Wintertime always ignites that trip-planning spark within us. We scoured Airbnb for weirdly wonderful and wonderfully weird places across the South. Did you know that you can actually filter on Airbnb’s site to find castles, domes, yurts, cottages, off-beat destinations, and more?! Let your wanderlust run wild as you explore these six irresistible vacation homes you’ll want to book right now.
The Bloomhouse | Austin, TX
4 guests · 1 bedroom · 2 beds · 1 bath
The Bloomhouse in Austin is a celebration of magic, mysticism, and mischief. “At the Bloomhouse, you leave behind the confines of modernity and the rules of logic,” says the listing. This home is like stepping into a giant seashell unicorn fairytale that is “part Willy Wonka, part Big Lebowski, and totally unlike anywhere else.” There are limitless nooks and crannies to explore, and ample outdoor space for hanging and entertaining (you’ll want to show off this place to as many people as you can!).
“Like all the best things in Austin,” the listing says, “it started with some hippies and a dream.” Back in the ’70s, two University of Texas architecture students built this escape from society as a place to not only shield visitors from the elements but also allow them to live in harmony with nature. It is a place of peace and isolation, and there was no physical address for many years.
In 2017, Dave Claunch saw a real estate ad fall out of an Austin Business Journal for the Bloomhouse — a legend he had heard whispers of during his time as mayor of West Lake Hills. He had to save and preserve this one-of-a-kind place, and he’s spent over a year meticulously restoring it with period-specific details to take it back to its original form. The Bloomhouse is the perfect dose of Austin’s weirdness.
Dream Rock Silo | Independence, Virginia
The Bungalow: 4 guests · 1 bedroom · 2 beds · 1 bath
Dream Rock Silo: 2 guests · 1 bedroom · 1 bed · 1 bath
Rustic Rooster Room: 6 guests · 3 beds · 1 bath
One couple has been renovating an old 1950s dairy barn since 2013, and they want to share their little slice of heaven with you. “We fell in love with this location because the barn is set in a beautiful valley in the Appalachian Mountains. You have to drive through the creek to get to the barn,” the listing says. Independence is just over the North Carolina/Virginia border, so it’s conveniently about two to three hours from Charlotte, Knoxville, Asheville, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem.
There are three different spaces available for booking, or you can book up the whole dang place! Creek sounds will lull you to sleep in the private bungalow. Or stay up in the cylindrical silo with sweeping views and cozy quarters. The biggest option is the funky Rooster Room outfitted with queen size Murphy beds that disappear into the walls for more space during the daytime!
Outside, soak in the beautiful mountain scenery, the smells of fresh flowers and herbs, and the sounds of a babbling brook and clucks of the chickens (whose fresh eggs you can enjoy!). The owners invite you to explore their rock walls, giant sunflowers, walking paths, and serene landscapes that transform through the seasons.
Converted WWII Train Car | Maryville, Tennessee
4 guests · 2 beds · 1 bath
This Tennessee listing is on the coveted Airbnb Plus list and for great reason. Platform1346 is a renovated troop train kitchen car that has gained recognition from the Travel Channel, NBC’s “Today” show, magazines like House Beautiful, and other worldwide news outlets.
As you climb inside this time capsule dating back to WWII, you’re met with calmingly tasteful decor and all the modern amenities you need. It features an open-plan layout, plank wood flooring, an outdoor fire pit, a tranquil gazebo, lily pond, and barbecue/grill area. The host, Dean, and his six adorable pups will meet you upon arrival to tell you all about this unique place’s history and amenities.
The train has a queen-size Murphy bed, a full bathroom with tub, foldable desk, couch, TV, stocked kitchen, coffee station, and bar stools that overlook the property. And that’s just on the inside! There is ample space to gather and cook outside, too.
Cliff Dweller | Clanton, Kentucky
4 guests · 1 bedroom · 2 beds · 1 bath
Daredevils and thrill-seekers, this one’s for you! This cliffside dwelling clings sturdily to the side of a mountain in Kentucky’s famous Red River Gorge. Bolted high above a canopy of trees and attached to a towering solid rock ravine, this is an exhilarating, extreme, and athletic place to spend a few nights.
The views, adventure, and solitude are unmatched. The spiral staircase leads up to the suspended master bedroom, which features a cozy queen-sized bed and insane views. Above it is a viewing deck for the highest vantage point.
Old House Cay | Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
6 guests · 3 bedrooms · 4 beds · 2.5 baths
Touted by all who visit as a hidden coastal treasure, Old House Cay is a truly unique and off-the-grid getaway. The house is situated on a network of private islands that hold all the comforts of home but are only accessible by boat. Pack lots of food and your best friends and make a week or two out of this quintessential Lowcountry destination.
Fill your days with boating, kayaking, fishing, and lounging around the property with a can’t-put-it-down read. When you’re ready for the sights and bites of Hilton Head Island, you’re just a short five- to seven-minute boat ride away. Many previous guests suggest renting a boat for one or more days of your trip to see the surrounding islands like Daufuskie Island and its eateries, shops, and local rum distillery. The house is surrounded by marshlands, so expect to see bald eagles, herons, dolphins, and more … as well as some seriously stunning sunsets.
RELATED: 5 Southern Weekend Getaway Ideas
Lookout Mountain Retro Pad | Chattanooga, Tennessee
8 guests · 4 bedrooms · 5 beds · 3.5 baths
This dreamy midcentury modern home is quite literally perched on a bluff atop the clouds. Lookout Mountain overlooks Chattanooga, and there’s so much to see both inside this home and in its nearby town. Quirky artwork, funky furniture, and thoughtful touches like local coffee and ample firewood bestrew the property. Outside on the bluff side, the outdoor fire pit and patio are perfect for taking in the sunrise and sunset colors.
It’s about 15 minutes to downtown Chattanooga, and just 5-20 minutes away from many of the area’s famed hikes. If you’ve been looking for even more of a reason to see Rock City, visit the famous aquarium, or check out the vibrant culture of Chattanooga, here it is. The retro pad truly has it all, including a prime address.
Safe travels, wherever your wanderlust leads you!
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