Upcycled accommodations: The most creative way to ecotravel

By Arran Wallace

Everyone's heard of recycling, but you might not have heard of upcycling. Whereas recycling extracts waste materials from something in order to be used again in the same way, upcycling is the process of using those waste materials to create something even better than what it was before. The graphic below from Hipcycle.com shows the difference between recyling and upcycling with a classic waste product—a wine bottle.

Upcycling is great way to minimize our impact on the planet, as well as creating something new and exciting, and our Glamping Hub hosts definitely agree. We have properties around the world that are crafted from a variety of different and unexpected materials—from a vintage Boeing airplane to repurposed boats that double as an ever-evolving art installation.

Check out some of our fantastic upcycled accommodations that will give you a creative way to embrace ecotravel.


Upcycled Shipping Container Transformed into Luxury Accommodation, Florida

This creative accommodation in Florida is the perfect place for a truly unique glamping experience. It is made up of three, ocean-going shipping containers that were no longer able to be used and which would have otherwise been melted down. The exterior has a rustic feel, but the interior is anything but—with comfortable beds, a fully-equipped kitchen with a breakfast bar, and French doors that overlook the beautiful Loxahatchee River.

Eclectic Eco-Friendly Vacation Rental for Five in Round Top, Texas

This upcycled shipping container in Texas goes the extra mile by using old lumber from a Kentucky distillery, salvaged glass from a Philadelphia school, cabinets from a Brooklyn laboratory, and countertops made from old bowling alley floors in Texas. The host, Matt, has been antiquing from young on and has a fascinating story to tell, which we captured when he was our Host of the Month last October!

P.S. Check out more fun shipping container accommodations here in Missouri, Colombia, and Portugal.

Amazingly Unique Getaway Made from Repurposed Boats near Shoshone, California

Located near the Mojave Desert in California, this accommodation is actually an ever-evolving art installation created by a collective of artists, whose purpose is to combine luxurious interiors and fine art using repurposed materials. Promoting sustainable design, visitors remark that staying here is like entering the mind of one of the artists.

As well as being visually impressive, guests can stay in comfort here, with features such as comfortable beds for four guests, Wi-Fi access, a flat-screen TV, and a charming outdoor space to enjoy the Californian sunshine. It was also featured in the music video for Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa's song "One Kiss," so head to YouTube to check it out!

Cozy Lofted Rental for Four in Repurposed Barn near West Jefferson, North Carolina

This gorgeous cabin tucked away in the woods of North Carolina, near the Cherokee National Forest, is made from a refurbished barn. This accommodation is unique both for the history that runs through its walls, as well as for the natural spring found nearby.

Discovered in 1883, the local farmers found that after drinking from the spring, the poison ivy sores on their hands disappeared. Soon, the spring was receiving as many as 300 visitors a day, rumored to cure all sorts of ailments, from rheumatism to indigestion. Nowadays, the farm is still running, providing beef, pork, and poultry to the local area, and guests can even help with the daily farm chores!

Converted Grain Silo for Unique Glamping Accommodation in Alvin, Illinois

Dating back to the 1950s, this getaway used to be a storage container for grain for the Illinois farm upon which it's located. The container was used up until the 1970s, when it changed location to be used on a different farm, though it's recently returned to its original location, albeit no longer needed for its practical use.

Today, the grain container is a beautiful rural getaway, featuring a sleeping loft, a comfortable front porch, and an upper deck that offers vistas of the most incredible sunsets. An added bonus to staying at a farm-based upcycled accommodation? You'll not only be helping support U.S. agriculture—you'll also be staying on a piece of living history.

P.S. Over in Tennessee, we have another accommodation made from a not just a grain silo, but also a 100-year-old barn!

Stunning Riverside Cabin Crafted from Recycled Materials near Cockaponset State Forest, Connecticut

Located in Chester, Connecticut, between the Connecticut River and Cockaponset State Forest, this stunning, riverside cabin has been crafted from 80% recycled materials. The wood furnishings of the interior, coupled with the large amounts of natural light let in by the windows, give a warm and cozy atmosphere and an authentic cabin feel.

The crafted cabin is situated beside the Pattaconk Brook and features a breathtaking waterfall, giving guests the chance to really reconnect with nature. Although the cabin boasts incredible natural surroundings, the cities of New Haven and Hartford are reachable in under an hour, and offer cultural activities like museums, theaters, and music venues, as well as opportunities for shopping and dining. For those looking for something a bit more relaxing, the coastline of the Long Island Sound is a 15-minute drive to the south.

Latin America

Unique Pipe Accommodation in Glamping Resort near Mexico City

At this resort, old concrete construction pipes have been used to create little glamping pods, fitted with queen-size beds and storage units. These pipes would otherwise have been crushed up for their raw materials, but we think this is a much better idea! Not just a cool and original place to stay, they're also fantastically located just a few minutes away from the center of Tepoztlan, about 45 minutes south of Mexico City, on the other side of the mountain range. Other cool features that guests will love are the speedy Wi-Fi and an amazing infinity pool.

P.S. Check out these similar accommodations in Cambodia!

Unique Refurbished Vintage 1965 Boeing 727 Airplane, Costa Rica

One of our most unique accommodations, this two-bedroom tree house suite is made from a refurbished 1965 Boeing 727, which in a previous life shuttled travelers around the globe for a South African and then Colombian airline—until its final resting place in San José, Costa Rica. Decommissioned and wasting away in a hangar, it was taken apart piece by piece, transported to the tropical jungles of the Manuel Antonio National Park on Costa Rica's south coast, and reassembled in the tree canopy 50 feet above the ground.

At this height, guests can enjoy ocean and jungle views from the deck and try to catch a glimpse of sloths, toucans, monkeys, and more! Inside, from cockpit to tail, the interior and furnishings are made from luxurious teak, and up to six guests can stay among its two bedrooms. Guests will have access to a nearby hotel's swimming pool, all while being strategically located to enjoy the best of Costa Rica's fantastic biodiversity.


