like you’re as vulnerable as you do in a tent.
- The doors have a keypad lock so no pesky key to keep up with.
- No sleeping on the floor when you’re in a yurt. There is a bunk bed with a twin on top and a full size fold down futon on the bottom and another full size fold down futon on the other side of the room. Remember to bring your own bedding! That’s the beauty of glamping, you can make your dwelling as nice and comfy as you please. I didn’t have a chance to take pics after I set up our bedding but I brought my Egyptian cotton sheets and comfy pillows along on this trip to glam up my experience. You could also bring fresh flowers and vases, cute lanterns for ambience, and anything else to glam up your space.
- Yes, there is electricity. There are lights and a ceiling fan inside the yurt and plenty of outlets.
- Unlike when you go traditional camping and you have to eat at an outdoor picnic table or risk dropping crumbs inside the tent, there is a table and chairs inside of every yurt. Just remember to sweep up after yourself and take your trash out of the yurt to the campground dumpster so that you don’t invite any pesky critters to join you inside.
- Each yurt comes with a canoe for your use on the lake and the life vest and ore are already inside of the yurt. Now I personally prefer kayaks to canoes so we did not utilize this perk but there are other water craft for rent down on the lake beach.
- You can still get the fun camping experience of building your own campfire to sit around and grill food or toast marshmallows. There’s also a water pump right outside.
- Wagons were provided at the yurts to haul back your fire wood or supplies from the car. Carrying bundles of wood would have been a bit of a pain without it so I was grateful for this extra amenity.
I know my divas are wondering about one of the most important features when you are staying away from home. What about the restrooms? While I’ve seen some yurts in other locations with restrooms, these do not have restrooms inside them. The campground restroom is a very short walk from the yurt parking spaces. I never had to wait for a stall because there was abundance of them. The water was nice and warm and it was always reasonably clean so this campground gets the Outdoorsy Diva’s seal of approval. I just can’t deal with yucky restrooms.
Now I have to say that the Florida Torreya State Park yurt spoiled us a bit because that yurt had air conditioning. Unfortunately these yurts did not but there was a ceiling fan. An optimal time to visit would be in the fall or spring when the temperatures are mild and not extreme. It was in the 80s for high temps but since we wouldn’t be spending that much time inside of the yurt during the day time it wasn’t too much of a problem for us in the evenings.
What I loved most about Fort Yargo State Park is the abundance of things to do inside the park. This is an optimal place for a camping or glamping adventure because you can truly go to this park and escape and not run out of things to do. There’s a mini-golf course, fishing, historical site, hiking trails, and a lake beach. The beach is actually a pretty big size and swimming area is roped off. The beach was clay dirt as opposed to sand so that was a different type of beach experience. You can also rent paddleboards, kayaks, aqua cycle boats, and other types of boats. Most of the rentals were only $10 an hour.
Of course I chose the kayak and my son chose a paddle board. We enjoyed a nice morning on the lake. The water was calm and there was a breeze. We cruised all the way to our yurt peninsula and back. We were pressed for time so we didn’t spend nearly as much time as we could have exploring the lake.
So are you convinced yet? Fort Yargo State Park is an excellent option for you ATLers who are looking for an easy getaway. We can all use some time to connect with nature and recharge so a glamping adventure could be an easy affordable option. Here’s what you need to know to plan you own outdoorsy adventure:
- There’s a Publix grocery store and a Target within a few miles so you can stock up on what you need just before you arrive at the park.
- Don’t forget to bring your own bedding and items to glam up your space.
- Bring everything you need for outdoor campfire cooking, paper towels/utensils, shower supplies, cooler, board games, etc.
- In addition to the yurts, they have cabins, cottages, RV sites, and traditional tent camping sites. The yurts are just $85 a night.
- There is a $5 park entrance fee that covers your entire stay at the park and call the park ranger to make arrangements after the gate closes if you are arriving late. It’s also $5 for firewood.
- If you are interested in a traditional camping experience, the Georgia State Parks system has a pretty awesome first time camper program. For just $50 you can rent all the gear needed for tent camping and get first hand assistance to show you the ropes. It’s open to anyone that hasn’t camped in a Georgia State Park before, so if you’re up for a road trip it’s a good option for us Floridians or any other out of staters as well. More information here.
I have to say, with such a close proximity to Atlanta I was expecting to see more black families enjoying such a beautiful park. Yet, when I mentioned it to several friends who live near the area, and have for quite some time, so many had never even heard of this park. In the 2 days we stayed we didn’t come across any other black families. It’s just a reminder of the reason that I do what I do. I started my little corner of the interwebs to share our adventures in the hopes to inspire others to want to seek them out as well. There’s just so much beauty to be seen I hope more black families can begin to take advantage of all the great outdoors has to offer.
Lauren G. , Outdoorsy Diva™
“Adventure is a lifestyle.”