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!
*UPDATE July 6, 2020: Currently all featured Airstream stays are accepting reservations. Before you travel, please check guidelines and restrictions for each county and take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19: Wear a face covering in public at all times, wash your hands frequently, and limit contact with public spaces in small communities.
Courtesy of Caravan Outpost
Caravan Outpost, Ojai
Nestled among palm trees and outfitted with sarape blankets, Caravan Outpost's Airstreams offer up quintessentially Ojai hippy-chic vibes. The 11 Airstreams, situated around a central courtyard with outdoor seating and a fire pit, feature sleek interiors with AC and heating, full bathrooms, stoves, and sleeping spaces to accommodate up to four or five guests. Plus, Caravan Outpost's location in the heart of Downtown Ojai ensures you'll never get bored. Hop on one of Caravan Outpost's bicycles and explore the area's endless restaurants, shops, and hikes. If you're not down to leave the property, sip on complimentary coffee and soak up the morning sun from one of many loungers and hammocks, pick up some dyed vintage Levi's and boho home goods at the on property General Store, and keep your eye on the calendar for events including farm to table dinners and live speakers. // From $194/night, caravanoutpostojai.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 $127/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? Several wineries are within walking distance. // From $160/night, airbnb.com
Wellspring Ranch, Cayucos
This pastoral retreat set on 160 acres in the Cayucos hills hides a luxe 2012 International Airstream. The 27-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. // From $339/night, airbnb.com
Courtesy of Highway West Vacations
Highway West Vacations, Buellton and Borrego Springs
Highway West Vacations has two glamping sister properties, located in the Santa Barbara wine country and Palm Canyon, both boasting a variety of vintage Airstream accommodations. Shined to a mirror-like luster, these babies have modern interiors, as well as perks including wine refrigerators, desks with mounted iPads, flat screen TVs, Keurig coffee makers, and free WiFi—and some even include a Canned Ham trailer too, perfect for a group stay. Go sideways in Santa Barbara wine country in the fully renovated vintage Airstreams at Flying Flags, plus sip wine at the next door Sideways Lounge, play some bocce, or gather around the campfire. Feeling more porter than pinot? Hit the two fantastic breweries in the area: Firestone Walker and Figueroa Mountain Brewing. If you'd rather escape to the desert, book an Airstream at Highway West Vacations' Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort. Explore the nearby Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, then cool off with a dip in the pool or enjoy live music and a drink at the on-site saloon. (Both resorts also offers cottages and safari tents.) // From $119/night, highwaywestvacations.com
Courtesy of Autocamp
Autocamp, Russian River and Yosemite
These stylish camps, located in Yosemite and on the Russian River, consist 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 $169/night, autocamp.com
Courtesy of Kate's Lazy Desert
Kate's Lazy Desert, Landers
Located in the Mojave Desert, Kate's Lazy Desert is an Airstream aficionado's heaven. Each of the seven Airstream trailers, ranging from 28 to 32-feet in length, features a unique theme, kitschy decor—think magazine and band poster collage wallpaper in the "Hairstream;" a green, blue, and brown color blocked ceiling in the "Tiki;" and bold, orange floral bedding in the "Planet Air"— and views of the surrounding mountains. Plus, take a dip in the pool, cook in your kitchenette and then dine al fresco, explore the area's endless hiking trails, and even bring your dog! // From $175/night, lazymeadow.com
This article was originally published in October 2019.