16 Weirdly Awesome Summer Vacation Rentals on Airbnb

Popular accommodation trading site Airbnb invites you to not only stay but “live” in the vacation destination of your choice—even if for just a few days. So, when the spirit of adventure strikes this season, why settle for a plain old house? Whether you intend to explore a bustling city, commune with nature, or do something in between, here are some spectacular—if a bit bizarre—options to tempt your wanderlust.

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  1. Charming Parisian Houseboat


    Eau-la-la! What could be more romantic than falling asleep on the gently rolling Seine? This lovely 100-year-old houseboat, docked at Port de Suffren, floats under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and offers spectacular 360-degree views from its private deck. The split-level studio apartment is quite cozy, making it ideal for a couple looking for a chance to get really close. From $172 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: 10 Space-Saving Ideas to Steal from Houseboats


  2. Enchanting Southern Treehouse


    At this tree-menendous Atlanta accommodation, your neighbors will be birds, butterflies, and frogs. Seven trees, including a 150-year-old southern shortleaf pine, support the rustic suite. Rope bridges connect the retreat’s three rooms (bedroom, living room, and deck), which are furnished with antiques and natural artifacts. Don’t forget to pack the bug spray! From $350 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: 9 Kits for an Instant Kids' Clubhouse


  3. Restored 12th-Century Italian Abbey


    Rapunzel never had it so good! Imagine a posh apartment tucked into the tower of a restored medieval abbey near the town of Tuscania, an hour north of Rome. The digs include a kitchen, living room, and two bedrooms with baths, plus a panoramic terrace that overlooks the pristine valley of the river Marta. Just be sure to get in shape before you book: There are some serious stairs! From $160 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: 7 Creative Guest Houses You Can Actually Afford


  4. Italian Villa Nestled Among Vineyards


    Want to live like an Italian vintner, at least for a little while? Look no further than this bright, spacious apartment in the historic Villa Fiorita winery. You'll be able to enjoy a fully equipped kitchen, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a living room as well as an expansive terrace where you can relax—with your choice of a red or white—and gaze out at 13 hectares of vineyards. From $125 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: Get Away! 10 Breathtaking Homes You Can Rent for a Weekend


  5. Authentic Mongolian Yurt—in Spain!


    The location may be the Andalusian countryside, but the accommodation is pure Mongolia. This tepee-like yurt—a type of tent traditionally used by Central Asian nomads—has found permanence in Spain’s Los Montes de Málaga Natural Park, surrounded by olive and almond groves. The yurt is crafted of yak hair and decorated with eclectic Asian and Moroccan furnishings, including a lushly appointed double bed that's just perfect for two people. From $63 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: 11 Lessons to Learn from AirBnB's Tiniest Homes


  6. Converted London Clock Tower


    No one likes to punch the clock while on holiday, but who wouldn’t want to chill in this old-timey clock tower after a long day of London sightseeing? The Gothic Revival building that houses this little gem was erected in 1868 as a railway hotel. For the comfort of today's adventurous traveler, your host has nestled a tiny, tidy apartment inside the clock tower, complete with a bedroom, living area, kitchen/dining nook, and bathroom. No worries about being awoken early: The clock doesn’t make a sound! From $206 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: Weekend Projects: 5 Favorite DIY Wall Clocks


  7. Geodesic Dome on New York Farmland


    The brainchild of 20th-century visionary Buckminster Fuller, the geodesic dome is every geek’s dream home! This airy version, located in Sullivan County, offers a wood floor and screened windows—the rest is up to you! Although the accommodation is BYOB (Bring Your Own Bed, that is), you'll have full use of the outdoor kitchen, shower, and fire pit. Dogs are welcome, but they must be leashed and housed outside the dome; your hosts keep free-roaming critters, including Merino sheep and Angora rabbits. From $350 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: Ready-Made Residences: 14 Ultra Cool Prefab Homes


