Courtesy Alex Martinez/Peter Bahouth
If you had to guess what the most popular Airbnb in the world was, what would you say? No, it’s not a balcony apartment in Paris or a Caribbean beachside bungalow. A tree house in Atlanta, Georgia, appears on more wish lists than any other home on the site. Sound appealing? Check out these other tree houses you can rent.
Courtesy Alex Martinez/Peter BahouthOwner Peter Bahouth built the three-building tree house 18 years ago and listed it on Airbnb on a whim when he read an article about how people loved booking tree houses on the site. But he never expected it to reach quite the popularity that it did. Even if only the people with it on their wish lists got to stay, it would be booked for the next 812 years, he says. Book early if you want to snag a spot! Just don't make these vacation rental mistakes before committing.
Outdoors for city folk
Courtesy Alex Martinez/Peter BahouthThe tree house feels totally secluded, but it’s actually in Atlanta. That feeling of escape from the city is part of its charm because it has the best of both worlds. “We want to have some seclusion and some privacy, yet be close enough to get out and do things,” says Bahouth. “It’s not like you’re going out 300 miles and making instant oatmeal to eat for a couple days. You can leave the tree house and go to a really great restaurant within a mile.”
Courtesy Alex Martinez/Peter BahouthBahouth says the tree house’s authenticity could be part of the reason it’s been so successful. He didn’t set it up as a guesthouse, decorating carefully with things he didn't mind getting stolen. For instance, the sitting room has fossils, an old saw blade, and 80-year-old windows that have butterfly wings pressed between the panes. Learn how to make your own home effortlessly impeccable.
Courtesy Alex Martinez/Peter Bahouth
It’s not like you have to risk your life climbing a ladder to reach the tree house, but it’s not a grounded cabin in the woods either. One side overlooks a hill, so you can dangle your feet and feel on top of the world. If you want small without the outdoors, try one of these tiny homes for rent around the country.
Sleeping under stars
Courtesy Alex Martinez/Peter BahouthSure, you could close all the windows so none of the elements can get in—or you could sleep right under the leaves. The bed rolls out so you can sleep in the open air. “That’s childhood—it’s like camping in the backyard,” says Bahouth. “You wake up to the birds singing, and when you go to sleep you might hear owls during the night.” But don’t worry; the bed can move easily back in if it starts to rain. No matter where you snooze, camping can help you sleep better.
No sun? No worries
Courtesy Alex Martinez/Peter BahouthVisitors don’t need to worry about bad weather, either. Bahouth says some people actually prefer the rain to “good” weather because they can watch the rainfall. The inside of the tree house stays dry, but the big windows feel way closer to nature than you would from an office window. Looking for a girls' weekend? Try these great spots for a getaway with the girls.
Two thumbs up
Courtesy Alex Martinez/Peter BahouthThe guests certainly seem to agree that it’s the perfect retreat. “The wood, the hum of the crickets an warm hospitality has regenerated my body that has been tired of the grind of the city,” a visitor from Chicago writes in the guest book. “We all sometimes need that getaway that reconnects you to the fresh imagination of being a child.” If you're stuck at home, try these ways to tap into your creativity.
Courtesy Alex Martinez/Peter BahouthBahouth says his favorite part of the tree house is the 165-year-old pine tree that sits in the middle of a wraparound porch. Don't miss these other photos of amazing trees around the world.