Book Tour

Exeter, New Hampshire, birthplace of John Irving, the novelist.

National Read A Book Day is observed annually on September 6. We’re feeling a little bookish this month and are ready for an adventure that’s one for the books!

Take a page from our Book Tour travel guide, and head to these cities that were either the setting for a famous book or the hometown and/or inspiration for some of the most famous authors in the US.

Cozy cabins at Narrows Too in Bar Harbor, Maine.

One of the most prolific writers of horror and supernatural fiction, Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine. Plan a trip to Maine and stay with us in a cozy cabin at our Bar Harbor resorts, Mt. Desert Narrows and Narrows Too, and then head about an hour northwest and explore the town of Bangor. In addition to seeing King’s current residence, you can check out some sites related to King’s novels in Bangor that include the Paul Bunyan Statue located in Bass Park that was featured in It, and Mount Hope Cemetery which was featured in Pet Sematary.

Fisherman’s wharf in Monterey, California.

John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, and the area became the inspiration for so many of his classic novels. Book a stay in a cabin, cottage, or ultra-unique safari tent at Morgan Hill RV Resort and you’re less than 50 miles from Steinbeck’s California. Visit Monterey, the setting for his acclaimed Depression-era novel Cannery Row, which depicted life in the town known as the Sardine Capital of the World. Don’t miss the Cannery Row tour. The town was also the setting for Tortilla Flat, the novel that earned both commercial and critical success for the author. Steinbeck’s home and the National Steinbeck Center can be found in Salinas.

The town of Exeter, New Hampshire.

John Irving, author of many novels including The World According to Garp and Hotel New Hampshire, is a native of New Hampshire and attended the University of New Hampshire. If you’re considering a stay with us at the Tuxbury Tiny House Village in South Hampton, you’ll be less than 10 miles from Exeter, which is not only Irving’s birthplace, but also the model for the town of Gravesend, featured in the bestseller, A Prayer for Owen Meany. Fans of the movie Cider House Rules, which was based on Irving’s novel of the same name, will be interested to know that three scenes from the movie were filmed at the Northfield Drive-In in Hinsdale, which is still in operation and is about 100 miles from the Tuxbury Tiny House Village.

Tiny house Lucy at Sunshine Key Tiny House Village in Big Pine Key, Florida.

Ernest Hemingway and Key West, Florida, pretty much go hand in hand. Not only did he write about Key West in his novel To Have and Have Not, but he also spent many years living on the island. Undoubtably one of Key West’s most famous residents, the town honors Hemingway every July during Hemingway Days. Book a stay with us at the Sunshine Key Tiny House Village (where we have a tiny house named after him!) and head down to explore Hemingway’s Key West. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, which is located in the house in which Hemingway lived for over 10 years, offers tours of the home and garden. The Blue Heaven saloon was a favorite of the authors and visitors today can enjoy breakfast or lunch here. Another favorite Hemingway haunt was Sloppy Joe’s. Famous for its sandwich of the same name, the bar pays tribute to Papa with an annual look-alike contest.

Dog Days of August

Tiny house Riley at Tuxbury Tiny House Village in South Hampton, NH • IG: nishatnguyen

The Dog Days of Summer typically refer to the weather this time of year, but if you ask your furry companion (yes, they have opinions!), they’ll let you know that to them it sounds more like Dog’s Days of Summer, or, in other words, take me with you wherever it is you’re going!

If you’re planning a trip, and also listening to your dog, here are few spots that are super pet friendly.

Sedona, Arizona

Settle into a pet friendly cabin or cottage at Sedona’s Verde Valley RV Campground and then explore the area with Fido in tow. Several trails in the area, including the Bell Rock Pathway and the Boynton Canyon Trail, allow leashed pets along on a hike. Many of the restaurants welcome pets and Creekside even has a special pet menu featuring items like a cheddar omelet with chicken jerky or steak tartare. More attractions for the pup include Sedona Dog Park, which separates off-leash areas into big and small dog areas, and Whiskers Bakery, which sells a wide variety treats and toys if your dog is into shopping. 

