4 Sweet Petite Retreats

Did you know the original recipients of the gift-giving and acts of kindness on the first Sweetest Day was not necessarily romantic partners? The story goes the gentleman who came up with idea, Herbert Birch Kingston, an advertising man for a Cleveland-based candy company, did so with orphans and the elderly in mind. Sweetest Day is recognized on the third Saturday of October. So, whether you choose to celebrate with a sweetheart, or instead show someone a random act of kindness by perhaps taking them glamping, check out these sweet Petite Retreats that are perfect for an October getaway.

Bend-Sunriver Yurt
Bend-Sunriver Yurt

Bend-Sunriver RV Campground: Rent a cottage, cabin, or yurt at Bend-Sunriver and experience the beauty of Bend. Hike, mountain-bike, drink some brews, and enjoy the charm of downtown Bend. There’s also the Bend Ale Trail and Smith Rock State Park, which offers 12 hiking trails and stunning views. An interesting adventure would be a visit to the Newberry National Volcanic Monument where you can explore a lava tube or walk the Trail of Molten Lava.

Palm Springs RV Resort
Palm Springs RV Resort

Palm Springs RV Resort: Here’s an idea for a random act of kindness – take yourself hiking in the beautiful desert lands of Palm Springs. Book a colorful cottage (guaranteed to make you smile) at Palm Springs RV Resort and be kind to yourself (and whoever you choose to take along on your adventure). Get in touch with your artistic side with a visit to the Palm Springs Art Museum. Find out about good things for our environment with a visit to the San Gorgonio Wind Farm or book a Jeep Tour through Joshua Tree National Park and soak up the healing vibes.  

Pacific City RV & Camping Resort: Let the Oregon coast be your sweet spot this October and book a cozy cabin at Pacific City. Walk the beach and listen to the rolling waves or drive into Tillamook and check out the Tillamook Creamery and enjoy a free cheese factory tour with samples! Take a leisurely drive on the Three Capes Scenic Loop and don’t miss the Octopus Tree, a roughly 300-year-old Sitka Spruce and the iconic, and definitely photo-worthy, Cape Meares Lighthouse.

Circle M RV & Camping Resort: Take your heart to the heart of Amish Country with a visit to Pennsylvania’s charming Lancaster County. Book the perfect glamping cottage or yurt at Circle M and get ready to be charmed by a simpler way of life. Take a guided buggy ride through the countryside, visit the Amish Farm & House to learn the Amish ways, or learn how to twist a pretzel at the Julian Sturgis Pretzel Bakery. Stroll downtown Lititz and see what the unique shops have to offer and check out the town’s Wolf Sanctuary (wolfsanctuarypa.org).  For those looking to make their trip to Pennsylvania extra sweet, a stop by the Wilbur Chocolate Store may be in order. Chocolate covered treats, a variety of baking chip flavors, and more Wilbur specialty items are available here. You can also watch candy makers create fudge while delighting in the smell of chocolate throughout the store.

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Take a Vacation, Please!

A not so pleasant statistic is that the U.S. falls well below other countries when it comes to paid time off. Europe is far ahead of America when it comes to providing paid time off for employees. According to a May 2022 article in Travel + Leisure, Austria provides 25 days of paid annual leave, plus another 13 for public holidays, totaling 38 paid days off. France and Spain each offer 36 in total and Germany provides 30 days. The U.S. average is 10 days a year.

An even sadder statistic is that 54% of Americans don’t use all their vacation days. A 2019 study by the U.S. Travel Association showed that U.S. employees left approximately 768 million vacation days unused in 2018. And most Americans say they have too much work to do to take vacation time. That sounds pretty counterintuitive since studies show that vacation can reduce stress and increase productivity upon return to work. 

Before burnout hits and you make a mistake that could find you with plenty of days off, we suggest you get out and glamp! Hit the beach, climb every mountain, go off the grid, and for heaven’s sake, turn off your computer and work phone (we know you need the personal one for the Instagram shots of the great vacation you’ll be documenting)!

