There’s no doubt travel has changed in recent years. All the ways it’s changed, though, might be different than you think. Sure, people are increasingly looking to stay near home and get off the grid. But according to Airbnb, people are also searching for more unique experiences these days. The data supports that: Various types of unusual homes have seen massive growth as of late on the platform, including yurts (up 1,701 percent in search in March 2021, as compared to March 2019) and huts (up 1,379 percent). Thanks to this interest, the hosting site decided to make it easy on travelers by putting together a list of some of the most unique roadside stays available on Airbnb to inspire their next trip.
The company released the list on Aug. 5 with a selection of “curiosities” that are worth checking out when you’re “ready to hit the pavement.” Though curiosity might be an understatement: The lineup includes everything from converted train cars to actual treehouses, so don’t expect your average cabin or apartment from the choices. Instead, prepare to be surprised, delighted — maybe even a little confused (in a good way).
Airbnb’s list includes 16 attractions in total, and you can find the full roundup of those in the original news post. Here, a few of TZR’s favorites.
You may have visited a lighthouse, but have you ever slept in one? If not, you can change that now with this luxury stay. Located in Sitka, Alaska, this home offers an unexpected way to see wildlife and experience the southeast region of the state.
Camping, but make it luxury. That’s exactly what this stylish dome does, which is located in a secluded setting in Hendersonville, North Carolina. With plumbing, AC, Wi-Fi, and a Nespresso machine, you’ll get all the perks of a hotel — just with the feel of the wilderness surrounding you.
Ever heard of a “passive solar earth home?” You have now. The Wonder Haus is a structure that uses the sun as a primary heat source (so take note that it gets a *little* chilly in the winter). It’s located in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and is set on seven acres — so you’ll have plenty of room to admire the surrounding San Juan National Forest. (The star-gazing observation tower will also help with that.)
Get a taste of New Orleans from the Midwest with the Mardi Gras house in Woodstock, Illinois. Set in the town where Groundhog Day was filmed, the restored house (built in 1912) features a 1920s French dress shop, a Victorian séance room, an Art Deco movie palace, and more.
If privacy is your goal, you won’t find a much more perfect spot than this studio in the California coastal redwoods. The cottage is set in Woodside, California and features stunning views of the surrounding forest. Couples and loners alike will love the solitude and peaceful vibes — not to mention the hot tub and nearby secluded beaches.
Make your childhood dream of living in a treehouse become a reality. Situated in Geneva, Florida, the adults-only getaway includes endless fun details — a tree trunk elevator and 18-foot yurt, to name just a few.
Become the queen or king you know you are with a stay at Castle on Glen in Elmira, New York. With a moat, stone steps, and even dress-up clothes (yes, really), you can truly step back in time in the 1927 Tudor home.
You’d probably expect to stay in a cabin when vacationing in the depths of Tennessee, but that’s not at all what you’ll get with this converted WWII train car. The stay is actually a renovated troop train kitchen car with a stylish interior — it features amenities like modern furnishings, an outdoor fire pit, and plank wood flooring, making for a very unexpected experience all around.