My personal favorite way to travel the US is by glamping. The perfect socially distanced vacay without sacrificing any of the luxuries that I like to have. Whether you like staying in hotels or are a camper, you will love the happy medium love-child of the two.
When most people think of glamping they think of modern cabins in the woods, or the new trending canvas style tents made popular by the expanding Under Canvas. But, what about RVs? And before you say “no” at the idea of renting and driving a massive vehicle around the country, or pumping the toilet tank at camp sites, hear me out! Did you know there are trailer hotels?? And not just any trailer hotels, but VINTAGE trailer hotels?
What are Vintage Trailer Hotels?
They are my absolute favorite, especially Airstream hotels- the nostalgia of those iconic silver bullet shaped RVs! I had a friend inquire about a recent stay of mine in a lovely airstream trailer. It made me realize most people are unaware of these US gems! You have the best of both worlds, first a hotel style setting and service. Second, the all American vintage RV vibe without any of the work that would normally come along with it.
Usually set in beautiful nature, restored trailers either re-done and modernized. They are accurately vintage or in fun and kitschy themes. There’s something for everyone. Below, I will go over my top 10 favorites in the US. At the end I’ve included how you can road trip from location to location in your car. You can easily make a fun trip out of it!
1- Caravan Outpost – Airstream Hotel- California
Caravan Outpost is one of my favorites. Located in Southern California about 45 minutes south of Santa Barbara and 1 1/2 hours north of L.A. It’s perfect for a short getaway if you live in the city. Or an amazing stop on a Cali trip for any out-of-staters. Located in Ojai it’s a beautiful bohemian town surrounded by mountains.
Comprised of 10 modern airstreams, centered around an outdoor common area and an on-site shop. Featuring work by local artists, this trailer hotel has plenty to offer including rental bikes and coffee ready in the morning. Each airstream has a private shower and bath of course as well as a kitchen and eating area. Each airstream also has an outdoor seating area. This is lovely to enjoy in the evening when the string lights get turned on. They offer various sized airstreams as well as some pet friendly one. So, whether traveling solo, with your family or with the pup there’s an option for you.
2- Kate’s Lazy Desert– Airstream Hotel- California
Also located in southern California, this option is in the Joshua Tree area. It, as the name suggests, is in the ideal desert setting. Get ready for those incredible starry skies!
Kate’s Lazy Desert was opened by Kate Pierson of the B-52’s. It is a fun, kitschy style trailer hotel made up of 6 airstreams. Each airstream has a small porch area and cooking grill. In addition, there is a common pool and fire pit area. Each airstream has its own fun theme as well! These airstreams are all standard size and accommodate two adults. It’s perfect for a solo or couples trip or get more than one trailer for a group trip with friends. The location is only 2 1/2 hours east of L.A. It is a great home base for exploring the Mojave desert, getting immersed in nature, hiking and stargazing. It’s also easy to combine with other vintage trailer hotels on this list for a nice road trip experience.
Note that Kate’s Lazy Desert is only for ages 12 and up and no pets allowed. Kate also runs Kate’s Lazy Meadow which is a collection of cabins in NY state.
3- June Bug Retro Resort– Vintage Trailer Resort- North Carolina
Unlike the two trailer hotels mentioned so far, June Bug Retro Resort has all fully vintage restored trailers. This means that the interiors are just like the 50’s. You will really feel like you are stepping back in time! June Bug Retro Resort is also on the East Coast, located near Asheville NC. This gives it a very different vibe with forests instead of desert. They also have varied trailer styles instead of solely airstreams and ranging in size to accommodate 2-6 people.
There are tons of hiking trails, fire pits, hammocks in the creek and a lovely treehouse for lounging in the treetops. Due to the winter, this resort is seasonal and only runs May-October which is the best time to visit anyways! The fall offers a great opportunity to see the leaves turn. They are also located on a 50 acre organic farm! They are perfect for family trips but note that they do not allow pets.
4- Hotel Luna Mystica– Vintage Trailer Hotel- New Mexico
This hotel features 20 trailers from the 1950’s-60’s all refurbished in a bohemian desert vibe. Located in El Prado it’s about 2 1/2 hours from Albuquerque and a short 15 minutes drive from Taos. They also offer spaces and hookups for those traveling in their own RVs. They are all about honoring nature, their website says “silence from midnight to sunrise” this is not a party spot, it’s a spot to enjoy the beauty and wildlife of mother earth “be at one with it all”. The Stagecoach Hot Springs are nearby and Taos Mesa Brewing is right across the street for an evening pint. If you travel here during winter you can also enjoy the Taos Ski Valley. If you’re looking for a peaceful desert getaway – this is it. Family friendly and pet friendly this is a great spot for all.
