Being that its quite literally the largest state in the lower 48, it should come a surprise to none that Texas boasts more than a handful of superior Airbnb properties. And by handful, we mean several thousand. With options that range in variety from a stay in a historic estate renovated, designed and owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines to a beautifully appointed chapel to an Italian-style villa on a sheep farm and apparently even Texas’s own Serengeti (what?!), Texans need not ever leave home to find an adventure.
That said, sometimes what you need is not really an adventure at all, but rather somewhere you can go to unplug and enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Somewhere where you aren’t totally inundated with work emails and text notifications. I’m talking, like, out in the middle of nowhere … which, to be fair, can be quite the adventure in and of itself. Especially in the Lone Star State.
As fate would have it, middle-of-nowhere Texas, frankly not unlike the rest of Texas, just so happens to also be a hotspot for Airbnbs of both the opulent and eclectic variety. Below, a list of properties we’re currently coveting in varying degrees of off-the-gridness …
Vibe: Historic mining ruins in the desert get a quaint, Santa Fe-inspired makeover.
Amenities: Unbeatable views of the Chisos Mountains and Big Bend National Park. Spacious porch with a day bed. Fire pit. Full kitchen. Outdoor shower.
Other things to know: There is no wifi on the premises and the bathroom is separate from the house, but only a few steps from the back door.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “The most immersive West Texas stay I’ve ever had. The place was cozy, well decorated, clean, and perfect for disconnecting a little. Betty was a generous host!”
Vibe: Could be an architectural art installation.
Amenities: World-class views. Near Chinati Hot Springs. Access to lots of great hikes. BBQ grill. Indoor fireplace. Prime stargazing.
Other things to know: No cell service (though there is wifi), and when they say remote, they mean remote. There is a little store in Ruidosa in the event of an emergency, but do be sure to provision accordingly.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “Michael has managed to sustain a truly remarkable home in an environment not typically conducive to 5-star accommodations. Despite being well off the grid, the house includes thoughtful details that must have taken heroic amounts of time and energy to realize. This is an extraordinary place in the world – run entirely on solar power and miles from other homes, and yet as relaxing as an ocean-front mansion.”
Vibe: Bohemian love shack in Costa Rica, but actually in Texas.
Amenities: Outdoor hot tub and shower. Small patio and outdoor seating area. Lots of natural light. BBQ grill. Breakfast provided. Record player.
Other things to know: The bed is suspended and swings. That’s it, that’s the tweet.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: : “Charming, wooded, private, romantic getaway. Our absolute favorite thing was the outdoor shower, and laying in bed looking out the big windows for signs of wildlife.”
Location: Glen Rose
Vibe: Your childhood treehouse got an HGTV-worthy makeover.
Amenities: Balcony. BBQ grill. Endless views of Texas hill country. Fire pit. Animals.
Other things to know: To access the Birdhouse, you must climb the stairs up to a platform in a neighboring tree and then walk the cable bridge directly into the second-floor bedroom, so if you’re afraid of heights … do be aware.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “Absolutely loved it here! It’s so beautiful and relaxing. The craftsmanship is amazing, and it’s close to Dinosaur Valley state park for hiking. Excellent hosts! A great vacation away from the hustle and bustle, 100% recommend. Wish I could’ve stayed longer.”
Location: Round Mountain
Vibe: A beautiful, mid-century modern McDonald’s play place for adults.
Amenities: Outdoor soak tub. Bedroom balcony with two-person hammock deck. Surrounded by lakes. Wifi. Outdoor fire pit. Near Longhorn Cavern State Park.
Other things to know: Spiders, scorpions and grasshoppers are not uncommon … on the property or in Texas country in general.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “The Hammock House is an incredible experience. Only an hour from Austin, you feel like you’re the only person for a hundred miles. The house is extremely comfortable with a beautiful shower, bedroom and kitchen. The hammock porch and tub offer perfect places to star gaze or read.”
Rating: Not yet rated
Vibe: The woodshed of a Pinterest girlie’s dreams.
Amenities: Outdoor shower. Desert views. Fire pit. BBQ grill. Hammock. Room-darkening shades. Board games. Dedicated work space.
Other things to know: You’re going to want to plan to arrive during the day — visibility can be low at night, making the bungalow difficult to find in the dark.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “[B]e prepared to have little to no cell service. But that’s the point! It’s west Texas! You come to disconnect from the big city and that’s exactly what we did.”
Vibe: A tiny, glass garage, but make it chic.
Amenities: An hour from San Antonio. Fire pit. Hot tub. Private pool. Little patio. Outdoor shower. High-speed wifi. BBQ grill.
Other things to know: The deer and longhorns on the property are plentiful, so be prepared for sightings.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “Wow! Our stay at The Glass House was exceptional. The location is so quiet and peaceful. We enjoyed morning coffee on the patio while watching the birds and antelopes, afternoon soaks in the small private pool and nightly stargazing. The accommodations were quaint, comfortable and very welcoming. Devin and Sheri were easy to communicate with and made sure that everything exceeded our expectations. Twisted Horns Ridge is now our new favorite place to go when we want to escape to the Hill Country. We can’t wait to return!”
Vibe: Couples wellness retreat on a ranch.
Amenities: Hot tub. BBQ grill. Outdoor shower. Large deck and patio area. Indoor rock fireplace.
Other things to know: Due to the ranch’s location being outside in the hill country, you may have several critter encounters — particularly in the warmer months.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “Absolutely amazing place. Quite & secluded yet still a quick 10-15 min drive to town. Exceptionally clean and comfortable. The patio area is stylish & inviting. We enjoyed everything this place has to offer, from the indoor fireplace stationed between the comfy bed and jacuzzi for 2, to the outdoor shower & hot tub. This is absolutely the best choice for your next romantic getaway.”
Vibe: Like West Elm opened a design studio among the native pecan trees.
Amenities: A walk-in rain shower and full size soak tub. Views of the Palo Alto creek. Strong wifi signal. HEPA air filter. Lots of natural light.
Other things to know: Technically only three feet off the ground on one side, the treehouse is very accessible, though a steep creek bank gives the impression of being up high in the trees. An alternative to The Birdhouse.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “Just yes. Worth every penny. Perfect location and space, easiest check in/out, peaceful and short drive from so much of the area’s finest attractions … though, the space was so magical I didn’t even want to experience much of anything else because that meant I’d have to leave! I could go on but I’ll leave it at this — if you want peace and enjoy nature, this one is an absolute winner!”
Location: Red Rock
Vibe: A clean and contemporary ecophile’s fort in the woods.
Amenities: Access to miles of trails. An abundance of animals of both the wild and farm variety. Near the Circuit of the Americas F1 racetrack. An on-site Chartres-style Medieval labyrinth. Spacious deck right off of the bedroom.
Other things to know: The cottage has neither a stove nor a microwave — just a coffee machine, electric kettle, mini fridge and sink — so be sure to pack non-perishable snacks.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “Fantastic stay, exactly as described and exactly what we needed! The cottage is awesome, it was so nice to open up the garage-style door to bring the outside in. The hiking trails were so much fun, we really enjoyed walking the property.”
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