September to early October is considered prime apple picking time. Why not combine a glamping trip with a side of apple picking so you can enjoy sweet treats and a sweet time at these great fall locations?
Applecrest Farms is New Hampshire’s oldest and largest apple orchard and it’s less than 10 miles from the Tuxbury Tiny House Village – a great New England glamping option. Apple picking runs mid-August through October and fall raspberries and, of course, pumpkins and gourds are available in September. All kinds of fall events are also on the schedule like the Autumn Equinox Festival (September 23-24) and the Great Pumpkin Carve (October 7-9). For more information, visit applecrest.com.
Draper Girl Country Farm is perfect for apple picking if you picked the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village as your September glamping destination. Rent a tiny house and check out the Draper Girl Country Farm where majestic Mt. Hood is the backdrop for this fall adventure. Not only do they have u-pick, but the Draper Girls have their own hard cider company. There’s flowers here for purchase and a farm store full of meats, baked goods, produce, and more (drapergirlsfarm.com).
Plan your fall glamping adventure to include a stay at the Tiny House Container Village at Yukon Trails and you’re smack dab in some of the Wisconsin Dells’ best apple picking. Ski-Hi Fruit Farm in Baraboo grows over 30 varieties from Red Delicious (good for eating) to Granny Smith (which are good for cooking). Take a wagon ride through the orchard and learn about the farm’s history (skihifruitfarm.com). The Orchard at Fair Oaks Farms is another option that offers all kinds of good apple picking plus live music on Saturdays (fofarms.com).
As the number one apple producing state in the country, of course there are plenty of apple picking opportunities in Washington. Check into a yurt or cabin at Thousand Trails Thunderbird in Monroe and head over to Swan Trail Farms in Snohomish to enjoy some apple picking (they have 4000 apple trees!), corn mazes, and some firsthand apple picking tips from the farmers on site to help you pick properly. There’s also a pre-WWII cider mill that presses apples into delicious cider. Another Snohomish option is Skipley Farm (skipleyfarm.com) offering 520 varieties seasonally. Picnic spots are available if you want to enjoy the farm after picking and then there’s Reggie, the resident pig who’s on hand to find the apple you may drop!
June is National Zoo and Aquarium Month. We’ve highlighted great zoos before so in this round, we’ll go deep diving to highlight some of the best aquariums in the U.S. Some fun facts – the London Zoo opened the first aquarium in 1853 and the first U.S aquarium was opened in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, in 1873, and was later moved to Washington DC. The home of the aquarium was moved several times within DC and then ultimately, the National Aquarium, as it became known, was closed in 2013 and moved permanently to Baltimore.
Travel + Leisure magazine came out with a list of top U.S. aquariums in December 2022. Plan to glamp nearby and take a look at these underwater marvels.
California: The Monterey Bay Aquarium (montereybayaquarium.org) has the distinction of being the first aquarium to showcase a living kelp forest. Opened in 1984, it welcomes over 2 million visitors annually who can see more than 81,000 animals and plants representing 771 species. T+L gave it a nod for being a leader in ocean conservation and education. Located on Cannery Row in beautiful Monterey, the aquarium can boast many “firsts” and “onlys” – for example, they are the only U.S. aquarium to exhibit bluefin and yellowfin tuna, ocean sunfish, pyjama squid, and salmon snailfish. In addition to being the first when it comes to kelp forests, the aquarium was also the first to successfully exhibit and release great white sharks. Plan to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium when glamping in a fabulous vacation cottage at the amazing Marina Dunes (yurts coming soon!), and stroll through the more than 200 exhibits to see otters, sharks, jellyfish, penguins, and more.
Illinois: The Shedd Aquarium (sheddaquarium.org) on Chicago’s beautiful lakefront Museum Campus is one of the older U.S. aquariums, opening in 1930, but remains the third largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. The five-million-gallon aquarium has 32,000 animals, including Pacific white-sided dolphins, of which the Shedd is one of only three aquariums to showcase this acrobatic water wonder. Rent a glamping cottage at Thousand Trails Pine Country in Belvidere and take the roughly 1.5-hour drive into Chicago to visit the Shedd. The centerpiece of the aquarium is the Coral Reef Tank, which is literally in the center of the main floor, houses a giant green sea turtle, angelfish, sharks, and cownose rays. Divers drop in to feed the fish several times a day. The Amazon Rising exhibit has piranhas and anacondas, while the Wild Reef has eels, stingrays, and sharks.