5- Auto Camp Cape Cod– Luxury Glamping and Airstream Hotel- Massachusetts
Auto Camp is luxury glamping! This location is our 2nd east coast trailer hotel and is located up north in Cape Cod MA. In addition to their modern airstream trailers they also have canvas tents and “x suites” which are like mini cabins. Located right near the Atlantic Ocean and Martha’s Vineyard, it’s the perfect destination for beach and seafood lovers. They are pet friendly as well and offer plenty of amenities like rental bikes, ready-to-grill BBQ kits and local wines and beers.
Only about an hour and a half from Boston it’s also a quick day trip into the city or a good city/nature combo trip as well. Besides biking, hiking and beaches there’s also yoga offered and local activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, deep sea fishing, sailing and even a local spot for skydiving! Read more on how to combine this trailer hotel with June Bug for an east coast road trip below.
6- Auto Camp: Russian River and Yosemite– Luxury Glamping and Airstream Hotel- California
More Auto Camp locations! Auto Camp actually started in California and they currently have 2 operating locations in Northern Cali- Yosemite and Russian River.
The Russian River property is located primely right near Sonoma wine country and the redwood forests as well as only 1 hour 45 minutes from San Francisco and 20 minutes from the Sonoma coast state park beaches!
Auto Camp Russian River echoes the accommodations and amenities of the other Auto Camps but in addition to their airstreams, canvas tents and suites they also offer mini Happier Campers for couples or solo travelers. This is probably my favorite north Cali airstream hotel with the amazing location and so much to do from the redwood forests, wine tasting, beaches, driving distance to San Fran and more. They also offer local experiences like outdoor yoga, hiking or fishing and kayaking on the river. You can’t go wrong!
Of course Yosemite is iconic (and easily combined with a Russian River stay being about a 4 1/2 hour drive away if you’d like to do both.) The Yosemite location has the same luxury airstreams, canvas tents and suites as the other locations. Yosemite is an absolute must see National Park in the US you can explore by hiking, horseback or railroad. Mountains, waterfalls, and their own inland redwoods (which don’t grow quite as tall but grow much wider) and plenty of wildlife spotting! Open year round you can also go skiing or snowshoeing during winter months.
All Auto Camps are pet friendly as well.
7- The Cozy Peach at Schnepf Farms– Vintage Trailer Hotel- Arizona
The Cozy Peach is located right on Schnepf Farms which is known for their delicious peaches. They also have a U-Pick Garden where you can self pick fruits, veggies and herbs or even take cooking and gardening lessons! Their on-site bakery is also to die for if you like a good peach pie. Similarly to June Bug, this is another property that utilizes various styles of vintage trailers besides the ever popular airstream, sizing also varies to accommodate 1-4 people depending on the trailer you choose. Their trailers range from 1950’s-70’s models but all interiors have been modernly refurbished and are absolutely gorgeous. Only about an hour outside of Phoenix is it the perfect weekend getaway for those living in the city, they are also pet and family friendly so the whole crew can join!
8- Hart’s Camp– Airstream Hotel- Oregon
Hart’s Camp is a classic airstream hotel with 7 airstreams as well as hookups for those that wish to drive/park their own RV there. Just 2 hours west of Portland, Hart’s Camp is positioned perfectly on the stunning Oregon coastline making it a great home base to explore nearby sights like Cape Meares lighthouse, Neskowen Ghost Forest, and Cape Kowanda. There are plenty of hiking trails, rental bikes to explore the area, local kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and on top of all that, the beaches here are perfect for surfing!
Hart’s camp is super family friendly too with tons of on-site games like corn hole and horseshoe and they welcome pets as well. In addition to the indoor kitchens each airstream has an outdoor propane grill and a fire pit so you can really enjoy those Pacific Northwest summer days and nights. This is also a perfect stop along the West Coast road trip I’ll be outlining below!
9- Sou’ Wester Lodge– Vintage Trailer Hotel- Washington
Another stop on my west coast road trip would have to be the Sou’ Wester Lodge. By far the largest on the list they have over 30 renovated vintage trailers of various styles and sizes that can fit up to 6 people! About 3 hours south west of Seattle this property also offers suites in their lodge, cabins, traditional campsites and hook up sites for those that want to tent camp or drive in with their own RV.
