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The Best Last-Minute Labor Day Vacation Rentals, ‘Cause We All Need a Break

We will be requiring aesthetic treehouse Airbnbs, lakeside cabins, and hidden mid-century homes for our our long-weekend hard-chillin' needs.
August 27, 2021, 2:28pm
A-frame cabin in big bear california
Photo: Plum Guide

Hiiiii. We know, we know. This summer didn’t exactly go as planned [twerk-cries in Delta] and even though we were lucky enough to squeeze in some much-needed, vaccinated galavanting in June (were we ever so young?), now we’re here: Edging towards fall, future uncertain, still in need of some R&R and a bathtub full of White Claw. Summer is in its final yawn, but we’re not ready to hang up our favorite beach towels just yet. 

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But, hey! Labor Day is a thing, and a thing that happens soon (before you Google: Monday, September 6), giving us another opportunity to round up the buds—or just our sanity and a cooler full of sharp cheddar—and find a last-minute rental for one more brain break. We won’t be going too far from our home bases, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find all those Pinterest-level Airbnbs, Vrbo rentals (remember them? They’re the OG of online rentals, and still rad) and Plum Guide (the new, highly aesthetic competitor for Airbnb’s crown) estates. 

Whether you want to be swimming in Big Bear, California, or tripping balls in upstate New York; living le high life in a Chicago loft or line-dancing in Nashville, here are a bunch of rental homes on our list for the weekend. And yes, there will be treehouses.  

Austin, Texas 

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Photo: Airbnb

We’re almost always down with anything called a “bungalow,” and this entire apartment—dubbed “The Magical Tree House”—is no exception. Just steps away from Austin’s iconic South Congress neighborhood, this groovy, retro space is perfect for you and four of your friends to lounge about and complain that you were born in the wrong decade, dude.

Magical Treehouse; sleeps up to 5, $355 $323/night at Airbnb

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Big Bear Lake, California

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Photo: Plum Guide

Enjoy the classic bohemian cabin vibes of this A-frame getaway, from wooden furniture and whiskey-butterscotch tones to faux-fur throws and board games. Perhaps a soak in the hot tub after you toss another log in the wood-burning stove? Or, as the owners suggest, simply “mix a drink on the old-fashioned cocktail cart and play some tunes from the record collection.” (Jeez, don’t twist our arms.)

Boho Baby Bear; sleeps up to 4, $784/night at Plum Guide

Chicago, Illinois

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Photo: Vrbo

You know what would be a nice way to celebrate Labor Day? Spending the work-free weekend at a “420-friendly modern unit in downtown with optional parking spot.” (You had us at, er… parking spot?) Chicago is another Real City, and the only one that actually compares with New York in stature. [Inbox explodes with Cleveland-related hate mail.] This industrial, modern apartment has it all: cool art, access to the in-building gym, a 4K Roku HDTV, and as much coffee and tea as you can guzzle. 

4/20-Friendly Modern Downtown Apartment (Optional Parking Spot); sleeps up to 2, $395/night at Vrbo 

Brookings, Oregon

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Photo: Vrbo

It’s where they filmed Twilight! Well, not really, but kinda close, we guess? Stay at this beautiful, oceanfront retreat and get “kissed by the waves and blessed by the sun,” just as the Big Man Upstairs intended. (Shoutout to Hank, my landlord.) Live it up with panoramic views of the sunset, fishing boats, and whale migrations from the living room. There’s also a large, open-concept kitchen, but the scenery is really where it’s at. 

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Oceanfront Retreat at Wild Blue Two; sleeps up to 2, $250/night at Vrbo

La Quinta, California

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Photo: Plum Guide

This is a much, much better alternative to staying at a La Quinta inn on the side of a highway. It's, like, a touch more expensive, but the pool, insane kitchen, hiking access, and outdoor spaces make it worth every penny. The La Quinta Cove trail to Bear Creek also passes right in front of the property, which is a splendid way to get some exercise and sweat out the metric ton of frozen margs you consume next weekend. 