Massachusetts: Rent a truly spectacular tiny house at Tuxbury Tiny House Village in South Hampton, New Hampshire, and plan to spend the day at the New England Aquarium located in Boston Harbor (under an hour’s drive). Boasting the biggest shark and ray tank on the East Coast, the New England Aquarium (neaq.org) opened in 1969 and the museum’s main feature, the Giant Ocean Tank, opened in 1970, and, at the time, was the largest circular ocean tank in the world. Other exhibits include sea jellies, seadragons, penguins and Atlantic harbor seals, which can be viewed without entering the museum as their exhibit is just outside the front doors. Visitors can enjoy special meet and greets with the Atlantic harbor seals and create art with them (these are special events with additional costs and reservations required). The Shark and Ray Touch Tank is a great way to get up close and personal with these creatures!
Oregon: The Oregon Coast Aquarium (aquarium.org) is just minutes from Thousand Trails Whalers Rest where you can choose from glamping cottages and cabins at this Oregon coast retreat. T+L liked this aquarium for several reasons including the giant octopus and the Indo-Pacific Coral Reef. We’re partial to the puffins which make their home on the Oregon coast and have an exhibit in the aquarium. The aquarium has several Ambassador Animals including a Virginia Opossum named Otis, Wilson the Barn Owl, and two Western Pond Turtles named Cuff and Link, who have the special job of educating visitors through presentations and amphitheater talks. Don’t miss the Octopus Cave, which is home to a giant Pacific octopus. Celebrating 31 years in 2023, the aquarium recently welcomed a new sea otter named Earle! Come say hello to Earle and all his friends this summer.
Washington: Book a cozy glamping cabin at Thousand Trails Thunderbird in nearby Monroe to plan to visit to the Seattle Aquarium (seattleaquarium.org), which has daily events such as All About our Otters, All About our Washington Waters, and All About Our Harbor Seals. In addition to the daily events, there are six major permanent exhibits including Pacific Coral Reef; Birds & Shores, and Marine Mammals. T+L likes that the aquarium is very interactive. Visitors point out the Window on Washington Waters tank where divers interact with Pacific Northwest fish while visitors get to watch! Touch pools allow up close and personal experiences with star fish, sea urchins and anemones while the 360-degree Underwater Dome gives the feeling of being right under the water with the fish! The Seattle Aquarium can be found on scenic Elliott Bay.
And a bonus idea for Florida visitors, check out the Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC), located in Juno Beach, Florida. Loggerhead turtles are found in our world’s seas, specifically the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. The LMC is a sea turtle research, rehabilitation, education and conservation center. To find details about the best time to visit LMC and what you can expect when you arrive, go to marinelife.org.
Whether you’re a foodie or not, the number of “national” days recognized for different foods practically requires that you eat your way through the month. July has multiple days dedicated to foods like hot dogs and lasagna and we’ve rounded up some of the best places serving up July’s food favorites. Pair them with the perfect glamping location and you’ll be asking for more, please!
National Fried Chicken Day: That’s July 6 so we suggest you head to a few of these places named by Food & Wine as serving some of the best fried chicken in the U.S. Book a tiny home at Natchez Trace and head into Nashville to try the chicken at Hattie B’s which according to the magazine is the best “old-school hot-chicken place in town.” There’s also a tiny house at Natchez Trace named Hattie – a match made in heaven. Another option and another Hattie’s (although not related) is a Hattie’s in Saratoga Springs, New York. Rent a cabin at Lake George Escape and enjoy the roughly 30-minute drive to this establishment that has served up fried chicken since 1938.
