Airstream enthusiasts, lovers of midcentury design, and those who prefer their camping experience to include king-size Tempur-Pedic mattresses and grab-and-go s’mores kits are in luck. A California-based company called AutoCamp is opening its first East Coast Airstream hotel in Cape Cod next fall.
AutoCamp, which has locations in Santa Barbara, the Russian River Valley, and Yosemite National Park, will open its Airstream glampground in Falmouth, close to Wood Neck Beach. The location will feature 93 specially outfitted Airstreams and eight luxury tents for those seeking elegance in the outdoors — and those willing to pay a bit extra for sleeping in a swanky camper.
“We couldn’t think of a more iconic place to launch on the East Coast than Cape Cod,” said AutoCamp co-founder Ryan Miller. “Our model really brings together camping with a luxury hotel.”
AutoCamp uses 31-foot Airstream trailers that are customized for the company and look more like high-end tiny houses that trailers. They offer Carrara marble bathrooms, sofas that convert to a second bed, flat-screen televisions with cable, heat and A/C, microwaves, mini-fridges, a private fire pit, and, of course, Wi-Fi.
In addition to the trailers and tents, AutoCamp will have something the company refers to as the Clubhouse, which acts as the lobby for the glampground, or hotel, or whatever you choose to call this well-appointed trailer park. The 8,100-square-foot Clubhouse has a midcentury-inspired lounge including a bar that serves craft beer and wine. It also has bathrooms with showers for those who are staying in tents.
The Clubhouse will serve breakfast and sell some grab-and-go food, but the idea is that you’re camping; therefore you can cook over your own private fire pit. Or maybe just find a good clam shack.
Tents will be available April through October, but the Airstreams will be available year-round for hearty souls.
“We’ve been open successfully year-round in Sonoma County, which is one of the rainiest places in California,” Miller said. “Admittedly it’s not as cold as Boston and Cape Cod, but we’ve done some work to ensure that the Airstreams are warm and cozy. When people think glamping, they usually only think of tents. This is quite different.”
Airstream, which launched in 1931 in California, has developed a cult following thanks to the brand’s gleaming aluminum campers, which sport a very distinctice rounded shape. Sandy Pines campground in Kennebunkport, Maine, has just one Airstream available for rent. It’s quite popular and usually booked during the high season. Huttopia, a campground in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, has an Airstream, but it’s used to serve food.
“We find a lot of people have never stayed in an Airstream before, and it’s really quite an experience,” Miller said.
This particular Airstream experience is heightened by the fact that AutoCamp offers travelers amenities such as yoga and meditation, bikes to take to the beach, organic blankets by Coyuchi, bath products by Ursa Major, and custom-designed Stahl fire pits. During the summer there will be occasional farm-to-table meals, music, and speakers.
The price of camping luxury starts at $175 a night, but expect prices to shoot up anywhere from $300 to $450 a night during peak season. The prices are generally similar to a pricey Cape Cod hotel room. There are both tents and trailers available that are handicap accessible. All units are pet-friendly as well.
“The idea is really to remove the barriers to getting a high quality, comfortable, stylish experience in the outdoors,” Miller said. “A lot of people haven’t really spent time in the forest, and we live in an age where it’s important to have those moments when you can just slow down and breathe.”