We’ve got some bad news: The word is getting out about Seattle summers. The inevitable phone calls and requests from friends and family to come visit are coming, if they haven't already.
Certainly they can't stay with you—don’t they know the cost of any bedroom, much less an extra bedroom, in this city? Better to set them up with a unique, fun place to stay so they can get the full Puget Sound experience.
We've rounded up what we think are ten of the best Seattle-area vacation rentals. There's something for everyone, whether they want to sleep in a yurt, an Airstream trailer, or on a lavender farm.
Airstream retreat with two-bedroom house (Ballard)
This listing sleeps six but you'll be drawing straws to see who gets the coolest bed. The house is 700 square feet and includes a sleeping loft up top. But it's the 200-plus-square-foot Airstream trailer in the backyard that seals the deal. Camp out without camping out. (Only looking for the trailer? We found nine short-term trailer, camper, and RV rentals in the area.)
Modern houseboat on Lake Union (Westlake)
You can't stay in the Sleepless in Seattle floating home, but a cute little houseboat is a great alternative. Situated on Lake Union, this cozy houseboat is roomy enough that you won't feel cramped and also gives you a nice outdoor space to chill out on when the weather's nice. (This one all booked up? Here are seven more where that came from.)
Teeny Tiny Guestyhouse (Fremont)
It actually costs more to stay here nightly ($75) than there are square feet (68). But there are an amazing amount of things stuffed into that teeny, tiny space. The guesthouse can actually sleep three (we swear!) and includes a teeny tiny full bath (toilet, sink, shower) as well as a secret bathtub beneath the floor. Yes, a bathtub under the floor.
Lille Danser sailboat (Poulsbo)
Climb aboard this 50' traditional wood sailboat just across Puget Sound from Seattle. You get the whole boat to yourself dockside and, if you want, there's an optional two-hour hands-on sail for up to six passengers. But if you'd rather just relax as the waves lap up against the boat, well, that's totally cool.
Sacred Groves yurtlettes (Bainbridge Island)
Enjoy the magic of a ten-acre forest sanctuary with this eco-retreat inside two yurts. It's spacious all-around despite the size thanks to big windows that let in the sun and stars. Looking for a tranquil, beautiful escape from the busy city? Look no further.
Octagon Treehouse (Whidbey Island)
On Whidbey Island you'll find this 250 sq. ft. octagon treehouse with a cedar tree going straight up through the center of it. You'll have to walk up a 13-foot staircase to get there but if that's no problem, a special forest retreat awaits. The accommodations fit four but that doesn't include the 'resident' deer, owls, ravens, eagles and other birds you'll see. (Does this one not work for your travel dates? Here’s four more.)
Lavender Hill Farm (Vashon Island)
Not only is this a charming 1930's farmhouse, it’s nestled on a garden lot that overlooks 1,500 lavender plants. The entire house is all yours and you better believe it's going to smell good. That it's located on serene Vashon Island simply seals the deal.
Waterfront apartment and cabana with patio, yard, and deck (Burien)
A beachfront vacation is cool enough. But this apartment, converted from the bottom floor of a residence, adds layers of decks, a cabana, and a fire pit to the mix and it goes to the next level.
Inside, thousand-thread-count sheets and a fireplace help you warm up from stormier beach days.
Spa retreat (Greenwood)
This pretty little house in Greenwood is designed to be a retreat, with a soaking tub, hot tub, and sauna. Eggs in the kitchen come straight from the yard—you can hold the chickens or collect your own eggs upon request—and a rooftop garden is available for guest use. Two sleeping lofts, one in a bedroom, make this good choice for a more intimate getaway or a trip with friends. Reviewers say the photos don’t do this rental justice.
This condo checks a lot of boxes. It’s on the waterfront, just across the street from the Seattle Aquarium. It has a terrace for taking in those Elliott Bay views. It’s literally just one elevator ride from Pike Place Market.
A few other perks: The exposed brick is extremely Old Seattle. It has a Murphy bed for extra guests, but it folds away to look like a very small cabinet. A parking spot is included. On top of everything else, it comes with a bottle of wine upon arrival.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on May 30, 2014. It has been updated to reflect new information.