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Looking for something different in a vacation rental or maybe even a place that’s more of a destination in itself? There are many unique vacation rentals across the U.S. that go behind your typical apartment, cabin, or home. On this list you’ll find everything from a converted firehouse to a caboose and a potato.
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This whimsical home is truly magical, and as the host notes, there’s not a straight line or even a corner in it, along you to leave behind the “rules of logic” free of the constraints that the angular world creates. It sits in the West Highlands area high above Lake Austin and accommodates up to four guests. You’ll have all the usual comforts too like a full kitchen, Wi-Fi, TV, and washer/dryer but it’s mostly about the unusual space.
Ever wondered what it might be like to spend the night in a firehouse? Now you can as this 1,700-square-foot suite sits on the second floor of a restored firehouse. Located in the heart of historic Wilmington, it sleeps six in two bedrooms, once serving as the bunkhouse for the fireman. Decorated by an acclaimed designer, it’s retained to understand historic detail throughout and includes high ceilings with stylish features like exposed brick walls and hardwood floors. In the firehouse tower, there’s a reading nook, and you’ll have all the usual conveniences too like cable TV, Wi-Fi, full kitchen, and washer/dryer.
If you’ve ever thought about building your own shipping container home, the Appalachian Container Cabin offers the chance to experience what it would be like to live in one. But the main reason to stay here is probably the breathtaking views. It sits at the end of a private road in the Nantahala National Forest – if you’ve watched the HGTV/DIY show “Containables,” you may have seen it. It accommodates a couple or small family and includes all the essentials plus a deck and fire pit for making S’mores.
Located northeast of Orlando, this man cave is set within an airplane hangar offering up to three guests a very unique stay on a property with goats, alpacas, chickens, and other animals. One of the coolest Airbnbs in Florida, it includes an eclectic collection of decor for the ultimate man cave setting, with a bar and kitchenette items like a microwave, toaster, and refrigerator. A fireplace, satellite TV, and Wi-Fi. are all included too along with a golf cart for exploring the grounds.
This Airbnb property is unique in that it’s a rare all-inclusive with incredible views in a remote wilderness setting near Seward, Alaska. The island retreat is located in Humpy Cove and includes off-grid yurts and cabins with fully-equipped kitchens, private bathrooms, decks, and barbecues. Located right along the edge of the water you’ll have a panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains and islands in the distance. Complimentary use of non-motorized watercraft like kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and rowboats are included, and fishing gear is available too, you’ll just need to buy a fishing license.
Train enthusiasts won’t want to miss the chance to stay in this 1941 caboose. A summer rental available between May and October, it sits next to the Castanea Railroad Station which includes a kiosk for learning about local railway history. The space itself has managed to retain retro charm while being retrofitted to include modern amenities. You’ll have a Keurig coffeemaker with coffee, a microwave, sink, toilet, and shower. There’s also a TV for streaming Netflix and Wi-Fi.
Spotlighted on HGTV in “Mighty Tiny Houses” this off-grid adobe dome lies in far west Texas close to Big Bend National Park in an isolated area. One of the best Airbnbs for stargazing, the host notes that it’s within one of the few remaining territories under a dark sky ordinance, providing remarkable stargazing and an unobstructed view of the horizon for magical sunrises and sunsets. Solar-powered, it includes a working kitchen with a composting toilet in the outhouse nearby. You will have Wi-Fi, but there is no shower.
If you’ve always dreamed of staying in a castle but Europe isn’t in the cards right now, this rental is a fabulous alternative. Located near Lake Willoughby and Willoughby Falls State Park on a 20-acre property with a trout-stocked pond and private trails, it sleeps up to eight guests and is one of the most unique Airbnbs in the U.S. You’ll have a gourmet kitchen, a wine room, and a game room. Look forward to soaking in the hot tub that overlooks the pond, watching sunsets over the mountains, and gathering around the fire pit surrounded by Adirondack chairs.
Located near the northern border of Tennessee about 35 minutes north of Nashville, this unique rental is an ark. It sits on a 50-acre property with seven unique homes, some of the others include a civil war cabin and a treehouse. The ark comes with a private hot tub and accommodates up to four guests with a kitchen, Wi-Fi, and a TV included. Guests also enjoy access to the property’s hiking trails, a labyrinth, a pond to fish, and a creek that runs year-round.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Cove Point Lighthouse historic site was restored and repurposed to provide accommodation for up to eight guests in three bedrooms. An active lighthouse and keeper’s home, it sits on a seven-acre point of land in the Chesapeake Bay. Enjoy relaxing on the cottage’s screened-in porch with an unobstructed view of the lighthouse and the water, along with access to a beach where all sorts of shells and shark teeth can be found. It includes all the modern comforts like a full kitchen and laundry room, Wi-Fi, and TV.
