COOL SUMMER DIGS
Just as Uber reinvented taxi services for the digital age by letting anyone become a driver, Airbnb does the same for hospitality by letting anyone play host at their own home or vacation rental. This means vacationers looking on Airbnb can easily find lodging options of every size, shape, and color imaginable on every continent but Antarctica. As the peak vacation season, summer is the best time to take advantage of this diversity by booking one of these unique Airbnb stays from around the world.
Location: Washougal, Washington
Nightly rate: $400
The Pacific Northwest has some of the nation's most beautiful summer weather, and this 40-acre organic farm rental is located right in the scenic Columbia River Gorge, near Cascade mountains and famed scenic points like Multnomah Falls. Also used as an event venue for an extra fee, the home sleeps up to 15 guests, who can access hiking trails or visit with chickens and alpacas onsite.
GLAMPING IN THE GORGE
Location: Corbett, Oregon
Nightly rate: $52
For a more modest excursion in the same area, this rental includes a tent on raised ground with a bed and room to stand inside. Though only 300 yards from the host's home and overlooking a riverside highway, the camp has a wooded feel and fire pit with a marvelous view of the Gorge from the Oregon side.
THE RANCHO @ CIELO VANILLA
Location: Atenas, Costa Rica
Nightly rate: $129
Within 30 minutes from Juan Santamaria International Airport, this rancho rental sleeps only two in an airy tropical wood loft flitting with colorful birds and surrounded by 4 acres of gardens and fruit trees. Staying here, you'll also be flanked by three coffee farms and you'll be within a one-hour trip to the Pacific beach towns of Jaco and Puntarenas.
SUNSET BEACH TREEHOUSE BUNGALOW
Location: Haleiwa, Hawaii
Nightly rate: $159
If a yoga deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean is what you want from a vacation, this is the Airbnb for you. Near one of Oahu's most famous surf spots, this rental for four requires you to climb through foliage to reach a canopied treehouse where even the shower has an ocean view. The yoga deck is shared with two other onsite units, and the owners are open to bartering for help around the property. Summer is the slow season in Hawaii, so it's a great time to relax and enjoy Hawaii's more local-centric time of year.
ECO BAMBOO HOME
Location: Selat, Bali, Indonesia
Nightly rate: $170
Many Airbnbs in tropical countries let guests get away into the jungle without sacrificing too many modern comforts, like this all-bamboo eco stay in a Balinese village. A mostly off-the-grid experience, here you'll have access to a hammock, musical instruments, free scooter, fully equipped kitchen, the property's assortment of cute cats and dogs, and a nearby river where the local villagers come to bathe.
BALTIMORE SECRET GARDEN
Nightly rate: $79
A private room in an urban townhouse may not sound like much, but it's hard to beat the location of this modest two-person property near Baltimore's East Harbor. Located in a quiet historic alley with outdoor deck and garden-side sitting area, the late 19th century row home is close to the waterfront, restaurants, public art, museums, and more, with hosts who are reportedly experts on fun things to do in the area.
Nightly rate: $375
This lushly landscaped house hidden in north Atlanta is one of Airbnb's most "wished for" destinations worldwide, and it's easy to understand why. It only sleeps two but includes unique three rooms — Mind, Body, and Spirit — linked by rope swings and furnished like something from a fairy tale, with hammocks, Egyptian cotton bed sheets, and windows with pressed butterfly wings.
TRULLO AROMATIC GREEN
Location: Ostuni, Italy
Nightly rate: $218
You'll feel like you're stepping back in time staying at this traditional Apulian trullo — or conical stone hut — in southern Italy with remarkable Old World furnishings and alfresco sitting area. Up to four guests can fit in the two bedrooms and enjoy their stay by exploring the fruit and olive trees onsite or biking to the delicious restaurants and crystalline Mediterranean waters nearby.
ICELANDIC MODERN APARTMENT
Location: Akureyri, Iceland
Nightly rate: $160-$225
You'll really have time to make the most of summer with Iceland's 20-plus hours of daylight at this ultra-modern property near the nation's remote northern shore. Besides a view over the Arctic bay, guests at this two-bedroom flat can hire kayaks, join professional dive trips, ride horses, or just drive along the fjord to see waterfalls and other stunning tundra scenery.
