Choosing Harvest Hosts for Unique Overnight RV Stays
Choosing Harvest Hosts for Unique Overnight RV Stays
Learn why one couple loves this option and how to save as a GoLife Perks member.
By: Kelly Laustsen & David Somach
When we first started planning our yearlong trip around the U.S. and Canada a few years ago, one of our biggest questions was ‘where will we stay?’ Whether planning a one night, weeklong, or extended trip, deciding where to stay is one of our biggest decisions and often the biggest predictor of how much we’ll enjoy the trip.
While researching various options for accommodations before we left on our big trip in 2019, we came across Harvest Hosts. We were immediately intrigued and after reading more about the program quickly signed up. We’ve renewed our membership every year since and have enjoyed stays around the U.S. and in Canada.
As described on its website, Harvest Hosts is “an RV membership program that allows self-contained travelers to overnight at unique locations around the country including farms, wineries, museums, breweries, and more!”
There are a few membership plan options, but all provide access to an online directory of hosts that allow overnight parking with no camping fees. Guests are expected to make a purchase to support the host, such as wine, produce, or tickets to a museum.
Now, Winnebago’s GoLife Perks members can receive 25% off a Harvest Hosts Classic plan, Boondockers Welcome plan, or Combo plan for the first two years. (Note: This offer is for new Harvest Hosts memberships only.)
How We Pick Our Harvest Hosts Stays
During our yearlong trip, we stayed at numerous Harvest Hosts locations. But we have also loved using Harvest Hosts to plan unique short trips close to home. We typically book our stays anywhere from a week to less than a day in advance. Each host has a page that notes booking requirements, and some accept day of requests while others ask for more notice.
We pick places we’d want to visit and support regardless, so it is easy to make a purchase and we feel good about supporting a small business we care about. Hosts also note on their page when you can arrive, whether pets are allowed, activities on-site, what the parking area is like, and whether any extras are available, like water, electricity, or sewer hook-ups.
This information helps us pick a stay that meets our needs, especially if we have limitations in when we can arrive at a stay based on other plans.
Our Favorite Harvest Hosts Stays (So Far!)
Below is a roundup of a few of our favorite Harvest Host stays we’ve had so far, which help show the range of experiences available, from a quiet evening at a winery to an exciting day at the raceway.
1. Picturesque Winery in Benton City, Washington
Benton City features a large number of wineries and is located in the middle of a host of diverse wine regions. It is located a few hours from our home and makes for a great weekend destination for wine tasting and relaxing.
We visited Anelare a couple years ago in October as part of a bigger trip and especially enjoyed the views from the winery and peaceful night, with great star gazing. We arrived at the winery in the late afternoon and shared a delicious wood-fired pizza and wine tasting flight. Then we bought a bottle of wine to take home. We were warmly welcomed by the hosts and found the wine and hospitality top notch.
2. Unique Family Farm in Hermiston, Oregon
One of our most personable stays so far was Alpine Drive Alpacas. We stayed at the farm on the first night of a multiday road trip to Montana. The stay was conveniently located just a few miles off our route in Hermiston, Oregon. We arrived in the evening and were greeted by our host, Darcy, who offered us a tour of the farm.
Our tour lasted easily over an hour, as Darcy answered all our many questions and introduced us to her variety of animals, including zebus, miniature horses, chickens, cows, and alpacas. Darcy’s passion for the animals and sharing her experience and knowledge were evident, and she was so warm and open.
An alpaca had been born earlier in the day, so we even got to pet the newborn alpaca, as well as the chickens and a friendly farm cat. The farm gift shop features dryer balls and yarn made from alpaca wool from the farm, as well as a variety of other alpaca items like socks and sweaters. We enjoyed a quiet night and were sad to say goodbye to the animals and Darcy’s family in the morning.
3. Active Racetrack with Mountain Views in Palmer, Alaska
We stayed at several Harvest Hosts while in Alaska for the summer, including Alaska Raceway Park in Palmer, Alaska. We were intrigued with the idea of combining an overnight stay at the park with an auto racing event.
For our visit, we planned to be there on a day with a variety of drag races, which included everything from motorcycles to pro racers to kids in Power Wheel cars. The park hosts general camping as well on race weekends, but we were surprised how quiet the park was at night and in the morning.
We were able to park right next to the drag strip and watched the races from just outside our van. We finished the day with a hike up Bodenburg Butte just a few miles from the racetrack.
We never would have thought to seek out a drag race while in Alaska if not for Harvest Hosts. And we view Harvest Hosts as just as much a tool for finding unique activities as places to stay.
4. Quirky Vehicle-Centric Museums in Brooks, Oregon
We have started to use Harvest Hosts to create unique weekend trips, as there are many hosts within an hour or two of our home. We recently spent a night at the Powerland Heritage Park in Brooks, Oregon, which we paired with a day hike in Silver Falls State Park for a quick weekend getaway.
David is especially interested in anything vehicle-related, so we were intrigued by the park when browsing Harvest Hosts in the area. The park includes about fifteen museums and historical societies, which are largely run by volunteers.
We arrived in the evening after the museums were closed and were greeted by Tom, the park’s caretaker. After parking and settling in, we spent an hour or two wandering around the park.
The park is over 60 acres and includes lots of interesting buildings and vehicles outdoors, including tractors, trolleys, trucks, steam engines, and more. In the morning, we stopped at the park’s Welcome Center where we chatted for a while with Tom and his wife and learned more about the history and organization of the park.
While we could have easily spent multiple days exploring the park and various museums, we only had a couple hours which went by quickly. The warmth and hospitality of the volunteers in the museums we stopped in was incredible - we even received a personal tour of the park via golf cart from a volunteer at the Brooks Historical Society!
Powerland Heritage Park is like nowhere we’ve been before and is a perfect example of the unique experiences Harvest Hosts opens up.
If you’ve never used Harvest Hosts before, now is a great time to give it a try since you can receive a discount with a GoLife Perks membership!
Do you love using Harvest Hosts? Please share your favorite locations in the comments!
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