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Unique Seattle Vacation Rentals Families Will Love

So many Airbnbs and places to stay in Washington, you won’t be able to choose just one

Published on: June 05, 2024

Fairytale cottage vacation rental near Seattle
Retreat to the forest in this storybook cottage near Seattle. Credit: Airbnb

Summer is just about here, and I think it’s the perfect time for a getaway. For me, the end of the school year calls for well-earned fun and relaxation.

If you feel the same, but pricey plane tickets and crazy long lines are not what you’re looking for, have no fear. Washington state is a worthy travel destination in its own right. And thanks to my teen’s hobby of surfing Airbnb, I have some truly unique destinations to share. These one-of-kind vacation rentals in Seattle and beyond are worth checking out (or rather, checking into).

Seattle vacation rental with "Goodnight Moon" themed room, including green walls and decor from the book.
Classic stories are brought to life in this unique place to stay. Credit: Marianne Brockhaus

The Storybook House

Location: Seattle, Washington

Guest accommodations: This rental can host six guests with two bedrooms, five beds and a crib, and one bathroom.

A family that reads together, stays here! This delightful vacation cottage near West Seattle’s Alki Beach brings children’s literature to life. The vibe is happy, creative and out of the ordinary. The creation of artist and mom Marianne Brockhaus, The Storybook House is made up of five themed rooms that each feature a well-known children’s book and space to cuddle and read.

As you enter, you are immediately immersed in “Good Night Moon,” right down to the mittens hanging to dry and a painting of the cow jumping over the moon. Images from “Harold and the Purple Crayon” and “Where the Wild Things Are” fill the walls of the two bedrooms, one with a bunk bed and trundle. Enter the bathroom and the world of “The Little Prince.” (Don’t miss the vintage claw foot tub.) And the kitchen, rightfully so, portrays images and colors from “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Any family who loves these stories will feel right at home. Alki Beach, West Seattle Arcade, and Whale Tail Park offer other family activities within walking distance. Dogs are welcome (one max).

Unique bunkbeds at an Airbnb forest retreat with a fairytale theme
Step into a fairy tale at this Olalla retreat. Credit: Airbnb

Olalla Forest Retreat

Location: Olalla, Washington

Guest accommodations: The larger side of the house can host eight guests with three bedrooms, five beds and 2.5 bathrooms. Smaller families can opt for the other side of the main house (two guests) or the guest suite (four guests).

Magic, wonder and a comfy place to sleep awaits you in the Olalla forest. Visit this enchanted cottage to jump start your children’s creative juices (forget Roblox!) and take a break from the grind of city life. This cottage is straight out of a storybook. For renting, the main house is divided into two units and a guest suite. The larger wing of the main house can accommodate up to eight guests, while the smaller wing sleeps two. The guest suite has a charming fireplace and interior, although the confines are a bit cozy.

No matter which accommodations you choose here, you can step outside into a lush, fern-filled cedar forest with a clear, flowing creek to stretch your legs. You will wear a parent badge of honor for taking your kids off the grid into this magical world of chasing frogs by the pond and eating fresh Northwest blackberries and salmon berries right off of the bush. This fairytale stay is close enough to go for a weekend — just across Puget Sound by ferry — and will undoubtedly be filled with nature exploration, family connection and pure imagination.

Large T. Rex statue outside a Seattle vacation rental
Dino fans won't believe their eyes at this vacation rental. Credit: Airbnb

Jurassic Retreat

Location: Washougal, Washington

Guest accommodations: This rental can host 12 guests with four bedrooms, eight beds and two bathrooms. It’s probably for the best that Jurassic Park isn’t real. But parents can offer kids the next best (and much safer) thing at the pet-friendly Jurassic Retreat in Washougal, Washington. Life-size T. rex, velociraptor and triceratops movie props dot the grounds of this rustic-industrial lodge house.

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. And for the family who wants to explore the great outdoors on their getaway, there are nearby hiking trails and state parks.

Fields of lavender outside of a castle you can rent near Seattle
Fields of lavender add to the appeal of this fairy-tale castle. Credit: Airbnb

Lavender Castle

Location: Sequim, Washington

Guest accommodations: This rental can host 12 guests with two bedrooms, five beds and two bathrooms.

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.