And, while experts suggest 8 days is the sweet spot for a full recharge, long weekends and a few days here and there could be just the recipe that helps Americans have their cake and eat it, too, when it comes to work/life balance.

One way to recharge is through grounding, or earthing, by walking barefoot in the sand. Grounding is said to reduce stress and tension levels. Glamping locations that allow plenty of silky, soft sand underfoot could include Oregon’s coastal getaway spots, cozy cabins at Pacific City and Seaside RV Resort. Another idea – combine grounding with the benefits of the relaxing colors of the tiny house rentals at Sunshine Key Tiny House Village in the Florida Keys and you’re well on the way to a destressing vacation. Plenty of sand for grounding or other fun can be found at Marina Dunes, which is adjacent to the Marina Dunes Preserve on California’s Monterey Peninsula. An ultra-cool glamping tent or high end cottage is the way to relax here.

How about a long weekend getaway that’s not too far from home, but far enough to leave the office woes behind? Is Seattle your place of business? Take a quick two-hour drive to Leavenworth, rent a tiny home at the Leavenworth Tiny House Village, and enjoy the outdoors. Fish, swim, hike, bike, or simply sip some wine in the Bavarian-styled village of Leavenworth. If Nashville is where you make the big bucks, take a break and head to the new Natchez Trace Tiny House Village. In a little over an hour, you can be relaxing in a perfectly appointed tiny house with lakefront views and fishing and hiking available onsite, plus the 3-mile lake here offers kayak and canoeing opportunities.

Lyla at Natchez Trace Tiny House Village
Lyla at Natchez Trace Tiny House Village

Speaking of water, blue space (lakes, rivers, oceans, even waterfalls) has been shown to lower stress and anxiety as well as boost mood and psychological well-being, per weforum.org. Rent a cabin at Wisconsin’s Neshonoc Lakeside Camping Resort or Lake George Escape, tucked away in New York’s Adirondacks, with the Queen of America’s Lakes as the centerpiece. Bend-Sunriver is a great place to soak up blue space healing power thanks to the location on the Little Deschutes River, and it offers cozy cabins and yurts.

Narrows Too Camping Resort
Narrows Too Camping Resort

Other destressing options for quick getaways or all those eight days can include forest-bathing (head to our favorite forested glamping options including Yosemite Lakes or our Bar Harbor resorts, Mt. Desert Narrows and Narrows Too). Forest-bathing requires you to take a walk in the woods and be mindful of your surroundings, engaging your senses and stopping every so often to just take it all in. Plus, we’ve got glamping options in the lands of the healing vortexes Arizona’s Red Rocks in Sedona or Joshua Tree National Park in California (check out tiny home or cabin rentals at Verde Valley or a colorful cottage at Palm Springs, respectively.) 

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3 of the Best Glamping Accommodations for Summer

We all know the popularity of camping has taken off in the past few years and more people are camping than ever before. And of course, glamping has gone from a little know activity to being the “only way to camp” for some. So, what’s the difference? In reality, you’re still camping but glamping notches up the accommodations for sure. Check out some of the best glamping accommodations offered by Petite Retreats.

Yurt at Tranquil Timbers Campground
Yurt at Tranquil Timbers Campground
  1. Yurts: These circular domed tents date back to the 5th century and the word yurt actually translates to “home” in many languages. Yurts are spacious yet cozy and the yurts at Petite Retreat locations have kitchens and TVs –  just like home! Yurt glamping opportunities can be found in California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin. Make it a beach experience and rent a yurt at Oregon’s Pacific City or a wooded wilderness adventure at Wisconsin’s Tranquil Timbers, on the state’s magnificent Door County Peninsula.

