Bird’s-Eye View: Take Your Vacation to New Heights

Round Trip

Bird’s-Eye View: Take Your Vacation to New Heights

Ready to branch out on your next vacation? Take your trip to new heights & get up close & personal with nature with the latest trend in travel; tree houses.

Don’t believe us? Just ask Anne & Mike Howard. In January 2012 they embarked on a never-ending honeymoon, blogging about their experiences on their site So far, they’ve circled the globe three times. Their stays in tree houses—in Argentina, the Dominican Republic & Thailand—have been among their most magical experiences. Wanderlust, anyone?

“You wake up & you’re excited by your surroundings,” Anne says. “You hear the wind rustling through the trees.  You’re at eye level with the birds. A monkey may even swing by.”

Whether you’re looking for a cheap-chic getaway or an ultra-luxe retreat, you can find a tree house that matches your budget & your comfort level. With 1,200 worldwide listings, Airbnb is a good place to start your search. And the internet is overflowing with options, so no matter where you look, your next adventure is just a click away!

From down the road to across the pond, we’ve unearthed five of our top picks for a sky-high vacation:

Redwood Treehouse, Watsonville, California
A four-minute walk through a redwood forest & across a footbridge brings you to this cozy one-bedroom home. Built by a stained-glass artist with a tree growing through the living room & another in the bathroom, you’ll redefine what it means to be a tree hugger. Amenities include a hot tub & Grey, a friendly outdoor cat who’s “employed as a ‘mouser’ & does a fine job.” If you tire of tree tops, take a short drive to the seaside towns of Monterey, Big Sur, Santa Cruz & Carmel-by-the-Sea to swap your tree legs for sea legs!

Hilltop Treehouse Retreat, Lopez Island, Washington
Prepare to be swayed by this Celtic-inspired sanctuary on the San Juan Island of Lopez.  Suspended between two large Douglas firs, it “rocks in the wind like a ship at sea,” according to its Airbnb description. You’ll reach these new heights after a 40-minute ferry ride and an invigorating mile & a half walk. Bonus: the gracious owners greet guests with a bottle of wine & a cheese platter! If camping in the canopy isn’t enough of a pick-me-up for you, skip over to Seattle for some of their famous coffee.

Caribbean Jungle Tree House, Cahuita, Costa Rica
It’s a short stroll down a sand stretch to Playa Negra, a prime surfer beach with a reggae bar that makes Insta-worthy umbrella drinks. But this two-bed, two-bath jungle tree house, which is nestled in the branches of a massive rubber tree, is pretty intoxicating on its own. Did we mention each floor has its own outdoor deck? So, kick back & relax in the hammock while parrots, hummingbirds & toucans fly overhead. Our fave feature? The outdoor shower tucked between the roots.

Les Cabanes de Chanteclair, Chanteclair, France
“French rustic” may summon up thoughts of cassoulet & apple galettes. But when it comes to these pastoral tree houses in central France, be prepared to get down to earth while sleeping in the sky. The nine chalets, which sit on a private family estate within Le Brenne Natural Park, have neither running water nor electricity. It’s the perfect excuse for that digital detox you’ve been avoiding. Fair warning: If you book the house called “the Tops,” you’ll be given a climbing harness & a “stop-fall device” for your ascent up the wood-and-rope ladder.

Chewton Glen, Hampshire, England
This is where high ground meets high-end luxury. A dozen tree house suites, each perched on stilts 35 feet above ground, are set in a secluded valley on the 130 acres of this posh resort in the Hampshire countryside.  Soak in the views of New Forest National Park from the hot tub or daybed on your spacious terrace. You can also take the short walk down to the sea, or the even shorter walk to the pool, spa, tennis courts, croquet lawn or 18th-century main house. Then again, why leave your tree house with its heated floors, “mood lighting” & stellar sound system? Plus, did we mention everything from afternoon tea to your personal massage therapist can be delivered to your door?