Bodega Bay or Bust: Taking the Airstream Globetrotter to Northern California’s Coastal Gem
There’s a lot to love about the Bay Area, but one of the biggest draws is the ease with which cities give way to nature. You might live in a micro-apartment in San Francisco or a converted loft in Oakland, but a short drive in nearly any direction will take you to the mountains, forest, or sea. That’s why, when the Dwell team had the chance to spend the night in an Airstream Globetrotter in Bodega Bay, we jumped at the opportunity.
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About 40 miles northwest of San Francisco, Bodega Bay is an enchanting landscape where sweeping hills meet rocky bluffs and windswept surf. Originally home to the Coast Miwok Native Americans, it’s now a fishing village and adventure hub (you might also recognize it from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller, The Birds). As we drove up the California 1 with the Pacific Ocean glinting to one side, the city felt worlds away.
Before long, we’d arrived at Chanslor Ranch, a 380-acre nature preserve and horse ranch that we’d discovered through Hipcamp, a booking platform that specializes in campsites. The golden, afternoon light deepened the folds in the surrounding hills, lengthened the shadows of trotting dogs, and gave our Globetrotter the alluring, aluminum glow we all know and love.
After we’d checked in with our gracious camp host, we piled into the 27-foot trailer to check out our digs. As the story goes, Airstream founder Wally Byam struck out for Europe with a friend in 1948, painting the words "Globe Trotters" on the side of their camper—and with the Globetrotter model, the company revives this pioneering spirit and appreciation of European design.
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Within the outline of the timeless Airstream are sleek lines, curved forms, and elegant finishes, all thoughtfully placed to maximize space and comfort. With room to sleep up to six people, it features a converting dinette, a galley kitchen with high-end appliances, a shower and bathroom, and a bedroom. Panoramic windows let in views of the ranch and nearby creek, allowing light to pour into the natural elm interior (the trailer also comes in dark walnut). We got the beds ready—the dinette table lowers down to become a platform for extra cushions—and set out to explore the ranch.
Luckily, we were just in time to go on the last horseback ride of the day through Chanslor Stables. We got acquainted with our horses: Elvis was eager; Coco had a mischievous streak; E.T. wore a "medicine hat," a marking over the crown and ears that’s believed to denote special powers; and Paulie preferred to bring up the rear. We climbed up the trail, passing tipi campsites, rugged boulders, low trees and shrubs, a herd of alpaca, and long-haired Scottish cattle. Below us, the ocean was a vast, silver carpet. With the wind in our hair, riding into the sunset, we couldn’t have planned it any better.
Take a peek at the rest of our weekend getaway below.