A vintage travel trailer isn’t the most practical of camping vehicles out there, but that doesn’t stop the many folks that haul them around the country for a picture-perfect, nostalgia-filled roadtrip. But for those that are unwilling to commit to the full camper lifestyle, they can still get a taste of it by staying in a vintage trailer hotel — a new accommodation phenomenon that’s been popping up across the Western United States. These spots offer up a good, ol’ fashioned camping experience (with a little more luxury, and a lot less hassle), to those looking for an adventure on the road.
1. El Cosmico, Marfa, Texas.
Located in “far out” West Texas, the one stoplight town of Marfa is a giant in the international arts scene. Art lovers, wanderers, movie stars and yes, even Beyoncé, flock here to soak up the town’s creative vibe.
Keeping with the far-out theme, El Cosmico is a 21-acre nomadic hotel featuring teepees, yurts, safari tents, and 10 vintage trailers decked out in high design. El Cosmico’s trailers come stocked with coffee, munchies and hangover cures — everything visitors might need to fuel their visit to this big energy little town.
2. Hotel Luna Mystica, Taos, New Mexico
Taos is considered one of the most mystical places on the planet and at 7,000 ft. altitude the starry skies alone deliver on that feeling. Hotel Luna Mystica currently has 13 vintage trailers dotting 12 acres at the feet of the Taos Mountains.
Each trailer has been designed by local artists, with one 1962 Airstream, “Ralphie”, even featuring interior plaster normally reserved for the area’s famous adobe homes.
Just a few steps away sits the Taos Mesa Brewing “mothership” which offers high-quality microbrews, satisfying food, and live music at its outdoor amphitheater.
3. The Vintages, Dayton, Oregon
In the middle of Oregon’s Willamette Valley wine (and craft beer) country sit The Vintages, 19 decked-out vintage trailers grouped together in their own “neighborhood” within the 14-acre Willamette Wine Country RV Park.
Amenities at this family-friendly hotel include cruiser bikes, a pool for Oregon’s fleetingly warm days, and even a neighboring off-leash dog park.
Located between Dundee and McMinnville, there is plenty to do so plan for a few days’ stay.
4. The Shady Dell, Bisbee, Arizona
A stone’s throw from the Mexican border, Bisbee, Arizona is a boom and bust mining town brimming with history. Tucked into Tombstone Canyon, the historic downtown is an Instagramer’s paradise, with period architecture, interesting shops, and big city-worthy restaurants. Though small, there is plenty to see in this little town and The Shady Dell is an ideal base to explore from.
The Shady Dell features 8 vintage trailers from the 1940s and 50s, a “tiki bus”, and even a 38-foot 1947 Chris Craft yacht.
5. Kate’s Lazy Desert, Landers, California
Kate’s Lazy Desert is almost as famous for its location as it is for its owner. In the high Mojave Desert, about 20 minutes from Joshua Tree National Park, Kate’s Lazy Desert is owned by Kate Pierson of the B-52’s.
The 6 vintage Airstreams are styled in typical B-52’s color: “Hot Lava” makes you feel like you’re floating inside a lava lamp and the “Hairstream” is plastered with B-52’s tour memorabilia (and a hair-raising color scheme). With temperatures regularly topping 100 degrees, one of the most appreciated features of Kate’s Lazy Desert is the above-ground swimming pool, so don’t forget your suit.
6. Sou’wester Lodge, Seaview, Washington
Just north of the mouth of the Columbia River, which forms the border between Washington and Oregon, you’ll find Long Beach Peninsula, a 21-mile stretch of wide, golden sand. The Sou’wester Lodge is just a few blocks from the beach and counts 23 nicely renovated vintage trailers from the 1950s and 60s in its “lodging hodgepodge.” Camper accommodations range from rustic to deluxe and include family-friendly models. To keep everyone entertained, the grounds also feature an outdoor kitchen, spa and sauna, a vintage trailer thrift store, and an “Honor store”, where visitors can purchase goods on the honor system (it’s open 24/7, so just leave money for the goods if no one is there).
7. Shooting Star RV Resort, Escalante, Utah
There’s enough going on in and around this RV Resort to keep an entire family busy for days.
In addition to hookups for those traveling in their own RVs, the Shooting Star offers eight Hollywood-themed Airstreams, each decorated with a certain star of the classic silver screen in mind (think Elvis in Blue Hawaii).
Guests can hike into Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument from the door of their camper, visit nearby slot canyons, or enjoy a movie and hot buttered popcorn at the resort’s big screen “drive-in” theatre.
When in the area don’t miss: Visiting the local dinosaur track site, hiking through Spooky Slot Canyon and the Devil’s Garden.