National Lasagna Day: Winding up the month of food celebrations, National Lasagna Day falls on July 29 so you’ve got all month to eat this tasty Italian dish that dates to the Middle Ages before its official day. The dailymeal.com ranked some of America’s best lasagna and several are convenient to our glamping locations. Here are a few dinner/glamping combos: Seattle’s Pink Door (#3) and a yurt at Tall Chief; Miami’s Macchialina (#9) and a cabin at Miami Everglades; and Kenny’s Italian Kitchen in Dallas (#22), an old-school, home-style eatery complete with red-checked tablecloths pairs well with a cabin rental at Bay Landing in nearby Bridgeport.
National Hot Dog Day: There’s plenty of ambiguity surrounding how the hot dog came to be called just that, but there’s no dispute that these little sandwiches are a delight whatever condiment you believe belongs on them! July 20 is the day the dog is honored this year and good spots to eat and glamp include: Soledad Canyon (cabin or cottage rental) and LA’s Pink’s Hot Dogs with its variety of celebrity named hot dogs; Wilmington RV Resort (cabin or cottage rental) and a hot dog, brat, or sausage from Avril Bleh’s Meat Market and Deli in downtown Cincinnati, or Cherokee Landing (cabin rental) and Payne’s in Memphis – which while known for BBQ also serves up a good hot dog.
For dessert: The sweeter things in life are also celebrated in July and they include National Pecan Pie Day on July 12 (rent a tiny home at Tuxbury Tiny House Village and head to Nashua’s Willie Jewel’s Old School Bar-B-Q for a piece of pie); National Milk Chocolate Day – rent a cottage at Hershey RV and eat all the milk chocolate you want at nearby Hershey’s Chocolate World; or to sample the red velvet cheesecake at Boston’s 7ate9 Bakery consider glamping at either Sturbridge or Gateway to Cape Cod. And the cherry on top – National Cheesecake Day is July 30!
Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month was established in 1956 to highlight the benefits of bicycling and to get Americans outdoors and riding high on two wheels. Some of the benefits of bicycling include increased cardiovascular fitness, strengthened bones, improved posture and coordination, and decreased stress levels.
So, while a bike ride is great anytime, May is the designated month to roll out your bicycle and see where it will take you. If you’re lucky enough to be camping anytime this month, check out these trails. Or anytime you’re out and about atop two wheels.
Sedona (AZ) Ride among the beautiful red rocks of Sedona on the Bell Rock Pathway, an easy 3.7-mile hard dirt trail. The grand prize on this ride is the view of Bell Rock, one of the most photographed spots in the country and also one of Sedona’s natural healing vortexes. Book a stay in a cabin or tiny house at beautiful Verde Valleyand bike the Bell Rock Pathway as well as several others in this gorgeous valley.
Santa Barbara (CA) The Atascadero Creek Trail is a 3.5-mile asphalt trail that begins in Goleta State Beach Park and takes riders to the center of beautiful Santa Barbara. Rent one of the unique accommodations (cabin, cottage, or tipi) at Rancho Oso and enjoy this lovely ride.
Orlando (FL) The bike ride at Shingle Creek Regional Trail is just as magical as a day spent at the Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Glimpse some of Florida’s wildlife, including river otters, egrets, and Great Blue herons as you ride along this 8-plus-mile nature trail set amid cypress trees. Plan a colorful cottage stay at Tropical Palms and hit this beautiful trail.
Exeter (NH) Just under 20 miles from the Tuxbury Tiny House Village is Henderson-Swasey Town Forest which offers several mountain-biking trails, with almost all of them designated as “easy” and highly rated by users. Glimpses of wildlife and scenic forest views provide for a beautiful, natural ride! Book a tiny house and enjoy the ride.
Lake George (NY) The Warren County Bikeway makes for a lovely paved 9-mile ride through this lovely upstate New York location. Ride among the towering trees and foliage and learn about the history of the area from the historical markers along the way. Plan a stay at Lake George Escape and tool your way around the historic Lake George area.
Bend (OR) Book a stay in a relaxing yurt at Bend-Sunriver and enjoy one of the trails offered at nearby Shevlin Park. One trail runs along the waters of Tumalo Creek while another 6-mile Loop Trail runs through old growth Ponderosa pine, has a few hills and crosses Tumalo Creek several times.