Something unique about this trailer hotel is that they also have additional trailers besides accommodations- such as their art gallery trailer where local artists’ work is displayed, their tea trailer which serves as a mini tea house, a massage trailer and a wellness trailer for yoga, meditation and breathwork. The location is also more than ideal on the Long Beach Peninsula where there’s tons of lush natural beauty, artisan food and plenty of ways to explore including a plethora of hiking trails.
10- Flamingo Springs– Vintage Trailer Hotel- Arkansas
If you thought Kate’s Lazy Desert was kitschy wait until you see Flamingo Springs! Taken to a whole other level they have fun themed trailers ranging from 90’s hair band to old west. They even have a trailer called Candy Cane Lane where it’s Christmas year round. So much fun! On-site they have a swimming pool during summer months, lawn games such as horseshoes, a BB range, a board game collection, a take-and-leave library, a common area with billiards and table tennis complete with a jukebox and to top it all off, they’re surround by about 50 acres of forest waiting to be explored and enjoyed. There are also fire pits and charcoal grills available to guests. Located in Prairie Grove Arkansas it’s a fun eclectic vacation or stop on a road trip for any age.
Road trip ideas:
West Coast- (Seattle to LA or vice versa) Approx 2 weeks.
Fly into Seattle, I highly recommend doing a short stop for a night before continuing on so you can explore the city. From Seattle drive to the Sou’ Wester Historic Lodge for your first vintage trailer stay!
Next you’ll drive about 2 ½ hours south for your next stop- Hart’s Airstream Hotel. After Hart’s you’ll be heading to Auto Camp Russian River.
You’ll most likely want to stop somewhere along the way between San Fran and Portland to break up the long drive. I recommend this guide to find all the best spots to explore and ideas of where to stop on the way.
During your stay at Auto Camp Russian River be sure to explore San Fran! From here it’s about a 4 hour drive to Auto Camp Yosemite for a couple nights.
Lastly you’ll be heading about 5 hours to my favorite- Outpost Caravan. From there, the drive to Los Angeles is only 1 1/2 hours, so you can head straight to the airport but I recommend staying a night or so in the city to end the trip and sightsee.
California (San Fran-LA or vice versa) Approx 1 week.
If you don’t have 2 weeks to spare, you could instead fly into San Fran and spend a few nights at the Russian River location and then take the Pacific Coast Highway down to Caravan Outpost before flying home from LA.
East Coast- (Boston to Asheville or vice versa) Approx 1 week.
Fly into Boston and consider a short stay here before heading out to Auto Camp Cape Cod so you have a chance to explore the city.
After your Cape Cod stay you’ll start the drive south. It’s 15 hours to June Bug so you’ll most likely want to stop along the way! I’d suggest Washington DC which is about a halfway point and has tons to see and do during a short stay.
End your trip at the June Bug Retro Resort for a few nights and be sure to explore the city of Asheville before flying home.
Cross Country- (Asheville to LA or vice versa) Approx 2 weeks.
Fly into Asheville starting your trip with a stay at the June Bug Retro Resort.
From here you will head west to Flamingo Springs but it is a 12 ½ hour drive so you will most likely want a stop along the way. I highly suggest a stop in Nashville, it’s an amazing city definitely worth a short stay to explore.
After your stay at Flamingo Springs, you’ll continue west towards Luna Mystica. Being another 12 ½ hour trip, you will most likely want to break up the drive again. For this stop I would suggest the Palo Duro glamping grounds in north Texas. It’s a good middle point. Although they don’t have airstreams they do have lovely canvas safari style tenting. It’s perfect for a quick 1 night stay before continuing on to Luna Mystica.
After your stay at Luna in NM you’ll head to AZ for your stop at The Cozy Peach! During your stay I recommend you take a day to explore Scottsdale which is a short 45 minute drive away.
After The Cozy Peach, you’ll be nearing the end of your trip as you finally reach California. First stopping over at Kate’s Lazy Desert in Joshua Tree and, if you have time and want to add one more stop, consider the Caravan Outpost before flying home from LA.
Of course all of these places can be visited individually as well! So regardless of your location, budget or length of time for travel there is something for you. Couples trip, family vacation, solo travel or even bringing the pup along. At least one of these options will work and they are perfect for Covid travel needs to stay socially distant! East coast, west coast, beaches, deserts and everything in between. Happy travels! And don’t forget to tag us with #wildbumming
About the Author-
Cassandra is an avid traveler with 5 continents, 22 countries and 40 states under her belt so far. She loves exploring the US just as much as traveling abroad. Cassandra tends to travel solo most but also enjoys trips with the girls or a significant other. She is passionate about finding accommodations that are locally run businesses (in turn providing local jobs) that are also unique and fun “insta-worthy” stays.