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America’s Best Vintage RV Hotels

Book a night in an old-school trailer

Book a night in an old-school trailer

You could tow a clunky trailer on your next camping trip. Or you could save yourself the hassle and book a night in an Airstream or vintage trailer at one of these unique hotels. You’ll get the feel of camping—outdoor grilling, stargazing, remote locations—but the amenities of a hotel, with comfy beds, hot showers, cruiser bikes, and kitchens stocked with coffee fixings. 

Lakedale Resort

Friday Harbor, Washington 

(Lakedale Resort)

At Lakedale Resort in Washington’s San Juan Islands, you can stay in a renovated 1978 Excella Airstream trailer parked on a lakefront dock on Neva Lake. Your stay includes homemade granola breakfasts in the main lodge. The Airstream is open May through September, so plan a trip for next summer. (If you show up this winter, you’ll have to settle for a log cabin.) (From $259.)

The Shady Dell 

Bisbee, Arizona 

(Richard Bonnett/Flickr)

Nine old-school trailers from the 1940s and ’50s make up The Shady Dell, an Arizona road-trippers’ retreat dedicated to all things vintage (one trailer comes equipped with an antique martini shaker and glasses). The Tiki Bus, built in 1947, has a hand-carved outrigger bar. (From $87.)

The Metro Hotel 

Petaluma, California 

(The Metro Hotel)

The Metro Hotel is a French-style boutique hotel 15 minutes from Sonoma’s wineries, in the quaint northern California town of Petaluma. In addition to colorfully decorated hotel rooms, there are also two brand new Airstream trailers you can book for the night (maid service included). An on-site café serves complimentary coffee and crepes in the morning and they offer bike rentals for cruising into town. (From $149.) 

Sou’Wester Lodge

Seaview, Washington 

(James Meadows; Scott Mayoral)

You can pitch a tent or stay in the main lodge at Sou’Wester, a rustic and eclectic lodge in the southwestern corner of Washington State that has live music on Friday nights, regular potlucks, and a Finnish sauna. Or opt for the vintage trailers: the Shasta sleeps one, while the African Queen has an upstairs loft and can fit up to six people. (From $63.) 


Santa Barbara, California


In the heart of Santa Barbara, you can find five vintage Airstreams that make up Autocamp, which opened in 2013. The trailers have been completely renovated to include things like clawfoot bathtubs, mid-century modern décor, flat screen TVs, and patios with electric grills and Adirondack chairs. Plus, you’ll get two cruiser bikes for jaunt to the beach. Autocamp is also opening a San Francisco location this spring. (From $151.)

El Cosmico 

Marfa, Texas

(Nick Simonite)

El Cosmico welcomes travelers, wanderers, and music-festival-goers to the high desert of Marfa, Texas, offering a respite from the road. You can stay in a teepee, yurt, canvas tent, or one of 10 vintage trailers with names like Vagabond and Kozy Coach. Rent a bike or a Dutch wood-fired hot tub and stock up on provisions in the on-site store. (From $160.)

Kate’s Lazy Desert 

Landers, California

(Kate's Lazy Desert)

Kate Pierson of B-52s fame is the mastermind behind Kate’s Lazy Meadow, a cabin retreat located in New York’s Catskills, and its western offshoot, Kate’s Lazy Desert, a vintage Airstream outpost just outside of California’s Joshua Tree National Park. Six silver trailers have been decorated and designed by a cast of artists and they come with basic kitchen supplies, a hammock and grill out front, and views of the high desert. (From $175.)

Shooting Star RV Resort 

Escalante, Utah

(Shooting Star RV Resort)

Hook up your own trailer or rent one of Shooting Star’s nine Hollywood-themed Airstreams at the Shooting Star RV Resort near Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. At night, slide into the bucket seat of a 1960s Cadillac convertible and catch a flick at the resort’s retro drive-in movie theater (a snack shack serves popcorn). The place is open from March through November. (From $119.)

Filed To: Weekend Escapes / Travel
Nicolas Henderson/Creative Commons )

San Marcos, Texas

Billed as the world’s toughest canoe race, the Texas Water Safari, held each June, is a four-day, 260-mile jaunt from the headwaters of the San Marcos River northeast of San Antonio to the small shrimping town of Seadrift on the Gulf Coast. There’s no prize money—just bragging rights for the winner. Any boat without a motor is allowed, and you’ll have to carry your own equipment and overnight gear. Food and water are provided at aid stations along the way. Entry fees start at $175 and increase as race day approaches.

The Ring

(Courtesy Quatro Hubbard)

Strasburg, Virginia

The Ring is a 71-mile trail running race in early September along the entire length of Virginia’s rough and rocky Massanutten Trail loop. To qualify, you need to have run a 50- or 100-mile race before the event and win a spot through the lottery system. Entry is free. Complete the run and you’ll become part of the tight-knit Fellowship of the Ring and be eligible for the Reverse Ring, which entails running the trail backwards in the middle of winter.


(David Silver)

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Each spring, competitors gather in Santa Fe’s historic plaza with a simple goal: be the first to reach 12,308-foot Deception Peak, 17 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain away. Competitors run or bike the first 15 miles to the local ski area before transitioning to their waiting ski-touring setups for the final push to the top. Time stops only when they’ve skied back down to the tailgate in the resort’s parking lot, which is funded by the modest entry fee of around $25. To add to the sufferfest, some participants sign up for the Expedition category, in which they strap their skis, skins, boots, and poles to their bikes for the long ride up. Start dates vary depending on snow conditions, but look for the event page to be posted on Facebook in late March or early April.

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