Leavenworth (WA) There are plenty of bike trails in and around the Leavenworth area if you’re planning a stay at the Leavenworth Tiny House Village. The Apple Capital Recreation Loop is a 10-mile round trip, paved loop along the both the Wenatchee and Columbia Rivers. Another fun way to explore Leavenworth atop a bike is to take one of the Bavarian E-Bike tours offered. For more info on this unique adventure, visit chm.ee2.myftpupload.com.
Mirror Lake State Park (WI) This picturesque Wisconsin state park with sandstone bluffs offers five different bike trails including Pinecone Pass (0.4 miles); the Turtleville Trail (2.5 miles); and the three-mile Fern Dell Trail. Mirror Lake State Park is just 20 miles from great cabin, cottage, and vacation rentals at Arrowhead RV Campground.
Book at stay at one of our fabulous Petite Retreats and get ready to day trip around these areas where we offer our unique accommodations.
If you’re planning a stay at a cozy cabin at New York’s Lake George Escape or Alpine Lake, day trips can include a visit to Cooperstown or a trip to the state capital, Albany. Cooperstown, which is just about 2 hours from either location, is home to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Fenimore Art Museum and spectacular Glimmerglass State Park which overlooks beautiful Lake Otsego. Albany, which is less than an hour from either location, offers the grandeur that is the State Capitol building – which was completed in 1899 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Another historic location is the Schuyler Mansion, a Georgian mansion built for Philip Schuyler, a general in the Revolutionary War and a state senator. The home was also the site of the wedding of Schuyler’s daughter Eliza to Alexander Hamilton. Albany is also home to the Irish American Heritage Museum and the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail.
Take your pick from cottages and cabins to an ultra-cool tipi or covered wagon accommodation at Rancho Oso and get set to explore beautiful Santa Barbara and the nearby areas. One option for a day trip is Ojai, a lovely laid-back California small town. Less than 40 miles from Santa Barbara, Ojai is a great destination for a little bit of everything. Shopping, dining, mountain trails, and wine tasting are all options for the day. And come sunset – do not miss this experience in Ojai, which is known for its pink sunsets, or as the locals call it, the Pink Moment. A bit further afield, about 2 hours away, is Anaheim. Of course, Anaheim is home to Disneyland Park, the original Disney theme park that opened in 1955, but there’s more than flying elephants and spinning teacups to be found here. The Center Street Promenade is the place to be – if you’re looking to shop, eat, sample craft beer, and browse a farmer’s market. Speaking of eating, the hip Anaheim Packing House Food Hall, located in a former citrus packing facility, has plenty to eat. The Packing District also has merchants and live music events.
Tuxbury Tiny House Village in South Hampton, New Hampshire puts you in the perfect location for two very different road trips. Rent a tiny house at Tuxbury and go city or go country with a day trip to Boston or the Canterbury Shaker Village, respectively. Boston is about a 50-minute drive from Tuxbury and provides all the excitement a big city day trip should. Walk the historic Freedom Trail, shop the markets at Faneuil Hall, or enjoy some Italian fare and delicious cannolis in the city’s North End. Stroll through the beauty of the Boston Public Gardens, America’s first botanical garden, or walk through the Boston Common, America’s oldest public park. Canterbury Shaker Village, a National Historic Landmark, has restored Shaker buildings, gardens, ponds, and plenty of history. Stroll the grounds, learn about Shaker life, and immerse yourself in this bit of past. There is also a picnic area and hiking trail here. Canterbury is about an hour’s drive from Tuxbury.
Here’s an interesting way to get a few shots in front of the Eiffel Tower without going all the way to Paris, France. Why not go to Paris, Texas instead? If you’re planning a stay in one of the great cabins at Bay Landing, a day trip to Paris, Texas can definitely happen! In just under two hours, you can be taking plenty of Insta-worthy shots standing in front of the Texas version of the famed tower – except this one is topped with a cowboy hat. Only in Texas, right! And of course, when in Paris, wine should be on the menu. While Paris Vineyards is located outside of town, there is a quaint tasting room on the Paris Square offering several wines, including Chardonnay, Vin Blanc, and Tex Red. The Trail de Paris, a three-mile paved trail, is a great place to bike or walk and features a unique hummingbird/butterfly garden.