HECTOR CAVE HOUSE
Location: Santorini, Greece
Nightly rate: $606
Carved into a caldera and originally used as a wine cellar, this property on one of southern Greece's most famed island getaways predates Airbnb by more than 200 years. Decorated in striking white and cerulean, it fits two to five people and comes complete with a modest kitchen and a private veranda with volcano views and a naturally heated plunge pool for two, only available in summer.
Location: Medulin, Croatia
Nightly rate: $666
Surrounded by wildflower meadows and shimmering blue Adriatic Sea, this lighthouse built in 1882 sleeps eight people within 30 meters from the water. Guests can barbecue or scuba off the shore; drive to the village for horseback riding and beach volleyball; or hop a boat to the hosts' private island complete with sandy beach and restaurant/bar.
SALMON RIVER LIGHTHOUSE
Location: Pulaski, New York
Nightly rate: $325
Between the Finger Lakes and Adirondack Mountains, upstate New York is a beautiful place to spend the summer by any measure. In terms of Airbnb rentals though, it's hard to beat the historic Selkirk Lighthouse overlooking the harbor at Salmon River and Lake Ontario, which is fit for friends and families up to eight people and accessible to beaches and frequent fishing charters.
Location: Jacumba, California
Nightly rate: $100
Built in 1922, this desert hideaway is both a California historical landmark and some sort of magical hippie den with bumper sticker-strewn decor and a surrounding 99-acre property of boulders and desert fauna you could spend hours exploring. Up to 16 guests can stay here and enjoy unparalleled stargazing, an outdoor barbecue, and indoor fire pit.
THE LIGHTHOUSE INN
Location: Burlington, Newfoundland
Nightly rate: $63
This cozy lighthouse was built by its Airbnb host and comes furnished with kitchenette and local antiques to fit the picture-perfect nautical atmosphere. There are hiking trails and a community fire pit near the remote property, and the owner is usually on-hand to give guests a stylish ride through town in a 1954 Chevy Bel Air.
IRELAND STABLEYARD WITH SWIMMING POOL
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Nightly rate: $145
On the edge of Dublin's 1,750-acre Phoenix Park, this old-world home for up to nine guests combines countryside wildlife with urban convenience, so you can bike to the city center's bustling nightlife as easily as you can relax and read a little James Joyce in the sunny courtyard. There's also an indoor heated swimming pool to enjoy in any season.
Location: Fife, Scotland
Nightly rate: $964
Though expensive, this is the kind of inimitable experience Airbnb is made for — staying in a real Scottish castle, complete with its own orchard and herb garden leading to the river Eden. You and 14 friends of family members can rent the 12th century structure that's also played host to monarchs, secret Scottish parliaments, and military sieges and spend the entire vacation dining in the Great Hall, telling stories before the Medieval-sized fireplace, and lounging in the art galleries that highlight more details of the castle's history.
CAIRNBECK LOG CABIN
Location: Brampton, England
Nightly rate: $83
Near the famed countryside of Northern England's Lake District, this glamping rental is a traditional log cabin for two with an outdoor stove in view of the peaceful Cairn Beck river. Though within easy access to motorways and the county town of Carlisle, a couple can enjoy the remote location's babbling water and a fire under the stars with only cows and owls to keep them company.
PRIVATE ISLAND IN NORWAY
Nightly rate: $237
For an unforgettable family vacation, try renting this off-the-grid cottage on its own 10,000-square-foot private island in the Norwegian archipelago of Hvaler, in a municipality with the highest number of sunny days in the nation. Though with only 10 square meters of indoor living space, you'll have your own fire pit/barbecue and private beaches to enjoy at low tide, plus a complimentary paddle- or motor-boat to go exploring.
OSLO SEAFRONT CABIN
Location: Oslo, Norway
Nightly rate: $138
This sunny seafront home gives you waterfront access in a more metropolitan area of Norway, so you and up to seven other guests can split your vacation between busing 12 minutes to the Oslo city center and swimming or fishing with your own 180-degree of the surrounding fjord. Onsite there's also an outdoor shower and grilling area, and kayaks are available to rent.
Location: Oslo, Norway
Nightly rate: $96
Norway truly does have some of Airbnb's best offerings — this traditional cottage, for example, is about as close as you can get to staying in a Hobbit house without visiting the "Lord of the Rings" filming locations in New Zealand. The fairytale decor and grassy garden sprouting on its rooftop make this lake- and city-adjacent home perfect for a whimsical summer getaway.
