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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Winter Plans?

Just as surely as the sun rises, you can guarantee winter comes knocking each year in late-December. And for some who are fortunate to live year-round in areas that don’t really experience winter, it’s just another date on the calendar. But for others, it’s time to head towards the sunshine. And, even if you are lucky enough to live where the sun always shines warmly, a change of scenery is always good to chase away the winter doldrums. Here are a few ideas for fun in the sun winter escapes.

Arizona: If Sedona is your home base, day trips to the Grand Canyon (about a 2-hour drive north), the Phoenix/Scottsdale area (about a 2-hour drive south) and the Petrified Forest National Park (about a 2-hour drive east) are all possibilities. Of course, the Grand Canyon is the Grand Canyon, but there are other things to do here. There is the 22-mile Desert View scenic drive, wildlife to glimpse, and the Grand Canyon Railway Adventure which is a scenic train ride to the Grand Canyon that originates in Sedona. If you’re a baseball fan, then you’ll be happy come winter when Major League Baseball’s Cactus League begins their games in stadiums in the Phoenix metro area. If you’re not a baseball fan, Scottsdale has plenty of hiking opportunities including Camelback and Pinnacle Peak. Plus, there’s shopping, arts and entertainment, and plenty of good eating to be had here. The Petrified Forest, named for the large amounts of petrified wood found here, is home to the Rainbow Forest Museum and the petroglyphs on Newspaper Rock and may also seem familiar to Clint Eastwood fans as parts of his famous film, “The Outlaw Josey Wales” were shot here. Verde Valley is the place to reserve your winter accommodation where you can choose to day trip or just enjoy the local scene.

California: Rarely, if ever, do California beaches post “Closed for the Season” signs. The ocean water may be colder than most prefer, but the warm California sun is pretty plentiful and of course, anything but mountain snow is rare. Yosemite National Park is less crowded but still just as breathtaking in the winter months, so consider a stay in an ultra-cool yurt at Yosemite Lakes. The Park’s Badger Pass Ski Area offers winter skiing opportunities. Cross off your bucket list item to “stay in a tipi or covered wagon” this winter with reservations for these unique accommodations at Rancho Oso and then explore winter in Santa Barbara. The Santa Barbara Zoo, a mission tour, a visit to the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden, or a tour of the local wineries can all add up to winter fun.

Tropical Palms RV Resort
Tropical Palms RV Resort

Florida: Warm days and cool nights give the Florida-bound winter vacationer the best of both worlds. Days are sunny with temps averaging around 70 degrees while nights are sweater-weather worthy with average lows in the ‘50s. The only shovels required during a Florida getaway are those used to build sandcastles on the fabulous beaches around the state that include Daytona, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, and St. Pete Beach. Consider a trip to the Keys and a stay at the Sunshine Key Tiny House Village or a colorful cottage right on the water at Fiesta Key. On the Atlantic side, visit historic Flagler Beach or enjoy the sights and sounds of Miami. Accommodations at Bulow Village RV Resort and Miami Everglades are great locations for these. Wanna do Disney? Book a stay at Tropical Palms, Lake Magic, or Orlando RV for all things Disney and beyond. Check out petiteretreats.com to find your ideal Florida location.

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The Thrill of It

Hiking trail at Red Rock State Park in Sedona, Arizona.

Are you a thrill-seeker? Are you always challenging yourself to try something new? Do you love the adrenaline rush and the sense of accomplishment after you’ve done something your friends or family say you were crazy to try?

Well you’re not crazy – and, according to some studies, you’re possibly managing life better than your more sedate friends. Tackling your fear of these thrilling sports can provide you with coping mechanisms that you can use in other parts of your life. Another benefit is the boost to your self-confidence. You did it! Hooray for you! Who doesn’t feel good about themselves after accomplishing these feats?