Unique Campervan-Style Vacation in a Converted Vintage Truck near Coimbra, Portugal

This great little accommodation is located in the back of an old Bedford truck. Bedford Vehicles stopped operating in 1987, so it really is a vintage accommodation! The back of the truck has been converted into a cozy living area, but it has much more than just a bed. You'll also find tables and chairs to relax in, an oven and a stove for preparing meals, and a heating unit to keep things toasty. The walls are made of canvas and can be rolled up to let a cool breeze roll through, and there is also a fire pit a few meters away to ward away the cold at night. (Head's up—this isn't a mobile accommodation, despite its appearance.)

Charming Cottage Made from Recycled Materials for a Unique Getaway on Madeira Island, Portugal

This charming cottage on the stunning Portuguese island of Madeira is itself a piece of art—every room boasts a unique touch. Beauty is combined with sustainability, with walls made of car glass, wine bottles, tree branches, and various types of stones. At sunset, the rays of the sun shining through the different colored glass creates a mesmerizing effect.

Outside, there are also many private areas and gardens for glampers to explore. Guests are welcome to enjoy the communal areas, which include a barbecue for some al fresco cooking, dining, and socializing while enjoying the enchanting mountain views.

Be sure to check out all of our eco-friendly collections for more incredible ecotourism options!

Our favorite Memorial Day drinks and snacks

By Mikaela Amundson

Memorial Day is fast approaching—time for family get-togethers and barbecues galore! Potlucks are a popular way to dine for summer holidays, with picnic tables piled high with salads and starters, delicious grilled mains, and a dozen different desserts. If you're wracking your brain on what to bring, let us help you figure out how you'll add to the spread.

We've gathered a list of things that are easy (and tasty!) for guests to bring and hosts to have ready for party time.


Crockpot Little Smokies

Recipe courtesy of Dessert Now Dinner Later.

No one can resist cocktail weenies, so you know that Crockpot Little Smokies will be a win-win, both easy for you and popular at the party! This recipe has only three ingredients and tastes like you spent hours slaving away—when in reality you mixed the ingredients in and set the timer for two hours.

Black bean corn salsa

Recipe courtesy of Finding Zest.

Chips and guac are always a crowd pleaser, so why not spice up a classic with a unique, easy-to-make black bean corn salsa? It tastes so fresh that no one will ever guess you made it in less than 15 minutes. What makes this recipe extra great is you can customize it to your favorite flavors! Throw in diced avocados or fresh heirloom tomatoes, and call it your signature salsa. Wowing the party? Check.

Herbed red potato salad

Recipe courtesy of COOKIE+kate.

We love this healthy take on the classic potato salad, an American barbecue staple. With no mayo and plenty of fresh herbs, this light herbed red potato salad is sure to be a hit with party guests of all ages. At under 20 minutes to prepare, you'll have plenty of time to make a playlist for the car, take the dog for a walk, or enjoy a cat nap before the festivities.


"Punch For a Bunch"

Recipe courtesy of Clover Lane Blog.

When doing party drinks, being able to prep as much in advance is key. This delicious pineapple "Punch For a Bunch" can be customized with other fruits and add-ins. Added bonus? On the recipe page, you can enter in the number of guests you're making the punch for, and it will convert the amounts and measurements for you!

From cocktail to mocktail

Recipe courtesy of Kirbie's Cravings.

Another crowd pleaser with a short ingredient list, this sparkling raspberry lemonade can be transformed from cocktail to mocktail by swapping out sparkling wine for sparkling water! Killing two drinks with one stone, as we like to say.

Bonus idea for hosts

Recipe courtesy of Rachel Ray Every Day.

We love this creative idea to keep drinks cold—just use balloons! Fill balloons ⅔ full with water and freeze them the day before the party. Day of, place them in your drink buckets for drip-free drinks, some color for your party, and the opportunity for a water balloon fight at the end of the night.

Check out more properties on Glamping Hub to find the perfect accommodation for your Memorial Day party today! See our collections in the Northeast, the Southeast, and California.

How to prep your accommodation for summer guests

By Eric Wright

Summer is that time of year that most of us are eager to head out into the great outdoors, enjoy the sunshine, and make more long-lasting memories with friends and family. Whether it be a day of lazing around at the beach sipping a cold brewski, an epic mountain hike with majestic summit vistas, or exploring vast lakes by kayak, it's vital that we, as well as our guests, have an idyllic spot to retreat to.

With these handy tips on how to prepare your accommodation for summer, you can brighten up your guests' glamping getaway, making it as comfortable and unforgettable as possible.

1. Maintain the pool

Chilling out poolside is the epitome of summer for many of us, so making sure your pool is in tip-top condition is an absolute must when summer is approaching. Important processes in keeping your water pristine include regularly checking the pool's pH balance, cleaning out the skimmer baskets, checking the water level and chlorinator, and cleaning pool filters. Blow your competition out of the water by having your pool in perfect condition, just asking to be dived into!

2. Set up outdoor furniture

Decking out your accommodation with comfy outdoor furniture is the perfect way to allow your glampers to really make the most of all the outdoor spaces in your unique getaway. Be sure to place well-maintained tables and chairs in spots with the best views, as well as provide equipment, such as barbecues for them to cook up some tasty treats out in nature. Bring a vacation of pure bliss to the table this summer and kit out your decks and outdoor spaces with the highest quality furniture!

3. Offer summer sports equipment

If your getaway sits by a peaceful body of water that already attracts thousands of tourists each year, offer your guests the chance to get out on the water by providing a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard. Most glampers are looking to explore the area where they stay, so what could be better than throwing on a life jacket and taking some water sports equipment out for a spin? With many affordable options on the market, this may be a purchase that keeps your guests coming back year after year. Splash out this summer, and the guests will be streaming in!

4. Put in mosquito nets

The sound of a pesky mosquito flying around your ear when you're trying to get a good night's sleep can be a real buzzkill when it comes to guests leaving a positive review of your accommodation. For that reason, it's imperative that your mosquito nets are well-maintained and free of any rips or tears from the previous year. Checking your nets and regularly buying new ones when necessary will ensure your guests are not bitten and sleep soundly.

