Trees and Zzzzz – 13 of the most magical treehouses in the US

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Few things evoke feelings of childhood freedom, escapism and playtime more powerfully than a treehouse. But what is it that makes a treehouse so magical?

Few things evoke feelings of childhood freedom, escapism and playtime more powerfully than a treehouse.

But what is it that makes a treehouse so magical?

Perhaps it’s the notion of a dwelling located out of place – after all, what business does a house have in being suspended high up in a tree.

Then again, it might have something to do with the fact that it’s a spot outside the home, a domain not ruled by mum and dad – the castle over which a kid can imagine she/he’s sovereign.

Of course, it could simply be the way a treehouse fills that spot between the constructed and the natural worlds – a happy mix of shelter and barely adulterated environment.

Whatever lies at the heart of their charm, treehouses have an uncanny ability to put a smile on their dwellers’ faces.

Sadly, as you grow up you come to realise that not all treehouses are actually all that good. Looked at through adult eyes, most ramshackle and haphazard backyard creations make Bart Simpson’s hideaway seem positively palatial by comparison.

But there is good news! Brilliant, charming and ethereal treehouses aren’t just the preserve of childhood imaginations. They do exist. Better still, they’re places you can stay in. Here we run down the 13 best treehouse stays in the USA.

For each treehouse our guide details its setting, style, amenities and how high it sits above the ground (let’s face it, that’s a critical part of the magic). We also list nearby attractions and rates.

Treehouse at Post Ranch Inn – Big Sur, California

  • Setting: The Post Ranch Inn is a handsome luxury resort overlooking the Pacific in the picturesque Big Sur region of California. Each treehouse is suspended on wooden stilts and surrounded by Redwoods, Oaks, Sycamores and Bay Trees. The treehouses have mountain as opposed to ocean views.
  • Height: Nine feet.
  • Key feature(s): Has the feel of expertly constructed space; wood-burning fireplace; indoor spa tub; skylight for stargazing; and private deck with views of the mountains.
  • Style: Five-star, luxury chic, packaged in a triangular shape. Given its luxurious feel, this is arguably the least treehouse-y treehouse on the list.
  • Amenities: All the mod cons you’d expect of a typical top-class luxury hotel room; complimentary Wi-Fi; and in-room dining.
  • Sleeps: King bed sleeps two.
  • Other treehouses at location: Post Ranch Inn has seven treehouses. Each is a separate structure.
  • Things to do nearby: Complimentary activities include yoga and meditation classes, nature hikes and stargazing with a computerised 12-inch Meade telescope (this is one of the largest hotel telescopes in the U.S., and Big Sur has some of the clearest atmospheric conditions for viewing the stars, nebulas, and even the rings of Saturn).
  • Rate: From $1,102 (about £717) per night (by far the most expensive on this list).

Post Ranch Inn

Post Ranch Inn

Post Ranch Inn

Post Ranch Inn

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Tree Top Hideaway at Missouri Treehouse Cabins – Dora, Missouri

  • Setting: House on stilts, nestled in the Cedar canopy overlooking the North Fork River.
  • Height: 20 feet.
  • Key feature(s): Rural seclusion, without having to forgo all mod cons; stained-glass windows; and Red Cedar woodwork throughout.
  • Style: Like a small Swiss-chalet style apartment.
  • Amenities: Fully equipped kitchen (the likes of which you’d find in a typical house); gas-fired fireplace; whirlpool tub; and air-conditioning.
  • Sleeps: Queen bed sleeps two.
  • Other treehouses at location: Three, and several other large accommodations constructed of wood.
  • Things to do nearby: Rainbow trout fishing; bird watching; hiking; and boating (canoeing, rafting, or kayaking).
  • Rate: $229 per night (based on two sharing).

Tree Top Hideaway

Tree Top Hideaway

Tree Top Hideaway

Small Treehouse at Carolina Heritage Outfitters – Edisto River, near Canadys, South Carolina

