RV Camping
& Travel Tips

Follow me on Twitter
Join Our List!

santa barbara auto camp

Love the allure of Airstreams but don’t have one yourself? Well, what’s the matter with you. Get one. Join us. Resistance is futile. Want to spend the night in one first? No problem. That’s a thing.

There are several “Airstream hotel” options out West, including Kate’s Lazy Desert, Shooting Star, The Vintages, and Auto Camp, an enchanting place to spend the weekend in posh, seaside Santa Barbara.

Since mom and dad passed I’ve been back and forth a dozen times to my high school town of Lompoc, California—a two-day drive from my home in Central Oregon—sometimes towing the DWR (and overnighting at the parking lot of the Elks lodge next door to my parent’s condo), sometimes moving as fast as I can in the 4-Runner, sans trailer. 

Lompoc is a far-flung coastal suburb north of Santa Barbara, a description that is entirely accurate and 100% misleading, as Lompoc has more in common with Bakersfield than it does with Santa Barbara. Since its brush with fame in the movie Sideways, it has been up-swanked (i.e. de-trashed) as a winery destination, but it’s an uphill battle. The town seems to be further declined every time I visit, and it wasn’t pretty to begin with.

But I digress.

I stopped by Auto Camp to see the rental trailers that I’ve heard so much about, adorably clustered smack in the middle of beautiful Santa Barbara surrounded by palms and fruit trees and bougainvillea. Sunshine glints off the shiny aluminum trailers, each with its own relaxing deck/patio with two cool beach cruisers for you to take out on the town or down to the waterfront three miles away. Renowned Airstreamer architect Matthew Hofmann designed the remodeled interiors.

Book online; it’s not easy to just pull in and check in like you can at a hotel lobby or KOA office. The price per night ranges from $180ish to $300ish per night (an acceptable value for a chichi California beach town) and varies with the unit, day of the week, and other factors. Prices skyrocket in July and August.

When I visited there were permanent residents sharing the space, but they occupy sweet, well-appointed SOBs with colorful yards near the back.

Leave a Reply