6. Supply cold drinks and snacks

Arriving at a seemingly perfect romantic getaway with your significant other after a long drive can be slightly ruined if you have to head out right away for some essential supplies, such as cold drinks and snacks. A delicious local beverage and a few tasty treats laid out for your guests upon arrival may only cost you a few bucks, but it will mean the world to your guests. Make sure you're unique retreat is well-stocked this summer to avoid your next glampers wine-ing as soon as they get there!

7. Provide outdoor games

Whether it's a family get-together or an annual camping getaway with friends, outdoor games are the perfect way to hit a home run with your glampers. Games like Jenga, darts, ring toss, bocce ball, and even the odd soccer ball and football are a cheap way to ensure that your guests get a real kick out of your property. Don't drop the ball and make sure your getaway is a frontrunner in your area this summer.

8. Update your listings with upcoming events

Maybe your property is near an upcoming music, arts, film, or even beer festival? If so, it will be music to your guests' ears, while also enticing them to make that all important booking. Sites like Eventbrite offer a user-friendly way to find out what's happening in your region this summer (and year-round!). Blow your own trumpet, and hit the right note with your glampers by keeping your listing, as well as your guests, up-to-date about all the events happening near you.

For more GH Tips, created just for our hosts, stay on the blog, grab a notebook, and keep track of all of our top tidbits for your accommodation!

Where to go canyoning in Croatia

By Fred Jéquier

Over the last few years, Croatia has been growing in popularity as a destination for travelers looking to enjoy beautiful beaches, swim in the sapphire blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, and lose themselves in the cobbled streets of historic towns and cities.

Photo from Adriatic Explore.

There's no denying that Game of Thrones' own capital city finding its home in Dubrovnik has helped the rise in tourism to the area in the last eight years or so. As we bid farewell to the Red Keep of Kings Landing this May, however, travelers and adventure-seekers can start to look further inland of this beautiful and rugged country.

Photo from CityPal.

Croatia's beaches, cities, and towns are undeniably stunning—and, without a shadow of a doubt, an important part of any holiday-goer's itinerary. This beautiful Balkan nation has so much to offer off the beaten path, away from the sand and surf, though!

If a trip to simply explore the landscapes of Croatia is what you seek, there are numerous wonderful lakes and trails to explore with guided hiking trips, and they won't disappoint. Areas such as Plitvice Lake are beyond stunning, and there are companies that lead hiking holidays that incorporate the best routes and trails that Croatia has to offer. For those looking to push themselves and experience something completely different, though, we have the perfect plan for you.

Photo from Visit Croatia.

Keep reading to find out about where to go, who to ask, and what to bring when you go canyoning in Croatia!

What is canyoning?

When you head out on a canyoning expedition, you can expect a day of navigating a river by hiking, swimming, abseiling, or rappelling, as well as cliff jumping, negotiating river rapids and waterfalls, climbing over boulders and rocks, and even whizzing along natural waterslides. Canyoning can often include an element of orienteering, in addition to other outdoor skills, especially in more remote areas.

Photo from Split Adventure.

Where to go

The Cetina River is without a doubt the hub of canyoning in Croatia. The most water-rich river in the Dalmatia region of Croatia, the river is located in the south of the country. About 100 kilometers long, it winds its way through gorges and lakes until it reaches the town of Omiš on the Adriatic coast.

Photo from Omnivia.

Surrounded by cliffs and forest, River Cetina offers canyoners, both novice and expert, a taste of every aspect of the activity. From rappelling and abseiling cliffs of up to 50 meters to leaping into deep pools, you are guaranteed a full day of adrenaline-pumping fun and excitement.

The starting point for the best routes and the finish line are both just under an hour from the charming town of Split, which is perched on the Dalmatian coast. If you stay near to or in Split, you can enjoy a unique weekend of canyoning, followed by a cultural day exploring the town and Diocletian's Roman palace.

Who to ask

When planning your canyoning adventure, you want to be in the best hands and find a guide who not only knows the area well, but who is also trained in all the safety aspects of the activity.

1. Canyoning Croatia

Canyoning Croatia offers two different tours to their clients from April until October. If you're a beginner to the activity, you can opt for the Basic Tour, priced at 46 euros per person, and anyone who feels they have the experience or ability can go for the Extreme Tour, which will cost 60 euros.

If you are staying in Split or Zadvarje, you can arrange to be picked up and driven to the starting point, and then dropped back at the end of the day. Canyoning Croatia supply wetsuits, helmets, and all other necessary equipment, so all you need is your swimsuit, sturdy trainers, and your sense of adventure!

2. Split Adventure

Split Adventure offer day tours through the canyon, and their expert guides will take you along 2.5 kilometers of river trails of varying difficulty, depending on your level and experience. This is a really affordable and incredible day out, with a price of 60 euros total for the tour, equipment, insurance, and guide. It's also just 15 euros for the return transfer from Split. Adventurers only need to remember to bring trainers, swimsuits, and a change of clothes, but Split Adventure also has the Five Ten Canyoneer 3 shoes to rent, although there are only a limited amount.

3. Adventure Omiš

At the other end of the river is Adventure Omiš Also offering both basic and advanced canyoning for 47 euros and 67 euros respectively, the price includes insurance, professional canyoning guides, wetsuits, lifejackets, helmets, and safety belts. It even includes the transfer from Omiš to the village of Zadvarje, where your canyoning adventure starts, and your transfer back to Omiš. What's more? Adventure Omiš also offers other great activities, including rock climbing, kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, and biking!

What to bring

A lot of the companies that lead guided canyoning trips offer equipment rental as either a part of the cost or for a small, additional fee. It's always a good idea, however, to check beforehand what actually is included, and you can always bring some of the necessary equipment with you just in case.

1. What to wear

It goes without saying, you're going to get wet, so swimsuits, wetsuits, and a pair of trainers that are quick-dry (or that you don't mind getting soaked) are an absolute must. Safety equipment, such as helmets and lifejackets, are imperative, but it is highly unlikely you'll find yourself signing up to a guided tour without that being provided.

