West Coast Escapes

[trip style = weekend getaway]

This post is written by Trip Styler's Assistant Wayfarer/Editor Heather.

The problem with wanderlusta strong desire to travelis that it can never really be quenched. When I get away, I'm already planning my next retreat. Not out of the need to escape my everyday life, but fuelled by the joy of discovering somewhere new or the comfort of returning somewhere special. Standing on a beach last week, with only the Pacific between me and Japan, I couldn't help but take a mental trip down the West Coast and chart a course for an escapeor four. Could one of these destinations be the temporary cure for your wanderlust?


Tofino, BC

What's better than a spontaneous escape to Tofino? {Also known as the ideal place to decompress for fans of fish tacos, surfing, long walks on the beach, gorgeous sunsets and cozy lodges.} Taking advantage of a midweek rate of $100/night, I stayed at the rustic and friendly Middle Beach Lodge last week, where pleasant perks like breakfast, evening cookies and a roaring fire were provided in the communal beachfront lounge.  If you're looking for something more luxuriousperhaps a Travel+Leisure hall of famertry The Wickaninnish Inn, which we covered last year in Roam+Board. Don't miss the aforementioned fish tacos at local and visitor favorite, Tacofino, and long walks on the beach along Chesterman Beach or Long Beach, part of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Seaview, WA

From one Long Beach to another, a truly unique spot along Washington's southern coast is The Sou'Wester, about 30 minutes north of Astoria, Oregon. This retro glamping escape features a collection of vintage trailers outfitted with record players, wood panelling and lawn chairs straight out of your childhood. Read up on this nostalgic seaside escape in Roam+Board.

Big Sur, CA

This cliff-top destination on California's central coast is one of North America's most popular and romanticized stretches of coastline. High rollers can perch themselves high above the beach at the Post Ranch Inn or Ventana Inn, while those looking for something a little more rustic and midcentury can check into a cabin at Glen Oaks Big Sur, previously featured on Roam+Board. I hear McWay Falls, Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur Bakery and Deetjen's are not to be missed.

Santa Barbara, CA

I've been crushing on a collection of cabins, yurts and safari tents on Instagram for the past year. El Capitan Canyon is a private camping resort tucked between a state beach and a national forest 20 miles north of Santa Barbara; the perfect place for those seeking to unplug, unwind and toast a few marshmallows alongside hip LA families on holiday. {And dangerously close to Santa Barbara wine country, which is a must visit!} If your idea of relaxing is more poolside than creekside, check into Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, a historic hotel in a spectacular setting that shouldn't be missed. Did someone say "happy hour"?

[tofino photos by @heatherlovesit, others via long beach peninsula tourism, wikimedia, el capitan canyon]

Chic Camping 101

chic camping
chic camping

[trip style = camping & glamping]

Trip styling, in every shape and form {read: from vacationing like Oprah to camping by the sea}, is my obsession. Even when I take to the mild wild. The only requirement: fashion has to rival function.

Recently my husband and I decided to go camping---'tis the summer season---and when I put my campsite = glampsite  blueprint in front of him, he turned a shade of winter. Once I told him I'd do the majority of the 10-minute set-up---oh yes, chic camping is that easy---he literally said "Ok, I'll play ball" as his cheeks rosied at the thought of sipping crisp rose out of a mason jar at our tenting scene-stealer.

There's camping, then there's trip-styled camping. Here are some tried and tested ways to turn your good ole' site into a fetching summer sight:

chic camping 2
chic camping 2

Chic Camping 101 {I made the garland at home with twine and pieces of heavy canvas. The blanket is from Mexico, the pillows are from Ikea, and the throw in the basket is Pendleton. For the record, I fell asleep here one afternoon. PS - if you are camping at a site with a dirt floor, bring a tarp to put under your blanket---the concept still works.}

chic camping 3
chic camping 3

{I turned these utilitarian camping chairs into something a little more sassy with faux-fur throws, $12 from Ikea. Bonus, if your thermarest looses air throughout the night, these do a bang-up job of cushioning your core.}

chic camping 4
chic camping 4

{I elevated the eating surface, aka picnic table, to a woodsy table pour deux with this wipeable table cloth (I think it was $3.00 from the camping store), beach wood, beach rocks and a bunch of wildflowers. I brought the lantern from home.}

chic camping 5
chic camping 5

{While sleeping bags are best for more extreme camping, I opted for a zebra-print throw as my duvet. Life is too short not to.}

chic camping 6
chic camping 6

{Morning coffee.}

chic camping 7
chic camping 7

{When we walked 20 steps to the deserted (yay!) beach, I re-purposed my Mexi blanket and pillows for the afternoon.}

chic camping 8
chic camping 8

{Bird's eye view of the beach, a triple threat mingling driftwood, pebbles and sand.}

chic camping 9
chic camping 9

{Where I sipped wine at sundown.}

Recap --- camping at Fort Casey on Whidbey Island is $26/night {in my humble opinion the best campsites are 11, 12 and 13} --- For Casey is 1.5 hours from Seattle and 2.5 hrs from Vancouver --- chic camping essentials: a heavy blanket to create a petite paradise (and a tarp), outdoor pillows, faux-fur pelts, a lantern and a garland if you're feeling extra crafty --- the menu: - breakfast: eggs in a nest - lunch: veggie salad wraps - appetizer: bocconcini s'mores {you roast cheese over the fire and place it on top of a cracker or slice of baguette with basil and sun-dried tomato tapanade} - dinner: roast chicken with veggie kabobs and salad