UNIK EARTH HOUSE
Location: Hol, Norway
Nightly rate: $179
Er — okay, maybe this is the closest you can get to a hobbit cabin outside New Zealand. Within an hour's drive of some of Norway's most scenic fjords, this cozy wood cabin half-buried beneath the earth sleeps four people, who can spend their time sitting by the woodstove, hiking through the mountains, or taking a dip in the offsite swimming pool some 500 meters away.
BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS TEPEE
Location: Fairfield, Virginia
Nightly rate: $79
Tepees (also known as tipis or teepees) are another style of vacation rental you don't often see — unless you're browsing Airbnb, that is. For example, this tepee offers expansive views of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a family farm where guests have exclusive access to a fire pit, shaded sitting area, and enclosed bathhouse. Within reach are numerous hiking trails, storied universities, and vineyard and brewery tours.
SPIRIT LODGE TEPEE
Location: Lynchburg, Virginia
Nightly rate: $75
Deservedly ranked as one of the nation's best glamping experiences, this spacious Appalachian tepee comes decked out with native-inspired decor, furs, feathers, dreamcatchers, and more. With one bed for two people, couples staying here can also enjoy lying in the hammock, cozying up beside the woodstove, and arranging a horseback ride or fishing trip onsite.
Location: Coquille, Oregon
Nightly rate: $100
See the sunrise over green pastures and rolling rivers at this idyllic tepee with sleeping room for four near the rugged Oregon coast and its many opportunities for summer recreation. Inside, guests can enjoy the modest interior and its smoke-free gas fire pit or roam the grounds to play bocce ball and get acquainted with the hosts' alpacas.
AMSTERDAM HOUSEBOAT FREIGHTER
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Nightly rate: $121
Central Amsterdam is lousy with Airbnb rentals, but few other options can compare to this circa-1930s freighter right on one of the city's famed canals, 10 minutes from the city center by bicycle. When not exploring the metropolitan surroundings, you can either warm up by the living-room woodstove or take a refreshing dip in the clean water, depending on the weather.
ODYSSEUS I SAILBOAT
Location: Mogan, Canary Islands
Nightly rate: $48
You can have a whole boat to yourself with this unique lodging option in a bustling harbor of Spain's Canary Islands. The Odysseus I sailboat sleeps two people with enough room leftover for a kitchenette and dining spaces both inside and on the sunny deck, and its owner is usually on hand to take guests out for a sailing voyage. The water views and convenient location near shops, restaurants and a weekly market make it well worth the tight quarters.
EDINBURGH ROOFTOP APARTMENT
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Nightly rate: $110
The entire month of August sees Edinburgh transform for its annual Fringe Festival, now the world's largest arts festival, with more than 3,000 different shows (or 50,000 performances) taking place at some 300 venues across the city. This bright rooftop flat for two near the city's Old Town makes for a spacious and centrally located home base to experience all the festival has to offer.
HISTORIC ROSE COTTAGE
Location: Springdale, Utah
Nightly rate: $299
Utah has some of the nation's most breathtaking national parks, and this rental puts you right beside the entrance to Zion National Park, famed for its red rock monoliths and narrow gorges. Though just steps away from the dining and souvenir shops of Springdale's national park village, the two-bedroom cottage is still quiet and surrounded by canyon vistas, so it still feels like a remote desert getaway.
AUSTRIAN FARM STAY
Location: Schlaiten, Austria
Nightly rate: $52
See summer in the Alps for an unbeatable price at this Airbnb, where up to five guests can sleep in a private apartment on an Austrian farmstead
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2449214for just over $50 a night. With a panoramic view over the surrounding valley, you can watch the cows graze in the morning and the stars twinkle at night in between hike through the rolling hills or pub visits at the nearby town of Lienz.
DENALI NATIONAL PARK YURT
Location: Talkeetna, Alaska
Nightly rate: $85
Though Mongolian in origin, yurt-style cottages have become a popular form of lodging around the world, including near the entrance to Alaska's magnificent Denali National Park and Preserve. The skydome lets guests see the stars and northern lights from the comfort of their bed, while trails right from the front door lead to forests, streams, farm-fresh vegetable stand, and an old-fashioned roadhouse known for its handmade pies and cheap bathing accommodations.
