8 Great Trails for National Bike Month

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 Valley and 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.

Rancho Oso Cabin
Rancho Oso Cabin

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.

Tuxbury Tiny House Village
Tuxbury Tiny House Village

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.

Cabins at Arrowhead RV Campground
Cabins at Arrowhead RV Campground

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.

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4 Ways to Celebrate National Goof Off Day

March 22 is not a solemn occasion – and yet, there is a recognized national day that falls on March 22; and yes, it should be honored…. but only in the silliest ways you can think of because it’s National Goof Off Day. And we think it falls at the perfect time – winter is officially over as the spring solstice began on March 20 which means more glamping and more outdoor fun.

National Goof Off day has been around since 1976 and as for goofing off – the phrase became popular in the mid-1940s as an armed forces term meaning to waste time or loaf. BTW – goof off can be a noun or verb. So, when March 22 rolls around, here are few ideas for any of you goof offs who want to goof off.

Cabin at Natchez Trace Campground
Lodge at Natchez Trace Campground

Act Like an Animal: Visit one of national zoos and see who can do the best imitations of their favorite animal. The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere has more than 339 species to choose from to try your best at “being an animal.” Check out Rowan, the zoo’s two-year old giraffe who came to the zoo in October 2021. Or maybe you and your favorite “kid” want to see what the kangaroos are up to at the zoo’s Kangaroo Kickabout. Book at stay at one of the tiny houses or cabins at Natchez Trace in nearby Hohenwald.

Build the Best Sand Castle: Challenge your camping mates to a sand castle contest. After all, what’s goofier that playing in the sand? Beach worthy glamp options include a tiny house at Sunshine Key Tiny House Village or a cottage at Fiesta Key – both located in the Florida Keys. Sand castle experts recommend using moist sand – if a ball of sand stays together while you roll it around, it’s perfect for castle construction! 

Tropical Palms Cottage
Tropical Palms Cottage

Visit the Goofiest Guy of All: Head to Orlando, Florida, and make a date with Goofy at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Goofy’s full name is Goofy Goof and to find him at the Magic Kingdom visit Pete’s Silly Sideshow tent. Goofy also is known to hang out at Epcot and participates in the Park’s Festival of Fantasy Parade. Of course the Magic Kingdom is by nature a great place to goof off, so visiting with Goofy aside, there’s plenty of things to do here that can be considered good for goofing off.  Head to Tropical Palms in nearby Kissimmee, book a colorful cottage, and get your goofy on! Play Outside: Book a tiny house at Leavenworth’s Tiny House Village and get ready to enjoy the outdoor playground in this great Washington State destination. The wonderful thing about Leavenworth is there are so many ways to play outside here from hiking to biking, fishing to ziplining, and so much more. Consider a guided horseback ride into the Cascades or a carriage ride around the quaint town. There may still be snow fun at Leavenworth Ski Hill or listen to live music, eat some great German food, and loaf the day away in Leavenworth.

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Who’s Your Valentine

Looking for love in the way of tiny home? We’ve got the perfect matches for you whether you’re into sporty types or a tiny house with a European flair. We suggest you swipe right and get to know some of our favorite tiny homes this Valentine’s Day.

European Flair: The tiny homes at Leavenworth, Washington’s Tiny House Village definitely give off a distinct Bavarian feeling thanks to the snow-capped backdrop of the Cascade Mountains. Otto, Rudolf, Belle, Adeline, and Hanna are the choices here and each offer something a bit different. Rudolf, Belle, and Otto all sleep 4-5 guests and have a loft area; Adeline welcomes 4 while the smaller Hannah sleeps 2. All have full bathrooms, well-appointed kitchens, and a spacious living area. Any choice makes for the perfect companion while you explore the quaint Bavarian-style village of Leavenworth with its shops, tasting rooms, galleries, and restaurants. Plus, Leavenworth offers top-notch outdoor activities year-round from skiing, fishing, hiking, biking, and kayaking.

