I'm Geena and I'm an addict of Booking.com and Airbnb. More specifically, I am wholeheartedly addicted to searching for unique Airbnbs. If you haven't done so, I highly recommend utilizing this search feature. Everything from yurts, to igloos, to tree-houses, to... drumroll... tipis!
After being apart from my boyfriend for six weeks -- as he was busy studying rocks and dirt and other geology things -- we were craving a weekend to relax and essentially do nothing but hangout away from everything. That's exactly what we found in the tiny town of Livingston Manor, New York. We booked an off-the-grid tipi accomodation for a three day weekend - no wifi, no electricity. Just a tipi, a fire pit, the stars, and the most charming outhouse/outdoor shower combo you've ever seen. No sarcasm. Really -- call it glamping.
Full disclosure, it was $140 a night but for the experience and relaxation that accompanied the trip, it was well worth it. A 3-hour drive from outside of Philadelphia, much of which winded us through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, took us to the property of the couple we had rented the Airbnb from. After parking near their home, Christy, the homeowner, walked us about 10 minutes through trails they had created themselves throughout the wooded land. The tipi and the open meadow it resided in emerged over the top of a small hill. The meadow was seemingly in the middle of nowhere, complete with fire pit, outhouse, and kitchen areas, alongside the crown-jewel tipi (which, by the way, was WAY more massive than I'd imagined).
It felt as though we had just been plopped down into a magical tipi land where crickets and light breezes were the only sounds.
We'd only come with some clothes and ourselves, so after checking out all the nooks and crannies, we meandered back down to the car and drove into the small, one-street -- yet charming -- town for groceries. The kitchen area had an ice box (re-stocked with ice daily by Christy), a propane stovetop, pots/pans, and a grate over the fire pit. Everything we could ever need. We picked up burgers, corn on the cob, shrimp kabobs, fruit, eggs, and some snacky stuff. We had popped into The Catskill Brewery for a little tasting, but didn't love anything so grabbed some beers in town instead.
A quick stop to the ADORABLE Kaatskeller restaurant with amazing outdoor seating wrapped up our "trip to town" before heading back to magic tipi land.
The next few days consisted of cooking over the fire and walking barefoot in the mud (LOTS of mud thanks to the downpours that hit the area before we arrived). We checked out all the trails weaving in and out of the surrounding woods. The outhouse was something I looked forward to using (TMI??). With a plexiglass wall, you could stare into the flowering woods from the rustic inside. All the soaps and insect sprays were 100% natural, some even homemade. As for cooking, Dillon was on burger duty over the fire and both of us roasted marshmallows at night.
On the second day, Christy had recommended a nearby lake. It ended up being a hidden gem about a 25 minute drive away - Clear Lake. More muddy hiking, but we had our snacks and a gorgeous day so all was well. Our lack of a schedule resulted in an accidental cat nap rocking in the tree-strung hammock back at the tipi.
At night it was an unreal kind of dark; so many stars it was dizzying to stare into. Both nights we heard coyotes howling in the distance. The solar lights around the meadow began to flicker on after the sun set, most having built-in motion sensors. Inside the tipi, there were twinkle solar lights strung around the queen size bed.
Yes... there was a queen size bed in this thing.
AND two chairs, a reading corner, side tables with lanterns, and a wood burning stove for the colder months. Throughout the tipi (and the kitchen + outhouse areas) Christy had collected ferns from the surrounding woods and placed bouquets around in mason jars. Flower petals were scattered around as well. Everything, everywhere felt peaceful.
With nothing to do but relax and enjoy, we came home from the weekend rejuvenated and absolutely in love with a hidden gem of a tipi in Livingston Manor, NY.