Being stuck at home during the pandemic has left me dreaming of travel.
The good news? At some point, we’re going to be allowed to travel again. And I can go ahead and start planning now. What better way to pass the time in quarantine than planning a big vacation in some far-off locale?
Of course, travel doesn’t have to mean sterile hotel rooms or dingy motels — unless that’s your thing, I guess. With vacation rental sites like Airbnb and Vrbo, there are some seriously cool and unique places to stay out there. Whether you’re looking for a castle, a treehouse, an entire island, or even a night in a jail (no, seriously), it’s out there.
So, let’s look at some of the awesome spots for rent. Hey, maybe you’ll find your next adventure!
This unique home is made of 3 shipping containers stacked together. And while the home is exquisite inside, with modern amenities and a gas fireplace, the real star is the property outside. It sits on 18.5 acres for hiking and exploring. Or enjoy the rooftop patio, sit by the modern fire pit, and cook dinner on the gas grill. After a long day of enjoying the great outdoors, relax in the 6-person hot tub nestled among the trees. $397/night.
For a glamping experience like none other, check out this houseboat made from a wine barrel. It’s located in gorgeous wine country, overlooking lush vineyards and floating in Fox Creek. Oh, and it’s only minutes away from all the major wineries in the area. $94/night.
What do you do with a decommissioned 727? Repurpose it into a unique vacation rental, of course. These days, this plane is perched 50 feet above the jungle canopy in Costa Rica. The plane has spectacular views from both the airplane windows and the decks that have been built on the plane’s wings. It’s just a short walk away from the beach, and you can enjoy any of the 3 pools and the pool bar at the adjacent hotel. $360/night.
Most people aren’t gunning to get back to school, but you might change your mind after you see this Airbnb. It’s a former schoolhouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the historic details are still in place, but it still boasts modern amenities like a flat-screen TV. This rental is for a private room at the bed and breakfast, and it has its own private entrance from School Street. Pick up a warm breakfast sandwich on your way out, and hop on a trolley to see the rest of Gilded Age Newport. $250/night.
This brand new treehouse-style rental is just a few minutes’ walk to the world-famous Manuel Antonio Beach — but it has its own private pool and hot tub, so you might find it hard to leave. Relax to the sounds of the tropical rainforest on the gigantic covered deck, and watch monkeys, birds, and sloths in the trees surrounding the property. Inside, you’ll be living in the lap of luxury, with brand new modern amenities throughout. $444/night.
Dubbed the “Big Bend area’s original guesthouse,” this adobe-style property is located in the heart of the desert mountain country of West Texas. It’s uniquely laid out with separate buildings, so it’s like having your own personal resort. Rental includes a fully-stocked full kitchen, wifi, a covered courtyard with outdoor dining and 2 grills, a fire pit, and an upper-level deck perfect for mountain viewing and stargazing. Of course, if you decide to get out and explore, the 15-acre property is located between Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. It’s also only a couple of minutes away from Terlingua’s Ghost Town Texas. $375/night.
Enjoy true peace at this Joshua Tree rental. The homesteader cabin offers a remote getaway like none other. It sits among 5 acres of unfenced desert wilderness, where you can see panoramic sunsets and amazing starry night skies. Keep your eyes peeled for desert tortoises, cottontail rabbits, and other wildlife roaming the desert. Plus, it’s only 15 minutes away from Joshua Tree National Park, where you can enjoy plenty of outdoor adventures. $117/night.
What a beautiful location. This fairytale home sits in the middle of the forest, and has a creek that runs alongside the property. Keep an eye out for deer and other woodland friends, as they like to hang around. And although it’s the perfect rental for anyone looking for a nature retreat, you don’t have to sacrifice amenities like a hot tub, which is located on a spacious wraparound deck. $237/night.
Dubbed the Off-Grid itHouse, this architecturally significant home was recently named one of the “Best Homes in America” by Dwell. It combines raw industrial aesthetics with a green design — and trust me, it’s very green. It’s 100% off-grid, powered entirely by solar panels. If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to live simply and minimally in a home with minimal disturbance and a small footprint, here’s your chance. $455/night.
