Renting a room or house is so passé. With apps like Airbnb, why not go all out and rent a place you never dreamed of? Rentals across the United States are getting quirkier by the minute with off-the-wall options from geodomes to gingerbread homes, covered bridges and urban farms, many of which have been featured in or designed by magazines. Not only will your travel companions get a kick out of the stay, you'll also have something Instagram-worthy to snap for friends back home.
Sleep under the stars in Malibu in a vintage Airstream — Photo courtesy of Airbnb
If you want to explore the great outdoors without having to take care of all the details yourself, Murray and Kay's 22-foot restored 1957 Airstream is just the thing. Parked on a hilltop in Malibu, you'll have 360-degree views of the Pacific, Catalina and Santa Barbara islands and the Santa Monica Mountains, with retro-inspired interiors and luxuries like a queen bed, Bose sound system and galley with gas stove. When the sun sets, sit back and watch the stars in one of the Adirondack chairs.
Covered bridge home in Nevada City — Photo courtesy of Airbnb
Why live under a bridge when you can live inside it? Featured on HGTV, Giudita and George's covered bridge home not only looks sleek architecturally, inside is also beaming with loft-like beauty and modern décor. The industrial-style space has a private bedroom, bathroom and fireplace with a painting of Einstein hanging overhead, while outside you'll find a covered patio and outdoor BBQ pit–everything you need for an escape to gold country in Nevada City.
Spend a romantic getaway in the Love Nest on this dude ranch in Morongo Valley — Photo courtesy of Airbnb
There's a reason this Airbnb room is named The Love Nest. Nestled in a private space above a wooden barn in Morongo Valley near Joshua Tree National Park, the tucked-away room is equal parts cowboy and hippie chic, with a red claw-foot tub and private bar with stools, so you'll have your very own in-room saloon. Of course you can visit the farm's real saloon for a complimentary drink when you check in, and even take your relationship to new heights on the adult swing. If staring at the stars is more your thing, you'll see plenty from your room's private deck in the desert.
Take a cottage retreat on your own private island in Maine — Photo courtesy of Airbnb
Depending on the season, you'll arrive at the private island on Brandy Pond in Hancock County, Maine, by snowmobile or motorized skiff, which is then yours for the stay. Holding up to eight guests in three bedrooms, the cottage is perfect for a family or group of friends, and if you have anyone who crashes the party, they can post up in a tent on the island. While there are modern conveniences, you'll have to take your business al fresco in the outhouse, which is described as "clean and unique."
DIY Network designed the backyard porch here in Highland Park — Photo courtesy of Airbnb
While the cozy Highland Park guesthouse comfortably fits a couple, the selling factor here is the DIY Network-designed backyard with its outdoor bar and reading nooks with custom-made AstroTurf pillows. The space is just a five-minute walk from great Los Angeles bars and restaurants, but you'll feel worlds away in the "whimsical guest house," where chickens roam freely on the backyard deck and you can pick grapes from the vine during season.
Relive your childhood fairytales in a gingerbread home — Photo courtesy of Airbnb
Designed with cob–a blend of sand, clay and straw–and reed fencing forming the ceiling, the Geyserville gingerbread house is just as charming as you'd expect, and just as eco-friendly. Windows are recycled and crafted from stained glass, lit up by LED lights, while tree-like designs wrap their way around the hut's exterior. Inside your fairytale-inspired lodgings you'll find just enough space for a bed and loft overhead, but the site also has a pool, wood-fired pizza oven and temple nearby.
Sleep inside boulders in Yucca Valley — Photo courtesy of Airbnb
Channeling the same type of energy that drew the Chemehuevi to the Pipes Canyon region, the boulder house built into the high desert is not only remote–you're on 15 private acres–it also boasts stellar views of the deserted scenery and stars, as well as private hiking trails and amenities like a pool and Jacuzzi. Carved out of boulders and surrounded by the same rocks, the four-bedroom house can host up to 15 inside its artist-designed walls, some of which feature beds perched on boulders.
This "boat" on land is just one block from the beach near Venice, CA — Photo courtesy of Airbnb
Boat on Land
From the outside, the boat-shaped building looks like it should be floating on water rather than land, but inside tells another story–a one-bedroom apartment sits tucked away in the stern, flooded with light and views of the canal in the distance. Set on the Marina Del Rey Peninsula, you'll be just one block from the beach and one mile from all the action happening in Venice, California.
Stay in a 19th century keepers house in New England — Photo courtesy of Airbnb
The Wings Neck Lighthouse standing today is a completely renovated version of the wooden tower rebuilt after a fire in 1889. The three-bedroom keepers home attached to the former U.S. coastguard lighthouse was updated in 2003 and guests can still head up the mahogany staircase to the lighthouse's lantern room to take in views of the Atlantic Ocean and nearby Cape Cod Canal. Blocked off by a private gate, guests have their very own beach out front and views of the water and sunset from every room.
Get away from it all in a geodome in the Catskills — Photo courtesy of Airbnb
The geodome in the southern Catskill Mountains boasts in its description that it is a place to "get away from it all," but here, you can actually have it all and more. The 12-acre area has a farm with a greenhouse and vegetable garden; a lake and pond for dogs; a vintage clothing boutique; Sunday yoga classes and a fiber arts workshop space and full-service recording studio. Of course you can always post up and find solitude in your dome–with a firepit and outdoor kitchen nearby–or use it as your own personal work space.