Now Streaming: Vacation To Progress Park

Progress Park sign
Photos provided

WHEN IT COMES to camping, folks split into two, well, camps: love or hate. If you don’t see the charm in journeying to the latrine by flashlight, head to Derby City. It hides a gem where you can swim, hike, and enjoy bonfires—in elevated digs.

Progress Park Airstream Resort (rates vary, 502-494-4002) didn’t start as glamping grounds. The Pifer and the McDowell families are camping friends turned co-owners of Progress Park. When they stumbled upon the land six years ago, it was nothing but dilapidated shacks and overgrown woods. Today, the resort marries the best parts of the outdoors with convenience. The owners have transformed the property into a hidden oasis for enjoying nature, within the city limits and only a few miles from the Louisville Zoo (502-459-2181) and the fun underground at Louisville Mega Cavern (877-614-6342).

The Pearl airstreamer in Progress Park

The main attraction, though, is the remodeled vintage Airstream accommodations. The “silver bullets” have central air (and heat) and sleep four to six guests. Each has a private covered patio with whirring ceiling fans and draped with twinkling strings of lights. Inside, find shiplap walls, plush bedding and throw pillows, a fully equipped kitchen, and a bathroom.

Activities abound, from sunbathing on the man-made beaches and rowing around the lake to bumping passes on the volleyball court. Communal gathering spots are anchored by a giant metal bonfire pit. Mingle with your fellow glampers—Progress Park has seven Airstreams—in the glow of the fire. Or stay cozy inside, in the glow of the smart TV streaming Hulu. We won’t judge.

If you miss civilization, you can dash down the road to swanky steakhouse Le Moo (502-458-8888) or to the art exhibits at the 21c Museum Hotel (502-217-6300).

The lakefront beach at Progress Park

If you go

125 miles
2 hours
LEAVE the kids at home for a serene, romantic getaway.
TAKE clothes, food, and beach towels. That’s all you’ll need. Everything you’d have in a hotel is included, plus plenty of extras, such as a beach wagon, grilling gear, marshmallow skewers, and kayaks.
TIPPLE bourbon or vino at Off the Rails Tasting Room and Wine Depot (502-822-0738), one mile away.