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We stayed at an Airstream campground in Cape Cod and we're never going home

May 12, 2021
7 min read
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If there's one thing I've learned over the past year in regard to travel, it's that you don't actually need to get on an airplane for unique experiences. In fact, not hitting the skies for the past 14 months has allowed my family to explore all that New England has to offer in true vacation fashion.

With ski season over and the flowers starting to bloom, we continued our yearlong outdoor adventures by renting a luxury Airstream just an hour away. On April 1, the startup company AutoCamp opened its third Airstream park in Falmouth, Massachusetts — just 15 minutes over the bridge in Cape Cod. Although my family normally spends quite a bit of time in Falmouth, this was a vacation like no other. Our typical spring break vacation where we utilize points and miles and count on World of Hyatt Globalist status for 1,000-square-foot suite upgrades at a high-end resort was thrown out the window. Instead, we went glamping.

Spoiler alert: We loved it.

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The Airstream

My family has never camped together before and I'm not necessarily what you'd define as a "camper." My husband, on the other hand, loves the rugged outdoor experience. This made glamping the ideal first-time camping vacation for our family. Especially with luxury Airstreams that offered high-end resort-like bathrooms, towels, linens, beds and bathrobes. And let's not forget the kitchenette with all the pots, pans and utensils you'd need.

The park features 88 Airstreams, 10 tiny houses (which the company calls X Suites) and 10 luxury tents.

We opted to stay in one of the Airstreams, which is made up of a private bedroom (with a memory foam mattress), a flat-screen TV, a sofa that folds out into a double bed, a walk-in shower and a kitchen with a sink, microwave and minifridge. There's even a Bluetooth hookup to play music. And I have to mention that the eucalyptus bath products provided were top-notch.

If you think the only type of camping experience entails bugs flying around your head at night and sleeping on a hard floor, think again. Although we were in close quarters, we were in luxury — with heat and air conditioning.

The experience

Although we explored the surrounding area during the day (more on that below), the evenings were fully dedicated to staying in the park. This was not the vacation for dinner overlooking the water with a seafood medley on my plate. Instead, we utilized the fire pit next to our Airstream to cook our own meals. We roasted our hot dogs over the fire, cooked sweet potatoes over the metal grates and had a full-on barbecue. We ate outside on the picnic tables, smelled liked a fire pit and chatted it up with some neighbors surrounding us.

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And, of course, no camping experience is complete until you roast some marshmallows. We had the fire going all night — even when the sky opened up and rained for a little bit. We told spooky stories, had our own dance party and just really embraced the nature around us.

The morning called for relaxation at the picnic tables, with a hot tea in hand (which was provided in the Airstream) listening to the birds chirping. And even though I was only an hour away from my home, it felt like a peaceful retreat.

Since the park is fairly new and we are living in a time of COVID-19, there aren't many activities to partake in just yet. There's a nice big lawn with a large communal fire pit and yoga in the morning, but that was pretty much it. However, I did learn that there will soon be lawn games throughout the property. If you are visiting during the summer months, you should have more activity options throughout the day. The company is also building an "Adventure Zone" — a cedar playground area for kids — that will be a nice addition for families.

The Clubhouse — where you check in — was a great place to lounge and connect with others. There's an indoor fireplace and an outside patio to capture the sunset. There's also a little market with drinks, snacks — even meat and cheese — and campfire supplies.

Exploring Cape Cod

AutoCamp is right on the Shining Sea Bikeway, which allowed us to explore Falmouth on bike. AutoCamp offers complimentary bikes to borrow for the day, but we brought our own bikes since my little one can't ride yet and prefers the back of daddy's bike.

This 10.7-mile bike path runs all the way from North Falmouth to Woods Hole; the Airstream park is at about mile marker 6. This scenic path allows you to view cranberry bogs, rivers and, of course, the sea. From the park, you can turn right and in just a few miles end up at Chapoquoit Beach or take a left to bike down to Falmouth Village and then follow the coastline to Woods Hole (a much longer 6-mile ride). Pedaling the Shining Sea bike path is one of my favorite activities in the Cape, so to be able to see the path from our fire pit was quite special.

We went in both directions during our stay, which allowed us to truly see all Falmouth has to offer. Our kids loved getting on and off their bikes at various areas during our ride, especially once we hit the beach at Oyster Pond and Trunk River (on our way to Woods Hole). The playgrounds right in town (across from the library in Falmouth), in Goodwill Park and in Woods Hole (Taft's Playgound) also provided for some fun along the way.

Since we visited the Cape during an off-peak time, we took the opportunity to explore other areas of the region without having to worry about traffic. Although there are many things to do in Cape Cod, we decided to venture out to Chatham – a cute town with great restaurants and beautiful beaches. Even though we were wearing our winter jackets for part of the day, we were still able to dip our toes in the ocean at Lighthouse Beach, eat ice cream in town and "hike" through Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. My kids had an absolute blast doing something completely different for the day.

If you are looking for a low-key order-at-the-counter lobster roll — or really any other seafood platter — The Chatham Pier Fish Market is one to not miss. With outdoor picnic-style seating, we experienced a COVID-friendly lunch, where my kids were also able to enjoy the pier while watching the fisherman unload their catch of the day. If you get lucky, you might even be able to see seals swimming by.

Bottom line

Although we could have spent our spring break using points to stay in the Cape, our two-day visit to AutoCamp Cape Cod trumped all other options. Our daughter even told us this was far better than our last pre-COVID-19 trip to Cancun and is begging to go back.

And truthfully, I didn't mind smelling like a campfire all weekend either.

Featured image by (Photo by Jennifer Yellin / DealsWeLike)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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Recommended Credit

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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

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  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more