Cabins at Yosemite Lakes RV Campground in Groveland, CA

If you’re ready to get your thrill on, consider these sports:

  1. Whitewater Rafting: Book a stay at one of the cool yurts at Yosemite Lakes RV Campground in Groveland and ride the whitewaters of the Tuolumne River, which is considered one of the best rivers for such an adventure. Plenty of outfitters are waiting to help you tackle the Class III rapids of the Wenatchee River in Leavenworth, Washington. Visit www.leavenworth.org to find the one that fits your idea of thrills. Plan to stay with us at Leavenworth Tiny House Village in your own tiny house where you can relax after a thrilling day on the water!
Yurt at Yosemite Lakes RV Campground in Groveland, CA
  • Rock Climbing: If you’re heading to Maine, check out rock climbing at Maine’s Acadia National Park which offers all kinds of climbing options through the Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School. Solo efforts can range from four to seven-hour jaunts, plus there are family climbs and evening climbs. Make a reservation at our nearby locations, Narrows Too (cabin and cottage options) or Mt. Desert Narrows (cabin accommodations) to be where the climbing action is. 
Cabins at Narrows Too in Trenton, ME
  • Zip-lining: Want to soar across the treetops of the amazing Adirondack forest? Book a comfy cabin at Lake George Escape and then find the zip-line adventure for you. There are plenty here including Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course or the Adirondack Adventure Center. Crazy views of Wisconsin’s Door County Peninsula as you fly over towering pine trees are what’s in store when you zip-line in this Wisconsin wonderland. Book a cabin at Tranquil Timbers and plan your adventure. Check out Door County Adventure Center or Lakeshore Adventures for their zip-lining courses.
Inside a yurt at Tranquil Timbers in Sturgeon Bay, WI
  • Snorkeling: No better place to dive deep than the Florida Keys. Reserve a colorful cottage at Fiesta Key or a super cool tiny home at Sunshine Key and explore the underwater kingdom of The Keys. The warm shallow waters off the Dry Tortugas are said to be best for snorkelers of all ages while John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the first undersea park in the US, is great for viewing the various coral species, plus turtles, parrot fish and butterfly fish.
Colorful cottages at Fiesta Key in Long Key, FL
  • Ultimate Hiking: While hiking is a great activity for both body and spirit, the thrill on these hikes is the view. These are ultimate when it comes to the unparalleled beauty of nature (not to mention majorly Instagram-worthy photo ops).

Fay Canyon, Arizona: An easy 2.4-mile trail in the scenic Fay Canyon of Sedona’s Red Rock State Park. Rent a tiny home at Verde Valley and hike the park everyday for a different point of view.

Joshua Tree National Park, California: All levels of hiking trails are available here and most come with views of the Park’s namesake, the Joshua Tree. Find Heart Rock within the Park and you’re guaranteed an insta-shot you will love! A cottage accommodation at Palm Springs is the perfect companion to this hiking trek.

Atticus the Tiny House at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village in Welches, OR

Mirror Lake Loop Trail, Oregon: The Mt. Hood area of Oregon is full of opportunities for great hikes and great pics. One of the most popular, and amazing, is the view of Mt. Hood from the Mirror Lake Trail, a 3.7-mile loop. A tiny house at the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village is perfect for the after-trail relax.

Your Best Fall Self(ie)

New season, new reason to be your best self ever, but don’t look here for tips on doing that. Instead, we’re going to give you some ideas for your best fall selfie – that is, where to go to get the best backdrop for the perfect post, selfie-style.

Your Best Fall Self(ie)

  1. Cloud Gate, Chicago, IL: Fall in the Midwest is certainly a colorful adventure, so if you happen to be enjoying the Lake Michigan Circle Tour (a road trip that will take you through Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin) make a detour to the Windy City and take a perfect selfie at the Cloud Gate sculpture, also knowns as the Bean, in Chicago’s Millennium Park.

    Arrowhead RV Campground | Wisconsin Dells, WI
    Arrowhead RV Campground | Wisconsin Dells, WI
  2. Hawk Hill, San Francisco, CA: From September through November, this location outside of San Francisco is the best place to view the raptor migration on a clear day and a perfect spot for a selfie with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in the background. An added bonus – your furry friend, provided they’re leashed, can also join you in the pic.