Location: Taos, New Mexico
Nightly rate: $125
Blending almost seamlessly into its high desert surroundings, this off-the-grid home generates its own electricity and catches its own rainwater without sacrificing an ounce of modern comfort. Though only 20 minutes from the Taos Ski Valley, guests here can still watch TV or connect to Wi-Fi while feeling a world away from it all, whether hiking, gathering around the fire pit, or just watching the introductory YouTube video that explains the custom-built home's many unique self-sustaining functions.
Location: Nuremburg, Germany
Nightly rate: $47
Decked out in Afghani decor but set amidst the picture-perfect Bavarian architecture of Nuremburg, this unique yurt lets you feel like you're experiencing multiple cultures at once. After a night's sleep aided by aromatherapy candles and a morning wash from the garden's water basin, you can bike or take public transit less than 15 minutes to the city center for a stroll or dining at an authentic Bavarian beer hall.
SHIRLEY BASIN SHEEP WAGON
Location: Shirley Basin, Wyoming
Nightly rate: $125
For your next vacation on America's remote western prairies, you can harken back to the days of the Oregon Trail without enduring all the economic hardship and dysentery along the way. Just book a stay at this authentic sheep wagon, first used in the 1920s and restored for lodgers in 2013 with full-size bed, wood-burning stove, pullout dining table, and cold boxes for food storage. The hosts, who keep the wagon on their family farmstead, also offer tours of their ranch and special add-on packages for birthday celebrations or romantic getaways.
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Nightly rate: $97
The world's second-largest French-speaking city isn't just beautiful in summertime — it's funny too. In July, the Just for Laughs festival turns the city into a funhouse version of itself, so it's a great time to take in some comedy and see what else Montreal has to offer. This industrial chic-style loft in a former factory building puts you near the center of the festivities and includes a fully equipped kitchen and three skylights for lots of natural light.
Location: Afareaitu, French Polynesia
Nightly rate: $64
This straw-roofed bungalow in French Polynesia
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/6866003may be enough to make all your fantasies of the perfect tropical vacation come true. Far but not too far removed from the area's touristy spots, from here guests can relax in the open-air terrace or visit either a jungle waterfall or cheap food truck, both within walking distance. The hosts also provide complimentary breakfast, bikes, and pickup from the airport.
KAPULI TWIN ROOM
Location: Ollantaytambo, Cuzco, Peru
Nightly rate: $19
This cozy Airbnb for two offers little more than a pair of bunk beds and shared bathroom. What makes it exceptional, however, is its location, on a cobblestone avenue in the historic village of Ollantaytambo, rife with ancient Incan architecture and perpetually abuzz with guided excursions to Machu Picchu and other lesser-known spots throughout the Andean wilderness. The hosts can help with organizing and recommending such trips and also provide local organic breakfasts.
Location: Madrid, Spain
Nightly rate: $109
Even with many of Madrid's trendiest nightlife and shopping areas within walking distance, you might have a hard time convincing yourself to leave this fifth-story flat in the city's hopping Malasaña neighborhood. Though fitted with an open kitchen and roof window above the bed, the penthouse's main attraction is its cozy terrace where guests can appreciate the area's unique architecture and beautiful sunsets.
TRADITIONAL KOREAN HANOK
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Nightly rate: $187
South Korea has undergone some extreme modernization in recent years, but you can revel in some of the nation's older cultural aspects with a stay at this traditional hanok, complete with outdoor courtyards, ornate room dividers, wooden moldings, and Eastern-style (ground-level) eating accommodations. With two bedrooms sleeping up to four guests, this is a great place to experience a quieter pace of vacation within one of Asia's most bustling metropolitan destinations.
OCEAN VIEW HOUSE
Location: Isumi, Japan
Nightly rate: $131
The Pacific Ocean is just a 3-minute walk from this bright, spacious four-bedroom standalone home that can accommodate up to 12 guests. Other highlights and amenities include a barbecue in the garden, dazzling views, a garden shower, Wi-Fi, and Apple TV. Previous visitors praise the hosts for their attentiveness.
Location: Ponta Delgada, Portugal
Nightly rate: $48
If you like color, Casa Banana is the Airbnb rental for you. As its name suggests, the cottage in the Azores islands is extensively landscaped with tropical fruits and vegetable trees, and also decorated in eye-popping primary colors that rival the surrounding fauna in terms of sheer vibrancy. The colorful property also provides easy access to the ocean and other attractions like the Sete Cidades caldera or Ferraria hot springs right on the coast.