Otto at Leavenworth Tiny House Village
Otto at Leavenworth Tiny House Village

Peaceful Vibes: Few places in the U.S. provide a more peaceful, healing vibe than Sedona, Arizona, and the two tiny houses at Verde Valley RV Resort are good companions on any trip here. Let tiny homes Finn and Rose be the comfortable spot you come home to at the end of exploring the rugged scenery and healing vortexes of Red Rock State Park. Both Finn and Rose sleep 3 guests, have a mini fridge and freezer, an electric stovetop, coffeemaker, and microwave, plus a toilet/sink/shower combo bathroom. Nearby Alcantara Vineyard and Winery, which offers tours and tastings, is a great place to toast your new tiny house love. Other Sedona highlights include the Oak Canyon Scenic Drive and Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village.  

Sunny and Sporty: If your idea of perfection includes a tiny house on an island in the sun, look no further than the Sunshine Key Tiny House Village in the Florida Keys. The five sunny and colorful choices here include Kai, Lucy, Isla, Pearl, and of course, Hemingway. Big-hearted Lucy and Isla both sleep 6, while Pearl and Kai sleep 2-3 and Hemingway welcomes 4 guests. All have great kitchens, full bathrooms, AC/Heat, cable TV and outdoor picnic tables. Located on Ohio Key, the Sunshine Key Tiny House Village is just 30 miles from Key West and all things Hemingway and just minutes from Bahia Honda State Park, which is great for snorkeling and kayaking.

Lincoln at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village
Lincoln at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village

Pacific Northwest Charmers: If you love the mountains, craft brews, wide open spaces, and plenty to do when it comes to the outdoors, check out the tiny house choices at the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village in Welches, Oregon. Seven tiny homes – all with different personalities – await the glamper looking for tiny house love in the Pacific Northwest. Big guy Anderson sleeps 7, while Ingrid, Lincoln, and Scarlett sleep 5. Atticus, Savannah, and Zoe round out the options with each sleeping 3. All share the trait of having a well-appointed kitchen and full bath and any pet-lover will choose Lincoln or Anderson, as these tiny houses are a pet-friendly.  Of course, towering Mt. Hood provides all kinds of winter fun from skiing to sledding to snowboarding and the miles and miles of trails offer great opportunities for winter hikes and fat bikes. Craft breweries abound and the historic Timberline Lodge, built in the mid-1930s by the Works Progress Administration, is worth a visit.

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Here’s the difference between glamping and camping

It’s only been a few short years since the word glamping was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Back in March 2018, the dictionary listed the word with the accompanying definition “outdoor camping with amenities and comforts (such as beds, electricity, and access to indoor plumbing) not usually used when camping.” And, according to other linguistic lore, the word itself was first used sometime around 2005. But, some people have been glamping for years while others are wondering what this “glamping” is all about. Consider the following your quick guide to all things glamping: 

Why should you glamp instead of camp? If you are a seasoned camper, giving glamping a go may be just the thing needed to change things up. Another reason to glamp is not everyone enjoys tent camping and rising to greet the day after a rough night on the hard ground. Some people are looking for the perfect mix of outdoor adventure with some of the comforts of home.

For the most part, glamping involves a bit more of sleeping structure than the average tent or even those super high-end tents that sleep the whole gang and are “guaranteed” to keep you warm and cozy despite the outdoor weather. To glamp, you might consider overnighting in a yurt, a tiny home, a cabin, or cottage. 

There’s also the luxury of the indoor facilities that often accompany a glamping trip. No flashlight-required treks to the facilities at 3 a.m. or cold food because the campfire won’t light or the camp stove is on the fritz. Glamping rentals typically have indoor bathroom accommodations as well as well-appointed kitchens. Another plus to a glamping accommodation is that many of them have private fire rings, decks, and outdoor areas designated specifically for enjoying the art of socializing. 