    Golden Gate Bridge | San Francisco, CA
    Golden Gate Bridge | San Francisco, CA
  3. Covered Bridge Festival, Rockville, IN:  The Parke County Covered Bridge Festival is scheduled this year for October 12th through the 21st, and the 31 historic covered bridges of Parke County provide the perfect selfie backdrop.
  4. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami, FL: Take in the breathtaking beauty of the grounds and gardens before the snowbirds arrive and picture yourself (literally) in the opulence of this Italian Renaissance mansion, which was once the winter home of industrialist James Deering.  There’s fountains, statuary, sculpture, orchids (Deering’s favorite) and views of Biscayne Bay that will serve as ideal backdrops for the perfect selfie.
  5. Texas State Fair, Dallas, TX: There are plenty of selfie opportunities at a state fair, but the Texas State Fair is the only place you can take your picture with Big Tex in the background. This 55-foot mechanical cowboy is the perfect companion for your State Fair selfie. Other iconic State Fair selfie companions can include baby livestock and the neon Midway sign.

    Bay Landing RV Campground | Bridgeport, TX
    Bay Landing RV Campground | Bridgeport, TX
  6. Lake Wenatchee, Leavenworth, WA:  The reflection of the fall colors against the 489-acre lake is said to be simply spectacular.  With 12,000 feet of waterfront views, there are plenty of selfie opportunities among this fall color show. To boot, the charming town of Leavenworth hosts an Autumn Leaf Festival from September 29-30, which will provide even more selfie moments.

    Leavenworth Tiny House Village | Leavenworth, WA
    Leavenworth Tiny House Village | Leavenworth, WA
  7. New England Fall Foliage: Numerous photo ops await any leaf-peeper as they make their way through the gorgeous fall color display that is New England in autumn.  Maine’s quaint Bar Harbor and the adjacent Acadia National Park are the personifications of fall colors as is New Hampshire’s South Hampton thanks to its proximity to the White Mountain Forest. Sorry, even without you in the picture, fall color shots are a must-have!

    Tuxbury Tiny House Village | South Hampton, NH
    Tuxbury Tiny House Village | South Hampton, NH

Get colorful and creative with your selfies when you stay in a Petite Retreat this fall!

Yurts at Yosemite Lakes

When you stay at Yosemite Lakes RV Campground, you’ll experience an authentic outdoor vacation just outside of the iconic Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Lakes RV Campground is 400 acres of majestic natural settings with plenty of woods, water, and mountains to explore. The South Fork of the Tuolumne River runs through the campground and is the perfect spot for swimming, fishing, and even panning for gold!

Yurt at Yosemite Lakes, Oregon House, CA

One of the best ways to experience the adventurous and rugged lifestyle of Yosemite is to stay in a yurt. Yosemite Lakes RV Campground offers three different styles of yurts for guests. So whether you have one person or five people in your group, there is a yurt for you!

The River Yurts sleep five people and have outstanding views of the South Fork of the Tuolumne River. Outfitted with a queen futon, a bunk bed, and a private bathroom and shower, these yurts offer the feeling of being immersed in nature without sacrificing the comforts of home. River Yurts also include gas BBQ grills on the deck, fire rings, and picnic tables.

The Hillside Yurts are set amidst a backdrop of towering trees and comfortably sleep four people in a queen-size bed and double futon. This yurt feels particularly spacious with the inclusion of a three-piece bathroom suite with a shower and a kitchenette that is fully furnished with an apartment sized refrigerator, two-burner gas stove top, and a dining table that seats four. Outside, a porch with a gas grill and nearby picnic table and fire ring will have you wanting to grill out every night!

The Meadow Yurts at Yosemite are just a stone’s throw from the river and can sleep up to 5 people. Each one of our Meadow Yurts has a private bathroom with a shower, so you’ll always have an opportunity to clean up after a long day of adventure at Yosemite National Park! All bedding and linens are included in these yurts, which adds an extra convenience for weary travelers. BBQ grills, fire rings, and picnic tables are also included. Have a pet? Pets are welcome in these yurts for an additional fee. See our policies page for other information about pets in our rentals.

By Dave from San Jose, CA, USA (Vernal Falls @ Yosemite National Park) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Get inspired to stay with Petite Retreats today!