Cabin at Verde Valley RV Campground in Cottonwood, AZ

Key West, Florida

If there’s a place called Island Dogs Bar, whereas the name implies dogs are welcome, this has to be a pet-friendly vacation spot. Another pet-friendly attraction on the island is the Key West Aquarium where your leashed pup can tag along and see all the marine life exhibits. Higgs Beach has a dog park were pets can run off-leash. Plan to stay at Sunshine Key RV Resort where two of the vacation trailer rental accommodations are pet friendly and the resort welcomes pets, as well.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Not only can your pup ride the bus in Bar Harbor, they are also welcome at several area restaurants, including the famous Stewman’s Lobster Pound. To work off that fabulous lobster dinner, take a hike around Acadia National Park which has more than 120 trails and all are dog friendly.

View from North Bubble, in Acadia National Park, Maine.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle has a lot to offer in terms of pets – bus rides are offered and the city allows well behaved dogs to ride the bus (accompanied by their owner, of course!). Seattle also has over 10 off-leash dog parks and plenty of hiking trails that are friendly to pets. Check out Snow Lake Trail to get a short (6.4 miles) hike in with your leashed dog. Dogs are also welcome at the Washington Park Arboretum, a beautiful 230-acre public park (think free admission). Tall Chief RV Campground has a pet friendly cottage accommodation and the campground welcomes pets, as well.

Door County, Wisconsin

Fish Creek and Peninsula State Park in Door County, Wisconsin.

Everything that Door County is known for – hiking, beaches, and water sports are available to tourists of the four-legged variety, to some degree, as well. Plus, several restaurants allow your dogs, too. There’s even a list of doggy daycare facilities in case you want some time without your furry friend. Whitefish Dunes allows dogs on the beach and Peninsula State Park has pet friendly hiking trails. Finally, the Skyway Drive-In Movie Theater allows pets to take in a movie, provided they are in the car or on a leash. Tranquil Timbers RV Campground in nearby Sturgeon Bay has two pet friendly cabin accommodations and the campground welcomes pets.

Cozy Cabin at Tranquil Timbers RV Campground in Door County, Wisconsin.

June is Great Outdoors Month

Cabins at Yosemite Lakes Campground in Groveland, CA

In 1998, President Bill Clinton declared that seven days in the month of June should be set aside to “celebrate our relationship with nature.” That concept resonated so soundly with Americans that successive administrations morphed those seven days into a whole month of celebrating and communing with nature.

June is upon us again and we probably all feel the need to get outside and commune! So, whether you hike, bike, fish, boat or just plain sit in it, get outside, breath the air, and become one with nature.

June in the great outdoors can include:

Mt. Hood Tiny House Village in Welches, OR

Hiking: Hiking doesn’t really require much equipment or any particular level of skill – just some strong legs and lungs, and you’ve got it. Trails abound around the country and we’ve found a few you places you might like to hike. Yosemite National Park has 800 miles of trails to choose from and the scenery is unparalleled! Enjoy the alpine hikes of Mt. Hood, Oregon’s 11,240-foot volcano – two popular hikes are the Tamanawas Falls Trail and the Old Salmon River Trail. Then, relax after a long day on the trails in one of our yurt accommodations at Yosemite Lakes Campground (CA) or Mt. Hood Village (OR).

Cottages in Palm Springs RV Resort in Palm Desert, CA

Biking: Take a seat and use pedal power to enjoy the great outdoors on a bike ride. Some great rides could include the 13-mile city-wide tour of Palm Springs, California, which gives you an idea what the town is all about. Or, pedal around Maine’s Acadia National Park on the 45 miles of carriage roads or the 27-mile Park Loop Road. Add to the fun of your great outdoors experience with a stay in a cute cottage at Narrows Too (ME) or Palm Springs RV Resort (CA).

