2019 NACR Photos

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an excerpt of a report by Jacqueline Kehoe for Thrillist. Read the full report here.

What could be called the Airbnb of camping, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) has campsites for rent that admittedly are not all created equal. There’s one not far from my parents’ house, for example. It’s tiki-themed — matching the aesthetic of the nearby waterpark—and full of RVs from the ’90s and Coleman tents from Wal-Mart. The amenities can all be found at the check-in kiosk. It’s about what you might think you’d expect from a KOA.

Until now. KOA suddenly and wonderfully stepped up their game by an exponent or two. Its Terramor Outdoor Resort — steps from Acadia National Park in Maine—is all about luxury in the outdoors, cementing the beloved brand in the Instagram big leagues. Popping up amongst the trees, 64 canvas tents come replete with queen and king beds, Pendleton blankets, Frette linens, pour-over coffee, screened-in porches, immaculate bathrooms, and decorative touches straight out of any coffee-table book starring Johanna Gaines.

While other KOAs certainly venture beyond the tent pad (think train cars, treehouses, and wagons), Terramor marks a renaissance: KOA’s gone bougie. And this is just the beginning.

Upgrading the former Bar Harbor/Woodlands KOA campground in the Maine woods—which used to be 100+ sites for tents and RVs—Terramor stretched its glamping canvas across 45 acres. They even planted some 1,500 trees to further privatize each already forested lot.

“We spent days out here staking tents to make sure that each one’s view didn’t look directly into another,” says Whitney Scott, COO of Terramor. For maximum forest-viewing, the tents face different directions — some even backwards. “A few are for groups and flipped around, but the privacy is built in. The best part of the tent experience is looking out.”

“Terramor” is a portmanteau of the Latin words “terra” and “amor,” to mean “love of the land.” Which is to say, the longstanding brand’s humble, outdoorsy roots aren’t forgotten here. Just like the focus on the views and the deep-in-the-trees, hit-the-gravel feeling, the resort offers nature trails, free binoculars, telescopes, and nightly activities like guided stargazing. “The Outfitter,” aka the concierge, is there to help guests get outdoors, from bike trails to paddling adventures to hiking in Acadia National Park.

Read the full report.