What are good glamping accessories? Most glampers feel the need to up the ante when it comes to accessorizing and some of the most popular glamp gear includes tablecloths, area rugs, comfy camp chairs, and outdoor string lights and solar lanterns to create the perfect glamping ambience. Food and drink options also take a step up and glamping accessories in this category might include a charcuterie board, an espresso maker or French coffee press, as well as Dutch ovens and other “cuisine” cookware for camp. As for outdoor fun, glamping could include an outdoor projector and screen!

When it comes to glamping activities versus camping activities, they are pretty much the same. Most glamping accommodations are in areas that give the glamper the full opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. Hike, bike, fish, swim, canoe, or kayak – here’s where glamping and camping meet. Take in beauty of nearby national parks, raft the rapids, paddle serene waters, horseback ride or zip through the trees. We have glamping locations near all these great outdoor adventures. 

Sunshine Key Tiny House Village
Sunshine Key Tiny House Village

Where to glamp? Try our tiny house options in Leavenworth, Washington, Oregon’s Mt. Hood area, near Nashville, Tennessee, or Sedona, Arizona, or the Florida Keys. A spring, summer or fall glamping trip to New Hampshire’s Tuxbury Tiny House Village is a plan-ahead trip. Glamping in a yurt can be an option any time of year at several locations in California, Oregon, and Washington State as well as spring through fall yurt accommodations in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. What about glamping in a teepee? Or a covered wagon? Both are unique accommodations that can be found when glamping with Petite Retreats. Check out our website to see where we have glamping opportunities – whether it’s your first glamping adventure or you’ve been a glamper long before it was an official dictionary entry!

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Last Minute Trips for Your 2021 Bucket List

It’s been awhile, but think back to early January 2021. What resolutions did you make then? What about that 2021 Bucket List? Is everything crossed off? If not, we’ve got a few ideas on how to clear the slate to get ready for your 2022 list. 

  1. See a National Landmark: In a list of the Top 10 National Landmarks compiled by flightcentre.com, two are nearby to our locations that enjoy year-round visitors. Those include Hoover Dam (less than 35 miles from cozy cabins at our Las Vegas location); and the iconic Space Needle in Seattle (less than 30 miles from the yurts and cabins at Tall Chief RV & Camping Resort). Another must-see landmark is the historic Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas, which is less than an hour from the cabins at Medina Lake.

2. Drive an Iconic Highway: A drive on the 100-mile-plus engineering marvel known as Florida’s Overseas Highway will take you from the southern tip of Florida down to the Florida Keys with the beautiful waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico all around you. Choose to stay two hours north of the road’s starting point in a cabin at our Miami Everglades Resort or stay at one of our Keys locations, Sunshine Key or Fiesta Key. Enjoy a glamping experience in a cottage or glamping tent at California’s Marina Dunes and enjoy an equally glamorous experience along the 17-Mile Drive that includes charming towns, woodlands, and ocean views along the Monterey Peninsula. 

3. Learn a new skill: ‘Tis the season to don a pair of snowshoes and tackle this winter sport. Consider a stay in a snow covered cabin at Tahoe Valley in California’s Lake Tahoe area and learn how to traverse and glissade with the best of them. Stalk the striper and try your hand at catching hybrid striper bass in the winter waters of Texas’ Lake Conroe. Book a stay in a cabin at Lake Conroe RV & Camping Resort in Willis and see what you can catch. How about hopping on a “fat bike” and tooling around the snowy trails available near Leavenworth, Washington. Book a tiny house at Leavenworth Tiny House Village to go along with your fat bike experience!

Family Trip at Thousand Trails Lake Conroe Campground
Family Trip at Lake Conroe Camping & RV Resort