  • Setting: You have to canoe with your sleeping bag, towel and food provisions four hours down the gentle Edisto River to reach the treehouse. The secluded hideout is wrapped by Cypress trees on three sides, and overlooks the river on the other.
  • Height: 16 feet.
  • Key feature(s): Only accessible by canoe, tucked into the woods out of the view of any other treehouse or development, this is one seriously private retreat. People come here to escape the modern world. The early morning call of birdsong, croaking frogs and rustling trees is pretty cleansing for the soul.
  • Style: Frontier outpost.
  • Amenities: Rope hammock; outdoor grill on the deck; cooking utensils; torches; candles and some games (dominoes, Yahtzee and playing cards).
  • Sleeps: Four to six on two futons (one futon sofa and a futon mattress in the sleeping loft).
  • Other treehouses at location: Two others (the Medium Treehouse and the Large Treehouse).
  • Things to do nearby: The treehouse is typically accessed though a two-day river canoe experience. Day one sees a 12-mile canoe to the treehouse. A further 10-mile canoe down river follows an overnight stay. The 150-acre Edisto River Refuge has several miles of hiking trails, along which you can spot great blue herons, egrets, wood ducks, turtles, river otters, alligators, wild turkeys, woodpeckers and many other woodland birds, deer, raccoons, bobcats, and frogs.
  • Rate: $162 per person for first night. A second night $81 per person, while a third is $64 per person. These prices include the treehouse stay, canoe hire, shuttle service and all taxes.

Small Treehouse at Carolina Heritage Outfitters

Small Treehouse at Carolina Heritage Outfitters

Small Treehouse at Carolina Heritage Outfitters

Small Treehouse at Carolina Heritage Outfitters

Treetops Treehouse at Hana Lani Treehouses – near Hana on Maui, Hawaii

  • Setting: Straddles three Kakui Nut trees (sacred in Hawaii) within a lush Hawaiian rainforest preserve, in the picturesque Hana area of Maui.
  • Height: Three story. First floor is at around 12 feet above ground.
  • Key feature(s): View overlooking the jungle canopy out to the Pacific.
  • Style: Ramshackle, hippy.
  • Amenities: Kitchen with propane stove; bamboo outhouse separate from treehouse; no electricity.
  • Sleeps: Double futon sleeps two (three at a squeeze).
  • Other treehouses at location: None. There are two other wooden accommodations.
  • Things to do nearby: There are three fantastic beaches a close walk or drive away. The closest (two minutes away), Black Sand Beach in Wai’anapanapa State Park is not only beautiful, but features blow holes where the sea crashes through ancient lava tubes. Hamoa Beach is consistently rated as one of the top beaches in Maui. The freshwater pools at ʻOheʻo Gulch in the Kīpahulu District of Haleakalā National Park are 25 minutes away.
  • Rate: $135 per night.

Treetops Treehouse

Treetops Treehouse

Treetops Treehouse

The Tiny Fern Forest Treehouse – Lincoln, Vermont

  • Setting: Built around four maple trees above a carpet of ferns in a small copse, off a quiet rural street.
  • Height: 30 feet.
  • Key feature(s): View of Mt. Abraham from the main house; the different colours in the woods through the seasons; the fairytale lighting of the treehouse at night; one of the owners, Ellie a writer/poet, blogs about some of her guests (with their permission).
  • Style: Sturdy, refined look with lots of draught-free windows.
  • Amenities: Electricity; heat; small refrigerator; and hot tub.
  • Sleeps: Three accommodated comfortably on queen futon and a single bed.
  • Other treehouses at location: None. Guests have access to the owner’s house, where there’s a private bathroom and dining room.
  • Things to do nearby: Green Mountain National Forest.
  • Rate: $150 (about £97) per night.

Tiny Fern Forest Treehouse

Tiny Fern Forest Treehouse

Tiny Fern Forest Treehouse

Tiny Fern Forest Treehouse

The Treehouse at Winvian – Litchfield Hills, Connecticut

  • Setting: Situated on the outer fringes of a vast, eccentric rural resort. Set within a manicured clearing within a copse, which is next to a large pond.
  • Height: 35 feet.
  • Key feature(s): Two-story treehouse; homely feel; easy access to the 4,000 acres of the White Memorial Foundation conservation estate.
  • Style: Artfully designed, imaginatively engineered, hipster chic. Finished to the standard of a regular house.
  • Amenities: Two wood burning fireplaces (one on each of the two floors); a Jacuzzi tub; steam shower; wet bar; and Wi-Fi.
  • Sleeps: The queen bedroom sleeps two.
  • Other treehouses at location: None. Though Winvian has an extraordinary collection of unique accommodations including a converted helicopter in its own bespoke red hangar.
  • Things to do nearby: All manner of outdoor activities like hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, canoeing and snowshoeing (winter).
  • Rate: $950 (approximately £618) to stay Friday and Saturday based on two sharing (breakfast included).