Bella; sleeps up to 13, $1,501/night at Plum Guide

Peshastin, Washington

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Photo: Airbnb

Now this is where they filmed Twilight. (Wrong again—they filmed it in a town called Spoons, or something like that.) This literal treehouse is everything teenage you wanted, complete with a grill, cold water, a refrigerator, a coffee maker, silverware, plates, bowls, glasses, a bottle opener, and coffee mugs. The description suggests bringing snowshoes, skis, mountain bikes, and hiking boots to explore the beautiful 150 acres of private property, and to “try your luck with the gold pan in Hansel Creek.... Blewett Pass has a long history of gold prospecting. {Gold Pans are Provided}.” 

Hansel Creek Gust Tree House; sleeps up to 3, $245/night at Airbnb

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Nashville, Tennessee

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Photo: Airbnb

Itching for a little bit of honky tonky, fernet, and smoked bologna sandwiches under the glow of Nashville’s neon lights? Of course you are. But when you’re done getting your Electric Horseman on, it will feel nice to head back to this bright, minimalist loft to catch a breather and admire the pampas grass bouquets before your next night of southern shenanigans. 

LOFT LULA 'EAST' in East Nashville; sleeps up to 2, $322 $260 at Airbnb

Joshua Tree, California

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Photo: Airbnb

Joshua Tree is where the vibes floweth, no question about that. We’ve compiled a whole guide to the best rentals in the area for sowing your desert oats, and this one makes for a sweet addition with its minimalist decor and classic fire-pit-’n’-tin-tub (I believe the correct term is “cowboy tub) set-up. Don’t forget the DMT.    

Desert Noir Paradise with Cowboy Pool & Hot Tub; sleeps up to 4, $391/night at Airbnb

Savannah, Georgia

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Photo: Vrbo

For the love of Spanish Moss, please go unwind in the city that basically invented unwinding. Sip the bourbon. Buy the antiques. Hole up in this apartment right by [clears throat] Oglethorpe Square, where you’ll be just a block from Broughton Street and an easy walk to both City Market and historic River Street. 

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Bright and Spacious Apartment off of Oglethorpe Square by Lucky Savannah; sleeps up to 2, $224/night at Vrbo

Ithaca, New York

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Photo: Airbnb

The biiiiig daddy treehouse. Just look at how those tiered porches wrap around that [air horn] 300-year-old oak tree. This baby can house the whole extended crew (up to eight people) for some warm, hazy nights of good cooking, RoboCop binges, and general Nancy Meyers-caliber memory making. It’s only a couple of hours from New York City, and “perched over its own gorge,” writes the host; “There’s a dock, fire pit, [and] room for yard games by the water. All of this is minutes from downtown Ithaca.” 

Magical Lake-Front Treehouse; sleeps up to 8, $579 $463 at Airbnb 

Harwick, Vermont

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Photo: Airbnb

Told you there’d be enough treehouses for everyone. This little love shack in the forest overlooks a year-round stream, and feels faaar away from everyone else (despite being only 200 feet from the host’s main house). There’s even a hammock, campfire space, and a hanging bed underneath. 

Lovely Treehouse in the Woods Next to Stream; sleeps up to 2, $169/night at Airbnb

Zermatt, Switzerland

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Photo: Plum Guide

Because das wetter in Zermatt ist so nice this time of year, meine liebchen! Seriously, though... If any of the bros are out there in Switzerland, and looking to let loose with this absolute banger of a pad, send pics. Can you imagine the Kodak moments that would happen on those cowhide stools, swapping stories by the mid-century fireplace? Tucked away in the mountains, sipping some sweet Chasselas grapes in the hot-tube while your friends yodel in the distance? The dream.  

Icy Heart; sleeps up to 10, $1,071/night at Plum Guide

Crack open a cold one for us.


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.