20 Unique Vacation Rentals You Need to Visit for a One-of-a-Kind Trip

The Evolve Team
The Evolve Team
May 3, 2023

One of the many reasons travelers choose unique vacation rentals over a run-of-the-mill hotel chain: the built-in experiences they offer. After all, there’s a certain thrill attached to booking a cool, private home that allows you to fully tap into your best vacation self. 

Whether you want to bring the whole family or find a one-of-a-kind vacation rental for two, these unique homes will inspire a forever-talked-about adventure.

Don’t forget: you can favorite your top picks now for easy reference when planning your future vacations.

In This Article:
The Jurassic Retreat
Renovated Fire Station
The “Balinese” Oasis
Castle of Joy
Circular Beach House 
The Sorcerer’s Cabin
Lakeside Cabin with Yurt
Converted Caboose Studio
Riverside Storage Container
A Disney Lover’s Dream Home
A Schoolhouse Studio
Cliffside Alaskan Escape
The Luxury Treehouse 
Spanish-Style Studio with Garden
Ted Williams’ Former Home
Lighthouse Above the Bayou
The Medieval Mansion
Charming Mermaid Hideaway
A Nascar Fan’s Bucket List Home
Renovated Gas Station

1. The Jurassic Retreat

Jurassic Retreat: a unique vacation rental property set back in the woods with life-size dinosaurs

Nestled in the lush Washington forest, this family-friendly vacation rental is a dinosaur-lover’s dream. Be prepared, though: you won’t have this spacious three-bedroom to yourself. You’ll share your unique vacation rental with a life-size tyrannosaurus rex, velociraptor, and triceratops! 

The modern-meets-prehistoric home also has a private hot tub, open-concept interior, and all the amenities you could ask for while journeying back in time about 65 million years. We recommend cueing up the 75” Smart TV so the whole gang can watch their favorite dino flicks.

2. Renovated Fire Station

Image of the dining room of a renovated fire station in Tulsa Oklahoma, vacation rental home

The furnishings of this historic, renovated fire station fully lean into the theme of its original space. Available to book in Tulsa, OK, every detail adds to the firehouse vibes inside — from the hanging helmets to the firetruck couch — while the home’s outdoor spaces are primed for yard games and activities. 

Cook up a good meal on the grill, hang on the private patio, or warm up by the fire pit before heading inside for the ultimate sleepover (there’s room to sleep six). With no steps needed to access this unique rental, it’s a home base fit for all.

Speaking of support: All of our homes are backed by our Rest Easy Promise that your one-of-a-kind vacation rental will be safe, clean, and ready for you and your loved ones’ arrival.

3. The “Balinese” Oasis

Tropical vacation property rental on Florida's eastern coast with palm trees, water access, and a hut for shade

Treat yourself to an international experience without needing to stamp your passport. This tropical sanctuary on Florida’s eastern coast is loaded with spa-like amenities (hello soaking tub, tiki huts, and waterfront hammocks), making it the perfect destination for honeymoons and girls’ trips alike. 

From nearby white-sand beaches to bottlenose dolphins splashing around a lagoon, there’s no shortage of memorable adventures right outside your door. This cool place to rent is sure to delight travelers of all types — and it never hurts to feel like you’ve traveled internationally while saving time and money.

4. Castle of Joy

Castle vacation rental with drawbridge and trees surrounding

Live your full-on renaissance fantasy when you stay in this epic castle, complete with a drawbridge and portcullis. When you first arrive, you’ll want to wander the 11 acres of beautiful terrain surrounding the grand stone fortress, then soak up the regal vibe of the luxurious decor inside. Of course, this home also takes you out of the dark ages and into modern comfort with a private hot tub on the terrace, where you’ll soak in great mountain views amidst your old-world surroundings. 

Whether you’re visiting to explore the stunning fall foliage in the Blue Ridge Mountains or opting for a home you hath not leave for days, this majestic home is a perfect choice.

5. Circular Beach House

Circular vacation rental beach house in Flagler Beach, Florida

Situated mere steps from the sand, this circular beach rental on the Florida coast takes ocean views to another level with wrap-around balconies on every floor. The cabana-themed home sleeps 12 and comes with tons of ideal features for family and friends.

Get out and play with provided kayaks, bikes, beach toys, and more. Or, chill out and make memories in the private tiki bar, huge hot tub, and full-blown game room complete with jukebox tunes. Whether you soak up the sun or stay in the shade, it’s easy to float through the day in this cool vacation rental.

If the thought of a seaside home sparks your wanderlust, see more beach vacation rentals available to book.

6. The Sorcerer’s Cabin

Harry Potter-themed vacation rental cabin living room with a brick fireplace, chess set on the hearth, tapestries and framed paintings of Hogwarts professors on the wall, and a sorting hat

Step into a world fit for witches and wizards when you stay in this Harry Potter-themed California cabin. Fans will delight in each room’s Hogwarts-worthy decor, and can take in views of the surrounding forest (don’t worry, this one isn’t forbidden) from two wraparound balconies. 