For more adventure, head to nearby Carrie Blake Park and play on the playground, check out the fishing pond or skate at the park.

"Mineral schoolhouse is a unique vacation rental for a family"
Don’t be marked tardy for your rental at Mineral Schoolhouse. credit: Airbnb

Mineral Schoolhouse

Location: Mineral, Washington

Guest accommodations: This rental can host 16 guests with six bedrooms, 10 beds and two bathrooms.

It’s okay to fall asleep in these classrooms (and even the principal’s office). This former elementary school near Mount Rainier was built in 1947 and has retained much of the original feel. The large rooms and outdoor field make it 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 (kayak provided) and a 25-minute drive to the entrance of Mount Rainier National Park.

Boat docked near Seattle available to rent for families
Climb aboard this charming boat in Gig Harbor. Credit: Airbnb

Historic Charming Boat

Location: Gig Harbor, Washington

Guest accommodations: This rental can host four guests with two bedrooms, two beds and one bathroom.

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 with two kayaks available for use, you can paddle to the waterfront Anthony’s seafood restaurant when you don’t want to deal with dishes in the galley.

It should be noted that 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.

Rustic barn vacation rental near Columbia Gorge
Plan a rustic weekend away at this scenic barn. Credit: Airbnb

Columbia Gorge Scenic Barn

Location: White Salmon, Washington

Guest accommodations: This rental can host four guests with two bedrooms, two beds and one bathroom.

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 has prairie views from the upstairs and views of the river from various points on the property. Walk around the property to take it all in, or laze around in the hammock while the kids play outside. If you’ve got a bigger brood, consider renting out the third floor of this old dairy barn in Arlington.

Treehouse in Redmond with views of the forest
Spend the weekend up in the trees. Credit: Airbnb

Peaceful Tree House

Location: Redmond, Washington

Guest accommodations: This rental can host four guests with one bedroom, three beds and a half-bath.

From spheres suspended by cables to luxe Scandinavian 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. Older kids will love the forest adventure, but the design of the tree house means it’s not suitable for kids younger than 2.

Unique Seattle vacation rental with a tower for views.
Climb the 98 steps in this tower to be rewarded with scenic views. Credit: Airbnb

Iconic Union Skyhouse

Location: Union, Washington

Guest accommodations: This rental can host 11 guests with three bedrooms, seven beds and 3.5 bathrooms.

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 Skyroom, you might choose to stay up top rather than return to the main house at ground level. After all, once you’re there, you can take in the bird’s-eye views of Hood Canal and Olympic Mountains on three sides of the Skyroom. But you don’t have to climb stairs to enjoy this vacation rental: Two levels of wraparound decks down below offer plenty to see and enjoy.

"The great northern caboose is a unique family vacation rental"
Climb aboard for a memorable family stay. Credit: Airbnb

Great Northern Caboose, Iron Horse Inn

Location: Cle Elum, Washington

Guest accommodations: This rental can host five guests with four beds and one bathroom.

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 near the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail and the, and the historic South Cle Elum railroad depot, 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.

Interior view of a unique vacation rental shaped like a potato
Who knew the inside of a potato could be so glam? Credit: Airbnb

Big Idaho Potato Hotel

Location: Boise, Idaho

Guest accommodations: This rental can host two guests with one bedroom, one bed and one bathroom.

Okay, you caught us. This one isn’t in Washington. But how could we not include it? 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?

Parent Getaways

Unique Hobbit house available for rent near Seattle
Enjoy second breakfast at this hobbit inspired vacation rental. Credit: Airbnb

Corner Getaway BnB

Location: Sequim, Washington

Guest accommodations: This rental can host two guests with one bedroom and one bathroom.

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 cozy living room. Due to the limited space, this underground house is best reserved for a parent getaway. Outside, there’s a fire pit and a private half-acre to explore.

Geodesic dome rental near Seattle with large windows for stargazing
Look up at the night sky from this unique glamping site. Credit: Airbnb

Stargazer Dome

Location: Mineral, Washington

Guest accommodations: This rental can host two guests with one bedroom, one bed and one bathroom.

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.


Editor’s note: This article was originally published in June 2023 and was updated by family fun editor Meredith Charaba on June 5, 2024. New vacation rentals and images were added, and all listings were fact-checked. Sharon Mead contributed to this article.

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