[photos by @tripstyler]

Glamping {from lean to luxe}

glamping wilson island australia[trip style = glamping]

{Editor's Note: I'm talking lean-to-luxe glamping options tomorrow on Global BC1's AM/BC with Jill Krop.}

It's been a while since glamping has made a grand entrance on the Trip Styler stage---'tis the season, right?

Glamping {glamorous camping} comes in all shapes, sizes and price points; think of it like a hybrid hotel stay under the stars. Most of the time, people glamp for the love of the trip style, versus a way to pinch pennies. And believe me, upscale glamping is often much more expensive than your average five-star stay.

Chic camping can be as simple as a yurt in the woods, as indie as an upscale trailer park hotel, or as fabulous as a full service tent set-up on a castaway isle. Here's a peek into the glamping gamut:

Lean Glamping {You, a yurt, and the wild} glamping riverside whistler Rent a yurt from a provincial or state park, or a campground. Most are heated for year-round use. Case in point, I rented a Yurt in Oregon for a November surf trip a few years ago. The circular perma-tent came with a futon, bunk beds, a breakfast table and a heater. Above: Riverside campground yurts in Whistler, BC.

Milieu Glamping {You, a cushy tent or trailer, and the effortless outdoors} mid-luxe glamping Top/ Hicksville Trailer Palace and Artist Retreat, Joshua Tree, CA Left/ Ecopod Boutique Retreat, Scotland Right/ Rolling Huts, WA

Luxe Glamping {You, a chic shack with ALL the bells and whistles, and nature---the edited version} luxe glamping Left/ Wilson Island, Australia Right/ Fairmont Mara Safari Club, Kenya

Fact: Glamping is one of my favorite trip styles. Have you been glamping?

[photos via riverside, hicksville, ecopod, rest by @tripstyler]

Travel Trends :: Yurts & Canvas Tents

travel trends yurts[trip style = camping + glamping]

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Ever considered forgoing a hotel stay to indulge in the understated comfort of a yurt, tee pee or canvas tent? Alternative lodging is making a comeback, not only evidenced by the ultra-hip Ace Hotel Palm Springs using yurts for some of their spa treatments, but according to Oregon State Parks, yurts are "a quickly-growing national phenomenon." Not sure if it's because the recession caused people to think twice about how much they spend on travel, or if it allows people to get away from it all with a little more comfort than nylon tenting; either way, alternative camping-like lodging is where it's at.

Low-End yurt in oregonPampering yourself in a permanent-esque shelter at provincial, state or private campgrounds provides a happy medium between fumbling with tent poles and staying in a hotel. What's great about this type of accommodation is you can partake year-round: most yurts---even those at campgrounds---have heating. Two years ago my husband and I had our first yurt experience in mid-November when we went surfing with friends in Oregon. At first I was scared that the cold weather and chilly waters of the Pacific would never allow my body temperature to reach normalcy, but within minutes of getting back to our yurt, we were warm and toasty thanks to its heating system. > Renting yurts and canvas tents at campgrounds ranges from $35 in low season to $89 in high season.

High-End high-end campingDon't be fooled, luxe camping isn't always cheaper. Some hotels offer this type of accommodation at a premium for people who want an authentic rustic experience in the wild, like at the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, which is glamping at its best. Speaking of glamping, at this time last year I was about to fly to Africa to stay in a luxury canvas tent at the Fairmont Masai Mara (see my hotel review here). My experience there was the most glamorous camping I've ever encountered: a gorgeous off-white canvas tent avec mesh windows and an attached front deck overlooking the hippos in the Mara river. Our tent sat on a concrete platform covered with browny/copper-toned rustic tiles, accompanied by a cozy 4-post bed, brown leather directors chairs, shower, bathroom and area to get ready.  Heaven. > Prices for high-end camping vary; however, luxe camping can be much more expensive than staying in a hotel.

Resources If you don't want to go as far as Africa to glamp, here are a few local options: - Whistler, BC ~ yurts + cabins at Riverside campground - Interior, BC ~ canvas tents at Kumsheen's campground - BC Parks' Yurts ~ Mostly in BC's Interior - Oregon ~ State Park cabins + yurts - Washington ~ State Park cabins + yurts

Tips for Staying in Yurts or Canvas Tents - most yurts are outfitted for year-round stays, especially those on the temperate West Coast - bring earplugs---the rain can get loud at night - yurts usually sleep 4, canvas tents 2-4 - often pets are not allowed

[images by diamondmountain, dave and @tripstyler]