With scenic hiking trails and Snow Valley Mountain Resort nearby, there are also a variety of activities to keep you busy in all seasons. Embark on a spellbinding adventure, then enjoy a meal back home under a canopy of floating candles. Of course, the cabin comes complete with a smart TV and all eight Harry Potter films — so you can snuggle in for a magical night with your favorite cast of characters.

7. Lakeside Cabin with Yurt

Interior shot from inside a yurt, looking out the window to a lakeside view in a vacation rental

Wake up to lake views like never before when you stay in this picturesque Minnesota cabin with a waterside yurt. The cabin’s gorgeous coffee bar and wrap-around deck are complemented by an outdoor fire pit, private docks (with slide!), and modern yurt that truly steals the show. 

When it’s time for daily breaks from swimming in the lake, cook together in the fully-equipped kitchen or grill out on the patio for a meal to remember. Spend your evenings watching the sun fade over the water from the deck — or from the comfort of your yurt.

8. Converted Caboose Studio

Unique vacation rental home built in an old train car and caboose with outdoor benches and a vintage railroad crossing sign.

Conduct your perfect vacation inside this converted train car studio. The old-school caboose gives you (and one travel buddy) a queen bed, full bath, stocked kitchenette, free WiFi, and a Smart TV — all surrounded by modern decor that honors the car’s railroad history.

Perched just a few minutes from charming downtown Joplin, it’s easy to stroll, shop, sip, and savor. Bring your camera to explore Route 66 Mural Park, but leave room on the roll for pics back at your place. This is a railway getaway you’ll definitely want to remember.

9. Riverside Shipping Container

Unique shipping container vacation rental near Branson, MO

If rich history, bold character, and wide-open spaces make your list of vacation must-haves, you won’t want to miss out on this shipping container home. Family-run since 1899, the 400 acres of organic farmland give you plenty of room to roam — along with direct access to the Spring River — while the modern living space is a perfect fit for four.

Pack your days with new experiences in nearby Branson, then come back home for incredible stargazing from the large deck. (You can also warm up by the fire pit during chillier seasons.)

10. A Disney Lover’s Dream Home

Family-friendly vacation rental near Disney in Orlando with arcade games and themed rooms

When it comes to family-friendly retreats, this themed vacation rental near Disney (it’s a mere 10 minutes away) stands out from the rest. With an action-packed game room, heart-warming references to your favorite characters, and space for 10, it’s the perfect accommodation for a multi-generational family adventure.

After a fun-filled day in Orlando, you can take a break from the crowds and dip in your private swimming pool. Or, challenge your companions to a competitive game of foosball in the air-conditioned arcade. Wherever your Disney vacation ideas lead you, when staying here you’re pretty much guaranteed to make lifelong memories with the ones you love most (and Mickey Mouse, of course).

11. A Schoolhouse Studio

Renovated schoolhouse vacation rental property near Kearneysville, WV

Entertain your inner history buff by making a renovated schoolhouse your vacation home base. Complete with quirky decor like old school desks and chalkboards — and nostalgic games like marbles and jacks — it’s an affordable vacation rental that’s certainly far from ordinary. 

And since every school session needs time for recess, it’s convenient that this West Virginia studio is just minutes from vineyards and hiking trails. The studious traveler can also grab a book and unwind by the gas fire pit in the private backyard, making this unique home a solid A+.

12. Cliffside Alaskan Escape

Luxurious vacation rental on top of a cliffside in Alaska overlooking the Alaska Range

With sprawling acreage and breathtaking natural surroundings, there’s nothing quite as unique as this dream-worthy villa. Sitting a little higher than other Alaska vacation rentals, it’s literally perched on the side of a cliff.

It takes going off the grid (while still enjoying ultra-modern amenities) to new heights, too. The luxurious villa has room for nine, a hot tub overlooking the Alaska Range, and 22 acres ready for exploration. Just imagine: after a day of glacier hiking, you take a bayside soak while eagles soar up above. Aren’t you feeling more relaxed already?

13. The Luxury Treehouse

Luxury treehouse vacation rental located Hilton Head Island, SC

Star in your own whimsical adventure when you stay in this fancy treehouse rental on Hilton Head Island. Fit for six guests, its light-filled interior and panoramic views offer a truly unique treehouse experience. Whether you’re inside cooking up a favorite meal or relaxing on the private deck, the airy architecture keeps you connected to nature throughout your stay.

You can also venture out to explore 12 miles of beaches, historic local hotspots, and a full range of good eats found in Hilton Head. Once you’re ready to unwind, your upscale treehouse is a welcoming retreat for watching the sun set over the marsh.

14. Spanish-Style Studio with Garden

Exterior image of the backyard of a spanish style vacation rental home in Whittier, California

Spanish architecture meets California gardens in this charming studio with an enchanting outdoor area. Sip morning coffee under the orange tree before heading to nearby Disneyland, or wind down by the fire pit after a busy day exploring downtown Los Angeles.