Photo from Splash Canyoning.

2. What to leave behind

You're going to be doing a lot of climbing, jumping, swimming, and all sorts of outdoor activities. Even if you're wearing gloves, removing all rings and jewelery from your wrists and hands is advisable, along with any piercings or necklaces. You don't want to lose anything valuable, or worse, get injured, because of your valuables!

3. Waterproof camera

If you want to document your trip, this is the opportune moment to invest in that GoPro you've been waiting to treat yourself to so you can capture some candid action shots while on your trip.

Photo from DC Rainmaker.

When planning your canyoning trip, keep your mind at ease by keeping your belongings safe and dry with some help from our guide for waterproof gear!

Affordable family vacations for summer break

By Eric Wright

With summer well on its way and temperatures heating up, it's time to plan that well-deserved summer getaway with the family. Whether you're looking for your next camping trip in New York or heading to the West Coast for some Californian sunshine, these unique getaways are sure to inspire you to stay somewhere out of the ordinary this year. At less than $160 dollars a night, these rentals are sure to keep the kids—and your wallet!—happy.

1. Coastal Cabin on Herron Island, Washington

From $148.17 a night, this stunning retreat offers up to six guests a vacation full of peace and quiet on a secluded island—and the opportunity for some quality family time spent out on the calm waters with a canoe or kayak. With a beautifully-decorated interior, elegant bedrooms, and a sprawling deck with gorgeous views that overlook Puget Sound, a vacation here will leave the whole gang feeling relaxed, rested, and rejuvenated.

2. Cabin Rental in the Mojave Desert, California

From $154.48 a night, this charming cabin rests on two private acres in Joshua Tree National Park and is ideal for four glampers to enjoy a summer getaway full of awe-inspiring sunrises and sunsets. The location also offers some of the best conditions to stargaze, warm cup of cocoa in hand. After days spent getting to know the local wildlife in nearby Eureka Peak and Quail Mountain, what could be better than slipping into your very own clawfoot bathtub?

3. Charming Cabin near Woodstock, New York

From $134.82 a night, this classic cabin rental near Woodstock, New York, is the epitome of a tranquil vacation surrounded by nature. With space for just two glampers, the pet-friendly retreat is the perfect place for a bonding opportunity while exploring the lake on the provided canoe, toasting s'mores around the fire pit, and grilling up some tasty snacks on the barbecue.

4. Luxury Cottage in Texas

From $138.42 a night, this adorable cottage sleeps up to six guests, making it the perfect choice for a Texan-style vacation with a twist. Located just outside of Bandera, glampers can spend the day exploring the cowboy capital of the world before retiring to their home-away-from-home for a few colds drinks out on the lovely deck and a soothing dip in the private hot tub.

5. Rustic Cabin near Mount Hood, Oregon

From $97.11 a night, this fairytale cabin, built all the way back in 1927, is an ideal choice for four glampers looking to discover the Oregon wilderness. Guests will love waking up to the sunlight streaming in, the peaceful sounds of the forest all around, and the charming decor found throughout the cabin. Discover all that Mt. Hood National Forest has to offer during the day before heading back to the cabin for some well-earned chill-out time in the private hot tub. With pets allowed, your trusty pooch will be thanking you for this vacation, too!

6. Camping Tent near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

From $122.35 a night, this cozy tent rental in the woodlands of Tennessee makes for a great mother-daughter retreat. In the morning, the sounds of the forest make the deck a peaceful place to sit back and reflect with a coffee before another great day of hiking, cycling, or whitewater rafting. This rental really is the perfect choice for those looking for an off-the-grid vacation in a beautiful setting.

7. Log Cabin near Zion National Park, Utah

From $75.05 a night, this is the classic log cabin getaway. Soaring ceilings, expansive windows, plush seating, and a roaring fireplace make the living area a fabulous spot to kick back after a day out in one of the several national parks that dot the landscape. With enough space to sleep six guests, the whole family will be talking about this Utah summer vacation for years to come.

8. Vacation Rental near East Vail, Colorado

From $132.14 a night, this vacation rental can sleep up to eight guests—ideal for larger families to enjoy a holiday surrounded by the majestic mountains of Colorado. The kids will love the loft area, where they can have their own space while parents enjoy an evening around the fireplace, cold drink in hand. The balcony just off the living room is also a peaceful spot to relax in the evening while listening to the sounds of Mother Nature.

9. Dome Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of Georgia

From $154.77 a night, this luxury dome offers a one-of-a-kind retreat in Georgia. Sleeping up to five guests, the interior of this unique structure boasts some fantastic touches, such as charming wooden furniture, rustic decor, and luxurious bedding. After spending some quality time as a family up in the Appalachian Mountains, you can return to your stunning accommodation and rustle up some burgers on the barbecue before having a relaxing soak in the outdoor tub.

10. Tipi and Vintage Camper near Lake Michigan

From $129.20 a night, this rental consists of both a tipi and a vintage camper, accommodating three guests comfortably. The luxury tipi comes with a queen-size bed and gorgeous Indian rugs, while the vintage camper, located just a few steps away is ideal for the kids. An outdoor shower, comfy seating, a fire pit, and a barbecue complete the exterior set up—ensuring nights are spent together around the fire, chatting late into the evening about each day's adventures on and around Lake Michigan.

For more ideas for a budget-friendly getaway for the whole family, check out our collections and continue browsing on Glamping Hub!

Top places to book for a unique Memorial Day

By Jackie Dreyer

Each year on the last Monday in May, we take the time in the U.S. to celebrate Memorial Day in honor of those who have passed while serving the country. Many people take the opportunity to pack up and have a relaxing holiday weekend away—a wonderful way to spend some quality time with family and friends.

If you haven't booked your Memorial Day getaway yet, check out some of our guests' top choices from last year that still have availability for this year!



This unique property near downtown Petaluma, California, with multiple Airstream rentals has availability May 24-27.