4. Girls’ Trip, Guys’ Trip, Family Trip, Couples’ Trip: Whichever one remains on your list unchecked, Petite Retreats has locations that can satisfy any of them (or all if you’ve got the time). Perfect family trip locations can include Orlando and all the theme park fun (book a stay in a colorful cottage at Tropical Palms Resort in Kissimmee, Florida) or Yosemite National Park in winter with all its activities (try a yurt at Yosemite Lakes RV Resort in Groveland, California); California’s wine country and a girl’s trip are a perfect match and a cabin or cottage accommodation at Russian River is the perfect wine country girl’s getaway home base. Nashville is great for girls, guys, and family fun depending on the activities you choose – there are bars and honky tonks, historic sites, museums, and outdoor adventure to be found here – and any of the rental cabins at nearby Natchez Trace work for all of these groups. Guys trip options could include the casinos and nightlife of Las Vegas (stay in a cabin or cottage at our Las Vegas location) or deep-sea fishing charters in the Florida Keys (Sunshine Key Tiny House Village is a great option as they run charters from the resort). Looking for romance? Check out the tiny house and cabin accommodations at Verde Valley in Arizona’s scenic and transformative Red Rocks country or a cozy cabin at Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort in Santa Barbara and explore this charming California oceanside town with its wineries, architectural tours, and romantic sunsets. 

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Sense-ible Glamping

Of course, glamping is good for the soul as it provides the opportunity to disconnect from everything and reconnect with nature. It’s good for the body too as it lowers stress levels and provides plenty of opportunity for exercise in the great outdoors. Glamping is also good for the senses – and we found some locations that will delight all five of them. Next time you’re planning a trip, keep these sense-sational spots in mind.

Touch: Sand – gritty, soft or silky. Tree bark – rough, smooth, notched. Snow – cold and wet. There are so many tactile experiences to be had while glamping. See how the beach feels beneath your feet when you stay Oregon’s beach town location of Pacific City or the cold snow falling on your face when you stay in a tiny house at Leavenworth Tiny House Village in winter. How about a healing touch? The vortexes of Sedona are said to provide just that. Book a cabin or tiny house stay at Verde Valley and see if you experience this unique touch of healing energy.

Sight:  What can be more picturesque than field upon field of blooming tulips? Check out the Skagit Valley come spring and stay at La Conner. Or, catch the spectacular views from Yosemite National Park any time of year. Plan to stay in a yurt or cabin at Yosemite Lakes and see just how beautiful every inch of this treasure is. The Dry Tortugas in the Florida Keys made the list of the “50 Most Beautiful Places in the U.S. You Can’t Afford to Miss” (according to attractionsofamerica.com), so book a colorful cottage stay at Fiesta Key RV Resort and Marina and find out why after a short drive along the Overseas Highway.

Sound: Rolling waves hitting the sand; wildlife sounds in the night, the clip clop of horseshoes, the rustle of the trees – can you hear these sounds? Most definitely if you glamp with us at California’s Rancho Oso where guided horseback rides are available. Or, rent a tiny house at the Sunshine Key Tiny House Village and let the sounds of the ocean relax you – it’ll be right outside your window. So many of our locations are nestled in the woods or in the quiet wilderness. What about the sounds of camp-side laughter? Wherever you’re glamping, gather your crew at dusk and recap the day, tell jokes, and play games to evoke this always-pleasing sound.

Bend-Sunriver Yurt
Bend-Sunriver Yurt

Smell: How about the smell of a pine forest – check into a yurt at Bend-Sunriver and check out Deschutes National Forest, which is home to thousands of fragrant Ponderosa pines. The smell of Seattle’s Pike Place Market is a mix of exotic spices, flowers, coffee beans, and more mixing to make it memorable for sure. Add in another yurt experience with a stay at Tall Chief and see how many scents you can identify at one of Seattle’s most visited attractions. What about the plethora of smells emanating from a botanic garden? Plan to stay in a cabin at Bay Landing and head into Dallas to experience the scent-sations of the blooms found at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

Cabin at Miami Everglades
Cabin at Miami Everglades

Taste: How do you taste glamping? Well, for our purposes, you glamp near a unique foodie experience. For example, sample succulent Maine lobster when you stay at our Bar Harbor resorts or try an iconic Door County, Wisconsin, fish boil when you stay in a cozy cabin at Tranquil Timbers in nearby Sturgeon Bay. Enjoy the fruits of the sea when staying at our Pacific Northwest locations and taste seasonal Chinook salmon, Dungeness crab, or Oregon Pink Shrimp or oysters. A stay at Natchez Trace means Nashville’s culinary treats, which include hot chicken (named for the healthy dose of cayenne pepper used), buttery, flaky biscuits, and the oh-so-gooey and sweet Goo Goo clusters. Miami is all about classic Cuban cuisine which can be experienced through a food tour. Check out miamiculinarytours.com when you stay with us in a cabin at Miami Everglades.