  2. Tiny Homes: Tiny homes are exactly that – all the comforts of home but just consolidated into 200 to 350 square feet! The tinies at Petite Retreats locations are decorated straight out of a magazine, located in some of the most popular vacation destinations, and really provide one of the best glamping experiences you may ever have. Our tiny homes have kitchens, bathrooms and sleeping lofts as well as plenty of space for indoor living when you’re done with outdoor adventure. From a location standpoint, renting a tiny home near Nashville, Tennessee, the beaches of New Hampshire or the Florida Keys, the woodsy Pacific Northwest, or the gorgeous Arizona Red Rock Canyon are all possibilities.

  1. Completely Unique: Have you ever camped in a covered wagon? Or a real glamping tent? Check out these unique accommodations at Petite Retreats.

The Glamping Tents, located at beautiful Marina Dunes, have queen-sized beds, two bedside tables with lamps, and cozy outdoor spaces, too. With a glamping tent, it’s like spending the night in your own bedroom. No need to pitch a tent or blow up the air mattress. When you’re done with the day, settle into bed, switch off the lamp and enjoy a comfortable sleep with the moon and stars as nightlights. Marina Dunes is adjacent to the Marina Dunes Preserve and a short drive to Monterey, where attractions include Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Old Fisherman’s Wharf.

The Covered Wagon option is the perfect accommodation when you choose to glamp at Rancho Oso in Santa Barbara. Bedding down in the Covered Wagon at this western-ranch style campground will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time, except you have electricity. The Covered Wagon has camping cots and plenty of outdoor space for activities, including the glamping favorite: a campfire. Other unique accommodations at Rancho Oso include a tipi and western-style cabins. This is a fantastic location if you want to go to the beach, explore the wine country here, or beautiful downtown Santa Barbara. The campground itself offers a Western Village and horseback riding.

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5 Things to Do on the Oregon Coast

What makes a visit to the Oregon Coast so great is that there’s so much to see and do and it’s pretty easy to see it all on one memorable road trip thanks to the easy coastal route from the tip top of the Beaver State down to southern Oregon.

From a glamping standpoint, there are several stops along the Oregon Coast road trip route that allow you to take the time to drive the coast and stop off for a night or two to explore the quaint towns and great beaches and all there is to see and do there. Pacific City in Cloverdale would be the northern most spot for accommodations, followed by South Jetty, in Florence; Seaside in Seaside; with Whalers Rest in South Beach being the southernmost spot to stay. All are conveniently located to the area highlights and offer a mix of cozy cabins and yurts.  

After settling in to your glamping accommodation, check out these 5 things to do on the Oregon Coast.

Cabin at Pacific City RV & Camping Resort, Cloverdale, OR
Cabin at Pacific City RV & Camping Resort, Cloverdale, OR

Lighthouse Tours: There are 11 remaining lighthouses along the rugged Pacific coastline in Oregon and several allow tours. One great way to see these structures is a drive along the Oregon coast, taking photos when you can and visiting where allowed.  A great map of the lighthouse’s locations can be found at theoregoncoast.info/Lighthouse/Map.html. A click on each pin provides location details and whether the lighthouse is open for visitors.

Cape Perpetua: This scenic area is like a quick primer on all things Oregon. There are the rugged cliffs, the waters of the Pacific, tide pools, and marine life. Don’t miss Thor’s Well, an old collapsed sea cave that is continually thrashing and spewing the ocean waters. Heading about 15 miles south of Cape Perpetua, another must-see is the privately-owned Sea Lion Caves that serves as a wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary. In winter, hundreds of sea lions shelter in the cave and when spring arrives, they move outside to the rock ledges.

Yurts at South Jetty RV Campground
Yurts at South Jetty RV Campground

Three Capes Scenic Route: This route connects three of Oregon’s famed capes, Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and Cape Kiwanda and provides road-trippers an off-the-highway path full of all kinds of delights, including beach views, forestlands and dairy pastures, plus the little towns and sights along the way. In total, it is a 40-mile loop and downtown Tillamook is the best place to start this scenic drive.