This charming cabin rental—complete with a large deck and private hot tub—near Idyllwild, California, has availability May 24-27.


Steamboat Springs

This cozy log cabin near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, features views of views of Hahns Peak and has availability May 24-27.


This stunning A-frame cabin in Breckenridge, Colorado, has availability May 24-27.

New York


There are four yurts at this glamping property in Granville in Upstate New York, and there is availability in one of the 20-foot yurts, in the 24-foot yurt, and the 30-foot yurt for May 24-27.


This woodland cabin rental in the Finger Lakes region of Honeoye, New York, has availability for May 24-27. (Don't forget to ask about their other cabins and tipi, too!)



This unique cabin rental by Cypress Creek in Wimberley, Texas, has its own swimming pool and hot tub, and has availability May 25-26.

Round Top

This spacious cottage rental near Lake Fayette in Round Top, Texas, has availability May 24-27—and a swimming pool, too!


Bainbridge Island

This luxury tipi rental on Bainbridge Island in Washington State has availability May 25-27.


This simple, creekside cabin rental in Longview, Washington, has availability May 26-27.


Coos Bay

This retro-style vacation rental in Coos Bay, Oregon, has availability May 26-27 and will help you get both your woodlands and waterfront fix.


This rustic cabin rental in the Warner Mountains of Lakeview, Oregon, has availability May 24-27.

For even more Memorial Day options, keep browsing on Glamping Hub!

Travel Guide: California's wine regions

By Eric Wright

Over 200 years ago, Franciscan missionaries, led by Spanish priest Saint Junípero Serra, started the first Roman Catholic mission to California—Mission San Diego de Alcalá—and the future of The Golden State was altered forever. Along with planting palm trees to provide palm fronds for Palm Sunday, wine was needed for communion, leading to the first sustained vineyard. Serra went on to found a further eight California missions earning himself the nickname "Father of California Wine."

Although wine production continued to steadily grow in the region, marketing became a problem for Southern California winemakers during the mid-1900s until a blind tasting competition was held in Paris in 1976. The panel of French wine experts selected three of the Californian Chardonnays in the top four, shocking the wine community and effectively opening up the U.S wine market to the world.

Nowadays, California is the fourth largest wine producer in the world, with thousands of vineyards shipping up to 250 million cases throughout the globe annually. The winding country roads and elegant wineries attract visitors from all over the world—providing a getaway full of good food, quaint towns, and of course, fine wines!

Before you go and good to know

Getting there and around

Whether you're heading up north to check out the vineyards in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and Mendocino Anderson Valley or making your way south in search of Paso Robles and Santa Barbara, San Francisco (SFO), Oakland (OAK), and Sacramento (SMF) airports all offer a great central starting point to explore California's wine regions.

Most visitors to the area rent a car at the airport upon arrival, and with the charming country lanes and great year-round weather, cruising around with the windows down and a favorite tune on the stereo is sure to be a highlight in this idyllic region.



Apart from world-renowned wines, California's wine country is full of rich history, imaginative artistry, and unforgettable aerial exploits. Napa Valley's centuries-old settlements offer a fascinating afternoon while the plazas in town showcase curious Napa ARTwalk exhibitions. During June, the Country Summer Music Festival boasts some of the countries best musicians, while the Beerfest fundraiser in Santa Rosa provides a mouthwatering respite for the lager lovers in the group.

For a truly magical experience, rising up through the clouds over the stunningly beautiful meadows and valleys in a hot air balloon will make for the perfect end to the vacation.

Food and drink

With literally thousands of options for wine tasting in the region, it's important to keep those stomachs full and content while roadtripping through the scenic meadows. The customary cheese board may leave you feeling a bit peckish, so a visit to a high-end Michelin star restaurant or a traditional farm-to-table experience may be on the cards.

Some highlights in the area include Kenzo Napa, a sushi restaurant in Napa that is led by three-Michelin-starred chef Hiroyuki Kanda; Guiso Latin Fusion in Healdsburg with its Caribbean and Salvadorian mix; St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in Santa Rosa with its multi-course small dishes and wine pairings; and Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton that offers locally-sourced farm-to-table meals.

Places to visit

1. Anderson Valley in Mendocino

With over 90 wineries, an incredible variety of grapes, and sustainable eco-friendly and organic practices, the progressive winemakers and tasting rooms of Mendocino County offer a less crowded and more wallet-friendly alternative to the more well-known Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Just a two-hour drive north of San Fransisco on Highway 101 through Sonoma County and forested hillsides will lead you to Anderson Valley, famous for its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Alsace varieties of Pinot Gris and Riesling.

One of the premier spots to savor refined Pinot Noirs is Goldeneye Winery in Philo, which offers seated wine tastings from just $15, as well as more personalized experiences, such as elevated tasting sessions, bubbles and caviar, and a guided wine tour of the estate.

The friendly, small-town atmosphere in the area means that visitors can often expect to find themselves chatting with the founder of the winery while enjoying a wine tasting for as little as $5! One such family-owned winery is Foursight Wines in Booneville, which the Charles family has owned since 1943. Other stops include Balo Vineyards with its relaxed atmosphere; Drew Family Cellars tasting rooms; and the father-and-son-run Baxter Winery that boasts a reputable Pinot Noir.

2. Napa Valley

Generally regarded as one of the premier winemaking regions in the world, Napa Valley's fertile soil and pleasant year-round weather allow for top-quality wine grapes to thrive here. Commercial wine production in the area dates all the way back to the 1800s, although it wasn't until the results of the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 that the area's fine wines received global recognition.

Today, some 5 million people visit the over 400 wineries every year, allowing vacationers to sip some award-winning wines while soaking in the stunning vineyard views and vibrant sunshine. Whether its fruity Merlots, full-bodied Cabernets, or superior Chardonnays you're looking for, the tasting rooms at Darioush Winery, Chateau Montelena, V.Sattui Winery, Luna Vineyards, and Andretti Winery offer an eclectic mix of celebrity-run wineries, modern estates, and grand châteaus—all while serving some of the best wines found anywhere in the world.