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Best Desert Vacations

Plan a trip to the desert or a desert town for your next vacation getaway. There are several located in the western part of the U.S. and typically, the towns are not crazy crowded with tourists and tend to enjoy a quieter lifestyle, while the desert landscape is a sight to see.

Book a stay in a cottage at Palm Springs and you’re in prime desert country. Located in the town of Palm Desert, which is situated in the Coachella Valley, the north-western extension of the Sonoran Desert, trips to nearby Joshua Tree National Park, desert excursions with Red Jeep Tours (red-jeep.com), and a visit to The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens are all possibilities when you stay here. Instagram memories can be made with a hike to the Palm Desert Cross via the Cross Trail. Hiking through classic desert terrain, you’ll be rewarded with the view of the 30-foot cross.

Yakima Valley Washington

A desert town in Washington State? Doesn’t sound likely, but in fact Yakima, Washington, presented plenty of tumbling tumbleweeds and sagebrush when early pioneers came upon this area of the Pacific Northwest. In fact, the surrounding Yakima Valley is considered a semi-arid desert. Through ingenuity and hard work, the town was transformed to the city it is today and the area is one of the world’s leading producers of apples and produces a whopping 75% of all the hops grown in the U.S. Not bad for a desert climate! Plan a stay at Leavenworth Tiny House village and take a day trip to Yakima. The Yakima Valley Museum, a hike or bike ride on the Cowiche Canyon Trail, or a tour of the Hop County Craft Beer Trail (putting all the hops to good use) are itinerary options.

Situated in Arizona’s High Desert, part of the Sonoran Desert, Sedona is a great destination any time thanks to its year-round mild climate. Make a tiny house or cabin at Verde Valley your home base as you hike, bike, or horseback ride through the scenic Red Rock State Park. Or maybe take a day trip to the Grand Canyon, which is just over 100 miles from Sedona. Or stay local and visit a spa, enjoy a round of golf, ride the Verde Canyon Railroad, or simply stroll Sedona’s Main Street. Make your friends jealous with your Insta-worth shots from a Boynton Canyon Trail excursion which includes spectacular Subway Cave.

Oddly, an area that is known for its bright lights and late nights is also home to the driest, and smallest, of the four American deserts. Las Vegas is surrounded by the Mojave Desert, which is named after the Mojave Indians. To experience this part of the Mojave, which actually extends through four states, check out Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area, home to 4000-year-old petroglyphs, to start. The Petroglyph Trail presents the easiest of the trails to tackle in order to view the petroglyphs. The Valley of Fire is another great spot for petroglyphs and petrified trees dating back some 2000 years. Another Mojave experience could be a visit to Red Rock Canyon, which features a 13-mile, one-way driving option, which can also be enjoyed on bike. Additionally, there are several hiking trails here. Reserve a cozy cabin at Las Vegas RV and you’re all set for a memorable Mohave adventure.

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See You Outside!

Great Outdoors Month turns 23 this month. It initially began as Great Outdoors Week, designated by President Bill Clinton in 1998, but continued to grow under each Administration and became Great Outdoors Month. So, you have to ask – haven’t we always celebrated our great outdoors? Or was it only after the advent of computers, video games, and cable and streaming services that serve as major forms of recreation, albeit indoors, that the call came to remind people to get outside?  