  8. 19th-Century Lighthouse in Croatia


    Want to take things light this vacation? Do so (literally) in this converted lighthouse that dates back to 1889. Situated in a quaint fishing village on the rocky coast of Hvar, the longest Croatian island, famous for its mild climate and remarkable scenery, the lighthouse boasts four bedrooms and a kitchen. And if you don’t feel like cooking, you can engage a professional chef to prepare “light” cuisine for you. From $332 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: 9 Ways to Safeguard Your House Before a Vacation


  9. Converted Gothic-Style Church in Chicago


    For a heavenly holiday in the Second City, book a stay in this divine duplex situated in a century-old church in the trendy Wicker Park neighborhood. The sleek three-bedroom pad is outfitted with a modern kitchen and two bathrooms amid 35-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling stained-glass windows, and warm, natural woodwork. From $525 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: Own Your Open Floor Plan with 8 Smart Design Tricks


  10. Retro Airstream in the Andalusian Mountains


    If you’re in search of a unique “glamping” experience, settle into a cozy, tricked-out camper modeled on an original 1930s Airstream trailer. This paean to retro relaxation is situated in the Sierra de las Nieves range in southern Spain, and it's outfitted with all the modern conveniences—including a top-notch entertainment center and a fully equipped kitchen. Take a few steps out the door and dive into an awesome natural plunge pool. From $126 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: 5 Vintage Travel Trailers Transformed


  11. Gypsy Caravan in Cornwall


    Get your swag on in a wagon! This snug two-sleeper in the British countryside was built in the traditional Romany bow-top style, set on an original dray. Roast something yummy on the charcoal stove (the first bag of charcoal is included) and feast the night away as you get in touch with your hot-blooded side. From $100 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: Home, Home on the Road: 10 Houses on Wheels


  12. Cool Cube House in the Netherlands


    It’s hip to be square in this curious accommodation, an idiosyncratic structure in the center of Rotterdam. The two-bedroom, three-floor cube house offers all the expected modern conveniences, but perhaps its coolest feature is the multi-window chill room on the top floor with 360-degree views. From $105 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: 7 Crazy Paint Colors You Never Thought Would Work


  13. Off-the-Grid Modernity in California


    Respect the globe you’re trotting over by staying in these digs near Joshua Tree National Park. The off-grid itHouse melds raw industrial aesthetics with green design, smack dab in the middle of the sunbaked high desert. Fully solar-powered and true to the ideals of a smaller footprint, the single-bedroom glass house is nonetheless posh and comfortable. Just don’t throw any stones! From $380 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: Home Alone: 10 Beautiful Homes in the Middle of Nowhere


  14. Canadian Cottage on a Private Island


    Be master of your domain on your very own island in Horseshoe Bay, near Ottawa. The rough-hewn three-bedroom lakeside cottage affords total privacy and spectacular water views all around. The only neighbors you’ll see are heron, muskrat, beavers, and other local fauna. Enjoy fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and boating, and when it's time to head indoors, kick back in the funky 100-year-old wilderness home. From $175 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: On the Waterfront: 10 Tiny Lake Houses


  15. Wild West Ranch in the California Desert


    Unleash your inner cowpoke in this rustic one-bedroom ranch, not far from Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park. Total serenity is on tap—as well as a complimentary beverage at the on-site saloon. Relax in the adult swing, play a game of horseshoes or pool, and enjoy interacting with a variety of super-social animals on the property; some are even available for hikes. Yee-haw! From $137 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: 8 Tiny Homes You Can Buy for the Price of a Luxury Car


  16. Luxe English Castle


    Live happily ever after—for a few days, anyway!—in grand fairytale style. This castle, built in 1841 as a Victorian gentleman's folly, features turrets, oak paneling, stained glass, and gothic-style windows galore. It sits on 15 acres in rural Cumbria and boasts 15 lavish rooms, so you can book a stately single or the whole place for your royal retinue. From $192 per night at Airbnb.

    Related: Architectural Royalty: 9 Victorian Homes We Love


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