The Treehouse at Winvian
The Treehouse at Winvian

The Treehouse at Winvian

The Treehouse at Winvian

Redwood Treehouse – Santa Cruz Mountains, California

  • Setting: The treehouse is wrapped around a commanding live Redwood (Sequoia Semperviren). It stands alone, surrounded by dense Sequoia forest.
  • Height: 12 feet.
  • Key feature(s): The extremely tranquil, remote location; hot tub; and visits from the friendly resident cat, Grey.
  • Style: Cosy, just like Granny’s house.
  • Amenities: TV and DVD player; heating; and kitchen (gas stove).
  • Sleeps: Queen bed sleeps two.
  • Other treehouses at location: None.
  • Things to do nearby: Hiking; nearby live music venues; ocean surfing, kayaking, sailboating, and fishing.
  • Rate: $150 (about £97) per night on the weekend, and $125 (£81) Monday through Thursday (an additional one off tax and cleaning charge of $60 (£39) is added to subtotal).

Redwood Treehouse

Redwood Treehouse

Redwood Treehouse

Redwood Treehouse

Mahinui Na Lani – Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii

  • Setting: Atop an ancient lava tube, surrounded by dense Kilauea rainforest (Sandalwood, Hawaiian Holly, and Ohia trees). The treehouse is within an extremely sparsely developed residential estate.
  • Height: Two story. Bottom floor is four feet off the ground.
  • Key feature(s): Outdoor hot tub with room for two.
  • Style: Whimsical design, beautifully constructed, with numerous artistic touches in the form of woodcarvings.
  • Amenities: Kitchen with propane stove, microwave and fridge; outdoor shower; electricity from a mix of wind, solar and generator; and composting toilet.
  • Sleeps: The queen bedroom sleeps two.
  • Other treehouses at location: None.
  • Things to do nearby: Kilauea – the world’s most active volcano – is nearby in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (the treehouse is five minutes away from the park entrance); observe sea turtles nesting at nearby Punalu’u black sand beach; Rainbow Falls in Hilo.
  • Rate: $235 per night (£153) ($200 (approx. £130) per night for two or more nights).

Mahinui Na Lani

Mahinui Na Lani

Mahinui Na Lani

Mahinui Na Lani

Treehouse Above San Francisco Bay – Burlingame Hills, California

  • Setting: Cradled by a stately living California Oak, which in turn appears to weave its way through the living space, this is one seriously charming treehouse. The quiet hilltop suburban neighbourhood is covered in a mix of mature Redwoods, Firs, Oaks and Birch trees. Yes, it has a dry, functional name, but that belies the magic of this quaint little tree-borne cabin.
  • Height: 18 feet.
  • Key feature(s): Wraparound balcony with views overlooking the treetop canopy and the Bay beyond; long rope swing; French doors; stained glass windows; the superbly friendly hosts Doug and Linda.
  • Style: Whimsical den.
  • Amenities: Access to indoor bath/shower and kitchenette in owner’s adjacent family log cabin home; heating; Wi-Fi.
  • Sleeps: Three: two in a cosy elevated queen-size sleeping loft (accessed by ladder), and one on a raised futon in the main space.
  • Other treehouses at location: None.
  • Things to do nearby: Hiking and mountain biking in the wooded areas of the Bay area; 20-minute drive to San Francisco; 20-minute drive to Half Moon Bay and the beautiful Northern California coast; fantastic restaurants in San Francisco and Burlingame.
  • Rate: $225 per night.

Treehouse Above San Francisco Bay

Treehouse Above San Francisco Bay

Treehouse Above San Francisco Bay

Treehouse Above San Francisco Bay

The Majestree at Out’n’About Treesort – near O’Brien, Oregon

  • Setting: Wrapped around a towering Douglas fir, the Majestree is just one of an extraordinary collection of highly unique treehouses connected by a series of suspended walkways (collectively called the Treeway). Treesort is a bit like the Ewok village in Return of the Jedi ­– but better, much better. The tree-related puns on the Treesort website are a work of genius.
  • Height: 47 feet.
  • Key feature(s): Two-story. Extraordinarily high. Private deck beneath connected by spiral staircase. Beautifully carved latticework made of Manzanita native wood. Privileged views over the Treesort.
  • Style: Gazebo in the sky (very much more beautiful on the outside than the inside).
  • Amenities: Full bathroom with toilet sink and shower; kitchenette; and porch.
  • Sleeps: Queen bed in main room, two double beds in loft and an additional day bed sleep five comfortably.
  • Other treehouses at location: The mind-blowing Treesort has 13 tree-supported dwellings. Sadly, thanks to the local planning department, only four of the perches are currently approved for overnight use. The Swiss Family Complex, Serendipitree and Peacock Perch are nothing short of stunning.
  • Things to do nearby: The Out’n’About Treesort isn’t just about incredible treehouses. There’s an impressive collection of zipwires that span a huge meadow, beginning and ending in the dense forest that surrounds it. The highest is 70 feet in the air, and the longest is 790 feet. Riders of the fastest zipwire reach 40 mph. The resort also has tree climbing, rappelling, a pendulum swing, a rock wall for climbing, horseback rides, river rafting and a bunch of arts and crafts classes.
  • Rate: $300 (£195) per night.