Even if you live in a climate that tends toward warmer fall and winter temperatures, there’s nothing like a beach in the summer. Before the weather changes, make it a point to hit the beach to get in a healthy dose of summer sun and summer fun.
Take in a tiny home at Tuxbury Tiny House Village in South Hampton, New Hampshire, and you’ll have several beaches upon which to soak up the last days of summer. There are five New Hampshire state beaches (Wallis Sands, Jenness, Hampton, North Beach, and North Hampton). Hampton is probably the most popular with its boardwalk, but Wallis sands offers views of the Isles of Shoals and Jenness is quieter. If these aren’t enough, head over to the nearby beaches in Massachusetts and take in a few more. There’s Plum Island Beach in Newbury that has the added bonus of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, home to over 800 species of birds, plants, and animals. Salisbury Beach State Reservation is a beach contained within a 521-acre park with swimming, fishing, and boating opportunities in addition to the 3.8-mile beach.
Long Beach, Washington, is billed as the world’s longest beach, or so reads the archway that welcomes visitors to this Pacific Coast beach. It is most likely the longest contiguous beach in the US, running 28 miles. It may very well be one of the US beaches with the most things to do besides just being beachy. There are many things to see here beside water and sand. There’s a chainsaw art whale sculpture, a half mile boardwalk, bald eagle and golden eagle sightings, and shells and sand dollars. To dos include kite flying, horseback riding, surfing, surf fishing, and catching a glorious sunset or two. Rent a yurt at Long Beach RV & Camping Resort and spend your days at the beach and your nights at camp with us.
Go glamping and enjoy the beach at all once with a stay at Marina Duneson California’s Monterey Peninsula. Head down the coast (about 37 miles) and explore Big Sur and the iconic Pfeiffer Beach, known for its purple sand. The beach’s purple streaks come from the manganese garnet deposits that wash down from the surrounding hills. Another highlight of Pfeiffer Beach are the natural arches – of which Keyhole Rock is one of the most photographed. Pfeiffer Beach is best enjoyed from the sand and the ocean waters are known for their strong tides and heavy waves. Nearer to camp is Monterey State Beach or Fort Ord Beach, with its sea lions, seals, and shorebirds.
Although the state is at its hottest during the summer months, the beaches in Florida tend to be less crowded during this season and with an ocean to cool off in, what’s a little heat? An ideal place to soak up some Florida beach time is with a stay at a colorful cottage at Fiesta Key on Long Key or a sweet tiny home at Sunshine Key Tiny House Villageon Big Pine Key. Both resorts are fabulous beach locations and have plenty of amenities onsite to enjoy beachside. An added bonus at Sunshine Key is that they have partnered with Keys Boat Tours, a Blue Star Operator, that not only rents kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, but also runs fishing charters and snorkeling tours opportunities from the resort. Another great beach on Big Pine Key is the beach at Bahia Honda State Park. Smathers Beach on Key West is another highly popular beach and Cannon Beach, found in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, located on Key Largo, has remnants of an early Spanish shipwreck just offshore.
Need a getaway? Consider Cottonwood, Arizona, for hiking, biking, wine tasting, relaxation, and more!
Mother’s Day has been traditionally celebrated in the United States on the second Sunday of May since 1914 but the tradition to honor Mothers dates to Ancient Greece. Here are a few things to think about when considering what to gift Mom with this year – Mother’s Day is the busiest day for restaurants; it’s the third highest selling holiday for plants and flowers; and more phone calls are made on this day than any other in the year. So, if you want your celebration to be like everyone else, by all means buy the flowers, book the restaurant, and give Mom a call. But, if you think your honoree is extra special and want the celebration to be unique, just like her, check out these options. And remember, whether you celebrate on May 9, or choose another day – these are all still good ideas!
