This article was originally published on Brigitte Kardolsky’s blog AIR-Streaming on March 26, 2020. Local and state policies may have changed since publication and we ask all members to call the Hosts prior to arrival to make sure they are still open and accepting visitors.
When it comes to camping and weekend adventures, you don’t need to drive hundreds of miles for an experience. Check out the local venues around you and you’ll be amazed how much there is to see and do.
A Camping Adventure In Style
I believe in supporting small businesses. Especially in times like these, it is even more important, because they will be among the hardest hit.
That was one of the reasons why we decided to go with a camping membership from Harvest Hosts. There are so many different RV memberships available, but none of them offer such unique and luxury places to park your RV or travel trailer like Harvest Hosts.
As a member, you are supporting small businesses such as vineyards, farms, breweries, and golf courses across the country. One of the perks is, that you get to stay there a night for free. Unlike more traditional campgrounds, you park on a private property. Oftentimes, you may camp there by yourself or with 1 or 2 other travelers. No crowded RV parks, no through-traffic where you park, beautiful scenery and every stay is an adventure.
A few weeks ago, we went on our first camping trip with our Airstream travel trailer. To pick out a destination, I used the Harvest Hosts app and found a variety of great vineyards only an hour driving distance from home.
The main purpose of this trip was to get used to our Airstream, practice all the “camping procedures” and go through each step from hitching up, towing and setting up our rig at the campsite. To my surprise, it was one of the easiest, most fun and rewarding experiences.
Initially, I was a bit nervous about being on the road, dealing with traffic and not knowing the conditions of the property, especially where we would park.
An hour after leaving our home base, we arrived at Viaggio Estate winery in Lodi, CA.
All those worries I had, went away in a second. It was super easy to drive up through their gate, find our designated parking area (on gravel) as well as set up and level. The benefit of our rehearsal of “dry camping” for the first time was, that we didn’t have to deal with hooking up to water, sewer or power. It took no more than 15 minutes and we locked up the trailer and headed straight to the main area with the winetasting room.
Visit Viaggio Estate Vineyard, Lodi, CA
Viaggio, (Italian for “Journey”) is a secluded private estate with classic elegance located in the heart of Lodi’s (California) iconic wine country. A 23-acre parcel with estate vineyards, expansive park-like lawns along the serene Mokelumne River, Viaggio Estate is a place you want to stop in to try their award-winning wines and explore the stunning tuscany-inspired property!
The beautiful tuscany-inspired property has many welcoming areas to sit and relax. We loved their hospitality and the staff was super friendly. All wines we tasted were excellent. The fee for winetasting is very affordable compared to other vineyards in Napa Valley, California. As a bonus, especially if you stay overnight in your RV or trailer, they offer a great selection of wood-fired pizzas and oysters, charcuterie and a gourmet cheese selection.
Not only did we have an amazing time doing winetasting and exploring the property, but the most amazing part was when they allowed us to sit in the lawn area with our bottle of wine watching the sun go down after the gates closed to the public.
While the overnight camping for a Harvest Hosts member is free, you are asked to support the Hosts by purchasing their products or drinking some wine… well, of course, that was easy because we love wine and enjoyed tasting a variety of wines. We even decided to become a member of their wine club, because we wanted to go back a few more times, especially since it’s only an hour from home and we get to bring our Airstream trailer for a stay.
An Unexpected Adventure During A Time Of Crisis
When it comes to camping and weekend adventures, you don’t need to drive hundreds of miles. You can explore the area around you. For us, living in Northern California, we are blessed there are so many vineyards and farms in close proximity. We can go to a different Harvest Host location every weekend and never run out of new adventures.
This past weekend, when everybody stayed at home due to the “shelter in place” (related to the coronavirus outbreak), we decided to visit Viaggio Estate again. This time, we went without the trailer because we wanted to pick up our wine as new wine club members. It was a great way to get out of the “house” (our 24’ Airstream in which we currently live) for a bit.
The vineyard had set up a pick-up window and delivered our wine to the car curbside. What we didn’t expect at the time, is that we would spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the vineyard by ourselves.
We had asked if we could walk our dog on the property for a bit. To our surprise, we were welcomed to stay, open a bottle of the wine we had just purchased, and sit in their lawn area looking out to the little creek that runs along the property. Of course, our dog Lily, loved running around off leash in the grass and chewing the ice cubes out of our wine cooler bucket. What an incredible, relaxing afternoon.
Always Take Action And Stay Positive
That day, I was reminded that you should always ask for what you want and take action.
We could have stayed at home that afternoon, cramped inside our little trailer and occasionally walk our dog around the RV park where we live.
Instead, we choose to go on a little adventure, get out, and support our community. The wine pick-up of 2 bottles as part of our membership resulted in buying a whole case of wine. We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon sitting in the sun at a peaceful place that makes you forget the world around you.
About the author: Brigitte Kardolsky (FB, IG, Web)
Brigitte is a lifestyle blogger with a passion for all things Airstream. She loves traveling, seeing new places, and meeting people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. An adventurer at a young age, Brigitte wanted to see as many places as possible. When she and her boyfriend decided to purchase a 1966 Airstream to renovate, they had no idea that less than a year later, they would live in it full-time. In her blog “AIR-Streaming”, she shares adventures and inspirations from the Airstream way of life. Her mission is to inspire others to live a more freeing and purposeful life.
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