As we venture into summertime as fully vaccinated cicadas, we’re realizing that 1) we don’t remember how to pack a carry-on bag 2) we don’t have a big budget 3) we do have a big thirst to be submerged in Ma Nature, relaxing in a remote wilderness estate where no one will hear you scream, or one of the best Montana retreats for hanging with Ben, J.Lo., and the pronghorns. When planning your summer brain break, the trick is in picking rental homes that feel like a vacation in and of themselves. Think about it. Where could you go with yourself, your lover(s), or your burgeoning cult (what’s the difference, really?) that has a vibe on its own turf? What’s the kind of hotel or B&B you would’ve killed to stay as a kid or teen?
Did you ever own rollerblades? Try to fly on a broom, or eat bugs when you realized you couldn’t train them to roll over like your dog? If so, chances are you dreamt of staying in a treehouse. And lucky for you, Airbnb is filled with treehouses across the United States for every fantasy; There’s a converted lifeguard tower in California, and one with a miniature horse chilling your room in Georgia; there’s a rock face retreat in the Southwest, villain-worthy pads in the PNW, and oh, so much more.
So let’s branch out, and climb up.
The treehouse with a private swimming hole
You will need a big floppy hat, a bunch of cinematic toothpicks to chew, and an acoustic guitar for your stay at this family treehouse in Palenville, New York. “[It] resides on the locally famous Fernwood property,” say the hosts, whose “family ran a restaurant [there] since the 1970's.” They no longer operate the restaurant, but damned if we don’t love a place with its own lore. There’s a access to some of the best forest paths in the Catskills, Kaaterskill Falls, and your own private swimming hole
Cozy Treehouse in Catskill Mountains; sleeps up to 3, $150/night at Airbnb
You’re the bad guy in ‘Charlie’s Angels’
Of course this spot comes with a cat named Bukowski. This Portland, Oregon treehouse has opened one of its rooms for you and another lucky, hot villain. You’ll have beautiful city views, and feel tucked away in the lushness of the Pacific Northwest—which feels like a rite of passage for every millennial, for some reason.
Saul Zaik Treehouse; sleeps us to 2, $225/night at Airbnb
Damn, the Flintstones look good
You hot little Gila monster. If you’re venturing to the Southwest, one of the best ways to stay cool—at least in social clout—is by finding a canyon house that is carved into a cliff in the heart of the Granite Dells of Prescott, Arizona, overlooking its own pool, pond, and spa area—and the hiking trails are literally right outside of your door.
Healthy Treehouse Paradise in the Cliffs & Trees; sleeps up to 2, $139/night at Airbnb
For your Joni Mitchell cosplay
Growing out your bangs? Getting into CBD hemp joints? You’re going to need a Los Angeles county house in an iconic canyon for your freewheelin’ summer. Topanga Canyon fits the bill; it’s the famously more mud-scuffed sister of Laurel Canyon, the perfect California hideaway when you want to finish writing your love ballad to yourself. The Flying Pig Treehouse (swoon) is such a rare find not only because it pays homage to porkers, but because it’s “nestled in an old oak tree overlooking a seasonal waterfall.” There’s also an outdoor BBQ area, and the beach isn’t far.
The Flying Pig Treehouse Oasis; sleeps up to 2, $205/night at Airbnb
Why yes, that is a miniature horse in your bedroom
Vacationing with a kid? This Savannah, Georgia treehouse feels like it fell out of Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre. It’s complete with a stable that was also fashioned out of old mansions, has a horse pasture, and marsh trails that are just three miles from Savannah's historic district.
Boho Treehouse; sleeps up to 3; $128/night at Airbnb
The converted lifeguard tower
“If your kids are homeschooling or you're working remotely, we're a great choice for your vacation,” say the hosts of this converted lifeguard tower and boathouse retreat in Arroyo Grande, California; “Work in the new art shed or do your Zoom calls in the tower, and take your breaks on the playground!” It’s like a less cursed version of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, for the whole family.
Lifeguard Tower and Boathouse Playground; sleep up to 5, $216/night at Airbnb
The lakefront Texas treehouse
Just under an hour from downtown Austin is this treehouse in Lakeway, Texas, with the marina right under your nose and a swimming grotto/pool area worthy of rich assholes, but reserved for no one but you and your three buds for a long weekend. There’s a “unique decagon architectural design,” say the hosts, with “vaulted ceilings, panoramic windows, wood floors throughout, [and a] wrap-around deck with incredible views.”
The Treehouse on Lake Travis; sleeps up to 4, $259/night at Airbnb
Run away with the bamboo dwelling alpacas
Move over, Savannah pony party. For fulfilling your Swiss Family Robinson fantasy, we also present this bamboo forest retreat in Atlanta, Georgia which is complete with alpacas and roosters. No wonder it was on Love Is Blind. It’s a feast of activity, with tons of privacy (that bamboo grove is dense, bro).
Atlanta Alpaca Treehouse in the Bamboo Forest; sleeps up to 3, $380/night at Airbnb
You’re a minimalist
You’ve done the creaky cabins and lakefront houses with sheets that smell like chain-smoking moths. They have an irreplaceable spot in your heart, but now you’re at the point where you’d like an airtight, minimalist forest retreat that speaks to your budding love of Japandi design. This posh piece of geometry is in Willow, New York (just 15 minutes from Woodstock), and has its own swimmable pond amongst the trees.
Willow Treehouse; sleeps up to 2, $382/night at Airbnb
A (fully refundable) Tahoe treehouse for 15 BFFs
Have you heard of Plum Guide? It’s like a slightly more ~aesthetic~ cousin of Airbnb, because every time you visit it makes your browser smell like Aesop soap, and the listings are only the best, most highly curated luxury rentals from around the world. This cabin treehouse in Incline Village, Nevada is right by Lake Tahoe, and ready for you to throw down for a reservation that can accommodate more than a dozen of your friends. If you cancel within 30 days, you will get fully refunded (and you can get 50% refunded just a week before), which is seriously one of the best rental cancellation policies out there.
The Douglas Fir; sleeps up to 15, $1,998/night at Plum Guide
HAGS, summer tree goblins!
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