MILTON — People that want to go camping without giving up modern conveniences, like electricity, a bed or indoor plumbing have a new option. It is called glamping.
If glamping is your type of camping or if your are the real outdoors type, Coldwater Gardens has a spot for you.
"We have what we call primitive camping available," said Nick Phoenix, manager of the gardens. It is for people that do not want anything but a tent and a spot to put it on, Phoenix continues.
Coldwater Gardens also goes to the other extreme, glamping. They have four cottages with electricity, full kitchens, indoor bathrooms and air conditioning. In between those extremes are a variety of small buildings and tents that can accommodate just about anyone’s needs.
Coldwater Gardens is 350 acres of private land bought to help with the Longleaf Pine restoration, Phoenix said. The business has evolved into an eco resort for rustic and glamping customers.
"We have about a mile and a half of riverfront," Phoenix said.
The river and the banks are public property, he said. The land is a different story. Because of the garden's environmental and the self-sustaining practices Coldwater Gardens has been given permission by the state to manage the land for restoration of the Longleaf Pine tree.
Phoenix said part of that management involves doing controlled burns, watching for invasive spices of plants and checking on endangered animals.
The glamping appeal, especially with the tents, is very popular, Phoenix said. The tents are spacious with two queen beds, a mini refrigerator and electricity. Each tent has a deck with a fire pit and a grill and patio furniture.
The other rentals range from small houses that mix the indoors with the outside. Some are spacious and open to the outdoors while other are enclosed.
Another portion of the business that is growing fast is the events departments.
"Weddings have really become popular out here in our garden section," Phoenix said.
The Coldwater Gardens also rents the property out for business retreats, meetings and, if needed, you can rent the entire camp area for your function, wedding or reunion.
"People like it out here because it's so quiet and peaceful," Phoenix said.
For the Dempsey family from Free Home, Georgia, it was all about trying something new.
"My wife Googled glamping and Coldwater Gardens came up," said Trent Dempsey.
"It sounded like a lot of fun. It's the first time we can camp with Hazel," added Crystal Dempsey, referring to her 11-month old daughter.
For more information, go to www.coldwatergardens.com/.