Dinner with Friends
A design-focused, quarterly lifestyle magazine celebrating California's Central Valley, one dinner party at a time.





Great design in the great outdoors. That pretty much sums up AutoCamp’s newest “glampground” located in our own backyard, just outside Mariposa and a short drive from that tiny, little-known natural wonder called Yosemite National Park. I hadn’t heard of AutoCamp—which also has locations in Santa Barbara and Sonoma’s Russian River Valley— until I attended a family reunion at the brand’s Yosemite location last weekend. Opened in June, the Yosemite site, like the other locations, is a hipster’s paradise full of Insta-worthy moments (there’s an inspirational quote in neon on an outdoor deck), mid-century modern design, and kombucha. And then, of course, there are the rows and rows of Airstream trailers. Eighty of them to be exact.

(I promise, this is not an ad. AutoCamp is not paying me to write about their Yosemite property. I’m just genuinely excited to have a place like this in our area. Aren’t you? I guess that makes me a hipster, but so what! OK, back to the review.)

Along with the Airstreams, which really are the heart of the whole place, there are luxury tents and a few cabins scattered about. All of which fan out from the gorgeous clubhouse. Complete with fire pit, swimming pool and general store, the clubhouse is where it’s at. During my family’s weekend retreat, we swarmed the clubhouse, roasting marshmallows at the fire pit, getting in ample pool time (it was in the triple digits the whole time) and just catching up in the large gathering space, which completely opens up at night merging indoors and outdoors. And the other guests were up there too, despite my crazy family hogging the place. It was really a cool, communal experience—less like staying at a hotel and more like a stylish summer camp for adults.

As gorgeous as the accommodations at AutoCamp are, don’t forget to get outdoors and explore. You’re up there to interact with nature (on some level), right? While I can’t imagine going up there and NOT visiting Yosemite, there are options closer to the AutoCamp grounds, including hiking trails, ziplining and Mariposa’s cute downtown shops and restaurants. There’s also morning yoga at AutoCamp held on the second-floor deck of the clubhouse. I’m not a huge yoga person, but I tried it out while I was there and found it to be a great primer for the day ahead, which went on to include ziplining and a hike to Yosemite’s Mirror Lake. Plus, there’s something super zen about doing yoga under towering trees in the mountains. If you do want to go into the park, the YARTS bus has a stop at AutoCamp so you can avoid the traffic in the always-crowded Yosemite Valley.

Oh, can’t forget to mention the free drink with check-in! AutoCamp Yosemite is full of so many thoughtful little details. Hmm, come to think of it, it would be a great place for a dinner party. What do you think?