The Coolest Airstream Resorts in the U.S.
From Cape Cod to Colorado to Oregon, these Airstream resorts offer a cool, retro getaway.
Even as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, many travelers are sticking to road trips this summer, with an estimated 56 million people hitting the road in their RVs. "Trip planning for RVers on Roadtrippers and Togo RV is up more than 50% from the peak of 2020, a year that saw the popularity of RVing explode," says Ashley Rossi, managing editor at Togo RV, an app for RV travelers. "This increase has been steady since March of this year."
But RV travel can be expensive, especially if you have to rent a vehicle. It can also be intimidating: Can you handle a cross-country road trip? Should you pay for flights to your preferred destination, then rent an RV? Do you need a special license to drive an RV?
Enter the Airstream resort. The travel trailer has made a huge comeback in recent years, bringing with it a surge of resorts that offer fully renovated, luxury versions of the popular lodging from yesteryear.
"In the past 10 years or so, we've seen consumers drawn to heritage brands that exude authenticity with rich histories, superior product quality, and stylish designs — all of which are hallmarks of Airstream," says Bob Wheeler, CEO and president of Airstream. "Peoples' lives are so full of flawless, mass-produced, disposable products and I think it's created a hunger for our style of unique, handmade travel trailers and motorhomes."
Ready to experience this style of lodging for yourself? Read on to discover some of the coolest Airstream and vintage trailer resorts.
CampV — Naturita, Colorado
While CampV is a newly opened hotel in Naturita, Colorado (about one and a half hours outside of Moab, Utah), it's not entirely new to the area. In fact, it dates back to 1942 when it was built as a camp for engineers who worked in the nearby mines. This historic property has been reimagined as an "inspired shelter for the spirited wanderer," with on-site art installations created via We Arts, which aims to connect communities through creativity. Accommodations include curated Airstreams with amenities you don't typically expect to find while camping: scent diffusers, robes, record players, fireplaces and Amazon Alexa devices to answer all of your travel questions. When you're not attending one of CampV's special events (which might include painting with plants), head to Hammock Town or rent a bike to explore the area.
El Cosmico — Marfa, Texas
The vintage, candy-colored trailers at El Cosmico are worthy of a photo (or 10) on Instagram. But social media will have to wait, as Wi-Fi intentionally isn't available inside. (You might get a signal in the lobby.) While at this resort in the high plains of Texas (altitude: 4,800 feet), guests are encouraged to focus on the here and now via unique sleeping, cooking, and dining arrangements; a communal lounge and mercantile; an outdoor stage for open performances; and wood-fired hot tubs (as the local burn ban allows) and bicycles for rent.
Yonder Escalante — Escalante, Utah
If post-pandemic life has you yearning for yonder, head to Yonder Escalante, where guests are encouraged to disconnect from technology (though Wi-Fi is available) and reconnect with nature. At this remote resort in southern Utah, not far from Bryce Canyon National Park, you'll find renovated Airstream trailers with vintage furniture and sleeping arrangements for up to three guests. You'll also have access to an oversized pool and hot tub, as well as a drive-in movie theater with stationary restored classic cars from which you can watch the show.
The Vintages Trailer Resort — Dayton, Oregon
Located in the Willamette Valley — otherwise known as Oregon wine country — The Vintages features 35 retro trailers with thoughtful amenities to complement wine tasting and the great outdoors, two of the region's biggest draws. Slip into your terry cloth robes (included), pop open a bottle of pinot noir (or enjoy a pour-over coffee from Caravan Coffee, also included), and enjoy the enchanting views of the local vineyards. You can also grab a cruiser bike to check out the property before taking a dip in the pool. When you're ready to get out and explore, grab your complimentary Tasting Passport (temporarily unavailable due to COVID-19, but includes special offerings at select wineries) and sip your way around downtown Dayton and the local area. Pets are encouraged to join their humans at The Vintages, and there's a great dog park next door.
AutoCamp — Multiple Locations
AutoCamp has revolutionized the way we camp, thanks to its luxury tents, Airstreams, and BaseCamp Suites — a combination of both. There are also BaseCamp Mini Suites (an Airstream and small tent for kids) and X Suites, which are fully accessible. All of the resorts feature hammocks, fire pits for roasting s'mores, on-site general stores, and plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors in their respective destinations. There are three AutoCamp resorts in the U.S. — Russian River, Yosemite, and Cape Cod — with three new properties in Joshua Tree National Park, the Catskills, and Zion National Park set to debut over the next year.
Amigo Motor Lodge — Salida, Colorado
Like Airstream and other retro trailer resorts, motels have become increasingly popular in recent years (and not just because we all want to live out our dream of staying at the Rosebud Motel from Schitt's Creek). This unique, 60-year-old property in Salida, Colorado, is a mix of both — one part motel, one part Airstream resort. The motel's newly renovated Airstream trailers include Francis, a large Airstream with a queen-size bed, bunk beds, a large dinette, and a "porch" (perfect for families), and the PeeWee, a 22-foot Airstream Flying Cloud that's the smallest of the fleet. The Amigo Motor Lodge offers teepee-style swings, a hot tub, and a sun room, plus its location in Salida puts travelers close to skiing and hiking at Monarch Mountain and the healing waters of Salida Hot Springs.