Take in a Farmer’s Market: Plan a stay in an oh, so tranquil yurt at Tall Chiefand head into Seattle to explore the iconic, and always entertaining, Pike Place Market. If you’re there during Mother’s Day Weekend, check out the Market’s 13th Annual Flower Festival that runs May 8-9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Whether you book a cabin at Pennsylvania’s Appalachian or Spring Gulch, you’re about an hour’s drive from Philadelphia’s Headhouse Farmer’s Market which is open on Sundays and features 50 rotating vendors. Taking in Santa Barbara for a Mother’s Day holiday? Book your stay at Rancho Oso and then consider a Sunday drive down the sunny California coast to Santa Monica to explore the city’s Downtown Farmer’s Market that runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Walk Through a Garden: Reserve a charming tiny house at Oregon’s Mt. Hood Tiny House Village and then spend the day in nearby Portland taking in the views at the city’s Japanese Garden. Spread over 5.5 acres, the garden is serene and tranquil with several different gardens including the Tea Garden and the Natural Garden. For information and reservations for timed visits, go to japanesegarden.org. The Wild Gardens of Acadia can be found in Maine’s Acadia National Park and feature over 400 species of flowers, shrubs, trees and other plants native to the area. For more details visit acadiamagic.com. For the perfect accommodation when visiting Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, book a colorful cottage at Narrows Too in nearby Trenton.
GetActive (sort of): Try an e-bike (pedal-assisted) and enjoy the scenery of Leavenworth, Washington. The Leavenworth Mountain Tour explores downtown Leavenworth as well as Icicle Creek Canyon and the historic Leavenworth Ski Hill. Visit bavarianebiketours.com for more details. Book one of the five tiny houses at Leavenworth Tiny House Village for your stay. Or try something a bit out of the ordinary, but very trendy, and take a goat yoga class. Check out Legacy Lane Farm in Stratham, New Hampshire, which offers goat yoga classes every Sunday, and also has a Country Home Store onsite that sells handmade lotions and soaps made from goat’s milk. To continue your Namaste kind of day, book a tiny house accommodation at Tuxbury Tiny House Village and relax after a day at the farm.
Celebrating Earth Day can be as simple as loving every little bit of what makes up our great planet. The 71% of it that is made up of water – which includes lakes, rivers, streams and of course, the oceans; or the 21% that is made up of sand; or the 31% covered by forests. And, of course, the best way to love something is to spend time with it. This April 22, get outside and enjoy what this magical planet has offer. Swim in the ocean or kayak a lake, climb a mountain, stick your toes in the sand, or trek through a forest. And, whichever you choose, remember the mantra to leave it the way you found it, if not better!
Forest Focus: Book a tiny house stay at New Hampshire’s Tuxbury Tiny House Village and you’re about 90 miles from White Mountain National Forest, which offers all kinds of outdoor activities from hiking and climbing to fishing and rockhounding. Another great tiny house and another great forest can be found in Leavenworth, Washington. Book a stay at Leavenworth Tiny House Village and explore the four million acres of forestland in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest where you can mountain bike, horseback ride, and find plenty of hiking trails.
Water, Water Everywhere: Explore some of the waters that make up 71% of the Earth – start with the Pacific Ocean and plan a stay in one of the cabins at Santa Barbara’s Rancho Oso. Plenty of oceanfront beaches to choose from here. Looking for a brush with fame? Try Butterfly Beach and keep your eyes peeled for the occasional celebrity. Want to watch a great sunset? Try Hendry’s Beach where your four-legged friends are welcome to take in the show, too! Head to the Florida Keys and you’ll be surrounded by water. Snorkel, scuba dive, parasail, or fish these warm Florida waters. A tiny house accommodation at Sunshine Key Tiny House Village or a colorful cottage at Fiesta Key make the perfect Keys home base.
Mountains of Fun: While most people are familiar with Yosemite’s Half Dome and El Capitan, this magnificent national park is actually home to 20 mountains that exceed 10,000 feet in elevation – the adventurous can choose to climb while the aesthetics of these snow-capped beauties will please just about anyone! Make a reservation for a totally groovy yurt at Yosemite Lakes and then spend Earth Day amid the mountains of Yosemite. How about spending the day around mountains that have magic powers? Head to Sedona to experience the healing powers of the magnificent Red Rocks, specifically Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock. Book a tiny house at Verde Valley and soak up that magic.
