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  • Writer's pictureThe West End Mom

Glamping in Virginia: Sandy River Outdoor Adventure

Ready to sleep under the stars? I've found the perfect spot in Virginia for both avid campers and those who prefer more luxurious accommodations.


Located in Rice, Virginia, Sandy River Outdoor Adventure is glamping at it's finest. Guests can choose to sleep in luxury tipis or log cabins! Plus this outdoor adventure resort offers other activities on property, so guests can unplug, unwind and reconnect with nature. At about an hour from Richmond, this is such an easy getaway for busy families!


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Sandy River is not your typical camping experience. At this laid back adventure resort, guests stay in glamping tipis & log cabins! The property has 6 luxury teepees that sleep from 4 to 7 guests. The tipis have a variety of bedding options, bathrooms, a kitchenette, TV & heated floors! You also get a fire pit, grill, chairs & a picnic table.


The tipis are such a unique place to stay in Virginia with kids!


As a family of 4, we stayed in The Thunder Bird with a king bed & queen futon. It is essentially all one room, but with different sections. And it is way bigger than a tent! There is even a curtain to pull between the bed and the living area. The bathroom is also on the other side of the main wall. Each tipi also has a door with a lock. Like the other tipis, our glamping teepee had views of the other teepees, the woods and the vineyard.


While there is a kitchetten and grill, you can also order Door Dash or Way Fast Delivery directly to your accommodations. Sandy River is about 10 minutes from Farmville, so you could also head into town to dine. We've eaten at Charley's Waterfront Cafe , Walker's Diner, and Effingham's with kids.


Heads up: Since this is a teepee, the material is similar to a tent. Sunlight goes directly through it, so if you like to sleep in... you may be woken up earlier than expected. You can also hear things and noises outside the teepee. Sandy River Outdoor Adventure Resort also has quiet hours between 9pm and 8am.


Sandy River Outdoor Adventures offers outdoor activities on property if you want to add more adventure to your glamping experience. From paddling boarding on the reservoir and zip lining through the trees to mountain biking around the property, guests are always getting to enjoy the fresh air.


The adventure course is on property, and this course takes 3 hours to complete. In order to participate in the high ropes course, you must be 7 years old or older.


You can try boating & fishing on Sandy River Reservoir - it’s 740 acres & full of wildlife. There are single and tandem kayak, stand up paddle board and tandem canoe rentals. The reservoir is about a mile from base camp.


The resort activities and distillery are open to the public. Resort guest receive a 20% discount on all activities.


High Bridge State Park, Bear Creek Lake State Park and Twin Lakes State Park are all less than 20 minutes away.



Sandy River Outdoor Adventures also has an outdoor pool, picnic shelter and community fire pit by the teepees. The pool is also heated, so you can enjoy it most of the year (closed November to beginning of March).



Sandy River Distillery is on property next to the adventure course and base camp. You can try tastings or a tour. They have bourbon, vodka, moonshine and rum. The distillery is family friendly, and they host live music every Friday & Saturday night. Sandy River also hosts special seasonal events like their annual Easter Egg Hunt, Spring Festival, Snacks with Santa & more! 


The annual Easter Egg Hunt & Spring Festival is from 4-7pm on March 30, with the egg hunt at 4:30. There will be a petting zoo, live music, food trucks, a bounce house & the Easter Bunny himself! 


Distance from RVA: 1 hour, 6 minutes


Backstory: My children have been begging to go camping, but sleeping on the ground is not something I really want to do. While trying to brainstorm a compromise, my husband found Sandy River Outdoor Adventure when we were planning to attend an event at Hampden-Syndey College, about 13 minutes from Rice. This same resort has been suggested to me multiple times this past year, so it seemed like perfect timing to try glamping.


Take Aways from Glamping for the First Time with Kids in Virginia:


1.My kids absolutely loved it (6 years old and 4 year old). They love being able to come inside and outside as the wanted, they loved having a fire pit and place to eat outside, and most of all the loved the entire feel of the teepee. It is such a unique place to stay - it's not every day (or every vacation) that you get to have your own teepee.


2. With the heated floor, running water, shower and kitchen, you definitely don't feel like your outside camping in the traditional sense. I am not a camper, but I'd sleep in a luxury teepee again!


3. The tipis have everything you need other than food. You'll find soap, shampoo, a hair dryer, coffee, towels, etc. You can also get firewood and smore's kits from Base Camp. This is not regular camping - it really is a luxury camping experience in Virginia. I definitely recommend this if you have never camped before - it gives you a taste of the camping experience while you have a lot of the luxuries as a hotel.


4. If staying in a teepee doesn't sound fun to you, you can also opt to stay in a log cabin. Sandy River has 4 cabins that sleep between 4 and 8 guests. The cabins are located next to the distillery and the tree top adventure course.


5. The tipis only have a shower; they do not have a bath tub. Just a heads up if you need a bathtub for your little one.


6. Sandy River Outdoor Adventure is for nature lovers of all ages. If your children are under 7, you can enjoy the large, green space, go fishing in the reservoir, play in the pool, and ride bikes around the property or try High Bridge Trail. You can also visit with the horses, goats and chickens near Base Camp.


The pool area has ping pong tables and swings. We saw a couple families playing soccer and throwing the football right outside their teepees while we were there.


Sandy River Outdoor Adventure Store is in Farmville, and you can rent all types of bikes - trail cruisers, mountain bikes, electric mountain bikes, trailer bike, tandem trail cruiser and kids seats. High Bridge Trail is completely stroller friendly too.


If you have kiddos 7 and older, you can also try out the high ropes course, and you can rent kayaks and paddle boards.


Hampden-Sydney College and Longwood University are 15 minutes or less away. They have lots of sporting events, and they are family friendly.

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Looking for more family vacation ideas? Check out my guide on Virginia's Best Getaways for Families!

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