Feeling worn down from the daily grind of city life? Sometimes a weekend away in nature is all it takes to reset and recharge; in fact, forest bathing or Shinrin-yoku — the Japanese practice of taking in a forest atmosphere — has proven benefits that will help you be healthier and feel happier.
To get off the beaten path, we scoured Airbnb for 13 amazing places where you can quietly post up and decompress for a few days. There are also various Airbnb Experiences to help you fully immerse yourself in forest bathing, such as the Urban Forest Walkabout in San Francisco, CA; Forest Therapy in Los Angeles, CA; and Short Mountain Hike and Yoga in Hadano, Japan. Julia Plevin, the host of the Urban Forest Walkabout, says, “One easy way to forest bathe is to find a spot and just sit there for 20 minutes a day doing nothing but noticing and being. Another way is to just be aware of all the nature around you — the plants in your house, the air you breathe, the water you drink.”
So let’s get outdoors; we bet you’ll come back to your routine feeling enchanted and inspired.
1. Mushroom Dome Cabin, Aptos, CA: This amazing dome loft features a large deck among Oak and Madrone trees; even more, it’s next to a Redwood grove and small creek, which flows during winter months. Ninety percent of guests give this great spot a perfect five-star rating, so it’s certainly worth scoping out for your next natural getaway.
2. Bluff View Glamping, Mendocino, CA: Mendocino Grove, a relatively new property in Northern California, boasts 60 deluxe safari tents (20 are available on Airbnb) perched over the Pacific Coast. Unwind in the woods with an ultra-comfy heated bed, crisp linens/down comforters, leather butterfly chairs, and a personal fire pit. You’ll love activities like hiking (the property has on-site trails), yoga, kayaking through sea caves, s’more making, and hammock naps.
3. Garden Gingerbread House, Makawao, HI: This sweet home might not be located in a woodsy forest as you’d imagine, but the entire rental is the epitome of the lush beauty that has made Hana, Hawaii, famous. Live like famous Hana residents (Oprah, Clint Eastwood, and Steven Tyler included) on a private, gated property with an organic nursery and farm. Reviewers love this spot for curing “nature deficit disorder” and rave about the hosts’ tour-giving abilities and the lilikoi smoothies they make for guests. It’s a scenic 20 minutes from the airport, and you can come and go easily (and as you please); this spot also has a lockbox for quick check-in and checkout.
4. Unique Cob Cottage, Mayne Island, British Columbia: Kick off your retreat by arriving at Mayne Island on a scenic ferry, and then head to this cozy cottage made of natural and sustainable materials for your stay. On acres of land with sheep, orchards, and gardens in a rural neighborhood, you’ll relish in the peace and quiet of the woodsy island. When you want to get out and about, head into town to get some local fruits and veggies, pick up some books, or treat yourself at the spa.
5. The Pondhouse, Ashfield, MA: Stargazing and tuning out the sounds of your surroundings are just two relaxing activities to look forward to with this country getaway. This quiet site is about 10 minutes outside of the closest town and ideal for vacationers who like hikes. Once you’ve worked up an appetite exploring the great outdoors, treat yourself to Elmer’s for breakfast (we hear they make some of the best pancakes in New England) or Country Pie for a hearty pizza.
6. Secluded Intown Treehouse, Atlanta, GA: We wouldn’t have guessed it, but urban treehouses are a thing. So much of a thing, in fact, that this Atlanta hotspot for two has been showcased by Today, Treehouse Masters, and more. Though you might hear some city sounds like sirens or a train, the hosts write that listening to birds, wind rustling leaves, and frogs is much more common. Sign us up.
7. Silo Studio Cottage, Tyringham, MA: The Berkshires is one of the most beautiful spots to enjoy nature in Massachusetts, and this round cottage is perfectly positioned in a valley for the ultimate woodsy getaway. Once home to a sculptor, the inspiring property has a babbling brook, lily pond, and gardens. History lovers will appreciate the nearby homes, along with the Appalachian Trail, which is accessible less than three miles from the charming two-story home.
8. Saul Zaik Treehouse, Portland, OR: Condé Nast Traveler called this the coolest treehouse in the world, and we can see why: The endless views and mini-decks are prime for posting up during sunset or photographing mountain and city views. Make the most of your stay by inviting your BFFs or family to tag along — this treehouse boasts a guest suite with a sitting room, bedroom, and private bath.
9. Cozy A-Frame in the Redwoods, Cazadero, CA: Are you a creative who wants to hole up for a few days while donating to a good cause? This inspiring little retreat is surrounded by Redwoods on the Sonoma coast, and the hosts donate $50 for each rental to Raphael House, a San Francisco organization whose goal is to help at-risk families achieve stable housing and financial independence. While there’s no TV or microwave for use, you might be delighted to find a record player, wood burning stove, heaps of cookbooks, and a beautiful view. Take your delicious homemade eats outside for alfresco dining; there’s nothing quite like that fresh-air feeling.
10. Geo Dome on Farm Upstate Catskills, Woodridge, NY: You have to “BYOBed” for this one, but setting up your own experience in this woodsy dome means you can glamp exactly as you want to. Hosts and travelers recommend coming with air mattresses, air pads, sleeping bags, pillows, and towels. Fit for the ultimate sleepover party, this serene spot has you and your crew covered with high-speed WiFi, a claw foot bathtub, double outdoor showers, outdoor kitchen and grill, and a fire pit. For activities, scope out the greenhouse, vegetable garden, and nearby lake or join in on the donation-based Sunday yoga class. Namaste.
11. Lovely Ocean Front Bungalow, São Sebastião, Brazil: This Brazilian bungalow gives you a little jungle and a little beach all in one spot. Enjoy the lush views of the Atlantic Rainforest, and take the private walkway down to the beach when you’re ready to get some sand between your toes.
12. Cosy Little Wood House, Sintra, Portugal: Just outside of Lisbon, you’ll find this little house tucked away in mountains of the quaint town of Sintra. The tiny house has just the essentials you’ll need and a cute balcony to enjoy the fresh air and spectacular views of the Pena Palace. There is also plenty of hiking just outside the front door.
13. DreamCaught Treehouse, Mae Taeng, Thailand: Escape to the peaceful northern mountains of Thailand and stay in this treehouse along the river. Wake up to the sounds of nature, hike through the forests, enjoy the restaurant on the premises, and let the friendly hosts show you all the local sights (they’ll even do pickups and drop-offs at Chiang Mai airport). If you stay for three nights or more (which you will want to do), the hosts provide a free cooking class.
Where are your favorite woodsy getaways? Show us on Instagram by tagging us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Airbnb)
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