If TV shows like Tiny House Nation and Tiny House Hunters have taught us anything about the American dream, it’s that sometimes we need a break from our own materialism. For those unwilling to sell off their worldly possessions and squeeze into a 200-square-foot dollhouse, there’s always the option of taking a tiny house vacation. Renting a wee home for a long weekend gives you a taste of the small life, without forcing you to chuck all your furniture. From Boston to Alaska, here are six teensy-tiny rental properties to add to your littlest wish list.
1. Hobbit Cabin in Talkeetna, AK
A storybook log cabin set on a picturesque lake two hours north of Anchorage? Yes, please! Even neater, the roof is covered in sod and the surrounding flower gardens explode into color during the summertime. The interior is decorated with mounted fish and bearskin rugs (this is Alaska) and comes equipped with a mini-fridge, coffeemaker, and small desk. Note: The bath is private but located a few paces from the Hobbit house. —Average rent per night: $145. Book here.
2. Silo Studio Cottage in Tyringham, MA
This Berkshires hideaway—a former studio and converted silo—is nestled on the Santarella Estate in Western Massachusetts. It’ll charm the heck out of you with its stained glass, arched entrance, cozy window seat, canopied bed, and pellet stove (a necessity come wintertime). Guests have access to the estate grounds, which boast winding garden paths, fairytale stone bridges, and a dreamy lily pond. For serious hikers, the Appalachian Trail is just 2.25 miles away. —Average rent per night: $225. Book here.
3. Bayside Bungalow in Olympia, WA
This 20-foot-long house is burrowed amid towering fir trees on a secluded one-acre lot. The kitchen includes a mini-fridge, cooktop, microwave, and French press; elsewhere you’ll find a gas fireplace, an RV-sized shower and rustic compost toilet, a lofted bed with a skylight for stargazing, and a micro-library of tiny house books. You can see Puget Sound from the windows, and a nearby trail leads right to the beach. —Average rent per night: $105. Book here.
4. Beacon Cabin in Gaston, OR
Deep in the heart of Willamette wine country, this mini-house is paneled with recycled cedar wood. Double doors open up to a wrap-around porch with sweeping views of a 40-acre pinot noir vineyard. Inside, you’ll find a kitchenette, queen-sized bed, wood-burning fireplace, and loads of picture windows. Although the Beacon feels remote, it’s just a short drive to celebrated wineries like Penner-Ash and WillaKenzie Estate. —Average rent per night: $200. Book here. Book here.
5. Off-Grid Adobe Dome in Terlingua, TX
This solar-powered “earth house” is less than 30 minutes from Big Bend National Park, but guests say it feels very remote. The house fits a bed, mini-fridge, two-burner propane stove and oven, and bottled water dispenser. (Non-drinking water is pumped from a catchment cistern and should be used sparingly.) Outside the dome is a separate composting latrine, solar-bag shower, “hammock lounge,” fire pit, and one of the starriest night skies you’re ever likely to see in the lower 48. —Average rent per night: $78. Book here.
6. Smallest House in the World in Boston, MA
Boston sculptor Jeff Smith pokes fun at the tiny house movement with his positively Lilliputian mobile home. It’s not large enough to transport a horse, but a determined guest with minimal luggage could make it work (at least for a night). Smith built the wheeled dwelling using sheets of recycled wood, then slapped on a coat of bright green paint. Amazingly, his little experiment fits six porthole windows, a futon, a mini–propane stove, and a makeshift toilet. But no A/C, heat, Wi-Fi, or shower—what do you think this is, the Ritz-Carlton? —Average rent per night: $55. Book here.