In July, we took a short trip to The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio. What a fun experience this was! We went on a safari to see all the animals, then stayed in a yurt at Nomad Ridge.
This really was a unique little getaway that I found to be very reasonably priced as well. Since we went on a weekday rather than a weekend, it was $100 cheaper than the weekend. The stay at Nomad Ridge included a dinner and a breakfast both of which were provided in a room attached to the building with the gift shop that was located just a short walking distance from our yurt.
Since we paid for the yurt when we booked it, the only thing we had to pay for while we were there were some snacks and our drinks with dinner and tips.
You must be at least 21 years of age to stay at the yurts at Nomad Ridge so this was not a family getaway but a couples getaway. Since we only stayed one night, I did not feel too bad leaving the kiddos 19, 16 & 14 to fend for themselves.
When you book a stay at Nomad Ridge in one of the yurts, you also receive two tickets to the open-air safari that is included in the price of your stay.
The open-air safari
The time slot that we had booked ahead of time for the safari to see the animals at the Wilds was slated for 12 pm. This ended up being a great time slot as after we were finished with the safari, we only had a short time before we could check in to our yurt at 3 pm.
The safari lasted about 2.5 hours and the time flew by. We were constantly seeing animals, some of which were up close.
There are additional paid tours you can take where the vehicle will drive right up to some of the animals. Luckily our open-air bus was positioned perfectly to have a front-row seat to many of these drive-ups. If you have the extra money, I feel that these tours would definitely be worth it as you could feed some of the animals and you definitely got a closer view.
The safari itself was great though and I didn’t feel like we had missed out because we opted not to book any of the additional tours.
What is a yurt you ask? A yurt is a structure that is not quite a building yet not quite a tent. It was equipped with a full bathroom, a coffee maker and a queen size bed so you are not exactly roughing it.
It is a unique “glamping” (glamorous camping) experience. I’ve posted lots of pictures of the inside of the yurt so you can get a good idea of what it looks like inside.
We spent a few hours sitting out on the deck of our yurt with views of the deer and camels. Each yurt has its own deck.
The trip to get down to our yurt was over uneven ground and quite a distance for anyone who had some mobility issues. So if that is a concern for you, I would definitely request one of the yurts located at the top. In reality, the trip down to the yurt was not so bad, it was more of the trip up that got me winded. Nothing too bad though.
We walked along the path to go to the room where our dinner was to be served. Dinner was provided between certain hours so you could pretty much go at your leisure as long as it was within the 2-hour timeframe of it being served and you did not have to worry too much about being there at any certain time.
The menu gave three dinner choices and three dessert choices. Both my husband and I ended up choosing the flank steak. The dessert was fantastic! We both chose peanut butter pie and opted to take it in a to-go container back to our yurt to eat a little later.
This reminds me of a very important point I want to stress. Bring some snacks with you. Although the dinner and the breakfast were provided, I wished we had brought some snacks with us although I did not even think of it at the time.
The concierge yurt does have some snacks you can purchase which we did do, but at a steep price as far as snacks go and with a very limited selection. I should also note that they also have wine and beer for sale at the concierge yurt. We did not purchase any though as we did bring our own in a small cooler.
The fire ring
There is a fire ring with chairs around it up at the main deck near the concierge yurt. We went up there around dark and sat with some other couples and had a very nice conversation with some very nice people. I highly recommend going up to chat with fellow yurt stayers.
The yurts all have wi-fi, which is definitely nice to have. I wasn’t entirely sure if we would have it or not, but thankfully we did. There was no television in our yurt, but I did download some episodes from Netflix to my iPhone to watch in case we wanted to watch something before going to bed. We did end up watching a little before going to sleep so if you are used to watching tv before bed this is a good substitute.
We woke up nice and early as this is not a hotel room where you have the luxury of blackout curtains. If you don’t want to wake up as soon as daylight hits, you may want to bring along a sleeping mask as the light shines in and will most likely wake you.
We packed up, then walked to the breakfast room (which was also the dinner room from the previous evening). We again could choose from three different meals for breakfast. I thought the breakfast was very good as was the coffee.
Check out time was at 11:00 am. After breakfast, we walked back to our yurt, grabbed our bags, checked out at the concierge yurt and were on our way. It was a very unique experience and I would definitely recommend it as we had a great time!