Glamping in Arizona. In An Airstream. On A Peach Farm.
September 9, 2018
Glamping in Arizona in a Vintage Airstream Trailer
Are you looking for a weekend getaway that is a little more offbeat than Santa Barbara, San Diego, or Palm Springs? Why I have never been to Arizona when it is just an hour flight from Burbank and LAX airports makes absolutely no sense to me, but I am so happy to have connected with the Mesa and Phoenix tourism boards so I could visit the state of Arizona for the very first time. On this trip, I was able to experience a great combination of rural and urban living as we went glamping in Arizona in an airstream on a peach farm…just in case you couldn’t infer that from the title :).
This particular glamping spot is located on a 4th generation working family peach farm in Queen Creek, Arizona. It is easily accessible from the Phoenix airport, but I would recommend renting a car so that you can explore the city during your visit as it is about 45 minutes outside of Phoenix. Mark and Carrie Schnepf , the owners of the peach farm, just recently opened up a glamping site, conveniently called the Cozy Peach, where you can choose from 10 newly renovated Airstreams from the 1940s -1970s. Every one is completely unique and while all have been renovated, they each absolutely retain some of their original charm. I am such a researcher that the night before I arrived, I went on the website and checked out all of the options. I ended up being assigned an Airstream and was given the Spartan Mansion for my 2 night stay (the perfect amount of time to spend at the Cozy Peach). I had a 2 bedroom Airstream, hence the term mansion, and the interior of the place looked like it had been redone by Joanna Gaines, it was decorated that impeccably. It did only have a wet bath though which means that it is a toilet/shower combo so if I was just going to be staying with two people and didn’t need the extra space, I would probably choose a different Airstream. My two favorites are the 1969 Airstream Ambassador (queen size bed so good for a couple) and the 1970 Silver Streak which is perfect for friends. And yes, these trailers do have fantastic air conditioning units.
Once you get situated, you need to have Mark take you on a golf cart tour of the property. There is a mini-amusement park, u-pick organic gardens, multiple wedding venues, and a petting zoo on the farm that all become much more personal once you hear the Schnepf family story. Every year, the farm hosts thousands of people for its major events like the peach festival in May, 4th of July party, and a pumpkin and chili festival in October. While you get the feeling of remote living on Schnepf Farms, it is in a town with a population of over 26,000 people so there are multiple supermarkets within 10 miles to pick up wine and cheese for happy hour and food for dinner. The trailers have BBQ grills outside and a microwave and refrigerator indoors. The sunset views are beautiful, so I absolutely recommend spending at least one night cooking in your Airstream and eating outside. You are also free to pick some fresh organic veggies from the garden so get some broccoli, Tuscan kale, etc. to use for your meal! What I loved so much about spending time at the Cozy Peach is that you can make this as rural or as luxurious as you want. If you choose to spend the night outside staring at the stars and making s’mores around a fire pit, you can do it. If you would rather watch Netflix on your flat screen TV in your Airstream, you can do that too. Or you can do both, and that is really awesome. Just make sure you bring some bug spray. The beds are extraordinarily comfortable and the sheets super plush. I would recommend bringing ear plugs because there are train tracks nearby and the train does pass through in the night. Other than that, I slept so soundly.
Waking up the next morning, there is the cutest breakfast spot on the property just a quick vintage bike ride away. Anyone from the public can eat at the Country Store Bakery & Cafe as it is a fully functioning restaurant and bakery. The pies and the cinnamon rolls…out of this world. Unlike traditional camping, where you may spend the day fishing or hiking, here at the Cozy Peach you may choose to do things a little more luxuriously…this is glamping after all! For those of you into goats, yoga, or participating in the latest trends, Goat Yoga in nearly Gilbert, Arizona is an absolute must. Personally, I am not into goats or yoga, but even I found it pretty hilariously fun and surprisingly didn’t mind (really actually embraced is the proper word) the goat poo everywhere. This isn’t actual intense “you need to have good form yoga,” but if you’re looking for a trendy, wacky, yoga experience and you love animals, then this is your place.
Prior to the trip I was definitely not expecting to learn about the farming culture in the surrounding areas of Phoenix like Gilbert, Mesa, and Queen Creek. I just figured it was way too hot of a climate for crops to grow. Let’s just say, I couldn’t be more off base. In fact, one of the main attractions in Mesa is visiting what is known as the Fresh Foodie Trail, a series of about a dozen stops where you can visit an orange patch, flour mill, dairy farm, etc. Each of these 12 attractions offers you the opportunity to learn about the crop, take a tour of the operations, and have some sort of incredible culinary experience. I strongly urge you to look at the Mesa website and choose which of the stops are most appealing to you. I personally visited the Queen Creek Olive Mill and had some of the best olive oil cupcakes and the best hazelnut iced coffee of my life (the coffee has no relation to the olive oil, it’s just really good).
You will also want to check out Agritopia, an urban farming community on 160 acres of land, and one of the most unique neighborhoods I have ever seen. Within Agritopia, there are four restaurants, a brewery, a winery, shops, 11 acres of organic farmland, and a residential community, so it’s really easy to get carried away and spend all day here. If you just happened to Yelp one of the restaurants, it would seem like your standard fare; however, much of the food served at these restaurants, like Joe’s Farm Grill, is actually sourced from the farm at Agritopia. The vision for Agritopia is a place where you have a sense of community, walkability, and physical place which come in the form of the restaurants, shops, etc. that you can find here. That is why the neighborhood has low fences–to encourage small talk among neighbors– and the garages were built in the back of the house so that there doesn’t need to be a street running through the front porches. All of the neighbors can connect outside among the shady, tree-lined paths.
If you do stay two nights or have some extra time to spend in Phoenix, I highly recommend going on a hot air balloon adventure and visiting the Desert Botanical Garden. You could actually do this all before an afternoon flight or just choose one activity if you would rather keep with the slow pace of the weekend. I went ballooning with Hot Air Expeditions. The check-in location for this company is about 60 miles away at the Deer Valley Airport Balloon Ride parking area. You would need to leave at an ungodly (actually the first time I have ever used this word) hour, but it is as I am sure you can imagine, absolutely worth it. I don’t want to spoil the experience, but just know that taking off in a balloon is awesome. The weightlessness, the sunrise, the fact that you are in a wicker basket that looks like it could have been bought Michael’s Crafts Store (kidding, but not really) all contributes to the uniqueness of the experience. Make sure to wear a baseball cap to protect your head from the heat of the flame above you, closed toed shoes because you will probably be landing in some sort of field, and layers depending on the time of year because it will be chilly at 5 in the morning. The whole ride plus champagne breakfast will finish around 9:30ish give or take a few hours.
If that sort of thing isn’t your cup of tea or you aren’t looking to spend a ton of money but still want to do some type of activity in the morning before your flight home, you could visit the Desert Botanical Garden. The garden is extremely close to the Phoenix airport. The gardens are exactly what you would picture the desert of Phoenix to look like with multitudes of beautiful cacti and succulents. They host a myriad of activities daily. For example, there is a spring butterfly exhibit that is open for part of the year that is really worth checking out if you are in town during that time. There are also daily garden tours and flashlight tours in the summer which seem like a brilliant way to beat the heat and go on a bit of an adventure.
Have you been glamping in Arizona? Where did you stay? Please share your experience in the comments below!
Looking for other weekend getaways? Check out some of my other posts for more travel ideas!
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