With the valley floor spanning just five miles across and 30 miles at its longest point, Napa Valley is actually one of the smallest winemaking regions, in addition to being one of the most famous, making it the ideal day trip. When touring the gorgeous estates and vineyards, be sure to try a glass of the renowned king of Napa, the prized Cabernet Sauvignon!

3. Sonoma Valley

Less than an hour's drive from Napa, Sonoma Valley is home to over 80 wineries and picture-perfect vineyards that sprawl over 10,000 acres of land. Heralded as the birthplace of California's commercial wine industry in the 1850s, visitors to this fabulous spot can experience a wine-tasting afternoon at Gundlach Bundschu, the state's oldest continuously family-run winery that was founded back in 1858.

The Carneros wine region in the south abounds with top-notch Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while Syrah and regional white varietals, such as Roussanne and Marsanne, are also becoming popular in the quaint tasting rooms. Traveling on past the Boyes Hot Springs puts you in the mountainous terrain of Glen Ellen, where old-vine Zinfandel has been grown since the 1850s.

A visit to Sonoma wouldn't be complete without a trip to Buena Vista Winery, the oldest commercial winery in California founded in 1857. Other top stops in the area include Ravenswood Winery with its superb Zinfandel; Benziger Winery with its stunning setting in an impressive volcanic bowl; and the picturesque, 16,000-square-foot Ledson Winery inspired by French Normandy.

Those looking for some small town charm shouldn't miss the chance to wander the adorable streets of Healdsburg, with its eclectic shops, buzzing art galleries, and top-notch restaurants and bars. Set between three of the premier wine-growing regions in the area—the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Alexander Valley—Healdsburg makes for the perfect Sonoma Valley pit stop.

4. Santa Cruz Mountains

Encompassing approximately 480,000 acres and 1,300 acres of wine grapes, the majestic ridges and coastal mountains of Santa Cruz create the ideal microclimate for world-class wine production. An iconic drive from San Fransisco along an epic 50-mile stretch of towering peaks and endless ocean will lead you to this special terrain that is home to over 70 wineries.

Santa Cruz itself is a charming coastal town, surrounded by soaring redwoods and full of stylish boutiques and eateries. The city even enjoys 300 days of sunshine each year! Winding country roads make their way up from the coast to the mountainous wine region, where Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir tastings can be enjoyed at former mill, Storrs Winery, or Pelican Ranch, which has some of the best Burgundy and Rhone-style varietals in the area.

These quiet hillsides are dotted with small vineyards just waiting to be explored like Ridge Vineyards, generally regarded as one of the best in the area; the MJA Vineyards Tasting Room, with its racy selection of wines, such as "Still Horny," "French Kiss," and "Sweet Thang"; and Storrs Winery & Vineyards, which offers Pinot Noir varietals, including Dijon and Pommard, as well as French varietals like Burgundy.

With so many tasting rooms and vineyards to discover in this unique region, it's advisable to allow a few days to truly soak up the mellow atmosphere of the mountainous wine country, as well as the boho-chic vibe and stunning coastline of the city of Santa Cruz.

5. Paso Robles

Home to more than 200 wineries, the enchanting area of Paso Robles is easily accessible from both Los Angeles and San Francisco via the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. The area abounds with wines made from grapes originally grown in Rhône, France, including Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Picpoul Blanc, Marsanne, and Roussanne, with Cabernet Sauvignon increasingly gaining in popularity. The optimal grape-growing conditions found here are thanks to the best day-to-night temperature swing in California, which brings with it a long growing season, unique microclimates, and a variety of soil types.

Wine aficionados are spoiled for choice with the selection of tasting rooms to explore, and the expansive river valley floodplains and boundless slopes offer brilliant driving conditions. One of the top winemakers to visit is Justin Winery, with its 25 vintages, including Isosceles—owner Justin Baldwin's interpretation of a big Bordeaux,, which was named in the top 10 wines on the planet in 2000 by Wine Spectator.

Other unmissable stops include the gorgeous Bianchi Winery, California's Zinfandel Champion in 2014; the romantic Villa San Juliette, owned by American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe; Halter Ranch, with its sustainably farmed Rhône and Bordeaux wines; and Eberle Winery and its incredible wine cave!

The town of Paso Robles town itself has a laid-back atmosphere, with a strong wild west soul. After some quality wine tasting during the day, visitors can head over to the Vina Robles Amphitheater for some live music; dine at some farm-to-table restaurants, such as Thomas Hill Organics; or crack open a cold one at BarrelHouse Brewing Co. while listening to local bands.

6. Santa Barbara

The unique geography and mild climate of Santa Barbara's wine country make the Santa Ynez and Santa Maria Valleys two of the most beautiful wine producing regions in the world. The perfect location of "America's Riviera" means that visitors can enjoy the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail, all while having world-class surfing and stunning coastlines at just 30 minutes away.

The rolling hills of Santa Barbara wine country can be found nestled between two epic mountain ranges, rising up to 3,400 feet, and the most popular wines made here include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Sauvignon Blanc. Within the Santa Maria Valley, Bien Nacido Vineyard spans over 900 acres and is renowned for its top class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while the 77,000 acres of the Santa Ynez Valley are known for their Bordeaux blends, Rhône blends, and Zinfandels, as well as a crisp Sauvignon Blanc at Brander Vineyard, which offers tastings seven days a week.

Some other highlights in the area include Presqu'ile Winery, located in the north, with its beautiful tasting rooms and sweeping view; Municipal Winemakers, which offers a casual, beach vibe; Brander Vineyard and its ongoing quest for the perfect Sauvignon blanc; and Rusack Vineyards, a boutique vinyeard with seemingly endless fields of gorgeous vines amid the natural beauty of Ballard Canyon.

Debating where to stay in California's Wine Country? Let us help you out—click here!

Host Spotlight: Julia K.

By Jackie Dreyer

Editor's note: Each month, we'd like to introduce you to one of our wonderful Glamping Hub hosts and what inspired them to create a glamping site. This month, we have Julia, who manages this vintage travel trailer near Los Angeles, California.