The premise behind Great Outdoors month is to remind Americans about the abundance of great outdoors that exist in our country as well as to re-educate them (or in some cases, educate) them about the importance of conservation and preserving our beautiful woodlands and waters. So, how do you celebrate Great Outdoors Month? Well, the whole month of June has specific days dedicated to outdoor activities, like National Trails Day (June 1); National Fishing and Boating Week (June 5-13) and the Great American Campout (June 26). We say, start with a glamping trip and go from there. Here are a few ideas:

Hiking:  While the events of National Trails Day have come and gone this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t take to the trails any other day this month. Hiking has been proven to improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels, strengthen your core and improve your balance. It’s one of the greatest outdoor activities and requires the least amount of skill. You just walk – a lot! Rent one of the great new tiny homes at Natchez Trace Tiny House Village just outside Nashville and hike the Narrows of the Harpeth Trail – an easy 1.1-mile trail with great views of Tennessee’s Harpeth Valley. Another tiny house and trail is what you’ll find if you visit Oregon’s Mt. Hood Tiny House Village and tackle the nearby Salmon River Trailhead – tackle being the operative word here as it is 7.8 miles, yet still considered a moderate trail that winds through an old growth forest and has great views of the Salmon River.

Cottage at Marina Dunes in Marina, CA

Birding:  According to James Morgan of BirdwatchingBuzz, some the of the best summer birding spots can be found in Maine’s Acadia National Park; Pennsylvania’s Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and California’s Monterey Bay. Birding may seem like a somewhat sedentary activity but there are plenty of benefits – findings show that birding can benefit our overall well-being, mental health, and cognitive functioning. So, grab your binoculars and bird guides and plan a stay with us in a cabin at Mt. Desert Narrows in Maine, a glamping tent at Marina Dunes in California or a cozy cabin at Appalachian RV Campground in Pennsylvania and get into the birds! Maine birders can expect to see warblers, eagles, and puffins while Cali birders might spy a Black-footed Albatross, plenty of seabirds and hummingbirds, too. Visitors to PA’s Hawk Mountain Sanctuary can enjoy the birds as well as hiking trails and native gardens.

Cozy Cabin at Tranquil Timbers in Sturgeon Bay, WI

Fishing: Celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week by either learning to fish or adding to your collection of “fish stories.” We’ve got great accommodations near some of the best fishing locations, so grab your tackle box and gear, wish for some good luck, and drop a line. The waters that surround our cabins and yurts at Tranquil Timbers in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, are teeming with fish, including walleye, northern pike, trout, and bass. You’re bound to get lucky here so rent a yurt and fish away (don’t forget to check out the fishing license requirements). Or book a charter and let the pros show you how it’s done – for specific info, visit travelwisconsin.com/things-to-do/outdoor-fun/fishing. Do you remember the beauty of the fly-fishing scenes from the movie “A River Runs Through It”? Fly fishing not only gives you a total body workout thanks to all the wading, casting, and reeling it requires, but is also known to lower cortisol levels, which means you are de-stressing while wading, casting, and reeling! Head to Leavenworth, Washington, where some of the most scenic fly fishing can be found. Rent one of the great tiny houses at the Leavenworth Tiny House Village and try your hand at wading, casting, and reeling in nearby Fish Lake which is great for yellow perch and largemouth bass in summer.

And don’t forget to make sure to participate in the Great American Campout on June 26. We’ve got plenty of great glamping spots for you– check out www.PetiteRetreats.com for locations!

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Not your Average Mother’s Day

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!

Cabin at Spring Gulch in New Holland, PA.

Take in a Farmer’s Market: Plan a stay in an oh, so tranquil yurt at Tall Chief and 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.

Waterfall in Portland Japanese Garden.

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.

Botanical gardens of Acadia National Park in Maine.

Get Active (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.

Tiny House Emerson at Tuxbury Tiny House Village in South Hampton, NH.

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It’s Earth Day and the Party’s Outside

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!

Tiny House Murphy at Tuxbury Tiny House Village in South Hampton, NH.

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.

Tiny House Rudolf at Leavenworth Tiny House Village in Leavenworth, WA.

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.

Yosemite Merced River el Capitan Panorama.

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. 

Glamping Tent at Marina Dunes RV Park in Marina, CA.

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.

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