And that sand we mentioned – rent a cabin or a cottage at Oregon’s Pacific City and you’re so close to Cannon Beach and the iconic Haystack Rock; you can spend Earth Day surrounded by soft sand and the sounds of the ocean. Check out the coastal dunes at the Marina Dunes Preserve and stay at in an ultra-cool Glamping Tent at Marina Dunes RV Park.
With the events of this past summer, now more than ever may be not only the time to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of Black Americans throughout our history, but perhaps to also honor their history by taking the time to learn more about the experiences of Black Americans. The month of February has officially been recognized as Black History Month since President Gerald Ford declared it so in 1976. Visit museums and heritage sites, support Black-owned businesses, and read a few books to learn more. And, with some of these locations temporarily closed or operating on shortened hours due to the pandemic, keep in mind our list is not a to-do list for February, but instead a to-do list for all time.
Museums and Heritage Sights
The Northwest African American Museum, Seattle, Washington: If you’re planning a trip to Leavenworth Tiny House Village, a good field trip to consider would be a trip to the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle (about a two-hour drive). The mission of the museum includes presenting and preserving the connections between the Pacific Northwest and people of African descent and is accomplished though exhibits and educational programs. Currently closed due to COVID-19, check out their virtual exhibits at www.naanmw.org. If you plan to visit once the museum reopens, don’t miss the nearby Jimi Hendrix Park, named for the one of the greatest and most innovative African-American guitarists of all time.
California African American Museum (CAAM), Los Angeles, California: Highlighting the important role African Americans have played in the development of the American West through over 4000 pieces that include art, historic objects and printed materials, the Museum was one of the first African American museums fully supported by any US state. CAAM also offers lectures and workshops. (The museum is a little over 100 miles from our colorful cottages in Palm Springs.)
Abyssinian Meeting House, Portland, Maine: Located about 72 miles from the Tuxbury Tiny House Village, the Abyssinian Meeting House is Maine’s oldest African-American church building and the third oldest in the country. Construction began in 1828 and was completed in 1831 and all construction was done by free African Americans. The Abyssinian Meeting House served not only as a house of worship, but also as the center of social and political life for Portland’s African American community. The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Milton House, Milton, Wisconsin: Milton House served as a stop on the Underground Railroad in part due to its location to the Rock River, a tributary to the Mississippi, which may have served as a route to Canada for escaping slaves. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1998 and visitors can take a guided tour of the building, the nearby cabin and the original tunnel used by the freedom seekers. Milton is about 84 miles from the cabins at Arrowhead.
National Civil Rights Museum: The museum, located in Memphis, Tennessee, explores the history of the Civil Rights Movement and houses more than 260 artifacts. Through these artifacts, films, and other multi-media exhibits, visitors can trace the history of the movement beginning with the 17th century. The museum is built around the Lorraine Motel, which was the site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memphis is approximately 68 miles from Cherokee Landing.
Books to Read
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson: The stories of the Great Migration of Black citizens fleeing the South for northern and western American cities.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: A New York Times bestseller, this book is written as a letter to the author’s son to explain what it is to be Black in America.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: This historical fiction story details the story of the fight for freedom by two Southern slaves.
So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo: An examination of race in America with each chapter addressing an issue about race in our contemporary society.
Black-Owned Outdoor Gear Shop:
Lastly, if you’re looking for some camping and outdoor gear, check out slimpickensoutfitters.com. Recognized as the first Black-owned outdoor gear shop in the country, the business is owned by Jahmicah Dawes, who said in an article with Men’s Journal that his initial experiences with outdoor life through the Boy Scouts was “terrible” but that later in college he learned to love the outdoors. Dawes has said outdoor activities brings people together and believes “change happens around a campfire.” Shop from the website, or if you’re visiting Lake Whitney, the brick-and-mortar store is located in Stephenville, which is about 70 miles from the campground.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.