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Airstream adventure: coastal camping comes to Falmouth, with a heavy dose of glamour

Celina Colby
Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
Airstream adventure: coastal camping comes to Falmouth, with a heavy dose of glamour
An Airstream at AutoCamp Cape Cod in Falmouth, Mass. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

Nestled off a quiet residential street in Falmouth sits an army of shiny, retrofitted Airstreams offering up a coastal getaway for urbanites who like the idea of camping but would prefer not to sleep on the ground. AutoCamp Cape Cod is Massachusetts’s newest glamp-site, renting the luxury campers and similarly styled tents just one mile from the Cape Cod coastline.

The interior of the Airstream accommodation. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

The Airstreams feature heat and AC, a beautifully styled shower and fully functional plumbing, not to mention a kitchenette and a queen bed encased in high-thread-count sheets. Alternative accommodations include luxury tents that sport king-size beds, mini-fridges and electrical outlets. The tents utilize communal but still perfectly styled bathrooms located in the Clubhouse.

The Clubhouse is home base for AutoCamp guests. This is where contactless check-in happens and where staff is available for bike checkouts and activity advice. The facility includes a store where campers can purchase everything from branded hats and bug spray to fire starters. Every morning, complimentary coffee, tea and granola are served here.

The interior of the Airstream accommodation. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

Each campsite comes with an outdoor picnic table, fire pit and seating area. Visitors can buy fire bags that are lit just as they are and burn for an average of 1.5 hours, just long enough to cook dinner or roast a few marshmallows.

For those that are really invested, over-the-fire meal kits are available for purchase, or you can bring your own provisions for cast-iron cooking. Flatware, plates and a selection of cooking materials are provided, including the all-important corkscrew. If cooking over an open fire isn’t your idea of a vacation, Falmouth restaurants beckon down Route 28.

This is camping designed more for Instagram than for introspection. The Airstreams are positioned close together in a dense area, and when fully occupied would likely be noisy, though AutoCamp provides earplugs in each unit. The campsite is ideal for group travel, whether it be a family reunion, a bachelorette party or a truly spectacular double date. Each party has their own space, while experiencing the campground together.

Bikes are free to borrow. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

Activities abound in the vicinity. The camp is conveniently located on the Shining Sea Bikeway, and bikes are free to borrow from the Clubhouse. A quick one-mile walk or drive gets you to Wood Neck Beach for an afternoon of sand and sun. Onsite at the camp, there are yard games like corn hole and a communal fire pit for storytelling with new friends.

Further afield is quaint downtown Falmouth, offering shops and restaurants. To extend your natural exploration, check out Highfield Hall and Gardens, a historic home that sits on a more than 400-acre property now developed into gardens, hiking trails and a sculpture park. Art exhibitions and concerts are held on the property as well as walking and history tours.

The AutoCamp site is an hour-and-a-half drive from Boston or a similarly timed bus ride from South Station. Uber rides are accessible in Falmouth, and the Shining Sea Bikeway winds from Falmouth to Woods Hole and further along the Cape Coast.

PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

AutoCamp provides a smooth transition back into the world of travel. It’s comfortable and offers private, separated accommodations, while relying on outdoor activities that are safer for COVID-19. The camp is open year-round, with prices ranging from $125 a night off-season to over $400 a night during the peak of summer.

It would be a stretch to call AutoCamp a natural retreat, but it’s certainly designed for maximum fun. Here you can experience the joys of camping in new territory, without the sore back and bug bites to prove it.

Airstream, cape cod, travel

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