11 Backcountry Airbnbs To Book Next Summer
The drive feels endless. All you can see are trees and more trees. Wanting to revert to your childhood, you look at your husband and whine, “Are we there yet?” He laughs and shakes his head. “Almost.”
Unsure of what’s in store, you can’t help but close your eyes and wish you were back home in the comfort of your bed. You’re vaguely aware of the car coming to a stop and your husband opening the windows while taking big, deep breaths. The smells of the woods start to permeate your brain. You open your eyes and stare in wonder. In front of you is the most beautiful tree house you’ve ever seen. And you get to stay there for the weekend! Your husband turns to you and says, “Aren’t you glad we didn’t book a hotel?”
The Airbnb concept has grown rapidly since its 2008 inception. It’s a marketplace where people can list, discover and book unique accommodations around the world. No more sleeping in a boxy, thin-walled hotel room, wondering if the couple next door will EVER go to sleep.
Airbnb gives you a chance to experience a destination more like a local rather than a tourist. Take a look at some of the unique destinations listed and start packing for your mini-vacation!
1. Secluded In-Town Tree House
Location: Atlanta, GA
This gem in the middle of Atlanta, Georgia was named 2016's #1 Most Wish-For Listing Worldwide by Airbnb. Who wouldn’t want to stay in a tree house for a few days? At $375/night you’ll get three beautifully furnished rooms in the trees, each connected by rope bridges.
The living room has antique furnishings and a balcony overlooking the acre of lush woods surrounding the property. The bedroom sleeps two, and you can leave the bed inside the bedroom or move it out onto the platform above the stream. The deck surrounds a 150-year-old Southern Short-Leaf Pine tree aptly named “Old Man.” Don’t worry about bathroom facilities – you’re welcome to access the bathroom in the basement of the owner’s home, which is only a 30-second walk.
2. Zion Backcountry Yurt
Location: Orderville, UT
Zion National Park is one of the most beautiful places on earth. What could be more perfect than spending time in your own yurt? Yes, a yurt! Just 45 minutes from Zion’s east entrance, you won’t know what to do first: hike the trails and get some memorable photos, or lounge around in the hammock and catch some z’s.
The yurt sleeps nine, and you have use of the entire space. Reasonable at $210/night, make sure you book your stay from mid-May to the first of October. And remember, this is backcountry living! Don’t bring your laptop, your Keurig or your iPad. There is no electricity or internet service. Y’all might have to have real conversations!
3. Mushroom Dome Cabin
Location: Aptos, CA
There’s a fungus among us! Book in advance to rent this amazing mushroom dome cabin located on 10 acres. Hang out and watch the hummingbirds swoop through the air, close enough that you can feel the wind from their tiny wings. Hang out on the deck, pet the goats or head off to the beach for some saltwater fun.
This beauty rents for $120/night and sleeps three. Please note that if you want to stay on the weekend in the summer, you’ll need to book your reservation six months in advance!
4. Malibu Dream Airstream
Location: Malibu, CA
Who said peace and serenity could only be found in the deep woods? Check out this beautiful Airstream located on a private bluff with a phenomenal view of the ocean. This beauty was completely redesigned and has three large frameless glass panels that slide open to a deck giving you unrivaled views of County Line beach, the Channel Islands, Catalina and Deer Creek Canyon. Book this $500/night Airstream dream well in advance. Be forewarned that if there is a high chance of rain, your reservation will be canceled due to a very slippery road that accesses the Airstream.
5. Restored 1889 Historic Cottage
Location: Beaufort, SC
This beautiful cottage was built in 1889, but it doesn’t show its age having been renovated by the new owners in 2015. For $165/night you’ll enjoy one king-size bed, one queen-size bed, marble floors in the bathroom, all new plumbing and a tankless water heater, so don’t be afraid to indulge in an extra-long hot shower! Get out and explore the neighborhood, meet the owners and walk to the restaurants and parks, both of which are close.
6. Haller Lake Restored Log Cabin
Location: Seattle, WA
I honestly believe Seattle is one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been. And knowing there’s an Airbnb log cabin plunked down in the middle of the city is a bonus! This gorgeous restored cottage sits right on Haller Lake where you can fish for stocked rainbow trout, largemouth bass and yellow perch. The $120/night price tag includes a full sized bed, sofa, kitchenette and a three-quarter bath with a new stone tile shower. There’s no television in this cabin, but you do have Wi-Fi. So if you want to check your email, feel free to do so.
7. Dog Bark Park Inn B&B
Location: Cottonwood, ID
This place has truly gone to the dogs! For $124/night, everything is completely dog themed, from the building itself to the library of books, games and puzzles there for your enjoyment. Breakfast is also included inside the dog! Lots to do in Cottonwood, from checking out Hells Canyon Gorge on the Snake River to exploring Nez Perce Native history and culture. For additional fishing and boating, you can visit the nearby Salmon River or Winchester Lake. If you have a well-behaved dog, by all means, bring it along for only an additional $15 per night.
8. Gnome Wood: Authentic Hand-Hewn Log Cabin
Location: Ramona, CA
Do you long for peace and quiet? Do you want to get away from it all? Then head to San Diego County and check out this bungalow located in Gnome Wood. At $500 a night, you get 120 acres of woodland to explore. Since it’s owner-occupied, they will move out while you move in to enjoy the deer, bobcats, foxes and birds. Don’t mind the horses or the dog that roams freely. Ramona Valley boasts several wineries, preserves and parks are a stone’s throw away. I almost forgot to mention that you can see Potato Chip Rock on Mt. Woodson!
9. Backcountry Bungalow #4
Location: Joseph, OR
If fishing is more your thing, then you need to book this Backcountry Bungalow in Joseph, Oregon. It’s walking distance to the beautiful Wallowa Lake State Park where you and yours can indulge in a variety of activities including boating, hiking, bicycling and fishing. Try your luck catching a Kokanee salmon! And get this! You don’t have to leave your dog home with this booking. For a mere $10 extra/night, you can bring Fido with you so it can enjoy the great outdoors as well. So, you, three of your buddies AND your dog can spend two nights in paradise for $133/night.
10. Brand New Studio Earthship
Location: Taos, NM
This is by no means the Mothership, but its design is out of this world! Because it’s built into the ground, it remains a comfy 72 degrees all year round with no fuel or electricity! This off-the-grid home collects rainwater and generates its own power. For $125/night it still boasts all the modern amenities such as Wi-Fi, a flat screen television, Netflix, a refrigerator, a large oven/range and a terrific bathroom with a soaking tub. Don’t forget your four-legged friend when you visit this desert beauty. At an additional $25, he can stay as long as you do!
11. Hale Moana
Location: Maui, HI
I feel like I would not have done this post justice if I didn’t include a terrific Airbnb property in Hawaii! At just $110/night you have an entire guesthouse to call your own for as long as you stay. Located on the north shore of Maui, you have ocean views, a small kitchenette and a private outdoor tropical shower. The owners live next door and invite you to come feast off the orange, banana, star fruit, avocado and tangerine trees in their yard. The cottage is five minutes from Hookipa Beach Park. Be sure to take in the waterfalls and bamboo hiking trails nearby.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve created my Airbnb account and have started checking off my favorite places to visit. Now all I have to do is convince my husband and my wallet that we need a vacation! What place are you most interested in staying?