Experience the ultimate luxury of city living from this penthouse, towering 55 stories above Chicago. It features dramatic 20-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, giving you the best views of the city with Lake Michigan as a backdrop. The building has North Michigan Ave on one side, and the River North District on the other — so you’ll have no shortage of world-class shopping, casual and fine dining, art galleries and clubs. $482/night.
Colorado is known for spectacular beauty, so enjoy the view of the Rocky Mountains with floor-to-ceiling windows in this cabin. It’s located on the historic Mosquito Gulch Trail, and just 15 miles south of Breckenridge. It’s the perfect location for anyone looking interested in hiking, biking, and skiing. Try your hand at panning for gold in the creeks and visit historic mining towns, or enjoy premier dining and shopping in Breckenridge. The 3-bedroom cabin also has a gas fireplace, a huge wrap-around deck, and a hot tub. $242/night.
The cozy lil’ “Love Nest” is the perfect cowboy-themed adventure. This cozy private room with a large deck sits high above the barn at the Genuine Draft Ranch. It’s just 20 minutes from Palm Springs, but it’s the Wild West out here! Enjoy a beverage at the Draft Horse Saloon, play a round of horseshoes, or hike the nearby trails. Most importantly, though, they have a variety of animals that are very socialized and ready to hang out. You can feed them, take pictures with them, and even hike with some! $151/night.
This is no fairytale illustration — it’s a real home that you can rent in California. It’s literally named the “Storybook Cottage,” and honestly, it looks like a set from a Disney movie. The home was built by the legendary Hugh Comstock and is one of 21 of his masterpieces that still remain today. With wavy-edged roofing, stone chimney, and candy-colored paint, it is nestled into an ornate garden and landscaping for you to enjoy. $500/night.
From the wood ceilings to sleek modern fixtures, this villa was decorated with attention to detail. Wake up to an ocean breeze through the large French doors, and relax in a hammock on the covered balcony. There’s also a deck featuring a gorgeous pool and a large grill — with a chef for hire. $335/night.
This swoon-worthy storybook cabin is nestled into the mountainside near Jackson Hole, WY. Enjoy the tranquility and visits from local wildlife at this peaceful and private residence. Inside, you’ll find reclaimed wood beams, custom stonework, and a marble soaking tub. Outdoors among the surrounding woods and mountains, the property features a balcony, a gas grill, and a small stream nearby. $575/night.
For a relaxing escape, check out this unique home in the Hudson Valley. It’s actually a historic 18th-century stone mill that has been transformed into a home with effortlessly stylish mid-century touches. It’s set in nature, with waterfalls, stone walls, and large outdoor entertaining spaces. $256/night.
Lake life at its finest! This charming home sits right on the water of Lake Lure, nestled in the mountains of North Carolina. The home itself has high-pitched ceilings and exposed beams, with newly renovated bathrooms and kitchen, gas fireplace, and a beautiful deck featuring outdoor dining and a gas grill. There is also a boathouse with a newly renovated deck, a tiki hut, and a grill. There are three kayaks and a canoe available to borrow, or you can rent the pontoon boat for the ultimate lake experience. $180/night.
Located at the southern tip of South Mission Beach, this amazing penthouse at the top of the building boasts panoramic oceanfront views without the craziness of the boardwalk. If you do want to take a dip, it’s only a few minutes’ walk to the ocean. Kids and pets are allowed, if you feel like bringing the fam along — but I wouldn’t blame you if you needed an oceanfront retreat to yourself. $884/night.
Located in the suburbs of Knoxville, TN, this unique rental is a converted WWII train car. If it looks familiar, it’s been showcased by plenty of media outlets — and for good reason. Aside from being a piece of history, it’s also been very thoughtfully converted featuring plank wood flooring, a vintage feel, and all the modern amenities you’d expect. Outside, you can also enjoy an outdoor fire pit, a gazebo, and impeccable landscaping. $150/night.
