The Caravan Outpost Airstream Hotel: The “Silver Bullet” Express to Your Next Ojai Adventure
Who doesn’t love an Airstream trailer? Not many. And over the last 85 years, there’s been plenty of them to love. With fondly bestowed nicknames like Silver Bullet, Silver Burrito, Silver Twinkie and Toaster-on-Wheels, the iconic silver streamlined Airstream trailer has always cut a distinct figure on America’s highways as it conveys its proud owners—in futuristic style—from one adventure to another. …
Published in the March/April 2017 edition of Southern California Life Magazine – Download here, or view article on Issue (pages 78-81), or continuing reading text-only version below:
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But in Ojai, Calif., a small cache of Airstream trailers with quirky names like “Diego” “Yeti” and, with a nod to Hollywood, “La-La,” are content to be “homebodies”—cheerfully accommodating a revolving door of urban escapees and other travelers looking for an altogether different kind of travel experience. Enter the Caravan Outpost Airstream Hotel—an adventure in and of itself. This is not your grandma’s RV park, but it’s also not your posh, but impersonal, hotel. At Outpost, you’ll encounter something altogether different—a level of “handcrafted hoteling” built around community
From the moment you check in to this eclectic-themed Airstream caravan park, you’ll be welcomed in a chill, small-town-California friendly way. As you stand in Outpost’s unique James-Dean-meets-Western-chic-meets-60s-rock “hotel” lobby (or melt into their oversized cracked-leather couch), the sounds of Nat King Cole, African folk music, and David Bowie will likely pop up as part of a “Best Of” shuffle
After a laid-back check in, you’ll then be escorted to one of eleven Airstream hotels—you’re very own cozy “Silver Burrito,” neatly situated in a semicircle alongside its Airstream cousins. Privacy conscious? No worries: each space has just the right amount of foliage and private patio area to maintain healthy boundaries with neighbors. Then it’s time to step inside your personalized caravan, where you’ll immediately feel at home. Granted, the 21- to 32-foot Airstream may be considerably smaller than your “real” home, but it’s cozy, comfortable and oh-so-stylin’ in a groovy kind of way
But it’s not just the caravan itself that will wow you—it’s also the surroundings. Framed by towering palms trees and lush vegetation, the grounds are not so much a campground as an artsy botanical garden dotted with tin sheds, a brightly painted vintage water tower, and a HUGE wooden outdoor dining table just begging for your next family reunion. Nighttime emphasizes the underlying Miami “art deco glam” look with blue-and-pinkish LED lights strung through the camp. No tacky, bland RV park experience here; as befitting its millennial-friendly rebranded name, “Caravan Outpost,” this is true “early Airstream”—with an Ojai-styled facelift
Here in this haven for artists and outdoor adventure lovers, Caravan Outpost invokes a “No Room and Bored” policy.” Feel free to leave your cell phone and your laptop with “Diego” or “La-La,” as you’re about to closely interact with real people (what a concept!). To help facilitate this communal experience, Outpost hosts a nightly campfire cookout where you can sit around a fire pit, cook your own food on cast-iron skillets (if you so choose), roast s’mores, and enjoy a glass of wine or beer (BYOB), all while sharing stories and laughs with fellow guests. After a few nights at Outpost, William Butler Yeats’s adage becomes delightfully true: “There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met.
In the daytime, numerous outdoor activities abound, many of which Outpost will help facilitate, such as hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing and surfing. Biking on any one of the easily accessible bike paths is always encouraged, made all the more easy through the free use of Outpost’s retro-style PUBLIC brand bikes. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself inviting one of your “new best friends” you made around the campfire to join you in your morning bike ride—perhaps followed by a visit to nearby Bart’s Books, “The World’s Largest Outdoor Bookstore.
Besides all that (which is a lot), there are also popular events like Outpost’s “Tone and Tonic” afternoons that combine a yoga class followed by a pop-up wet bar, food and music, and their yummy “Chili con Caravan” nights that just beg for a cold beer to help wash it all down. And music is always on the menu. Be it a live concert or the continual sounds of jazz, blues, folk or fifties rock wafting through the campground, Caravan Outpost is all about the music, the arts and the Great Outdoors—helping you enjoy one of the most unique “adventure hotel” experiences in one of the prettiest areas in all of Southern California.
www.caravanoutpost.com // 805.836.4891