Culinary Fun: Seafood is the name of the game here, but there are also opportunities for some cheese and ice cream to fill out the culinary adventures when you’re driving the Oregon coast. The Tillamook Creamery in Tillamook is a great place to start the dairy adventure and is open 7 days a week. Did you know Oregon is the only state to grow marionberries, which are considered the king of blackberries? According to onlyinyourstate.com, one of the best places to enjoy a piece of marionberry pie while in Oregon is in Newport at the Chalet Restaurant and Bakery. From a seafood perspective, oysters, salmon, and crab are just of few of the fresh fish found here. If you’re visiting Cannon Beach, check out Ecola Seafood, which has proudly served up seafood to the community since 1933.

History and Highlights: Starting north in Astoria, there is the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, which commemorates the historic expedition of these two explorers, as well as the Fort Clatsop National Memorial. The Heceta Head Lighthouse, standing since 1894 and Oregon’s most photographed lighthouse, is just north of Florence. The charming town of Seaside has both the Lewis and Clark Memorial statue and the historic Seaside Promenade, which provides a great place to stroll along the ocean and view the town. And Cannon Beach has the iconic Haystack Rock, the photo worthy 235-foot sea stack.

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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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Summer Cabin Fun

Cabin at South Jetty, Florence, OR

There’s something about a rustic cabin that brings you closer to nature, along with evoking memories of carefree summer camp days gone by. Make it a summer you won’t forget, and experience the joys of nature, by planning a stay in a Petite Retreat cabin.

Enjoy an island getaway in Bar Harbor which is located on Mt. Desert Island in Maine. Both Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort (in Bar Harbor) and Narrows Too Camping Resort (in nearby Trenton) offer summer cabins perfect for your island stay. Both offer wooded locations with views of the oceans, plenty of amenities and are family and pet-friendly. Both camping resorts are close to all that the Bar Harbor area has to offer, including the harbor towns and Acadia National Park.

Narrows Too Camping Resort, Trenton, ME

Acadia National Park offers 47,000 acres of woodland wonderland to explore from hikes and climbs to rocky beachfronts. This park is also home to Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the East Coast.  The park offers guided hikes, cruises, and nature programs including birding and creature “meet and greets.” Visit nps.gov/acad for more information.

The town of Bar Harbor offers shopping and dining as well as events on the “Village Green” which serves as the gathering place in the center of town. Summer weeknight concerts are offered free each Monday and Thursday evening from 8 to 9 p.m.  There are also several museums that feature the history of the area including the Great Harbor Maritime Museum and Mount Desert Oceanarium. Ocean cruise options include whale-watching, island tours and a chance to learn about the life of a lobsterman on the Lulu Lobsterboat Ride. Speaking of lobster, don’t miss a lobster meal at Stewman’s Lobster Pound, an authentic oceanfront lobster pound.

On the Pacific Coast, Oregon offers multiple cabin retreats, including Seaside RV Resort, South Jetty RV Resort, and Mt. Hood Village RV Resort.

Mt. Hood’s location provides the perfect opportunity for a mountain getaway and the chance to explore Mt. Hood National Forest. Spend the day hiking the trails that include Tamanawas Falls, a five-mile loop along the Hood River complete with waterfall views or the longer Timothy Lake trail that covers 13 miles and offers plenty of swimming spots along the way to cool off! Spend the day fishing or taking in one of several birding trails to see the migratory birds that make their home in the forest.  Nearby Portland offers big city fun including the Portland Art Museum (current exhibits include Art from the 1980s, running through August 18) and the Oregon Zoo, which features a set of summer concerts (oregonzoo.org).

Mt. Hood forest trail

Enjoy a cabin stay at Seaside RV Resort and enjoy the town of Seaside’s picturesque 1.5 mile oceanfront Promenade via bicycle or a long stroll.  Or get up close and personal and feed the seals at the Seaside Aquarium, also located along the Promenade. Roll into town the weekend of September 6-9 and enjoy the Seaside Wheels and Waves Car Show, Oregon’s premier auto show that showcases cars dating from pre-1965.

Wherever you choose to stay, Petite Retreats has cabins for you! Find out more at petiteretreats.com.