Tiny houses, defined as structures with less than 500 square feet, are a fascinating, socially distanced alternative to staying in hotels, motels or even RVs. They also offer the benefit of privacy with residential and resort- type amenities packaged in a tiny abode, allowing you to be as social or as unsocial as you choose.
A welcome choice for pandemic times and for anyone looking for a bit of spice and romance, these six tiny houses are among the country’s best options for a much-needed “mini” getaway.
Mt. Hood Tiny House Village in Welches, Oregon sits in a campground that includes cottages, cabins and yurts as well as tiny houses, all under 360 square feet. But it’s the seven tiny houses that you want to rent – they have the most sex appeal with their vibrant colors, individual themes, smart design and thoughtful amenities. Skiers can spend an active day on the slopes at Mt. Hood and kick back around the fire pit, swapping tales of moguls and trails conquered over a glass of Pinot Noir. For non-skiers, there are more than 700 groomed hiking trails in Mt. Hood National Forest and a Snow Tube and Adventure Park at Skibowl East. Adding a taste of city makers and dining, Portland is less than an hour away.
Just east of Seattle with the Cascade Mountains as a background Leavenworth Tiny House Village encompasses five tiny houses, each with its own Bavarian personality and decor, befitting the location in the Bavaria-inspired town of Leavenworth. You could spin the wheel and pick one based on its uber-cute name — Belle, Adeline, Hanna, Rudolf and Otto – or choose based on size, with a range from 180-300 square feet. Each can amazingly sleep up to five people. All houses have a kitchen and clever storage space and come fully loaded with cable, WiFi and linens in a package that might remind you of the efficiency of a cruise ship stateroom. You’ll have plenty to do in this snowy wonderland. With more than 200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, the Leavenworth area is a hive of winter activities with snowmobiling, cross-country and downhill skiing, sledding and ice fishing.
For an oceanfront alternative that’s attractive even in the winter, Pacific Dunes Resort on Copalis Beach an hour from Olympic National Park is a camping resort that mixes tiny retreats along with bungalows and safari tents. Each tiny house has two bedrooms, a full kitchen, a top floor deck and a washer/dryer. With all of these home-like amenities plus unlimited WiFi, you might want to stay here for an extended time. Walks along the beach and winter hikes are favorite pastimes at this relaxed resort.
Thinking about downsizing your home? Fireside Resort near Jackson Hole invites you to “test drive” luxury tiny house living. Near Grand Teton National Park, the resort features 25 tiny houses in four models that reflect the valley’s original homesteader cabins but add fireplaces, full kitchens, modern amenities and private decks. The Road Haus is meant for couples with a streamlined, one-bed design. Wedge Cabin and Mod Wedge have one king bed and a pullout sofa, ideal for a small family. If your “bubble” is a bit bigger, the Caboose Cabin adds a loft with two single beds. Each has oversized windows, high ceilings, and eight-foot doors. After a day of skiing or hiking, you’ll enjoy comfort and coziness with maximum space in the smallest footprint possible.
Two tiny houses are available to rent in beautiful Verde Valley in Cottonwood near Sedona. The two riverside homes, named Finn and Rose, are comfortable retreats for up to three people after a day in the high desert, hiking to magic vortexes in the Red Rocks, playing golf or exploring town. Be sure to pack your cameras — the Verde River, Mingus Mountains and Hackberry Mountains are beautiful any time of the day. Alcantara Vineyard is located next door and will arrange a charcuterie and wine tasting, SUP yoga and kayaking on the river.
A Tiny House Resort offers a bucolic escape in the Catskills, close to Hunter and Windham mountain ski areas. The 11 wooden houses resemble cabins that have mated with containers. Each is fully furnished with all linens provided and includes WiFi, cable and Netflix. Outside, you have your own private patio, gas grill to use if it’s not too cold, and a fire pit. Fido is welcome, too. The 40-acre creekside setting invites exploration along the resort’s trails. For the ultimate in novelty, you can take a “goat walk” accompanied by the resort’s herd of social-distancing savvy goats. The nearby towns of Hudson and Woodstock are filled with antiques and boutiques as well as areas for more strolling. On property, guests can enjoy sleigh riding, tubing, a pantry and a tiny store. In the works for warmer temperatures are electric bikes and an on-site food truck.
For a taste of Florida sunshine without the crowds, you can’t beat staying on a private island. Near Big Pine Key, the five tiny houses at the Sunshine Key Tiny House Village are about as socially distanced as you might want without cutting yourself off from “civilization.” The homes are named with tropical flair (Kai, Pearl, Lucy, Isla and Hemingway), and each has its own rainbow-colored personality, magically compressed into less than 350 square feet. You can fish or snorkel right by your house or take a boat from the on-site marina. Or choose to do nothing at all except take in the sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico from your loft or deck. If you must leave this 75-acre Paradise, the multi-bridge drive crossing the Florida Keys is truly memorable. At the US’s southernmost point, just “90 miles from Havana”, Key West is a favorite for key lime pie and its laid-back Jimmy Buffett vibe.