Majestree-Out-n-About-Treesort-2_Top-10-treehouse-stays-in-the-US

Majestree-Out-n-About-Treesort-3_Top-10-treehouse-stays-in-the-US

Majestree-Out-n-About-Treesort-4_Top-10-treehouse-stays-in-the-US

Calypso at Vertical Horizons Treehouse Paradise – near Cave Junction, Oregon

  • Setting: Built around two Douglas Firs surrounded by a forest of Firs, Pines and Oaks.
  • Height: 25 feet.
  • Key feature(s): Accessed by a bridge.
  • Style: Eccentric angles, realised through engineering excellence.
  • Amenities: Well insulated; a heater; ceiling fan; toilet, hot and cold water sink; small refrigerator; and a faux fireplace.
  • Sleeps: Queen bed sleeps two.
  • Other treehouses at location: Two others – The Shiitake is particularly magnificent.
  • Things to do nearby: Tree climbing; white-water rafting; bird watching; catch-and-release fishing; golf; Oregon Caves National Monument; Oregon coast; and wild mushroom picking (November and December).
  • Rate: $240 (£156) per night based on two sharing.

Calypso Treehouse Paradise

Calypso Treehouse Paradise

Calypso Treehouse Paradise

Trillium at Treehouse Point – Issaquah, Washington

  • Setting: Supported by a Western Red Cedar in a clearing surrounded by dense Pacific Northwest forest. A pretty pond lies on the other side of the clearing.
  • Height: 18 feet
  • Key feature(s): Designed and built by Pete Nelson, a world-renowned treehouse builder and author, and his wife Judy. Astonishingly, the two-storey treehouse has nearly 90 windows.
  • Style: Handsome writer’s retreat
  • Amenities: Electricity; heat; and an electric kettle.
  • Sleeps: Queen bed sleeps two.
  • Other treehouses at location: There are seven other equally beautiful tree supported structures at Treehouse Point. They’re all incredible, but the Temple of the Blue Moon and Burl stand out most for us.
  • Things to do nearby: The bed-and-breakfast retreat offers massage and yoga on-site. It sometimes stages concerts. River tubing (seasonal) and hiking are accessible nearby. There’s also assorted berry and/or pumpkin picking (seasonal) in the area. The impressive Snoqualmie Falls is a short drive away. Downtown Seattle is only a 22-mile drive away.
  • Rate: $256 (£167) per night.

Trillium Treehouse Point

Trillium Treehouse Point

Trillium Treehouse Point

Trillium Treehouse Point

Cedar Creek Treehouse – near Ashford, Washington

  • Setting: Wrapped around a 200-year-old Cedar tree in the canopy of thick cedar forest, overlooking a small creek.
  • Height: 50 feet (only Treesort’s Majestree is anywhere near as high as Cedar Creek Treehouse).
  • Key feature(s): Views of Mount Rainier.
  • Style: Rustic/Swiss chalet.
  • Amenities: Solar powered electric lights; kitchenette with gas stove and running water; and toilet.
  • Sleeps: Five accommodated comfortably on two double futons and single camp bed in living room.
  • Other treehouses: No other inhabitable treehouses but there is a two-story observatory that is 100 feet above ground. It’s accessed via a beautiful spiral staircase and a “rainbow” bridge.
  • Things to do nearby: Hike, mountain bike and cross-country skiing in Mount Rainier National Park, which is only ten minutes away.
  • Rate: $300 (£195) per night (based on two adults sharing).

Cedar Creek Treehouse

Cedar Creek Treehouse

Cedar Creek Treehouse

Cedar Creek Treehouse

Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…

(Featured image: Sebastien BARRE)

Trees and Zzzzz – 13 of the most magical treehouses in the US was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Brett Ackroyd
Author: Brett Ackroyd (631 posts)

Brett hopes to one day reach the shores of far-flung Tristan da Cunha, the most remote of all the inhabited archipelagos on Earth…as to what he’ll do when he gets there, he hasn’t a clue. Over the last 10 years, London, New York, Cape Town and Pondicherry have all proudly been referred to as home. Now it’s Copenhagen’s turn, where he lends his travel expertise to momondo.com.