The LuxTug is a custom tugboat that sits on an 8-acre private lake with an island on 142 wooded acres that include over five miles of hiking trails and animals like sheep, free-range chickens, and ducks. It’s a destination in itself with other activities like swimming, kayaking, Standup paddleboarding, and fishing possible too. You’ll have your own beach and fire pit along with modern conveniences inside, such as a fully stocked kitchen, heating and a/c, Wi-Fi, and a TV with a DVD player.
The Desert View Tower offers a unique glamping experience with magnificent views on a 99-acre private desert property with access to Boulder Park and its animals carved out of stone. You can choose to sleep in the historic tower on couches or futons, or under the stars. You’ll have access to an outdoor bathtub tucked into the rocks and a large fire pit. Or, if you don’t want to rough it, stay in the guest cabin which comes with all the conveniences like a kitchen, toilet, shower, and furnishings.
This “earthship” is totally off-grid, generating its own electricity and catching rainwater, yet it’s sleek, modern, and just minutes from Taos. Accommodating up to four, you’ll enjoy a peaceful quiet setting and lots of desirable amenities. It comes complete with a Smart TV with Netix and a Blu-ray player, Wi-Fi, a full kitchen, and a high-efficiency washing machine. There’s also an extra-spacious bathroom with a luxe deep soaking tub and awe-inspiring desert mesa views from the huge front windows.
What better way to experience wine country than by staying in a wine barrel? This rental offers multiple sleeping areas, including a home with an oversized wine barrel that has a double bed, ideal for a unique couples’ stay. It sleeps six total and includes a private swimming pool, a huge backyard, a fire pit, an acre of lawn for Frisbee, Crockett, and ball games. DirecTV with HDDVR, a washer/dryer, and a full kitchen with a dishwasher, coffeemaker, and microwave are all included too.
If you’re looking for something luxurious for a very large group, this stunning mansion and private estate outside of Orlando sleeps up to 52. It’s spread over more than 8,300 square feet and includes 11 bedrooms and 6.5 baths. It even has its own 1,400-square-foot karaoke nightclub with disco lighting, full-size video games, an indoor carnival games booth, and a sauna. Outside, there’s a 30,000-gallon ice cream cone-shaped pool with a movie theater, a waterpark, water slide, mini-golf, and a life-size Candyland game board.
A national historic site and the only original Grist Mill & Covered Bridge residence, this rental has been featured on HGTV’s “You Live in What?” and comes with its own private beach that sits along Mill River, the warmest river in Vermont. You can enjoy it on the float tubes that are included, or just relax on one of the two private decks that overlook a secluded waterfall and the Kingsley-covered bridge. It sleeps up to four guests and includes breakfast, served in an art gallery, along with a kitchenette and Wi-Fi.
Fans of “Pirates of the Caribbean” will want to plan a trip around this unique rental in the L.A. area. It’s your opportunity to spend the night right inside your favorite ride, all you need to bring is the rum. It sleeps up to two and comes with a cedar wood sauna, an outdoor bathtub and an outdoor hot tub, all surrounded by a tropical themed environment with waterfalls and ponds. You’ll have a kitchenette with a Keurig coffee maker, an HD flat-screen TV with satellite channels, Wi-Fi, a DVD player, and a DVD library too.
Located in historic Gettysburg, the barn and farmhouse on this property were used as Confederate hospitals after the Battle of Gettysburg. The area is considered one of the most haunted places in the country, with around 50,000 soldiers losing their lives here during the three-day battle. You’ll be staying in your own private room with a bathroom and period decor, but what makes it even more unique is your possible roommates. While you’ll only have one “living” host, she says there are many others who share the home and farm with her, some for hundreds of years, but all are friendly.
This unique rental offers the chance to stay on your own private island which includes a cabin and a safari tent. You’ll have a 40′ private dock, four complimentary kayaks, a fire pit, and charcoal BBQ. Up to six can be accommodated, and while it’s more of a glamping experience, you will have a generator, both heating and air conditioning, rain barrel non-potable water, hot water, an infrared fireplace, and propane cooktop.
Boise’s famous potato, recycled from the Idaho Potato Commission’s Big Idaho Potato Tour, is a 6-ton potato that traveled to 48 states over seven years. It was turned into a stylish, cozy getaway for two and sits on 400 acres of farmland just south of downtown. You’ll have power outlets for your electronic devices, a mini-fridge, old records, and a record player, along with a custom-built bed. Access to a customized silo that was transformed into a spa for soaking under the stars is included too.
This one-bedroom houseboat offers a unique stay right on the water, perfectly situated for watching the marine life, including manatees, dolphins, stingrays, and all sorts of colorful fish. It comes with a hammock if you want to laze your days away surrounded by the scenery, or get out there and enjoy it on the complimentary stand-up paddleboards. Snorkel gear is included for exploring the underwater world too.