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One-of-a-Kind Vacation Rentals for Seattle-Area Families

Unique Airbnbs in Washington your kids will never forget

Published on: June 13, 2023

Large t-rex dinosaur outside of the Jurassic Retreat a unique Airbnb
Dinosaur-themed vacation rental in Washougal, Washington

Summer is just about here, and what better time for a getaway! We’ve made it to the end of another school year and it’s time for some well earned fun and relaxation. 

If pricey plane tickets and crazy long lines are not what you’re looking for, have no fear. The Pacific Northwest is a worthy travel destination in its own right. And thanks to my teen’s hobby of surfing Airbnb, we’ve discovered some truly unique destinations. Check out these one-of-kind vacation rentals in Washington. 

"Life size dinosaur outside side the unique Airbnb Jurassic Retreat"
Watch our for the raptor when you stay at Jurassic Retreat 

Jurassic Park

Fortunately, Jurassic Park isn’t real. But parents can offer kids the next best (much safer) thing at the Jurassic Retreat in Washougal, Wash. Life-size T. rex, velociraptor and triceratops movie props dot the grounds of this rustic-industrial lodge house, which hosts as many as eight guests. Parents will appreciate the hot tub, full kitchen and laundry amenities, while kids will marvel at a dinosaur skull mounted in the great room, dinosaur-themed artwork and a huge TV. It even has bunk beds.

12 guests ● 4 bedrooms ● 8 beds ● 2 baths

A "hobbit" house built into the earth, surrounded by trees
This 500-square-foot underground hobbit house sleeps five people comfortably.

The Shire

There may be more accurate replicas of Bag End available in Washington, but it’s hard to find another underground house that sleeps a family of five. Corner Getaway is a cozy 500-square-foot hobbit hole located within walking distance of Sequim Bay State Park and the Olympic Discovery Trail. Inside, there’s a double bed in the bedroom, and a single bed, sofa bed and air mattresses in the living room and loft. Outside, there’s a firepit and a private half acre where kids and pets can play.

4 guests ● 1 bedroom ● 3 beds ● 1 bath

"The Lavender Castle is a unique Airbnb near Sequim, Wash."
The Lavender Castle makes fairy tales come to life

The Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in a land not too far away (only 1 mile from the center of Sequim), there was a fairy tale castle surrounded by lavender. Feel like royalty sitting in front of the central hearth or climbing the circular stair to your medieval-themed bedroom. Kids will appreciate the provided dress-up clothes and castle-themed movie collection — just remember, the swords and armor are for display only.

12 guests ● 2 bedrooms ● 3 beds ● 2 baths

Magical Boarding School

It’s okay to fall asleep in these classrooms. It’s not exactly Hogwarts, but the hosts promise that the Rainier Schoolhouse in Mineral, Wash., is “gently haunted.” Used as an artists’ retreat space for part of the year, this former elementary school near Mount Rainier is perfect for a family reunion. Play piano or project a movie in the library (or just lounge in the comfy chairs), make big meals in the fully stocked kitchen and throw a dance party in the gym. You can barbecue and make s’mores outside or roam the 4-acre property with the dog. It’s located within walking distance to a fishing lake (kayaks provided) and a 25-minute drive to the entrance of Mount Rainier National Park.

16+ guests ● 6 bedrooms ● 10 beds ● 2 baths

"inside of a houseboat with a bottle and two wine glasses on a marble top table"
Historic charming boat rental moored in Gig Harbor 

Ships Ahoy!

One of a handful of docked vacation boats in Gig Harbor, the Shamrockin will rock you to sleep at night. You can’t take the boat out, but kayaks are also available; the boat’s harbor location means you can paddle to the waterfront Anthony’s seafood restaurant when you don’t want to deal with dishes in the galley. This charming little boat is far from ADA-accessible — you need to be nimble to climb aboard and to squeeze into the smaller sleeping spaces. There is a safety rail on deck, but families with small children might want to wait a few seasons.