Cabins at Tranquil Timbers in Sturgeon Bay, WI

Fishing: Reel in the big one during Great Outdoors Month.  Try your luck with some deep-sea fishing in the Florida Keys or see what’s biting in the waters of Wisconsin’s Door County. Our cozy cabins at Tranquil Timbers (WI) or a colorful cottage or tiny house in the Keys can serve as your “fishing lodge” while you write your big fish story!

Fishing at Pacific City in Cloverdale, OR

Taking in the View: Sometimes it’s enough to just be outdoors to enjoy the view, the fresh air, and the magic of nature. Take in the sunsets from Santa Barbara’s Stearns Wharf; feel the effects of the healing vortexes in Sedona’s Red Rock State Park; enjoy the charm of Leavenworth, Washington, a quaint-as-can-be Bavarian-styled village or marvel at Haystack Rock, nature’s sea stack creation that rises 235 from the Pacific Ocean at Cannon Beach, Oregon. You can also enjoy the view from our cozy cabins in Santa Barbara (Rancho Oso) or Oregon (Pacific City), or from our adorable tiny homes in Leavenworth, Washington, or Sedona’s Verde Valley Resort.

Leavenworth Tiny House Village in Leavenworth, WA

Camping: Of course, there is no better way to enjoy the great outdoors than with a good camping trip. Writer Alice Walker said, “In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect.” Find your perfection and stay with us in one of our Petite Retreats. If you want mountains, we’ve got you covered with locations near Seattle, Maine’s Acadia National Park, beautiful Mt. Hood, and the Adirondacks. If you want seashore, we’ve got you covered with locations in Santa Barbara, the Oregon coast, New Hampshire, and Florida. And if your “perfect” is just gathering friends and family in the great outdoors, we’ve definitely got you covered there!

2020 Views

Photo from Devils Bridge Trail 40 minutes from the tiny houses at Verde Valley in AZ.

Get a new perspective in 2020 and check out these amazing views around the country.

Arizona

If you’re visiting Sedona, Arizona, Red Rock State Park provides some of the most breathtaking scenery you may ever see. Simply strolling through this rugged valley with its startling sandstone formations is a sight for the eyes, but if you choose to visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross, you’ll add to the magnificent spectacle. Built into the buttes of the Red Rocks, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is considered an architectural wonder.

Plan a stay at Verde Valley when exploring Red Rock State Park.

Verde Valley
Tiny house photo by @adventuresonwheels from Verde Valley in AZ.

California

Any way you slice it, Yosemite National Park is one of the most scenic spots on Earth. To get a spectacular view of the Park’s highlights, including Half Dome and Yosemite Falls, take in the scenery from Glacier Point. With a commanding elevation of 7,214 feet, this popular overlook is a great way to see all the beauty of the Yosemite Valley.

Yosemite Lakes provides a perfect base camp while visiting the Yosemite Valley and the National Park.

Maine

Thunder Hole, in Acadia National Park, is named due to the thundering sound that occurs when the waves of the Atlantic roll into the cavern on this inlet at Acadia. The water can splash as high as 40 feet! Thunder Hole also offers fabulous views of Otter Cliff and the Great Head from the safety of an observation deck.

Narrows Too in Trenton is a great place to stay for a visit to Acadia, as well as the charming town of Bar Harbor.

Narrows Too
Colorful cottages from Narrows Too in ME.

New Hampshire

Pick your favorite vista when you visit Odiorne State Park, in Rye. There are beautiful views of the woodlands, the rocky coastline and the Atlantic Ocean. On a clear day you can see the Isles of Shoals, a small group of six islands, located about six miles off the coast. In addition to the views, there is also the Seacoast Science Center and the remains of Fort Dearborn, established during World War II to help protect the Portsmouth Harbor.

Tuxbury Pond Tiny House Village is a little over a half hour drive from Rye.

Pennsylvania

One of the most scenic spots in Lancaster County is Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve. Lake and river views, as well as streams, creeks, and waterfalls are just a few of the scenic details here.  The rugged terrain of the woodlands provides possible glimpses of the preserve’s wildlife inhabitants, including coyotes, fox, and deer. Several well-marked trails lead the way as you explore the amazing scenery here.

