Our family stayed in a yurt once before when we camped at Cape Disappointment State Park two years ago, but I don’t think I quite realized and appreciated their magnificence until our most recent trip to the Oregon coast.
For this trip it was just Bergen (2.5 years old) and me. Sure my brother and his family were just a couple campsites down the road, but all the usual parent responsibilities were on me, and I was admittedly nervous. What a relief to arrive at Nehalem Bay State Park, grab our key from the ranger, and almost immediately get down to the business of enjoying ourselves.
It was pretty much love at first sight and by the end of our 2 night stay, where it poured rain for the majority of our time, I wanted to wrap my arms around our lovely temporary home in admiration. Here’s the breakdown of why I adore yurts as an option for lodging:
8 Reasons to Love Staying in a Yurt
1. Little Set-up.
Unpacking the car and setting up “camp” was a breeze. In just a half hour or so, I was able to organize all of our gear inside, set-up Bergen’s travel crib, put sheets on the lower bunk that I would sleep on, and set out and organize essentials like flashlights, clothes, and food. I even managed to rig a system that would make the space a little darker in hopes that Bergen, who’s used to sleeping with blackout curtains, would nap better.
I love tent camping, don’t get me wrong, but with a toddler at my feet and as a solo parent, I was happy not to be pitching a tent, setting up a rain tarp, and working on a campfire.
2. Shelter from the Elements.
I mentioned the rain. Yes, it poured. With the exception of the first glorious night, some form of precipitation was coming down for our entire visit. This was to be expected when camping in April on the Oregon coast, and it certainly didn’t stop us from exploring. However, it was so nice to have a spot to warm up, refuel, and just generally spend time when we needed a break.
We could hang our clothes up to dry, the kids played games and read books, and their was no worry of water coming in to make us cold and uncomfortable. Cozy to say the least.
3. Best of Both Worlds.
When staying in a yurt at a state park, we got the best of both worlds: We were close to nature and in the thick of it just steps from moss filled forests and a wide sandy beach, but still given the comforts of home or a traditional shelter.
And don’t tell, but with the adorable town of Manzanita, Oregon being just a quick 5 minute drive away, we also had to luxury of coffee and top notch pizza at our fingertips. Not wanting to cook in the rain, we opted for takeout on our last night, and don’t regret it one bit!
In this yurt, and the same goes for our yurt on the Washington coast (and most others I’ve checked out), you get beds! A simple thin mattress, yes, but it’s a legitimate place to rest after a full day of adventure, and I certainly slept well.
This particular yurt was equipped with one bunk bed (twin on top, double on the bottom) and one futon (folded out sleeps 2), so the bed spaces could accommodate 5 people. However, the park allows for 8 occupants, with plenty of room on the floor for sleeping bags or other sleeping set-ups.
Even on a gloomy, gray Pacific Northwest day, the sunlight just streams in through the skylight at the top of the yurt. At one point the light was so bright, I honestly thought there must be a light switch that I was missing. It meant that Bergen was up with the sun, and he would have nothing to do with taking a nap (despite my efforts in rigging a light shield with towels and blankets), but overall I see this as a huge plus.
Just having a shelter with actual walls and a roof is nice, but add some warmth thanks to the yurt’s heater, and we had a cozy spot to not only sleep, but spend time with family and enjoy ourselves. I was also thrilled to see our towels and clothes actually dry when we hung them up inside! That way, we were ready to get out for another adventure.
At $44 a night, that’s the year-round price, sure we spent more than a regular campsite would cost, but that’s a heck of a lot cheaper than staying in a hotel! Amenities are a little different having to walk to the bathrooms (they were only a couple hundred feet away from our site though & showers were free), no one to clean up after you, rustic, etc, but the trade-off of being surrounded by nature in a quiet setting made it such a great budget travel option.
Space to dry our clothes. Space to stretch out. Space for the kids to play and recover from hours spent on the rainy beach. We could even utilize the covered porch to house Bergen’s bike, the cooler, shoes, and other gear.
Have you “camped” in yurt or cabin? Where? We’d love to hear about your experience!
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