Travel Scenes: Glamping at Camp Wandawega

By Amanda Paa – Updated July 6, 2020

Camp Wandawega ~ Elkhorn, WisconsinTwo years ago I stumbled upon Crista’s blog: Peace, Love, Quinoa, then proceeded to chat with her via Twitter about the Minnesota charm she missed, where she lived before moving to Chicago and Denver. She was a hair stylist, I was a marketer, yet we both loved cooking, plants, and fun adventures. When she mentioned she’d be visiting Minneapolis that summer, we met for drinks and dinner, and talked like we’d known each other since high school.

Little did I know that was the beginning of one of my most cherished friendships, and that it would also gain me another amazing friend, Laura.

Nor did I know that the three of us would embark on a roadtrip to southern Wisconsin (fueled by stopping at cheese shops along the way), and spend the weekend “glamping” at Camp Wandawega.

Apple Barn & Winery: Lake Geneva, WisconsinCamp Wandawega mainWe started planning this glorified camping trip about 4 months ago, as we stalked Camp Wandawega’s Instagram account, their Kinfolk collaboration, and several other features like this one on Apartment Therapy. This modern-vintage retreat (which began as a speakeasy in the 1920’s) looked and sounded like the best of times, so we jumped on the chance to secure the tiny cabin shown above. (Their main focus is private events, so opportunities to stay as individual guests are only put “up for grabs” on AirB&B as they become available.)

The allure of staying here does not come in the amenities, but in the uniqueness and “once upon a time” feel. A space away from the chaos of the city, the deep history, the old school camp experience, and the memories made while connecting with the ones you’re with.

Camp Wandawega - WisconsinCamp Wandawega - adult campCrista, Laura, and I relished in every part of our weekend, from talking for 3 hours straight about things that happen in your 30’s, to catnaps following an afternoon glass of wine, and swinging as high as the sky like children.

Although there was nothing in our cabin besides a set of bunk-beds and a bed (and electricity!), we had a tiny kitchenette all to ourselves, perhaps my favorite part of the entire camp. The white tile, butcher block, and vintage kitchenware stole my heart. As I made with waffles and pour over coffee for the girls – yes, I did haul my waffle maker & coffee supplies along, ….. and this scene depicts the beauty of our shared meal, just as I had hoped for.

Breakfast scenes - Camp WandawegaWild Rice & Butternut Squash SaladWith the glow of autumn shining down on us, we ate this Wild Rice & Butternut Squash salad for lunch and planned our trip into “town”, meaning Lake Geneva. Cute and quaint, it’s Main Street is lined with small shops, restaurants and plenty of bars – this is Wisconsin after all. ;) We left with a few pieces of new clothes, Crista’s vintage lantern, my thrifted owl necklace, and plenty of giggles.

Camp Wandawega ~ Elkhorn, WIAs we wound down each night over dinner and several glasses of wine, there was no where else I would have rather been, far away from our jobs and responsibilities, invested in one another. It made me ponder the light and life that relationships and true connections bring, that without them our lives become quite gray.

People are the color, the light, the soul that add so much to our every day.

Camp Wandawega fun

Go explore, go live, go love. And always go home with camp souvenirs. xo

Camp Wandawega SouvenirsOther scenes and tidbits:

Dreamy vintage living area and bar. That teal…..

Vintage Home. Vintage Bar CartOn Sunday morning we went to Quednow’s Heirloom Apple Farm, which I had read about in Bon Appetit a few months ago. As humble as the owners were, and how unmarked their tiny plot was, you would have never known they’d received such press. I felt like a kid in a candy store, trying apples that I’d never heard of before, their seeds dating back to the 1840’s.

Heirloom Apples, Vintage KitchenWe took a boatload of different varieties along with us and made apple crisp over the fire that night, easily the best I’d ever had, infused with unique flavors and smokiness.

Campfire Apple Crisp (made in cast-iron skillet)Campfire Apple Crisp (made in cast-iron skillet) Sweet memories…. until next time.

Camp Wandawega cabinCamp Wandawega Lake Resort

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November 4, 2015


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  1. ALO

    Great information! Your blog is the first one I look for in my inbox everyday. Love this new series.i’m so happy you got to go. have a lovely time with your friends and good luck with your to-do lists!

  2. Jennifer

    Whoever invented glamping is a genius. It’s the perfect compromise for my husband and I, since I like the modern conveniences like electricity and a hot shower. Looks like a gorgeous place too!

    • amandapaa

      Yes, it’s such a great compromise! You totally feel like you’re camping, yet you have a solid roof over your head at night, and pretty comfy bed. :) xo

  3. Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

    What a perfectly charming setting! Love your photos, they capture the atmosphere so beautifully!

  4. Tara

    What a fun time and I would be there in a flash!! I have wanted to go glamping from the second I heard about it!! This would be the perfect getaway with girlfriends. We do one every two years and they are so much fun!

  5. kita

    I sooo want to be in a cabin in the woods right now. Everything about this looks like the perfect fall getaway.

    • Amanda Paa

      this is totally your vibe! bikes and hiking boots welcome. :)

  6. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles

    there is so much joy in these photos Amanda. What an amazing time you gals had – bringing the fine art of glamping to a whole new level of fun and cuteness :) — and that venue; I can’t imagine anything more charming; I would have fallen hard. It’s amazing how the universe brings souls together — sometimes for a short time, sometimes for an eternity. Love how you are creating opportunities like this to soak in every ounce of precious living! x (ps I want some of that fire side apple crisp action!)

  7. taylor @ greens & chocolate

    Glamping is the best kind of camping :) You now have me stalking their Airbnb site looking into availability next summer! What an amazing looking place!

    • Amanda Paa

      knowing how much you guys love the outdoors, i think you’d love it taylor! and it is a lovely drive from msp down there. and the best part is all the cheese shops you can stop at. :)

      • taylor @ greens & chocolate

        How far in advance did you have to book it? Wondering if I need to start planning now…!

  8. Lily | Kale & Caramel

    Oooooh Amanda, these photos are so perfectly evocative of the vibrance and rejuvenation of your time—loved every moment of this post. And I want a campfire apple crisp recipe! I’m so curious about the technique. All of it: Yum. Camp Wandawega FTW.

  9. Christina @ Christina's Cucina

    What a great trip you had together! I would love to do something fun like that with girlfriends! I used to live in Michigan so your photos reminded me of what I left behind; fall was the loveliest time of year there!

    Looks like a fun place to “glamp”!

  10. Aimee

    This sounds absolutely magical. I want to come next time! :)

  11. Tessa | Salted Plains

    What an amazing getaway! Time away from everything with your girlfriends is so rejuvenating. I’m so glad you three had a wonderful weekend. I want to go there now!! Your photos are beautiful! xo.

  12. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    This looks so dreamy, Amanda! Your photos are gorgeous. What a wonderfully relaxing weekend with girlfriends. You must feel so re-charged after your trip. I don’t think I would ever want to leave such a place! XO

  13. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    I loved following along on your trip! I love fun girls weekends and glamping is even better. I hope I visit Camp Wandawega sometime soon too!

    • Amanda Paa

      yes, the midwest would love to see you Ashley! :)