If sandy toes are more your style, Long Beach and Mother Beach are both close by. After soaking up the sun and salty air, your cozy rental will welcome you with modern comforts (like a SmartTV and air conditioning) so you can relax with ease. 

15. Ted Williams’ Former Home

Famous Ted Williams statue in yard of unique Vermont vacation rental that used to be Ted Williams' home

It’s not everyday that you have the opportunity to claim a Red Sox Hall of Famer’s home as your own. Ted Williams and his Vogue model wife, Dolores, previously lived in this Vermont haven. Filled with memorabilia from his 19-year MLB career in Boston, it’s a baseball family’s dream getaway. You can even take a seat next to Williams himself (in statue form) while the whole crew roasts marshmallows by the fire. 

Of course, a trip to this unique vacation rental wouldn’t be complete without exploring nearby Killington Mountain or fishing in the Connecticut River. Once back home, make time to enjoy the expansive backyard with a few rounds of catch.

16. Lighthouse Above the Bayou

Exterior shot of a renovated vacation rental lighthouse in Biloxi, Missouri

It’s easy to feel on top of the world when you stay at this lighthouse studio with a spacious balcony overlooking the St. Martin Bayou. You’ll find everything you need for a comfortable getaway as you enter the cozy common area, then climb the spiral staircase to your bedroom tower with 360° views. 

Take a quick trip to discover world class seafood, boardwalks, and beaches in downtown Biloxi (it’s just four miles away). Then, spend the evening enjoying a serenade of sounds from waterfront wildlife while you lounge high above.

17. The Medieval Mansion

Castle vacation rental with suits of armor and other medieval decor located near Salt Lake City, UT

While the exterior of this unique home doesn’t look out of the ordinary, one step inside will transport you to the thirteenth century. Set just outside of Salt Lake City, it’s a vacation rental truly fit for kings and queens thanks to the castle- and dungeon-style decor. (There are even armor-clad knights guarding your living spaces to help you truly rest easy.)

After you unpack, take a stroll through the nearby botanical gardens or conquer the slopes of Park City. You can spend your nights playing themed board games, soaking in the jacuzzi, or snuggling up in the massive home theater. Braveheart, anyone?

Looking for another medieval adventure? Consider the Castle of Joy, a fantasy-like destination in North Carolina ideal for up to eight guests.

18. Charming Mermaid Hideaway

Photo of brightly-colored, mermaid-themed vacation rental backyard with an outdoor bar, set of chairs around a table, and a large leaning tree in Weeki Wachee, FL

Nestled along the Weeki Wachee River, this charming Florida oasis is the perfect place to relax under the sun and explore the vibrant local scene. Every space in this home bursts with color, from the aqua-hued driveway and striped exterior to the mermaid-adorned steps down to your private riverfront.

When you’re ready to adventure, hop in one of three complimentary kayaks and cruise alongside friendly manatees, or load up the kids and head over to Weeki Wachee Springs for underwater performances by local mermaids. When it’s time to refuel at the end of an action-packed day, the outdoor kitchen and bar area makes at-home meals a breeze.

19. A NASCAR Fan’s Bucket List Home

Vacation rental living room and kitchen area with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX

Calling all NASCAR fans! This luxurious Fort Worth condo is the ideal place to watch your favorite drivers tear up the track. Fit for eight guests, this unique vacation rental features a 12-seat viewing area of Texas Motor Speedway with floor-to-ceiling windows.

When you’re not watching NASCAR or sun-bathing by the community pool, you can head into downtown Fort Worth to enjoy all the top things to do, or make a day trip to nearby Dallas. However you plan to kick back and relax, this one-of-a-kind home base puts you in the driver’s seat of an epic adventure.

20. Renovated Gas Station

Renovated Sinclair gas station vacation rental located in Schulenburg, TX

Formerly a full-service Sinclair, this gas station vacation home in Schulenburg, TX is bursting with personality. The functional ’50s jukebox and historic decor give blast-from-the-past energy, while the huge windows let in tons of natural light. And with a fenced-in backyard — not to mention a fire pit, grill, and backyard games — you’re guaranteed a getaway to be pumped about. 

Snap a few photos in front of the property’s mural before heading out for an afternoon of local wine tasting, or wind down from a day trip to Austin with stargazing on the rooftop deck. With loads of character and must-have amenities, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more unique place to rent.

Find Unique Vacation Rentals for You

If exciting and memorable experiences are what you’re after, these unique vacation rentals are sure to deliver. And no matter where your inner adventurer takes you next, you can rest easy knowing your comfort is the highest priority when you book with Evolve.

Looking for more travel inspiration? From desert escapes and luxurious getaways to family road trip itineraries and wine regions worth exploring, we have plenty of ideas to help plan your next vacation.

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