1. What is the story behind you starting your glamping site?

When my husband, Michael, and I bought our property in 2011, I realized the potential to develop a "trailer zone" near the rather forlorn and abandoned wood interior office trailer from 1963 that was near the shipping container. Both were left on the northern half of our acre by the former owner. We had to do a lot of cleaning and junk removal, but it became a nice alternative bedroom and art supplies storage unit.

The open land and framework nearby inspired me to build out and get another trailer for a nice guest area. In 2016, I found one for sale in New Orleans, so we went out there and bought her. Michael and the seller brought her back and up the hill, where she now permanently resides.

2. What did you do before becoming a glamping host? What drew you to glamping?

I grew up camping quite a bit with my family across the U.S., always car camping to visit relatives between California and Maine. I also have extensive backpacking experience in the Sierra Nevada and Vancouver Island. As adults, we have both traveled widely internationally and love the excitement of wild places. We both enjoy adventuring, hiking and freelance employment—me in the fashion industry and Michael as owner of Seaman Battens.

The popularity of restoration and ownership vintage trailers, as well as glamping in them, is widespread. We want to offer a similar experience in a highly collectible trailer for future guests who are still dreaming about, or working on their trailers, as well as those who are searching for a totally unforgettable stay.

3. In your opinion, how does your accommodation fit the definition of glamping?

In every way! Our 1954 Spartan Manor trailer and 1963 vintage office trailer are extremely collectible and both quite rare. The site itself is spectacular, and somehow the short steep road is just right to get a feeling of remoteness and distance from everyday life.

The trailer zone is fully outfitted for luxurious relaxation, with numerous lounging options and trails nearby for exploring. It offers guests privacy, open air, nature at the doorstep, and civilized amenities, such as shade, comfortable furniture, a well-equipped kitchen, and a bathroom with hot shower.

4. What is the most special thing about your property?

It has to be the view. Or Bella, our beautiful dog. The first we have gotten used to, the latter we adore, and our guests love her, too. Hiking with Bella off-leash is a great experience; just watching her leap like a gazelle and enjoy life reminds us to try that, too.

The trailer zone is special because it is self-contained and grants a feeling of serenity and privacy. Inside our house, we also get that.

In the springtime, the green, grassy hillsides and valley below are so stunning. 900 feet below us, at the valley level, we even have a water view! The ecology pond inside the nature preserve is designed to hold enough water through the dry season for the wild animals.

5. What do you love the most about running a glamping site? What are some of the challenges you face?

I really enjoyed building it and choosing all the materials—designing with recycled, repurposed, and reclaimed items found or sourced online. I learned that if you look long enough, you do find the great stuff!

We love to share our home and the trailer zone with friends, family, and guests. On a first visit, it is always really gratifying to see people's reactions to what we have achieved through the development of our property.

We are expecting to have some upkeep; because of the age of the trailer, some furnishings and materials might need to be repaired or replaced. We will continue to restore the trailer and protect her from getting damaged. Encouraging guests to be easy on the old girl is important.

6. Tell us about your most memorable guest experience to date.

We had a couple here during the painted ladies butterfly migration. I think they planned to leave for the day, but they ended up lounging, relaxing and watching thousands of butterflies drift by on their journey to Oregon. It really was an amazing sight to see them floating by, five feet above the ground and in a straight line over obstacles. The guests even mentioned it in their review!

7. Which three words are most commonly used in guest feedback about your accommodation?

Unique, hiking, and view.

8. Tell us about the experience you provide for guests visiting your glamping site.

The trailer is completely furnished with custom-made and designer-sourced, one-of-a-kind items—right down to the plates and silverware. We stock fresh English muffins, eggs, and butter; and snacks, breakfast drinks, and condiments are supplied. Guests sleep in an extremely comfortable bed, dressed with high-end, super soft, 100% cotton linens.

We offer all guests a guided hiking experience nearby on the private trails, and we take Bella, too. The guests just love watching her antics! We also offer them to come visit our house, which is just 50 yards away; we want to make sure they know that we are there in case of any problems or questions.

9. If you could have anybody stay at your accommodation, who would it be and why?

We would love to meet Yvon Chouinard. He is strong, admirable, and smart—a true leader and lover of nature and of life.

"He is widely recognized for his unique corporate style and philosophy, and his visionary environmental leadership." - Doug Bruns

"Yvon Chouinard has come to embody something near-mythic: a life lived hard-on-the-edge, perfectly and gracefully." - Doug Stanton

10. Are there any upcoming additions/changes to your glamping site you would like to share with us?

The building phase did finally end after more than two years since bringing the Spartan Manor to Chatsworth. We always set up the outdoor bed, outdoor umbrellas, and all the extra outdoor furnishings on May 1. We would like to focus on providing positive, unique guest experiences and to meet fun and respectful guests who think it our property is as special as we do.

To book an unforgettable stay with your special someone at Julia's vintage travel trailer in California, click here!

Photo credit goes to both Sibylle Allgaier and Ethan Abitz. Video credit goes to Ethan Abitz.

Host Spotlight: Mina and Rich

By Jackie Dreyer

Editor's note: Each month, we'd like to introduce you to one of our wonderful Glamping Hub hosts and what inspired them to create a glamping site. This month, we have Mina and Rich, who manage this stunning tipi rental in the Catskills of Upstate New York.

1. What is the story behind you starting your glamping site?

In 2014, my partner and I decided to leave the big city for life in the country, a dream we both had long before we met each other and, a dream that I believe brought us together. We loved living in the Catskills so much that we decided to start building structures outside of our home so that more of our friends can come enjoy the beauty of one of the oldest farming communities in upstate New York.

At the time, we weren't familiar with the concept of glamping; we just both loved the idea of tipi camping and decided to give it a go. Finding the best spot on our 10-acre property took longer than I care to admit, but a year and a half later, we had the tipi of our dreams, and we decided to open it up to guests.