4 guests ● 2 bedrooms ● 2 beds ● 1 bath

Raised in a Barn

This farm-stay lodging may look rustic, but the inside is downright cozy. One of the bedrooms comes stocked with toys on the off chance that you’ll have downtime from all the activities the Columbia River Gorge has to offer. This quiet location outside of White Salmon, Wash., has prairie views from the upstairs and views of the river from various points on the property. If you’ve got a bigger brood, consider renting out the third floor of this old dairy barn in Arlington ($279/night; 9 beds).

4 guests ● 2 bedrooms ● 2 beds ● 1 bath

Beautiful treehouse nestled in the woods near Redmond, Washington
Get away from the hustle and bustle of Seattle at The Squirrel’s Nest 

Swiss Family Robinson 

From spheres suspended by cables to luxe Scandi-modern structures, the Pacific Northwest hosts an abundance of tree house rentals. Looking very much like a child’s idea of the perfect secret clubhouse in the trees, The Squirrel’s Nest hits the sweet spot at 280 square feet and is nestled 15 feet above the ground between two fir trees. Accessed by a spiral staircase, the tree house sleeps four with a queen and two single beds. There’s a loft and two balconies, but only a half-bath. That’s okay; The Squirrel’s Nest is near Redmond, so you can run home for a shower.

4 guests ● 1 bedroom ● 3 beds ● half bath

"The Skyhouse a unique Airbnb"
Enjoy beautiful views of the Hood Canal and Olympic Mountains when you stay at the Skyhouse

Locked in a Tower

Why sleep in the trees when you can rise above them? At Skyhouse, you’re not actually locked in a tower, but after a 98-stair ascent to the Space Needle–like Skyroom, you might choose to stay up top rather than return to the main house at ground level. For family members who can’t handle all those stairs in order to take in the bird’s-eye views of Hood Canal and Olympic Mountains on three sides of the Skyroom, two levels of wraparound decks down below offer plenty to see and enjoy.

11 guests ● 3 bedrooms ● 7 beds ● 3.5 baths

All Aboard

You’ll feel like you’re heading somewhere (even though you stay put) in the Great Northern Caboose. It’s one of four retired railroad cars remodeled into vacation rentals in Cle Elum. Located next to the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail and the Milwaukee Road interpretive trail of railroad history, and with a small railroad museum out back, this unique lodging experience is perfect for cyclists and train enthusiasts alike. The railcars are part of the Iron Horse Inn, which has ADA suites in the main building and serves farm-to-table breakfasts.

5 guests ● 4 beds ● 1 bath

"The Stargazer Dome is a unique Airnbn"
A lovely night under the stars at The Stargazer Dome

The Stargazer Dome

If you are looking for the ultimate glamping site, you’ve found it. See the night sky like never before when you sleep in a dome on the beautiful and secluded Wildlin Farm, near Mount Rainier National Park. Only two guests are allowed and it is a bit of a splurge, so keep this one in mind for a special grown-ups only getaway. 

2 guests ● 1 bedroom ● 1 bed ● 1 bath

"Bug Idaho Potato Hotel in a unique Airbnb"
Call this giant spud home when you stay at the Big Idaho Potato Hotel

Bonus: Big Idaho Potato Hotel

How could we not include this one? If you are heading to Idaho, consider staying in this 6-ton potato that has been recycled from the Idaho Potato Commission’s Big Idaho Potato Tour (the potato traveled to 48 states over seven years before finding its forever home on an Idaho farm). While it might look rustic on the outside, the interior has been beautifully designed and includes amenities such as power outlets for electronic devices, a mini fridge, old records to play and a custom-built bed. Next to your potato home you’ll find a silo that has been converted into a spa, and there is a jersey cow on sight waiting to be your new best friend. Who could ask for more? 

2 guests ●1 bedroom ●1 bed ●1 bath

More family getaways around Washington:

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