Like California's majestic Highway 1, the Airstream is an icon of the great American road trip—a gleaming throwback to the golden age of travel.
The aluminum-clad trailer made its debut in 1936 and has inspired roadside envy ever since. You could splurge on one of your own (#vanlife!). Or you could do the sensible thing: Pack your weekender and check into one of the many stylishly renovated and beautifully situated Airstreams now parked along the coast. Happy camping!
Hollywood Hills Luxury Airstream, Los Angeles
This vintage 1969 Airstream Globetrotter has been completely gutted and modernized (leather banquette seating, flat-screen TV) while retaining its vintage charm (mint green paint). The interior is lovely, but what really sets this airstream apart is what's on the outside. Perched roughly 1,400 feet above sea level on one of the highest spots in the Hollywood Hills, the trailer opens onto a massive deck modern patio seating, a fire pit, and 360-degree views of the canyons, the Hollywood sign, and downtown. // From $230/night (3-night minimum), airbnb.com.
The Land Yacht, Joshua Tree
When you head to Joshua Tree, it's usually to get away from it all and connect with nature. There's no better place to do that than from this classic 31 foot airstream located in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Situated just on the edge of the national park, it's a perfect home base for exploring all the area has to offer. Inside, you'll feel vintage vibes as well as a blast from the AC; and though you have your bathroom and queen bed, you'll probably want to spend most of your time out on the private deck, grilling up some barbecue, hanging out at the picnic table, or taking a refreshing dip in the stock tank pool (available April through November). // From $129/night, airbnb.com
Temecula Wine Country Airstream 74, Temecula
Tucked into Southern California's Temecula wine region, this completely renovated 1974 Airstream is like staying in your own private jet, according to its listing on Airbnb. While that may be a stretch, this cutie gets points for the fully stocked kitchen (there's a Nespresso machine, hello!), queen bed, and WiFi. The location, on a 2.5 acre hilltop, is sweet; take it in from the fire pit on the 800-square-foot deck, then take a dip in the shared above-ground pool. Best of all? It's in walking distances to several wineries. // From $145/night, airbnb.com
Wellspring Ranch, Cayucos
This pastoral retreat set on 160 acres in the Cayucos hills hides a luxe 2012 International Airstream. The 28-foot trailer is fully stocked, but guests also have access to an outdoor kitchen and cool Oborain outdoor showers. Just don't count on cell service. Instead, wander the working ranch populated with avocado and olive trees, five miles of trails, a spring-fed pond, and yoga studio. Each morning, an organic breakfast is served in a landscaped garden. // $220/night (two-night minimum), wellspringranch.com
Malibu Dream Airstream, Malibu
Definitely the most luxurious option on our list, this extremely chic airstream perched in the secluded Santa Monica mountains takes glamping to the next level. Kitted out by a Malibu designer, this stay-on-wheels has everything you'd want from a boutique hotel—queen bed, plush wool rugs, cotton poufs, and a curated selection of books—only without the people (though you may find yourself chatting with local coyotes, owls, and rabbits). The kitchen has everything you need, and glass walls slide open up to the expansive deck with sun beds, throw pillows, and unreal views of Malibu and the stars above. It's no wonder a stay here will set you back several hundy a night. // $600/night, airbnb.ca
Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground, Buellton
Go sideways in Santa Barbara wine country in the fully renovated vintage Airstreams at Flying Flags. Shined to a mirror-like luster, these babies have modern interiors with fun themes (think Mod Squad or vintage western), as well as perks including wine refrigerators, desks with mounted iPads, flat screen TVs, Keurig coffee makers, and free WiFi. Feeling more porter than pinot? Hit the two fantastic breweries in the area: Firestone Walker and Figueroa Mountain Brewing. (The resort also offers cottages and safari tents.) // From $109/night, highwaywestvacations.com
Autocamp, Russian River and Santa Barbara
These stylish camps, with locations in Santa Barbara and on the Russian River, consists of sparkly new, custom Airstreams tricked out by a modern architect. You know what that means? Hotel-worthy amenities—think flat screen TVs, pillow-top mattresses with down comforters, bathrobes, soaking tubs, and upscale bath products. Crack open a beer on your redwood deck and throw some burgers on the electric grill, or hop on a beach cruiser and head into town. // From $179/night, autocamp.com
*This article has been updated since it was originally published on Aug 27, 2015.