2. What did you do before becoming a glamping host? What drew you to glamping?

Rich and I are both artists and makers, and we enjoy the challenge of things we've never done before. We love traveling and collecting inspiration from other cultures and incorporating that into our lives.

Before moving to the country, I worked for a heritage fashion company, and Rich worked a set builder for photo shoots. We both knew we could do more—we just needed the space to explore our talents and put them to good use. What better place than the country?

3. In your opinion, how does your accommodation fit the definition of glamping?

We do all the work—you have all the fun! Our tipi is equipped with all the comforts one might need to enjoy their time away in nature; there's no need to rough it to enjoy sleeping under the stars and getting lulled to sleep by the babbling brook. We provide beautiful wool blankets, custom-made furniture, cut firewood, and a small kitchenette.

4. What is the most special thing about your property?

Its hard to pick just one. Our wildflower field is often inhabited by fireflies at night—a sight to behold and one you will not soon forget. The tipi is located in Meeker Hollow, one of the best places for stargazing in the state of New York.

5. What do you love the most about running a glamping site? What are some of the challenges you face?

One of my favorite things is to see the transformation our guests go through while staying here. After a night in the tipi, I love seeing my guests emerge from the forest with wide eyes and smiling faces, excited to go out and explore the sights.

We love teaching them about how a tipi works and watch them get excited about starting an open fire inside the tipi and maintaining it to stay warm on chilly nights.
We also love connecting our guests with our local farms and markets and supporting our local community.

6. Tell us about your most memorable guest experience to date.

So many of them! From kids being excited about every little thing in the forest to grumpy adults that were dragged by their partners to a tipi in the forest that turned to sworn campers overnight, we enjoy seeing how our guests use our property and how it transforms them.

We love all our guests and their courage and curiosity, but there is one that really made our day by gifting us a beautiful painting of our tipi and property. You could really tell from the painting that the experience moved them, and that means so much to us.

7. Which three words are most commonly used in guest feedback about your accommodation?

Relaxing, peaceful, and magical.

8. Tell us about the experience you provide for guests visiting your glamping site.

We designed the tipi and chose the location very carefully with privacy and tranquility in mind—500 feet from the farm house and nestled between a creek, maple trees, and a wildflower field. The tipi is equipped with everything one might need for a perfect country getaway: handcut firewood for bonfires, a long list of local activities to enjoy while you're here, and a hammock for lazy afternoons by the stream. During summer months, you can tour our organic garden and pick your own greens.

9. If you could have anybody stay at your accommodation, who would it be and why?

John Burroughs, without a doubt. He was an American naturalist and nature essayist born not far from our farmhouse. I'd love to learn about our land from someone that spent his life writing about it.

10. Are there any upcoming additions/changes to your glamping site you would like to share with us?

Yes, we are constantly growing! This year, we are building a new glamping site that we hope to have available by the end of summer.

To book an unforgettable stay with your special someone at Mina and Richa's tipi in Upstate New York, click here!

Our last-minute Mother's Day gift guide

By Mikaela Amundson

Mother's Day is almost upon us so that means you should be planning the breakfast in bed, the cards, and, of course, the gift. We're sure you show your mom love every day, but this is an opportunity to shower the important women in your life with a little extra gratitude—moms, grandmas, aunts, honorary moms, “framily” (as my mom and I call it), and more!

Check out our last-minute gift guide below to get inspired and pick out the perfect present for the special ladies in your life.

Flowers for her


A bouquet of flowers from Flora Queen, which delivers to over 100 countries in as little as one day, means no matter where mom is, she'll have a beautiful bouquet in her honor. Tulips are a classic Mother’s Day choice, but we love something more unexpected, like this rose and lily combo—or even a potted bromelia plant for something that will really last.

Something else with flowers

If you want to get mom some flowers that will stand the test of time, we love the idea of a floral print silk scarf. This one comes in four gorgeous floral patterns—perfect for spicing up her spring and summer looks. Alternatively, you can also go for a floral journal or some floral sneakers depending on what your mom will use the most.

Self-care Sunday

At-home facial

If your mom recently found out about Instagram and won't stop talking about her favorite influencer of late, get her something that's totally #instagoals, like a trendy Gua Sha facial tool. Your mom deserves a great self-care gift that doubles as a like-garnering post for her feed. This one comes with three different shapes to try, as well as a handy guide. Pair it with a face mask or a facial serum for the perfect Mother's Day self-care package.

Subscription box

There's nothing better than a gift that continues throughout the year, so a subscription box that gets delivered to mom on a regular basis is a perfect choice for this year's Mother's Day gift. This cruelty-free, vegan, and non-toxic makeup subscription from Petit Vour.

If your mom is not a budding beauty guru, that's quite alright; you can find subscription boxes for almost any interest or hobby. Some of our favorites include a book of the month box for the avid reader, a perfume subscription for the mom who likes to switch up her scents, and a wine subscription box. Yes, that's right. Wine.

Wares for mom

Customizable jewelry

Get her a twist on the classic locket with this customizable, and very chic, brass pendant, in which you can include a heartfelt note that she can keep with her long after Mother's Day celebrations have ended. You can round out the gift by pairing it with this hammered brass ring and bracelet for a set she'll wear forever.

Eco-friendly starter pack

Gifts that are practical, stylish, and eco-friendly are really the whole package. If your mom is looking to upgrade her eco-game from old tote bags for grocery shopping to becoming a zero-waste guru, we think eco-friendly starter kits, like this one from Package Free Shop, are the perfect jumping off point!

This one has all the basics: an insulated mug, a set of bamboo utensils, a stainless steel straw, and a bamboo toothbrush. Be sure to check out their other kits as well, like this one for zero-waste cleaning or this one for travel. Add in a trendy, reusable water bottle and an upcycled wristlet, like this one made from recycled billboards in NYC, and you mom will be good to step out to save the earth in style.

P.S. Don't forget that a glamping gift card also makes for a perfect Mother's Day gift! Getting out together into nature and making memories that will last forever? Priceless.

Check out some properties near you on Glamping Hub to find the perfect accommodation for your mom!