Enjoy your own private corner of Maine with this home at the western end of Sebec Lake. It sits on a one-acre lot, so it has a large lawn leading down to the water’s edge and private dock. The home itself has a large wrap-around deck, so there’s no shortage of great views and spectacular sunsets. There are also two kayaks available to guests. $127/night.
If you’re a fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper fame, you’ve probably considered making a pilgrimage to Waco, Texas. If you ever do, there’s an amazing two-story container home waiting for you! It’s extremely modern inside, plus it’s paneled in pine shiplap and trimmed in 100+ year old barn wood, so I bet it’s Chip and Jo-approved. And yes, it’s close to Magnolia Market. $126/night.
If you’re hoping to find a unique rental in the Holy City, look no further than this five-bedroom spot in the heart of historic downtown Charleston. Previously a wedding chapel, it boasts a spacious interior with soaring 20-foot ceilings, a large furnished outdoor patio, and a hot tub. Bring a bicycle or some walking shoes, because Charleston is best explored on bike or on foot! $701/night.
The Airbnb listing dubs this place “Knoxville’s most unique estate,” and the Williamswood Castle definitely deserves the title. It’s only ten minutes from downtown Knoxville, but I can’t imagine wanting to leave — or having time outside of exploring the entire castle. It was modeled after a Scottish hunting lodge, and there’s a lot going on. There’s a multi-level balcony overlooking the Tennessee River, a bedroom with the Sistine Chapel painted on the ceiling, a staircase hidden behind a bookshelf, and a pub inside. $457/night.
I’ve always wondered what it might have been like to live at a lighthouse. If you’re the same, you can actually rent a historic lighthouse on the shore in Massachusetts. It was a real-life working lighthouse in a former life, but the property has been completely renovated. You’ll be staying inside the three-bedroom keepers home, but climb up to the lantern room for a truly spectacular 360-view of the Atlantic. There’s also a private beach that’s only available to guests. $400/night
What if I told you that there was a cottage-like house in the middle of Manhattan, surrounded by trees? It’s there, and you can rent it. It’s a 2-story house in the East Village. It feels very private because it’s set back from the street, and that also gives it a large yard with room for a hammock, bonfire pit, and outdoor seating. It’s definitely a rare find! The inside of the home is modern and open, with 17-foot ceilings in the living room and kitchen. $390/night.
Located in southwestern Vermont just minutes from downtown Bennington, this rustic converted barn sits on 6.5 very private acres. It’s quiet and secluded, with long-range views of Mt. Anthony and 4 acres of old apple orchard woodlands. Relax by one of the fire pits, or head to the nearby Battenkill River for fishing and canoe rentals. $145/night
If you happen to be a diehard fan of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, check out this enchanted earth house in Middletown Springs, Vermont. You’ll feel like you’ve entered a real-life hobbit home built into the landscape. Light a fire in the fire pit, or take a relaxing soak in a claw foot tub. Oh, and don’t worry — they have wifi at Hobbiton. $350/night.
People have utilized caves for shelter for millions of years, but this is something different entirely. This upscale home is located inside a real-life cave in the Ozark Mountains. If that isn’t impressive enough on its own, I should also mention it has its very own waterfall in the living room! But don’t let the stalactites hanging from the ceiling fool you — it’s also equipped with upscale modern amenities, like the gourmet kitchen, a 72” TV with satellite, wifi, and a custom-built bar. It’s like the perfect balance between raw nature and technology. $1200/night.
If you really want to get away from the world, why not rent your own off-grid private island in British Columbia? You can choose to stay in a private waterfront tent cabin, or a private room in a hand-built wood-framed Yurt. The rate for renting this island includes the boat cruise from Egmont, homegrown food (including a home-cooked evening meal), a wood-fired hot tub, snorkeling gear, and a private beach. Kayaks and paddleboards are also available for rent, and there are also local boat tours with experienced guides available. $573/night.
Anyone want to spend the night in jail? You can do it without racking up criminal charges first, thanks to this unique Airbnb rental in Canada. Formerly New Brunswick’s Dorchester County Jail, it’s now a privately-owned residence. Cells are left unlocked, though — so “prisoners” have the run of the place. $78/night.