Circle M is about 22 minutes from Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve. 

Washington

Kerry Park, in Seattle, is the perfect spot to grab a panoramic view of the Emerald City. If you’ve seen such a shot in a magazine or movie, it was most likely taken from Kerry Park. There are so many pluses to visiting this location. Not only is the view of the city skyline spectacular, two bonus views include Mt. Rainier and Elliot Bay. Also, the charming neighborhood of Queen Anne provides views of 19th century homes in Upper Queen Anne, and another one of Seattle’s best locations for amazing views, the Space Needle, in Lower Queen Anne.

Seattle is a perfect day trip when you stay at Leavenworth Tiny House Village or a quick trip from Tall Chief, in Fall City.

Leavenworth Tiny House Village • Otto
Otto, the tiny house, from Leavenworth Tiny House Village

Movie Locations Near Petite Retreats! 

From old Hollywood westerns to horror films, many movies are filmed on location. For your next stay at a Petite Retreat, check out some iconic locations of some of your favorite films. There are many more than this list, so share with us your favorite places to visit that are the backdrop to some of Hollywood’s most famous scenes in the comments!

Old Hollywood Westerns – Pioneertown, CA   

Founded by a group of Hollywood investors in the mid-1940s, Pioneertown was built to be a movie set worth visiting. Over 50 movies were filmed here including ones that starred some of its founders like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, but it also had things for visitors to do like bowling alleys, saloons, and ice cream parlors. While movies aren’t filmed here anymore, Pioneertown sees plenty of visitors each year who come to catch mock-gun fights, see live music at world-famous Pappy & Harriet’s, and get a taste of what the old west was like. Or perhaps even, what the old Hollywood version of the old west was like!  

Palm Springs RV Resort
Palm Springs RV Resort

Pioneertown is about a 45 to 60-minute drive from Palm Springs RV Resort. Visit the Colorful Cottages at Palm Springs RV Resort.  

Rocky – Philadelphia, PA 

If you’ve seen the movie, Rocky, or even if you haven’t, you know the iconic training montage of Rocky Balboa as he runs up the 72 stone steps that lead to the Philadelphia Art Museum. He reaches the top and throws his fists in the air and he is ready to enter the boxing match that will change his life forever. You too can huff and puff your way up the steps to the museum and remember to take a photo when you get to the top – the view of the City of Brotherly Love from the museum is spectacular. 

Spring Gulch RV Campground
Spring Gulch RV Campground

Spring Gulch RV Campground is about an hour drive to Philadelphia, PA.  

Hocus Pocus – Salem, MA 

This cult classic film starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy may have debuted over 25 years ago, but the film is still beloved by so many. Every year, lovers of this classic Halloween film head to Salem to visit some of the main haunts of the film. Visit the Old Town Hall on Essex Street where the Halloween party scene takes place; or Salem Common, where many of the outdoor scenes were filmed and is also where Hocus Pocus is screened every year in October!  

Tuxbury Tiny House Village
Tuxbury Tiny House Village

Tuxbury Pond RV Resort, home to the Tuxbury Tiny House Village, is about a 45-minute drive from Salem, MA. 

Pet Sematary – Bangor, ME & Hancock, ME 

Whether you’re a lover of horror fiction or not, Stephen King is one of those infamous names linked to horrifying stories and films. Maine is where many of King’s frightening stories take place including one of his most beloved, Pet Sematary. The 1989 movie was filmed mostly in the towns of Hancock and Bangor. In one of the scenes, King makes a cameo as a minister presiding over a funeral, and filming of this scene took place at Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor, ME. The famous red-roofed, yellow house from the film can be seen from the street in Hancock, ME.  

Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort
Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort

From Mount Desert Narrows Camping Resort, Hancock, ME is about 25 minutes; and about an hour drive from Bangor, ME. 

Make your reservations for your next getaway at a Petite Retreats location, today!