We've been dreaming of our summer adventures ahead, and realized what all of our favorite past vacations with our kids have in common- the wild. Those places where it's just us, natural beauty, and the fresh air. Peter Stark, author of "The Last Empty Places", spoke of our favorite environmental philosophers John Muir and Henry David Thoreau - “From the time they were young, they felt an urge to seek out these wild places, to explore them, to ramble through them, to love them. In some ways, it was a search — as it’s been for me — for a childhood paradise lost, to recapture those exciting jaunts through woods and fields and streams.” This is what calls us, to share the free spirit and beauty of Mother Nature with our children. And so, if this is something that calls you too, here are some of our favorite trips with our children, where we were able to share that meaningful connection to each other and the natural world.
This charming carriage house was named the "Best Airbnb" by Outside Magazine. With its own creek on property, hiking trail to a stunning 50 acre plateau with a view of 5 mountain ranges, and aspen grove, they had us at "free to roam anywhere on the land, commune with cranes, elks, owls, eagles." We've been seeking out these one of a kind, no frills but totally unique experiences and this place is a true memory maker. Note: there is only one queen bed. We both packed sleeping bags and the owners were very accommodating to our family of 4. So it's kind of like glamping in a way ;)
With it's relaxed vibe, small town charm, and access to abundant natural beauty, Ojai would be at the top of our destination list all by itself. But, throw in a stay at Caravan Outpost, an oasis on the edge of town with 11 airstream trailers, and we'd visit here again and again. The staff is super knowledgeable about the area and has great recommendations for good food and fresh air. And, we were spoiled with s'mores, every. single night. Grab the Diego trailer if you can - it has a small bunkbed that your kids will obsess about.
CAMPING - ANYWHERE
We admit it. Sometimes we like the idea of camping more than the actual camping. Bugs, rain, unnerving nighttime noises from critters…it can be a trying experience. But there’s something uplifting about adapting to a new environment and venturing away from the comforts of home. For the past three years, we've made sure to pitch a tent at least once a summer. We've learned that in camping and in life, the rough spots sometimes pave the way for happiness. And I can say that with every camping trip we've had, happiness was surely made. Read more here for some of our tips for camping with kids.
While campsites are great, we've recently found some bucket list places to camp on hipcamp. You can stake a spot on someone's private property for truly out in the wild experiences.