December 6th, 2023
There’s nothing quite like sleeping under canvas, as many of us fondly remember from our scouting days. Fast forward a couple decades, and spending a half day gathering gear and filling ice chests while juggling kids, work commitments and charcoal isn’t as idyllic as we remember.
Years ago, when news of MaryJane Butler’s Idaho canvas wall tent farm burst onto the scene in the 1990’s, the concept of living a fancier, more fluffy version of her youthful account of sorting herself out in much needed isolation in a tent in the northern woods, resonated with many of us. Yes, we wanted to experience that, but with down comforters, WIFI and running water. Many of us are inspired by the pioneering spirit, but prefer our inspiration in small doses. MaryJane’s Farm was the first glamping destination to offer a gentler version of her survivalist adventures, and travelers flocked to Moscow, Idaho to experience her unusual offerings.
Since then, canvas wall tents are becoming a common vacation rental option and for good reason. While MaryJane had to market her idea against the headwinds of conventionality; yurts, bell tents, safari tents and igloos are now being offered in rural destinations world wide.
Morning Song Farm in Rainbow, California, offers an 8 person glamping version of MaryJane’s wall tent concept; but with comfortable beds, WIFI, smart tv, hot tub, full kitchen, and a private bathroom. Set in the middle of SoCal Wine Country, the 20 acre fruit farm is the perfect, centrally located base to explore all that Fallbrook vintners to the south, and Temecula vintners to the north have to offer. Gather eggs, take a cheesemaking or jam class, or interact with their friendly livestock and then enjoy all that the area has to offer as the sun sets. Although I-15 freeway close and only 10 miles (as the crow flies from the Pacific) the small family farm exudes country charm and is never crowded. Just one exit south of Temecula, and one exit north of Fallbrook, Rainbow is a tiny farming community tucked in between the two larger communities. (www.morningsongfarm.com).
Monserate Winery and The Vineyard 1994 are among everyone’s favorites in Fallbrook. Monserate is the newest in the area, along with their eatery, La Piazza, which overlooks the lake and vineyards. Celebrated chef, Luca de Marinis, International Napotelana Champion, offers some of the most amazing pizza around and he’ll happily suggest the perfect wine pairing. They’re family friendly during the week, and adults only Friday-Sunday. Hours: 11-6 every day, closed on Tuesdays. https://monseratewinery.com
The Vineyard 1924 is well known to Fallbrook locals during the holidays to offer a seasonal, fun place for the whole family. In the early 1900’s, this farm was planted to olives, but international trade with Italy ended the profitability of that venture. Avocados were next, but drought and NAFTA ended that. Now, drought tolerant wine grapes grace this beautiful view property. Here’s hoping that wine grapes are the key to success! This year, Santa will be visiting the winery on weekend evenings. Enjoy the casual wine tasting and smores around the bon fire! http://thevineyard1924.com/the-farm
A trip isn’t complete without a visit to Old Town Temecula’s Saturday farmers’ Market and all the fun that Old Town has to offer. The Old Town farmers’ market is from 9-1.
Try line dancing at the Stampede (28721 Old Town Front Street, Temecula, www.thetemeculastampede.com) The Old Town Blues Club (Thursday-Sunday), Eleven After Dark, Baily’s, and M Lounge (Dancing and Comedy Club). Old Town has a lot to offer including speakeasies, live music, vintage candy, garden art, Temecula Olive Oil Company’s flagship store and more. For cheese and wine lovers, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Goat and Vine. Their charcuterie board is fantastic!
SoCal’s wine country is the perfect glamping destination!